The Palm Coast City Council this morning voted 4-0 to fire City Manager Jim Landon, ending his 11-year tenure after weeks of mounting tension and clashes with the council.
Landon during his long reign built a fierce following among his staff, especially his directors, but was not popular with the public, a gulf he never sought to close: his loyalty was primarily to his staff and to ensuring that he preserved the votes on the council that preserved his job. The council has turned over twice during his 11 years.
After the 4-0 vote at 11:45 a.m., Landon said “thank you,” got up and walked out. Beau Falgout, his deputy, will be interim manager. (Landon reportedly immediately left the building and was said to be refusing to return to claim his office belongings, asking his staffers–who call him “boss”–to get them to him. The firing left some in tears.)
The move was initiated by Mayor Milissa Holland, who prefaced it with what amounted to point-by-point outline of issues and concerns. Holland built her case on two themes: that Landon has been out of step with change, and that he’s been unresponsive to the current council’s urgency. There were other symptomatic issues, not least of them the fact that Landon last year had announced his intention to retire at some point but has since prevaricated over the actual date of his retirement even as the council hired a head-hunting firm to find his replacement. The council has been sitting on the firm, awaiting Landon’s pronouncement on his retirement.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate to announce your retirement and not offer us a firm date,” Holland said. “I don’t see the energy, and if we want to stay at status quo in the city, I think time is of the essence, I want us to take a very aggressive” approach. She said there’s a reason managers move on after six or seven years, “it’s because they become embedded in the day to day operations” rather than pivot when a new council with a new council arrives. “I don’t see that happening, I just really don’t.”
“I want a sense of urgency by our city manager to get these things done,” Holland said. (Landon as if reveled in a lack of urgency on certain items: “There’s no hurry on this one,” he’d said at a December workshop, introducing a discussion on executive search firms, words that now seem fateful in retrospect.)
Holland then passed the gavel to Vice Mayor Bob Cuff and made a motion to fire Landon.
Council member Heidi Shipley would have been an all but certain vote for firing Landon: she’s twice voted to do so with then-council member Steven Nobile, who resigned in May. But she was absent today as she has been for several meetings, citing health reasons.
Audio: The Discussion to Fire Landon (30 mn)
Shipley, reached by phone, confirmed that she’d have voted to fire Landon. “Absolutely would have voted to have him leave,” she said immediately after the vote. “Should have been done a long time ago. Very happy that the mayor took that stand–not even knowing what her grievances were. I can imagine what they were. I am behind her 100 percent.” She said it would have made no difference had the vote been delayed. “It would have given me a little more joy to have been there but it wouldn’t have made a difference, I would have voted with them,” she said, noting she’d be at a budget hearing on Wednesday.
Cuff provided a paradoxical response, speaking criticism of Landon but also asking for a delay of two weeks before voting him out. He said his “strong preference is for a soft landing, if that’s the correct word,” with the council finding a manager coincidentally with Landon retiring. “That said, I guess my position at this point on a vote on a motion today is this has taken me by surprise, obviously.” But he did not want it to drag on. He said he preferred not to take action at the end of today’s meeting, but to discuss it in a workshop, then at a timing. “Hopefully this will allow Ms. Shipley to join us as well.” He later added that he was not ready to vote on the matter today. “I’m not saying I wouldn’t support it at our next business meeting,” he said.
“I’ve been frustrated over the past couple of months,” he said, echoing Holland’s criticism. “I’ve had the frustration that you expressed about getting adequate back-up at workshops.”
“What do we gain by waiting a few weeks?” Klufas said, now that council members have established their positions. “What could possibly change in our mindsets?”
“To prolong this does not make a lot of sense to me at this point,” Holland said, saying it would be a waste of time.
Council member Lyon was perplexed by the fact that the search firm has been hired but without much movement since, but initially did not indicate how he would vote.
“Lawyers, we have a tendency to be risk-averse and not rush into anything,” Lyon said, asking about Landon’s contract terms and its severance. But he said a vote to fire him seemed inevitable. “I’m inclining to lean toward what Mr. Klufas said.” And he alluded to Shipley: “I think she would agree.” He added, “It’s a scary cliff to jump off off.”
