The Palm Coast City Council this evening voted 4-1 to quadruple the mayor’s and council members’ salaries starting after the election in November, a raise that will benefit three sitting council members and two to be elected later this year.
The first of two required votes on the ordinance Mayor David Alfin proposed only last month was a victory for the mayor, who was elected less than a year ago, but at a steep price. The sudden and sharp raise drew near-unanimous public opposition from a full house, some ridicule, plenty of doubt about the mayor’s and council members’ rationales, and the promise of a movement toward a charter change that would require council salaries to be set only by voters. Such movements have precedent: Polk County voters in a referendum cut their county commissioners’ salaries by half in a 2000 ballot measure, circumventing state-set salaries.
A second reading of the ordinance is expected in two weeks. If it passes, as it is expected to, salaries will increase from $9,600 a year for council members to $44,670 a year, a 365 percent increase, and from $11,400 to $46,470 for the mayor, a 307 percent increase. The new salaries will go in effect after the November election.
“It is not the percentage increase that is relevant,” Alfin said near the end of a long opening argument on behalf of his proposal. “What is relevant is the final salary number. City council service has become a full time job with part time pay. City Council is responsible for correcting lingering mistakes and providing best possible resources.”
Alfin and Council members Ed Danko, John Finelli and Nick Klufas voted for the increase. Eddie Branquinho voted against. Fanelli was the mystery vote: this was to be literally his first and most significant vote on a council to which he was just appointed–with Alfin’s strong support. He was not likely to vote against his de facto mentor. He said he was not going to reveal how he’d vote before hearing the public speak, but he tipped his hand, at least initially: “I definitely see a disproportionality between what is paid and what is expected. but I want to hear what everybody has to say,” Fanelli said. He voted accordingly. (He will not benefit from the raise, since he is stepping down in November.)
All other council members including the mayor clearly telegraphed their intentions before hearing the public, whose opposing opinions they’d already heard at a council meeting two weeks ago. There was no opposition to some kind of raise, or to a phased-in raise–only to a raise as steep as the one Alfin was proposing.
Alfin spoke in defense of his proposal at length, reading from a long brief he’d prepared. At certain points Alfin’s plaintive recitation of the difficulties of a council members’ job sounded, if less poetically and more peevishly, like Job pleading with God about his incessant difficulties–no pension, no health care benefits, no cost of living increases like those received by school board members or county commissioners, emails to be addressed, meetings and public appearances to be made, thousands of pages to read and analyze.
He said raising the salaries would not raise taxes or take away funds from “already” funded programs. That is true, in effect, for the current and possibly the coming year, but the statement cannot be said with as much certainty regarding future years.
Alfin flashed a graph showing his proposal would place council salaries between those of school board members and those of county commissioners (though it would also place those council salaries well above those of any city council or city commissioners’ salaries elsewhere in the state.) He showed the thick book representing this evening’s agenda background materials. He flashed his own monthly calendar, showing almost daily commitments. “City council members suffer from the same economic conditions, as all residents of Palm Coast,” he complained, before concluding: “Increased compensation is a logical business decision.” He acknowledged that the decision would be contentious, at last turning to his colleagues: ” Let’s talk and listen to each other.”
“That is the most disgusting insulting speech I’ve ever heard,” Vince Ligouri, first up during public comments, told the council, his forefinger wagging. Ligouri is as close to a surviving founding city father as there is anymore, having served on the panel that resulted in the city’s incorporation in 1999. “I’m a former member of the Home Rule coalition that spent five years of his life and our life making this city possible for you to sit up there. What are we all, idiots? No, we created the charter. We created your jobs. And you know for five years how much we got paid? Nothing.” He invited the council members who didn’t like the work or the pay to resign.
Alan Peterson, one of 29 former Palm Coast City Council members, had made the motion on the council in 2007 to establish the current salary. He addressed the council and said he fully supports a salary increase, especially since there’s not been one since 2008. “You’re entitled to one,” he said. The public, too, would support an increase, he said, but in the range of $12,000 a year for council members and $15,000 for the mayor. “But anything significantly more than that, you will have a very, very difficult time telling the public why you should be entitled to more money,” Peterson said. “And to make the statement, Mr. Mayor, that this won’t increase your taxes, is ludicrous. If you’re paying yourselves more money, it is coming from the taxpayer. Because if you could find that money, you could lower the taxes. So taxes will be increased by any kind of a raise. So please, temper what you’re going to tell the public.”
