County Commissioner George Hanns, a past commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8696 in Palm Coast, was awarded a certificate of appreciation for his work in support of the VFW’s National Veteran’s Service Program. It is unusual for elected officials to bring attention to their own accolades, but Hanns did so Monday, with a touch of testiness.
“The highlights of my life certainly have been being a veteran, a carpenter, a builder, an electrician and father,” Hanns said Monday morning at the end of a commission meeting. “Being a county commissioner later in life is quite a bit rewarding. It has its ups and downs, it can be very thankless but for the most part we’re able to affect a lot of people’s lives in a positive way, and the majority of people appreciate that.” He’s in his sixth term as a commissioner.
Hanns, however, twice referred to a “news release” that Carl Laundrie, the county’s communications director (who’s retiring later this month) wrote about Hanns’s honor. The commissioner didn’t specify the papers he had in mind, but he chided them for not running the release. “It’s not likely you’ll read it in the local paper although it’s sent to them,” Hans said. Twice.
In fact, the “release” may not have been circulated to the media beyond the posting of a brief notice about the award on the county’s website. Laundrie’s releases are blasted to all media in the area in mass distribution. That release was not part of any such email blast last week (it was not sent to FlaglerLive) and may have been missed by the papers for that reason. Hanns sent the link to the county’s posting of the item to FlaglerLive in an email of his own on Feb. 1.
A plaque was presented to Hanns, the notice states, and signed by John W. Stroud, the Commander in Chief of the National Veterans of Foreign Wars organization. “Only 3 percent of the population of the U.S. has served our country in the military and I am proud to be one of them,” Hanns said in the release, comments he repeated this morning at the commission meeting. “I my opinion one of the highest honors in life is to serve one’s country.”
According to the Veterans Department, which maintains annual estimates of the living veteran population in the country, there were 22 million veterans at the end of 2014, or 7 percent of the population.
I hope the county does not fill Laundries position. A waste of money and a good place to start to pare the budget.
Will (#1) says
Already done – they’ll announce soon. The replacement was with Laundrie last night at the Commissioners marathon meeting.
Every organization needs some kind of spokesperson for important issues as well as daily details.
The county is replacing Laundrie’s post with two positions, one for PR one for marketing, though the two positions are each slightly more than half the cost of Laundrie’s salary, adding $10,000 to the budget. See details here. The administration named Julie Murphy, the former News-Journal reporter, to the PR post this week. It has yet to name the marketing employee.
Thank you for your service Mr. Hanns! It’s always wonderful to get recognized… congratulations!
For the most part, every county in the state has a Public Relations officer, or PIO. It keeps department heads and employees from being bogged down by daily information request from the media. In doing so it allows employees to focus on their work. In a fiscal sense its efficient.
Trust me, Laundrie earns every bit of his salary.
Jim O says
Trust me. Give me a break. This is PC not NYC.
10,000 more to replace Laundrie plus all the unjustified Coffey raises to fatten our already high county tax bills that pay only for 20% of the services county provides to us, as Palm Coast provides us with 80% of those services for 1/3 or less of the taxes we pay to these county gougers. Just look at your homes tax bill.
Bad deal courtesy of Palm Coast incorporation back in 2009…letting the FCCOCC take the king ransom of our taxes for providing 20% of our services only, bad new City of Palm Coast Chart.