That seemed to convince Cuff to join his colleagues for the unanimous vote.
The move was similar to Holland’s attempt in June 2010, when she was halfway through her second term as a county commissioner, to fire County Administrator Craig Coffey, which Holland had preceded with a 20-minute indictment. That move failed on a 3-2 vote. Today Holland again took a risk: Klufas’s vote was likely assured (he’s had his share of clashes with Landon, who’s condescended to rather than embraced Klufas’s broadband initiatives) but Cuff has been guarded, and Lyon, only a recent appointee to the council, was a mystery–until he made the most consequential decision of his brief tenure and and tilted the vote Holland’s way.
Former council member Steven Nobile had a more jaundiced view of the vote.
“What changed in a few months that would turn all the votes?” Nobile, who resigned in May, said by phone from Tampa, and contrasting today’s decision with his two attempts to fire Landon. “He’s done the same thing for years and years and years, and now all of a sudden they decide–and Klufas goes, no, we have to do it right now. It’s disgusting at the level of self-serving politics.” He said he believed Holland when she spoke of her recent frustrations, “but again, it’s not new. They’ve had their turn, they’ve had years to monitor, nothing has changed except the politics of the action.” He said just because he had initiated the attempts to fire Landon, the council resisted him. “They allowed Landon to hurt them–in the short term I was there with them, he hurt them a lot, the people of Palm Coast, and they voted with him. Now it’s a problem. In plain English, they’re full of shit.” Still, he said, he was glad the firing took place. “Maybe the city can move on and really get focused.”
Today’s vote followed a mundane morning meeting that ran through the business agenda mostly without comments or question from any of the council members as administration members made their presentations and the council voted on item after item. The only color to the meeting occurred at the top of the hour when Lyon proclaimed the “Pink Army” breast cancer awareness month with Florida Hospital Flagler’s John Subers and a small contingent of hospital volunteers and leaders, and when Cuff recognized Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week, designed to commemorate the federal Constitution. (There was no proclamation for Banned Book Week, which begins Sept. 23.) Agenda items included approval of two items that will allow for apartment complexes–on Old Kings Road and on Whiteview Parkway–and a vote on parking regulations in the urban core (the item that did generate some discussion). The meeting took place before a largely empty chamber but for the usual staffers and, with some exceptions drawn by the parking matter, season-ticket-type spectators.
The council would have fired Landon last year, when four of its five members expressed dissatisfaction with his leadership, had it not been for a severance provision in his contract that could equate to nearly a quarter-million dollar payout. Holland’s move today suggested that the payout no longer seemed as expensive, in her calculation, as keeping Landon on. She was critical of the contract, saying she would not have signed it, but said her criticism was not personal. (When Bunnell hired Alvin Jackson as its city manager last week, Jackson made a point of speaking of his severance and benefits package as not holding the city “hostage.”)
Holland worked up to her motion from a set of prepared notes, speaking in a steady voice that only toward the end, as she made the motion, betrayed nervousness.
“When our city council arrived on the scene 12 years ago,” Holland said, prefacing her motion, “Uber did not exist, Lyft, 4G, iPads, Tesla, GPS, WhatsUp and Instagram. Today we’ve seen a lot of significant changes in our community, but we’ve also seen a shift in our council and our priorities of the discussion of the direction we want to take this council in, and we have a lot of opportunities coming up in the near future, which will change the course of this city significantly, in particular, looking at innovation and technology and our entrepreneur spirit in this community, and we’ve identified different strategic approaches on how we view those.”
She then moved on to “the inability to pivot when you have a new council,” describing the current members as full-time workers who need information presented in a timely way. “I have been increasingly frustrated with the fact of not getting agenda items,” she said, alluding to Landon’s habit over the years of withholding presentations designed for workshops until the hour of the meeting itself. “That’s a managerial issue, and when we request it and [he] says we can’t get it by Monday, that’s a managerial issue, which is frustrating.” She detailed other matters that Landon has not acted on, such as the hiring of an ombudsman or the resistance the city’s new innovation officer has encountered within the administration.
“That’s a problem for me, when we as a council, universally on the whole have asked for something and the city manager takes it into his own account and accord to state how he’s going to manage that, is frustrating,” Holland said, calling his delays on certain issues “astonishing.”