Michael Martin, the man gathering petitions to attempt a charter change that would require salaries to be set by charter, quoted John Kennedy’s “ask what you can do for your country” line and challenged the council to pledge that the raise would not apply to sitting council members. As it is, it would go in effect soon enough to benefit the mayor, Klufas and Danko after November.
The cumulative cost to the budget will be $175,360, “not a small number,” Alfin conceded, but not the sort of number that would affect the budget, he said. Still he said, “organizational cuts can be made to offset the difference.” He said creating a separate ballot issue could cost taxpayers more money if it were to require an extra page on the ballot–again, correct ion and of itself, but the proposed salaries would, of course, soon dwarf that cost, especially through cumulative costs.
About 15 or 16 people addressed the council all but one opposed to the raises, some of them using words like “money grab” and many of them wondering if, by suggesting that the raises would draw better quality council members, current members were calling themselves less qualified. (The words used were less complimentary.) But it was just as clear that the opposition was less than an onslaught, all told: it was insistent, but contained, and nowhere near–for example–the public opposition that shocked the council to reverse itself on the Green Lion restaurant lease only a few weeks ago, after the council had voted to end that lease. Tonight’s limited response may have caused the council members not even to alter the proposed ordinance to phase in the raises, as Klufas had suggested.
Nevertheless, there’s no telling how the vote will radiate in future elections.
Council member Eddie Branquinho took up what he called “the challenge” of the mayor’s proposal, saying what he’s said before: he opposed the raise. He referred to a low approval rate for government officials and questioned the suggestion that the higher raises would draw better-quality candidates. “I don’t exactly take that as a compliment,” Branquinho said. “Because last week, we had eight people talking to us over here. Every single one of them was better than the other.” He was referring to the eight candidates who applied to be appointed to the seat vacated by former Council member Victor Barbosa. The council appointed Fanelli, a school district administrator already well paid, and now toggling both jobs (he was making a presentation before the school board only hours ago).
“Every single one of them knew exactly what they were going to get paid,” Branquinho continued. “And trust me, there’s plenty of capacity there. plenty of people that knows what they’re doing and they were willing to do their duty for the amount of money we’re making right now.” He even said he would sign the petition Michael Martin, a resident and elected official, was gathering. Martin earlier told the council he was gathering a petition to trigger a charter change that would, in future, require salaries to be altered only by charter amendment.
But Branquinho was clearly in the minority, if only on that side of the dais. His motion, 130 minutes into the salary discussion, to raise salaries to $12,000 for council members and $15,000 for the mayor died when it drew a short-lived second.
“I feel that we are diminishing the potential candidate pool to a degree, where we don’t have candidates that are in our community, active in our community, that are willing to run for office” because of the job’s demands–and the low pay, Council member Nick Klufas said. “These five votes determine a $250 million budget. What other situation do you have people managing a $250 million budget that you’re paying $9,600 a year? Nowhere.” Moments later he said the decision will be “cataclysmic,” claiming that ” If you have an unstable set of candidates and unstable set of elected officials, everything suffers top down.” He did not explain how, having taken pride in a city that had handled its budgets and credit ratings and municipal commitments as well as it had over the years, it had managed to do so with current–and lower–salaries for the past 23 years.
Still, he said, “it’s in bad taste and in bad light” to give oneself a raise. Klufas proposed phasing in the raises rather than enacting them whole.
Council member Ed Danko talked about his campaign–knocking on doors and putting in a lot of his own money, then said the two open seats in the coming election have drawn only three candidates. (In fact, the races have drawn four candidates so far, two in each district, with a few weeks left for qualifying.) “I can tell you, this has become a full time job,” he said, speaking in support of attracting qualified candidates.