“I am concerned that we are spending a tremendous amount of time just sitting still and just standing by without the energy that is going to [be] required to take to move us forward,” she said, returning as she would several times to an image of the city manager as static and out of step with the council. “I feel like I know more about our sheriff’s department from the communications that comes out of his office than I do of our own city,” she said.
Landon, 62, had no intentions of leaving Palm Coast when he spoke of retiring last year: Just last February he bought property for a house on Arena Lake Drive, in the Hidden Lakes subdivision, expecting to retire there after downsizing from his E-Section house.
james connors says
About time !!
Thank you so much Mayor Holland for answering the PC taxpayers request. We want fresh new faces for Palm Coast.
It should have happened long ago. He is SOLELY responsible for his demise as City Manager. Instead of working FOR the residents to better their lives and move the city forward, he chose to pander to his staff and himself. Way to go Jim!
Louis L. says
He started out good for the city years ago but as with most that are in those positions for too long, moved away from thinking of the city first. Now to handle all those followers and supporters of his that are employed by the city. They should follow him elsewhere. Need to remove those people too so the city can move forward with new, fresh ideas and energy.
About time, thank you now please get rid of Craig Coffey PLEASE!!!!
HMMM maybe the County Commissioners will will see the light and ” grow a set” and do the same with Coffee
THANK YOU! I know the future is uncertain so it’s uncomfortable, but nowhere near as bad as it was under his leadership. Now the public needs to ease up on the pressure for a bit and let the city staff regroup. Good luck Palm Coast, it can only get better!!
Randy Jones says
Was this actually planned and orchestrated by Mr. Landon?. Someone please tell us – will he now, per the terms of his contract, receive severance or other post termination compensation?. If yes, the answer to the first question may well be yes.
Peaches McGee says
This needs a younger, more assertive government to take into the future. Landon would be good for a small, stodgy Florida city, like Cape Coral or Inverness.
Steven Nobile says
Do not confuse self center and self servicing actions as leadership. Please don’t thank Mayor Holland. The actions of the council today are only for the advancement of a self serving mayor and her lap puppy CM Klufas. This should have been done long ago, but now, Holland will use this as a stepping stone for the unwitting voters of Palm Coast who will praise her.
Don’t over look the public announcement of Landon’s retirement that could have been used to withhold severance if they waited just a few short months or actually engaged in the process of finding a replacement. A three month process which has taken 3 times that. Now he gets the severance and I believe that was the Mayor’s/Nett’s/Landon’s intention all along.
Sorry for the negative dump from so far away…
$250k severance. Not too shabby. Some people don’t even get unemployment when they get fired. Can’t they find people who will work for a little bit cheaper?
Well he is gone , nowlets get ready to critize the new one . SOS people will never be happy. Do u think the assistant manager that is going to take over is going to be any better, he is a clone of Landon. This city is a joke, town center is the same as it was several years ago , nothing is moving in, it will be a long time before it looks like Port orange pavilion or Saint johns center.
Dennis McDonald says
Let us make it two for two !
I asked the County Chairman Hansen to put a motion on the floor to fire Coffey last night for his total incompetence creating the Largest Man Made Disaster In Flagler History,,,the SheriffsHQ. Hansen defended Coffey to the max.
My question to the BOCC was about the budget they will set this Thursday at 5:30 PM at the green dome for 2018 to 2019. On 9/9 I had a conversation with a commissioner that told me that he has been informed that the “county” believes they can fix the Sheriff HQ for ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Putting all arguments aside, I ask has this one million been included in the new budget and are we getting a tax increase ? If there is Zero $ set aside that must mean this BOCC is planning on bullying the Sheriff back into the HQ.
Why did this Commission not address the financial impact of this disaster in the 2018-2019 Budget ?
Deception by the County manager and Chairman Hansen who is “in charge” by design ?
Ben Hogarth says
Well you know my sentiments on this one. I’m still amazed it took this long, but better late than never.
There is a way forward for every community in this State – and sticking with those who led us all astray for years (even decades) is not my definition of “progress.”
I would encourage this council to move in a very new direction, but to take its time in finding someone who isn’t just “competent” at municipal administration – find someone who is right for the community. And that community does not consist of just persons over the age of 45. Find someone who will represent the dreams and desires of all generations.
Palm Coast has an opportunity to set the tone for the entire county – a tone of change and progress.
How does he lose in this scenario?
The city owes him over $200,000 in severance.
“That package was negotiated under former Mayor Jon Netts more than 10 years ago, before state law changed to make such egregious golden parachutes illegal.” “Palm Coast Council Ready To Fire Or Push Out Jim Landon, Dismissing His Secretive “Succession” Ploy” Flagler Live July 14, 2017
The new interim recently received a $15,000 raise.
Do not rejoice over Mr. Landon’s departure.
The names and faces change however, the system remains the same.
I have a degree of certainty that the town council will fall over themselves paying a new manager an exorbitant salary and then use the “we negotiated a contract based on the size of the city” rationale.
Pay based of median incomes of the residents not the size of the city.
Jack Howell says
I am in shock that the city council found some spine to fire Landon. That said, Mayor Holland is not a great friend of the people. This was truly a political move on her behalf. I strongly agree with Steve Nobile’s comments. There are alternative motives by Ms. Holland. Should I win the election for city council District 2 in November there will be a breath of fresh air in the way business is conducted. I know that my opponent Jon Netts wants to get elected so he can have a say and direct the city council in the hiring of a new city manager. I know that I am more than capable of selecting a new city manager and judging their leadership qualities for a perfect fit for our city. Remember the difference between a manager and a leader. A manager manages things, a leader leads people! I bring over 40 years of leadership to the table if elected in November.
Hansen isn’t in charge Coffey is.
Gh says: get Landon. If you knew anything about government the Palm council has no jurisdiction Greg Coffey! duh even my student know that one.
As Hansen stated, Craig Coffey is doing a fine job and so is Holland. Time to move on to another topic.
a’ll wished for it, now your going to get it. The next guy could be worse .
Lol Landon will retire now with more money than all of you.
11 years too late,sad it’s a win -win for him.Coffey and Dunn next the 3 stooges.
Bill harvey says
Jack Howell , just another wannabe politician , everybody claims to be a leader with degrees up the ling Lang , educated people do not impress me
Hansen is a puppet for Coffey and Hansen says and does what he can to keep Coffey where he is. Hansen was never elected by the people and fails to realize that he is a representative of the people and not a representative of Coffey. Keeping Hansen in office will only continue to gain us more of the same….vote Dennis McDonald in November 2018. McDonald has been an advocate of the people for a long time and has the balls to stand up to Coffey or any other SOB that is putting the screws to the tax payers. We should all be thankful for Dennis McDonald putting his time and energy in to keep all of us better informed.
Holland is no doubt trying to restore herself and is hoping to keep her job or move up the ladder so she had to make a big splash. If Holland was sincere she would have made the motion to fire Landon long ago and she would have called for a forensic audit and worked with Steve Nobile and Heidi to straighten out this city. Holland always has an agenda. I would like to see the city now get rid of Landon’s puppet Reishmann and call for a forensic audit and hope that Landon would be found guilty of a crime and loose his $250k golden parachute and mega retirement. It is a small price to pay for the possible gain we would gain by not having to pay Landon a golden parachute and retirement, and it would give us, the people, confidence in the doings of the way out tax dollars have been spent. Too many people that were protecting Landon have jumped ship……where there is smoke there is fire.
Now the city council needs to reorganize and undo the job creation and position advances with big salaries and clean the whole mess up Landon created.
Glad to see you go Landon…..it just wasn’t soon enough!!!!!!!
Is time BOCC shows the courage and do the right thing showing Coffey the door. No more of our taxes to be wasted and justifying by locating our law enforcement employees to get sick in that contaminated former hospital building! How could Hansen defend Coffey being an incumbent? We need a big positive change in the FCBOCC that only Dennis McDonald and Gentile Youd will materialize.
Thank God says
Somebody reached down and found a set to grab. Great, but we lost a quarter Million tax dollars to kiss that ass clown goodbye. Will the county coffers hold any currency after Coffey And Sherman go down next? Even if not its still worth it we can rebuild but not with the constant leaching permitted by the Coffey coalition.