“You can see how we get beaten up sometimes,” Danko said, referring to local media. “Any of you folks like to get beaten up like that in the press for $9,000 bucks? then please step up and run. but I have to tell you, I am in support of this, and I am going to vote in favor of this. And if you don’t want to elect me again, that’s your choice. But then at least–” he was briefly interrupted by grumbling in the crowd. “At least I’ll know that will be laying a path for future candidates, because that’s the type of people we need running.”
The public spoke, council members spoke again, indicating that their positions had not changed. Alfin thanked the public response and gave a subtle nod to the possibility that salaries may be set differently in the future.
There was some loud heckling after the 4-1 vote (“you’re all crooks,” “you’d better find Jesus”), but the council moved on to its next item–ratifying City Manager Denise Bevan’s contract, at a salary of $175,000 a year. That approving vote was unanimous, and took all of four minutes, after a 135-minute segment on the council members’ salaries.
Ironically, the item of most consequences, by far, on individual residents and rate payers was neither the council members’ nor the city manager’s salaries, but an $8 million bank loan to enable substantial stormwater improvements such as swale maintenance. The item’s approval was never in doubt.
WTF! Hell I might as well run, that’s a damn good salary for part-time work. VOTE!!
Nice to be white and a Repub.
The Unvarnished Truth says
Even nicer to be a black Democrat and get money for nothing…
Bill C says
Racist stereotyping! Varnished falsehood.
Michael Cocchiola says
Hey Unvarnished… you ever thought of becoming a racist? You’d nake a darned good one. Anyway, I hope this is just a failed attempt at conservative humor.
Just did a quick search for a “similar” bedroom community with the approximate population and came up with Schaumburg, Illinois. Home to Woodfield Mall, multiple major corporations, major hotels, convention center, numerous parks, amenities etc. along with a monthly newsletter delivered to the residents houses. Seems the Mayor is paid in the $14,000 range and the Trustees at a lower rate. Would think the Palm Coast board has some serious tap dancing to do between now and November.
Over It says
Our City is going to hell in a hand bag… 175,000 a year for a titmouse city manager. Huge raises for council members that knew how much work and how much compensation they would receive before they became elected officials. Maybe its time to dissolve the city and revert back to just the county, at least then we would only be dealing with one set of crooks.
Percy's mother says
This was an “up yours” moment from the Palm Coast City Council to the citizens of Palm Coast.
Not only that, after voting themselves a huge raise against the wishes of the citizens of Palm Coast, they then went on to ratify a $175,000.00 salary for the new city manager. I’m sure the $175,000.00 a year DOES NOT include the additional job benefits. So add that to the base salary.
1. ALFIN: From this point forward, and for the rest of his term as mayor, Alfin should be publicly shunned. The “Mr. Nice Guy” mask Alfin has been wearing for the last year is now off. We have seen his true colors, and what I see is a mean, self-serving man. Nothing more. Nothing less. Just take a look at the photo of him on the Palm Coast Observer website after the vote. Butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. That’s the real Alfin.
2. Finelli: During his comments, he stated that he’s having to “juggle” his family, kids, school board job AND the PC City Council work. For God’s sake. He’s only been on the PC City Council for what? 2 weeks? a month? Why the hell did he even run for the position? What a fool. And to only be on the job a few weeks and vote himself a raise! He should also be shunned by everyone in the community.
3. Klufus: His political career is over. Hey Nick, forget running for county commission. You won’t win after this. Go back to your IT job. Don’t want to hear anything more from you for the rest of your term.
4. Danko: Well all you Trumpers (and that includes all members of the Flagler Trump Club and its supporters). How’s Danko turning out as PC City Councilman? He’s by far the most divisive and ineffective councilman to ever sit on the PC City Council. What happened to his campaign promise, “I WOULD RATHER DRINK ANTIFREEZE THAN RAISE TAXES”. But he just voted himself a huge raise.
His political career was over before it started. And that goes for you, Alan Lowe (guilt by association).
The whole lot of them should be publicly shunned for the remainder of their terms, and unfortunately the citizens of Palm Coast will have to suffer them until they’re all voted out. As members of the audience called out after the vote, CROOKS!!! Sorry Alfin, the gavel won’t work to shut me up.