Fernando Melendez says
Judging by everyone’s opinions about Landon’s firing everyone seems to be joyful, but keep in mind that these sorts of decisions are not made lightly and easily, and may take some time to make. I applaud their decision and thank them for it. Way to go Palm Coast City Council and our Mayor Mrs. Holland.
@atilla…Hansen defended and supported Coffey in the last Council Meeting when Dennis McDonald requested that BOCC fire Coffey!
Landon started as a good manager but with the years became one more special interest developers and corporate interest) supporter with Palm Coast explosive growth other than common sense growth. The existing residents should not be denied the services and quality of life they all pay with their taxes to benefit growth without sufficient infrastructure.
Percy's mother says
Mayor Holland should be the next to go . . .
She’s a completely ineffective, unqualified and uneducated person who’s ridden the coattails of her father’s name but in essence has nothing to bring to the table. She has managed to weasel her way in everywhere and most likely will continue to do so.
I seem to remember she was a registered democrat until she wanted to run for mayor. Then she suddenly became a republican so as to be a more favorable candidate in a predominantly republican county.
about time, now when are the rest of you going to step down ? Everyone of you is just as bad as him.
Jack Howell says
Bill Harvey, just for the record, my leadership record as a Colonel of Marines is impeccable both in peacetime and in combat.
Jack Howell…I am glad you agree with Steve Nobile’s comment in regards to this being a political move on the mayor’s account. I would also like to talk about the word ‘spine’ as you refer to the council finally having. What I learned today about Steve Nobile is that he does not have one. To make negative remarks about his former council members (I say former because lets not forget he did quit the council) on this thread from miles and miles away shows what a class act he really is. From my experience watching city council meetings, he by far was the most uneducated one I have seen in recent years.
[The Landon home’s construction was completed in February. By law, it may not be assessed for its completed value until the following Jan. 1.–FL]
How is it that Landon paid over $300,000 for his property where he planned to retire and it is only taxed at $40,000??? I think our property appraiser needs to do some explaining. This property is obviously under taxed!
Next for all of them
This City Council and Mayor Holland have already proven to us that they too need to go. We will get a few new leaders this NOvember and hopefully in 2020 HOlland. Klufus and Cuff too will go and then the city can get down to work with a new City Manager. IT is about time that the council and bocc realize that they are accountable for the city manager and county administrator and that they are the bosses of these individuals and that it is not the other way around. Now for the bOCC to fire Coffey, Hadeed, DUnn, Mayer and a few others. Maybe there is hope after all. I agree with others that a forensic audit needs to be called on the city and county. THis in its self would be a small price to pay to solve a lot of problems and get this county off to a fresh start.
John Brady says
Well, well are we done with
building paths where none is needed and not fixing paths in bad repair
fixing roads that don’t need fixed and fixing roads that need fixed
not repairing swales and raising taxes and incurring debt to fix what should have been part of on going maintenance
exploring by contract with a vendor improving cell service or fixing cell service
wasting legal fees to put a dog down
paying an out of town lawyer north of 400K per year
jerking around people with stupid code violations and not taking care of real violations
recklessly borrowing money and not considering spending reductions
There are more but I am glad to see Council finally reflect the will of the people. My only wish is that the Council could not figure out how to fire “with cause” I did try to help out on that matter
Nancy N says
About freaking time that the council remembered who is in charge around here. Take your $250k Landon and go slink quietly off into retirement.
Landon has been out of control for years. Good riddance. Mayor Holland.is next, talk about self serving politics, ineffective and pretty much supports her ego. .
Also, now its time for the County Administrator to be fired.
I have to agree with Mr. Nobile,
There are several skeletons in the city counsel’s closet and their agenda is self serving. For a city the size of Palm Coast it became a good ole boy’s network.
Julie Murphy, Flagler County Public Information Officer says
You are repeating information that you know is patently false. Reiterating the same untrue information over and over again does not make it true. You spoke during public comment at the Board of County Commission meeting last night, but didn’t listen to the answer which is available to you and the public here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuUm4K858s0 at the 8:33 minute mark.
Firstly, there is no $1 million estimate to “fix” the Sheriff’s Operation Center. No information has been provided to Flagler County that there is anything wrong with the Sheriff’s Operation, and certainly no information that it is “the Largest Man Made Disaster in Flagler History.” The CDC has not provided a report to us yet. Both the county’s and the Sheriff’s consultant have said that we could better manage the HVAC. If a “fix” is required, money from a 1/2 cent sales tax will fund them and not property taxes.
Secondly, it was Commissioner David Sullivan who spoke with you, Mr. McDonald, who has said in writing to the editor of the Palm Coast Observer that what he said to you, Mr. McDonald is: “I would be willing to support costs for doing this (HVAC, carpet, paint) as opposed to tearing down the current building and building a new one. We have not received any inspection reports from the CDC yet and anything said including my comments are pure speculation at this point. A new building would take years to build, cost millions of dollars, and would have to be approved by the voters in a Referendum.”
Flagler County has worked diligently with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office from the time the first three employees made claims in November 2017 to determine if there is a building-related cause of the health issues reported by the Sheriff’s staff. These efforts are documented here: http://flaglercounty.org/departments/administration/history_of_the_sheriff_s_operations_center.php.
Flagler County employees include those whose families have lived in the area for three generations, or more, to those who specifically relocated to the county because of its amenities and community. None of us would have anything to gain by providing anything less than our absolute best for the residents we serve. All of us would have plenty to lose – both professionally and personally – by being inattentive to our work.
How in the world do you get a severance package when you are fired for dereliction of duty. In the commercial world, severance packages are only offered for layoffs and downsizing events.
I’m a Marine and I know what Jack Howell is made out of. You watch a LEADER at work after the election. Semper Fi.
Dennis McDonald, your over inflated ego is only surpassed by your bravado. I can think of many man-made disasters in this county that are much larger than the yet unknown cost of the operations center. The Seminole Woods fire in 1998 was caused by someone setting off home made fireworks. That fire burned about 25 homes. Even if the Ops center has to be razed and rebuilt it would pale in comparison to scale of that fire.
You can lie, cheat and steal all you want. It may even get you elected, as we all know, stranger things have happened. But do not think for a second you are fooling everyone.
LONG, LONG, overdue. THe ONLY reason it happened now is Elections are in 2 months. Don’t buy into the last minute “offering”, it is simple pandering.
Holland should be next!
Whoever runs against Jon Netts must win and Palm Coast will be on our way to finally becoming a respectable City!!
A forensic audit may prevent payment of the severance package as well as retirement benefits—-the forensic audit would well be worth the cost!! Now let’s see if Holland and the council members will finish up what they started and look out for our tax dollars and how they were spent. No severance package should be paid to an employee that exercised insubordination.
Looking at the tax records it reflects Landon paid over $300k for a property assessed at $40k….this property is apparently way undervalued and Mr. Gardner needs to investigate and explain.
Good took long enough.
[Corrective note: starryidgirl is incorrect: the Landon home’s construction was completed in February. By law, it may not be assessed for its completed value until the following Jan. 1.–FL]
If it is a fact that Landon’s property that he paid $300k for has a taxable value of $40k it is definitely time for the unchallenged reign of Tax Appraiser Jim Gardner, Jr. to end. Most County and City Employees request that their property records be expunged from Public Records citing safety concerns which is a lame excuse to keep the public from seeing the WHOLE picture!
Concerned Citizen says
@ Steve Nobile
Your “dump from far away doesn’t impress me and neither does your insincere apology. Typical political smear move taking shots at someone you don’t like. The council is better off without you as well.
I hope people will remember at election time how long it took for the Mayor and Council to get rid of Landon. We need to do the same thing at the polls and make a change.
Remember you can vent all you want on Flagler Live. True change starts at the poll booth when you cast your vote.
Instead of finding a firm to find a manage. Why don’t they reach out to Joe Forte who lives in Palm Coast and is the city manager of Holly Hill and was county manager of Seminole county and assistant manager of Seminole county.. He knows our community, he lives here, He was my Fire chief . He is honest and admirable. I will talk to any council member or mayor for him.
Who else than Julie Murphy above, attacking our taxpayer watch dog and commissioner candidate that we need, Dennis McDonald. Of course she is defending the county manager Coffey that hired her after she was let go with many others from her writer job at the Daytona Beach News Journal when was taken over.