I agree. Good Luck you All will need it. Vote Accordingly
The dude says
Danko and Lowe (Captain and Gilligan) will almost certainly be (nicely paid) Palm Coast City council members here in the near future.
You get exactly what you vote for.
To put it quite simply …. I agree. This is a travesty.
Now, we have to remember it, and make sure that as many of the current council members as possible are NOT there after the elections to reap their slop from the trough.
I don’t believe Finelli will benefit from this since it does not take effect till after the November election when he is done.
Eileen Kennedy says
I hope all citizens remember this vote at election time. Everyone that ran for office knew the salaries for their position. I agree a raise is needed but not over 300 percent. How can anyone justify this raise. I will remember this at election time.
Percy's mother says
Actually closer to 400 percent raise they gave themselves.
Klufas and the Mayor are right, it’s a major job and a huge budget to oversee. Need to have a realistic pay for these folks. We want $15 for burger flippers but can’t spend on this? Support support support. The hootin’ and hollerin’ from the vocal minority is expected and their words walking out the door tell you all you need to know. Hell, even Danko gets it.
So everyone gets a $ 35,070 raise on the council. Where is it coming from ? Do the new residential construction growth projects pay for this or is it just going to be higher taxes to the rest of us as victims ? When they approve splash pads & pickleball courts, buy moldy buildings to sell for losses when real estate is supposedly booming. It’s interesting what is real or not any more. With the inflation, this is where we are. This is the cost of Biden-Harris really. Monkey see, monkey do, the post pandemic scamdemic to get well off the masses with price gouges/increases. The difference ? $ 15/hour minimum wage is a drag it’s heels to 2025/2026 in FL. Salaried, that going to happen automatically, one big lump sum increase. Why not incrementally get to/the $ 44-46K salaries by 2026 or beyond like an hourly wage ? That’s if they were going to do that or not even. If there were a way to isolate the gougers to pay for all of this thru taxation, that’s one thing. But a lot of fixed incomers & poorer will be saddled by a new fee they will pay both directly & indirectly. They’ll still be marginally compensated in their jobs to pay for these higher costs/salaries. $ 15/hour can’t possibly be enough to fund this. Where is the money coming from, illegal drugs, gambling ?
I’m kind of wondering about Barbosa a little here. Accused of shop lifting, most recently. But it doesn’t end with that, go back to the Costa Rica thing. How is that investigation progressing ? Then there’s the Mullins thing, These are local business people, how does Alfin think the salary will draw better candidates ? These folks with means are supposed to be community leaders. With charges against them it’s more like they are Ponzi Schemers & fraud/con artists that infiltrate City & council government to steer prosperity their way ? Sounds a lot like what we read about in Congress, only at a local level. Anyone hear Mullins anymore ? He seems to have dropped off the radar over the last 2 years. Even on the LGBTQ stories, if he’s been mentioned it’s a mellower & less brash involvement ?
What does ANY of this have to do with Biden-Harris snowflake? The Board is made of GOP crooks who smile while they rape you. Just like the traitorous last Administration and our current so-called Governor, “hey, look over there while I screw you”.
It’s called deflection, and it served the past President and current Congress well (unfortunately).
But you already knew that.
He lost me at Scamdemic
“Anyone hear Mullins anymore?”… Mullins is laying low for fear of going bankrupt with all the people that now want to take him up on his offer to “pay their bus fair” out of FL.
Richard Smith says
Deborah Coffey says
LOL. This is a surprise? You got all the slimy Republicans you voted for, Palm Coasters. So, stop whining and get out your wallets. BTW, you’d better know that the spending of your money won’t stop here and that spending won’t be to improve YOUR lives. We’re living here in Toscana on Old Kings Road with 2 multifamily complexes approved and 2 big storage facilities…all flanking our neighborhood…with no plan to widen Old Kings, no plan to put in a bike path, no plan to keep 18-wheelers from escaping the I-95 weigh station and using Old Kings, etc. Republicans don’t govern for people; they govern for money and power.
Exactly, I’ll add a misplaced non-full service hospital to your list too. Traffic will suck there also.
The dude says
Will this result in better candidates? Or will it just end up shoveling more of my tax dollars into idiots like Danko and Alan Lowe’s pockets for next to nothing in return for the city?