Coffey handed her life saver then of course she defends him now. First of all as our county Public Misinformation Officer she should improve the horrible sound more like a scratchy noise of the recorded, televised meetings a service that we are probably forced to pay in gold rate. Can hardly hear what is said to the very convenience of the FCBOCC and its manager. And yes citizen McDonald was answered but as usual with a pack of lies and covered doubtful maneuvers.
Also as the Misinformaton Officer that you are Julie, what about asking gone commissioner McLaughlin and O’Brien to show some respect to the speakers and the audience, probably all taxpayers that fund their pays and to look up to them and stop their obvious texting on their commission meetings?
The good old boys network also stop destroying commissioner candidate Janice Gentile Youd costly signs as she is not funded by developers on her campaign. Shame on you all.
County Commission MEETING September 20 Thursday at 5:30 pm Government Services Building
Final meeting for the county commission to RAISE Your TAXES!!!
Show up! Tell them NO
Hallelujah! Finally the mayor and council got their acts together and held him accountable for his behavior and shoddy, self-serving, unprofessional job performance. Now, the real squawking should transpire. We have a perfect opportunity here to totally restructure the city offices and clean house of every Landon clone there is and hire fresh competent staff who are seriously motivated to move this city into a potentially bright future. We need fresh ideas combined with a serious commitment to addressing all of our seriously critical infrastructure needs combined with aggressive grant writing and other funding options that are required in order to address our critical needs; such as storm sewers, street lights, sidewalks, and technology. Please mayor and council members, listen to the electorate. This is your opportunity to turn things around and make this a model city for others to emulate. Here is your first charge…do a complete audit once Landon is gone. There are bound to be “irregularities”.
Tami Padilla says
It certainly is about time that Landon is gone however I agree with many others do not see this as a good move for the city buy MayorHolland this is a good move for her because she doesn’t want to get voted out…. in all honesty this was not about what the taxpayers wanted or what the city needs it was about her doing something to try to save her job! Vote wisely when the time comes do not vote in anyone who does not understand that the city needs to grow and move forward and Technology and family issues or we will continue to be stagnant and fail
As for the county manager yes he needs to go ASAP and the rest of the council perhaps needs to go as well however please understand that Holland has no Authority over the county so she will not be able to do anything nor will she anyway
John Brady–It sounds like with your knowledge that it is evident that a Forensic Audit is necessary and warranted. This could really clean up a lot and if Holland the council were sincere with their action they should have no problem making this request of the Florida Auditor General to ensure they are not being left holding a hot potato. We tax payers may then not have to pay Landon the golden parachute and a retirement package, which is far less than the audit itself.
my neighbor we always talk together about the city how its going down hill it time to get all the dead wood out of the positions in upper management they just lay back and double dip . that goes for all THE DEPARTMENTS managers .I also think we should require all people in the management positions LIVE IN THE CITY LIMITS THAT WAY THEY WOULD HAVE MORE IN TAKE IN WHAT THE H !!! GOING ON . I REST MY CASE AS A CITY TAX PAYING RESIDENT
Randy Jones says
Colonel Howell & Mr. Nobile -A reasonable person could presume that Mr. Landon did, in fact, plan this event and that Mayor Holland aided and abetted Mr. Landon in bringing it to fruition. Likewise reasonable persons could question why now and why has Mayor Holland suddenly and abruptly become the Peoples advocate?
It should have happened sooner but great news non the less.. He was an arrogant guy and the city will be better off without him. Overpaid and under cooperative.
Julie Murphy, Flagler County Public Information Officer says
I was neither fired nor laid off from the News-Journal. I left the News-Journal to accept this position.
Jack Howell says
Randy Jones…Your point is noted. I have no doubts that this move to fire Jim Landon was a measure to provide a more positive image of Ms.Holland and luring the public into a false belief that she is the peoples advocate, From my prospective, Ms.Holland’s leadership is like an airport windsock.