Victor bailed too early. It could’ve been a windfall for him considering the cons love for criminals.
Quid Pro Quo says
Should we be surprised that Council’s newly appointed member votes with his “de facto mentor”? At a minimum, any increase in compensation should not take effect until the affected council seat has been through an election. Accordingly, Alfin, Danko, and Klufas would not receive any increase until after they face the voters in subsequent elections.
Kitty Sepe says
I would hope that none of these people would be permitted to hold down a “second full time job” to subsidize their income.
The Clock is Ticking says
Pay attention, voters. They just collectively bent you over and took you against your will as you shouted NO. No means no.
Miserable and inexcusable. Was an increase in order? Yes, a MODERATE increase with perhaps additional percentages over the next five or six years, phased in, with voter input and approval.
We served almost 30 years in the military and our cost of living adjustment is minimal from year to year. But when you volunteer to sign up (volunteer to run for public office) you KNOW what you have chosen to do and you know the circumstances. You don’t get to change the rules after. It is outrageous that the voters don’t even get to approve this on a ballot. Who wouldn’t love to give themselves a fat raise, even in the face of DISMAL performance.
Thank you, Mr. Branquinho, for having the integrity to stand up to the others. Mr. Klufas, I am very disappointed in you, even though I voted for you. Don’t count on me next time.
Mr. Finelli, I am disappointed in your first vote. As an educator, you should be used to an environment where you are required to invest your heart and soul for inadequate compensation (this comment is coming from a family of teachers). It’s good that you will not be allowed to run for re-election because that is not going to be a popular vote, and WE the people will remember it.
As for “Mayor” Alfin and the remaining voting Councilman in question [insert your favorite mockery of his name here] … enjoy what’s left of your time in office. Every voter in my family will be joining with the thousands of others who opposed this exhorbitant pillaging of the taxpayers in Palm Coast, especially the seniors on fixed incomes who are already struggling. You KNEW what you signed up for. You don’t get to change the rules to benefit yourselves after the fact.
This is what happens when you elect these republicrumbs !!!!
Edith Campins says
Outrageous. They all knew very well what the salary was when they ran for office. No one would have objected to a reasonable increase. Throw in the value of their perks and it becomes even more offensive. Vote them out.
David Schaefer says
What a damn joke. Get rid of them all except Eddie he is the only one with some sense. And Stanko has the nerve to say oh I have worked very hard for this knocking on doors to get elected is this guy nuts or what.
Now that is what is called Bull Sh**
Nick Klufas said. “These five votes determine a $250 million budget. What other situation do you have people managing a $250 million budget that you’re paying $9,600 a year? Nowhere.”
What other situation in private enterprise do people approve their own raise????
Dennis C Rathsam says
All that money spent on the bozo,s & mayor…certainly a raise they did not deserve, most people were against this waste of tax payer money! That money would have been better served cutting our taxes or paying more for less with Waste Pro! Now they got thier raise…LETS KICK EM OUT TOGEATHER!!!!!
Why are we not surprised. The PC City Officials never listen to what the people that pay their salaries want or don’t want this is another perfect example of that. Alphin is a one term mayor so enjoy it while it lasts.
Is it true the raise will take affect in Nov. of this year? We Dems need to vote them out. If the country voted out Trump, and the can vote DeSantis out and the city of P.C. can vote out these Repubs. We can do it but will we.
This pay raise is absurd, especially for part-time positions!!! This most certainly have been presented to all residents of Palm Coast to be voted on. I am pretty certain that this would not have passed. A more reasonable raise may have been approved but all this does is alienate the public against council members. I hate to see that we are following in the footsteps of the states that all are fleeing from to escape corruption in government. Unfortunately it has found it’s way to Palm Coast…how sad!
Paying an unqualified city manager 175k,who is run by the staff shes supposed to manage is the bigger story here. What a train wreck that will be. Insulting to the community.
Let them eat cake? says
Can someone educate me please? What has this city manager done for the city of PC to deserve this kind of salary? I never even heard of her before she was placed in this seat. I know she worked behind the scenes and probably is a hard worker nevertheless this is a very high salary to give when there is so much work to be done in this city for the taxpayers. Let’s face reality she’s not a nurse, firewoman, or police woman who take their lives and saves people’s lives on a daily basis. She not a teacher who gets thrown all kinds of s**t by students and parents and their administration. These individuals don’t even make nearly half her salary. Is she some kind of brainiac which the city can’t live without, it’s really stunning to see that ALL of them think they deserve high salaries. Elitism to the fullest while our seniors can’t even afford to live here anymore, a growing homeless population who I wish visits city hall and camps out there. The rest of my comment I leave in agreement with Percy’s Mother as she hit it out of the ballpark. All of them should walk out of their office with mask on their faces.
So they went ahead and instituted the raise anyway. The good ole boy network way. I’d be seeing you all Election time lol
I’m not a particular fan of any of the current board members, though I remind everyone. These board members put themselves out there. They did the work and gained the vote of the majority of the voters (or were appointed as was the case for one member).
The salary was a huge factor in why others haven’t run in the past. It’s not a part-time job. The interruption into one’s personal time with random calls/emails from the residents and the dozens of meetings that are not part of the typical board schedule are not worth the minimum salary they were paid before.
Like any industry, you get what you pay for. Make it slightly worth the time investment, you will have more qualified applicants.
I personally know of a 30-year highly respected non-political citizen who would be a phenomenal board member. He has the education and experience to serve the citizens from a commonsense platform. His response each time I mention it is that it’s not worth the time at the rate you are compensated.
Yes, an argument could be made that holding that sort of public servant office should not be about the money. Well, if you don’t offer a nominal wage for the 50+ hours of work a week, you will most always get retired, wealthy applicants who are not as directly impacted by the decisions the board makes as a whole. Or, even worse you get those who are seeking to impart an ideology that doesn’t benefit the community as a whole.
As with business, you get what you pay for.
“Like any industry, you get what you pay for. Make it slightly worth the time investment, you will have more qualified applicants.” FALSE
The 15 Worst CEOs In American History
Higher pay does not always equate to qualified applicants. This is true at any level. Have you not worked anywhere where somebody is getting compensated (paid) more than you, but you are doing a better job?
Pissed in PC says
Elections have consequences! I didn’t vote for Alfin cause he’s a developer ruining the city, how many kickbacks is he getting? Stanko is worthless AF and another con man (didn’t vote for you either). I’m shocked at Klufas but he’s been exposed to the other 2 clowns. This new guy I sure wouldn’t have picked either. Thank you Eddie for sticking up to the rules that were put in place years ago! These clowns gotta go! You wanted the corrupt republicons thinking they would make this city better? You got fooled again and again. You think this won’t cost residents, just wait and see. They want to cut city services to fund these raises, meanwhile we can’t get our swales fixed from years of neglect, we got a botched contract for garbage service because they “overlooked it”, no job creation except retail and hospitality. The mayor and his 3 stooges suck!
I’m outside of Palm Coast, so take my opinion as an outsider, but, there is a personal nerve hit here. My husband was a commissioner in South Florida for two terms. Yes, it is long hours and long meetings. Yes, he went all around the area on foot to get votes. Yes, he had to listen to all sorts of folks even the same ones with the same issues over and over again. Yes, he had to deal with employees, construction and constituents out in the field. Yes, he had to break up fights and help mend fences.
Do you know how much compensation he, and the other commissioners, got for this work? They got a stipend of $10.00 a month, I guess for gas for their vehicles. When it came up for a raise, my husband voted for zero pay. He, and the others, had a regular full time job outside the district. This was strictly community service.
The PC commission, and mayor, should get the same raise as the city employees. If the city employees get a 3% raise, the commission and mayor gets a 3% raise. If the city employees get a 5% raise, the commission, and mayor, get a 5% raise. Anything else, my friends, should be considered as corruption.
By the way, for my Republican friends, my husband was a life long Republican at the time. He left that party about five or so years ago, right after the party left him. We’re both Independents. Something else y’all should consider.
The Clock is Ticking says
@ Laurel – high five to you both for integrity, honesty, and being good human beings.
David S. says
It’s only because of my wife’s job and my medical condition that we have to stay in this HELL HOLE or we would have moved away from here 15 years ago. I wish we could amend the city charter and go back to the way it was 20 years ago.
Pissed in PC says
I totally agree!! I would have moved too but being on disability I can’t get a home loan. Let’s go back to the days of ITT.
Alfin is a phony and a fake, he knew he was going to pull this tactic and for going ahead and doing it when the people of PC are against it just shows those that voted for him, a typical Cult GOP Republican DOES NOT CARE WHAT YOU THINK, He is selfish and greedy and is only looking out for himself.
He needs to be asked to step down, the people of PC DON’T WANT HIM HERE ANYMORE.
I will vote against every incumbent except Branquino who voted against this. I voted for Alfin and could not regret it more. Will vote against him if he runs again
J E K says
Vote accordingly. Get these people out of office!
Jack Howell says
This is OUTRAGEOUS! As a former City Council member, I was more than satisfied with the salary I earned. I did not run for the council for monetary gain. My focus was on governing! I knew from the start that this was more than a part-time job. I accepted the hours of preparation it took to read the reports and positions of staff prior to our meetings. I also knew that I would be spending time meeting with citizens. Simply stated, this is what you have to do as a member of the City Council. The bottom line here is that I don’t see the need for such a HUGE increase in salary! What I see happening now is nothing but greed and pure BS.
The Clock is Ticking says
@ Jack Howell – you are to be commended and respected for your service and your ethical approach to your public service. If only you could have stayed on and been a shining example. Other than Eddie B, I hope the voters are smart enough to totally clean house next time around!
I had a prior career in public service and I know that it is a labor of love and commitment, not a ticket to the golden egg. Shame on this Council. You might as well start packing your paper clips and getting ready to vacate. The voters will remember this.
Jane Gentile-Youd says
Florida Statute 100 says you guys in a ‘Charter’ municipality are able to RECALL elected officials who are irresponsible or commit malfeasance etc. Why wait until November? When I lived in Miami-Dade the commissioner’s salaries were $6,000 a year and we left in 2002! They each had a staff who they hired to help them RUN the county not like here where staff does everything. Voters held the reins in Miami-Dade and voted NO several times to salary increases for the ‘part time jobs’ and and there were several successful recalls – the mayor was one. So if they can do it in Miami – Dade you in Palm Coast can too!
My hubby barely makes $75,000 and works on rocket boosters for the NASA space program at Kennedy Space Center as an Engineer Technician and drives 71 miles each way to work and does not complain. I asked him if he could make some space on the next rocket to send some of the loony tunes up into space on a one way trip..
Saw the story about this on the Orlando news as I was getting dressed for work at 5:00 am this morning.
Greedy ass fools
William Pierson says
All four council members who voted for this raise should face an immediate recall. There actions are simply disgusting!
Thank you Eddie Branquino. You have ethics and moral. I will not forget.
Mike Martin says
The City Charter, Article IX, Section 3 gives us the right to both amend the charter and require all compensation for the Mayor and Council to be voted on by us, the citizens, and also gives us to power to force a reconsideration of ANY Ordinance the Council passes. We are already circulating a Petition Form to amend the Charter to take away the Council’s power to give themselves raises. I am working on another Petition to force the Council to reconsider their raise Ordinance, and if they do not vote to reject this Ordinance, or change it, they MUST place the raises on the upcoming November ballot. Please join this fight, and let’s take back our City. This is NOT a Democratic issue, or a Republican one, it is about all of us joining together and reining in the Council’s flagrant disregard for the citizens of Palm Coast. Contact me at [email protected] to become involved. Let us use our anger to create a real change.
Michael Cocchiola says
Hey, everybody. Remember that Eddie Branquinho is a former Democrat. No Democrat would have voted for this greedy increase. We are as careful with our money as we will be with yours.
Whatever happened to community service for the love of it?
Well, I think this is indeed a turning point for Palm Joke. From what I gathered when reading an article here last week, this question of raises for the city council (and the whole question of charter revision) has been ongoing with our “elected” officials from the moment this no thing, backwater town between Orlando and Jacksonville was incorporated. Perhaps if some of them would have been as concerned about bringing (and keeping) real jobs to this area as they had seemed to be with regard to this, their own recompense, then perhaps this town would have realized its full potential… instead of what it seems to be turning into, a “bed and breakfast” for our two big northern and southern neighbors (if we’re lucky).
But then again, it’s not like anyone has been around long enough to really care in my opinion…and that’s another thing I noticed after reading that article… our local government has been nothing but a revolving door. Klufas is probably the longest sitting member in recent years, and the only one to show some genuine concern as far as I can tell.
I said it once before, if Alfin wants a raise he should do as all the talented, promising youth of Palm Coast do… move.
https://flaglerlive.com/169256/branquinho-2022/ He said he would not run “unless” so it sort of looks like he hasn’t quite made up his mind yet. His reason for denying the raise was very gallant and I respected him for standing up to his beliefs. However, $46,000 is a darn good piece of change so what if now decides he is going to run after all. It’s not a nice feeling to always have to be wary of what polititicians say and what they really mean. JMO
Jack Howell says
The more I think about this the more it upsets me that these rascals are going to succeed with these pay raises. If anybody deserves a pay raise, it is the workforce of the city. I’m not talking about the department heads. I mean the actual workers. They are the ones that make this city function daily!
Thank you for your excellent comments concerning the current workers but, moreover, thank you for your service to our country and our beloved community.
We dearly miss your leadership.
Concerned Citizen says
Dang and here I was happy with the 2.00 an hour raise that I just got for 3 years of satsifactory service. I think I’ll go in tomorrow and quadruple my salary. I’ll let you all know how that works out !!
This Council. And even more our representatives have lost complete touch with their constiuents. And by pushing this thru they show they no longer care about the citizens they are supposed to represent. It was basically a big F U to Palm Coast. Especially passing it with all the opposition.
I have been out here commenting on forums for a year or better saying we can and must do better at election time.
This area has a tendnancy to vote what you know. Because you feel safe. Yet time and time again these folks are allowed to remain in office. And thus doing so they build their little empires and special relationships with developers and such that pads their pockets. And at the same time you jump on Flagler Live and cry about it.
We have elections coming up soon.
We have one of the greates privlidges in the world and that is to vote. Please exercise it accordingly. We don’t need 20 year candidates to sit up on that bench and bang gavels and yell at each other. We need folks who will represent us like they are supposed to. And be accountable when not.
Research is an easy task now. Do it before voting!! Background checks not just criminal but all encompassing can be done so easily. If a new face comes in and has the qualifications get that person in there. So she/he can try to make a difference. Change starts with us at the polls.
Palm Coast City Commision and Mayor,
You are being put on notice. Shape up or ship out. You are costing this City Millions. And we are tired of it. You are not irreplaceable.
Flagler Live Readers,
I spent the day sending emails and making phone calls. Let them know besides on here we are unhappy. It takes a village..
Remember ALL of these shennanigans at election time. I intend to.
Well put. But at this point I’m wondering what “qualified new face” would run for office here? Marshall Matt Dillon? Or perhaps Chuck Norris… I think his Kung Fu is still pretty good. And he’s a real person, not just a character.
But most important of all, he’s a Republican… I think.
Pissed in PC says
Wow are you really that dense? The 4 are republicons stealing money from much needed services to pay for their 365% raise. Why is it when democrats are in office the deficit is reduced but services are increased? Because we can budget better.
@Pissed in PC – “Why is it when democrats are in office the deficit is reduced but services are increased? Because we can budget better”. NOT true on the federal level! Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Democrat cult are doing a terrible job.
Pissed in PC says
Next council meeting we need to fill the meeting room, bring our signs marching outside the building, get loud and proud by taking our 1st amendment rights and speaking out. Remember the peaceful rallies have brought about change over the years. Quoting the great Martin Luther King Jr. “The time is right to do what is right”. We must show these self serving so called mayor and council that we won’t stand for their mismanagement. Read his comments on cutting budgets from other departments when we can’t even get our swales, easements, road expansion and other desperately needed work done!
Recall Alfin. Recall every board member who agreed with him on the increase.