[Corrective note: the Landon home’s construction was completed in February. By law, it may not be assessed for its completed value until the following Jan. 1. No further explanations necessary: This and other commenters are making baseless claims about the property appraiser, who is applying Florida law.–FL]
starri—This is the link to see the details on the property purchased by Jim Landon for over $300k for a property assessed at $40k https://qpublic.schneidercorp.com/Application.aspx?AppID=598&LayerID=9801&PageTypeID=4&PageID=4330&Q=629714125&KeyValue=33-11-31-3062-00000-0060 . I agree with you. the property appraiser needs to explain why appropriate taxes are not being assessed on property like this. This reminds me of what took place with the former owners of the old Bunnell Hospital—those players got a low tax assessment as well. Is it all about who you know????? A forensic audit needs to be conducted as has already been suggested. This is one corrupt county and hopefully electing new leaders will turn this counties reputation around.
David S says
Move back up north and take the city council with you along with Netts…..
Just Me says
Mr. Howell, I hope you get elected I agree with they way you think, things should be done for the City of PC.
Mr. Netts is from the old school and we had our share of him, and we need new people with new idea’s, not Mr. Netts who gave Jim Landon an outrageous salary for that position and all the other perks he gave him. The Old Boys Club of PC.
@ Anonymous you are right the city spends fortunes in these consulting firms to do the work that should be done in house at no cost in most cases. These firms bring just all this positions candidates from other states other than looking at the credentials of some of our local residents including some ladies I know with a Masters in Public Administrations graduated Summa Cum Laude from a well known Florida University that for sure do not expect the same almost quarter million pay or golden parachute or a 15,000 raise in one year or a double pay like Mrs Sherman in the county. These our local neighbors Public Administrators professionals would be happy to be paid the deserved starting rate that Palm Coast tax payers can afford. Our city and county government need to stop flying high and land in our reality that we are not all millionaires in these county and cities.
Manager position is open now…and many others may open as a side effect…were our local professionals can mail applications and resumes with credentials to be consider? This is my question to council and mayor now. This practice to bring in managers from other states or cities that do not attend to the taxpayers needs but to the powers that be has to end.
I am asking as a palm coast resident and tax payer that given the close general elections the hiring of a new city manager should be delayed until the new elected councilmen in November will be sworn. Stop the hiring of the consultant firm to find a candidate that is a big waste of money. We the people thru our new elected councilmen after November need the right to also select a new manager not just the current council.
I believe Mr Beau Falgout assistant interim manager can work until after November as manager. Lets do not rush to hiring. Sorry but I still do not trust current council and mayor to hire a new manager. Please Mr. Howell and Mr.Tipton need to make this request to council. Thank you in advance.
Vikki J Hardley says
As delighted as I am to see Landon fired, I can’t help but wonder WHY NOW???? Is it because Ms Holland is positioning herself to be the next City Manager.? The issue has been a contentious one for years, WHY NOW? I sincerely hope that the search committee or the commission will be a lot more savy when doing the search and not offer the outrageous salary and benefits given to Landon. That was outrageous and not at all in the city’s best interest. There should also be periodic reviews of the manager, indepth and quarterly. Commission needs to grow a backbone when it comes to these things. We’ve had enough of being pushed around by an arrogant self absorbed manager.
Finally the loser is out!!!
Robert Lewis says
Why is thI Flagler County Public Information Officer making politicalnpost using their county title? Are you kidding me? Why is my tax dollars being spent on this crap? How shameful is this! Fire Craig Coffeey!
Page 6 City of Palm Coast Charter says Council has 90 days to replace the city manager position since vacated. https://flaglerlive.com/wp-content/uploads/palm-coast-charter.pdf
Then I believe is time to wait for the new councilmen to be elected to be part of the search and hiring process and have a say on the selection of the new city manager.
Flagler Flyer says
@ Steven Nobile
While I agree with your sentiments, Landon was always going to get his severance. And while this is all politics the council at least recognized their jobs were in jeopardy if they did not act. Not a great reason but I am very happy with the result!
Flagler gal says
Am I the only one who recalls that there were good things Landon did for us? I am not defending him, and if he was terminated so be it, but the celebration of this is mean and self serving for some. As for Craig Coffey, I have no complaints. He has done a lot for the county, and he is worth the money. Just my opinion but it appears some people dislike everyone who is in office or government.
John O'Meally says
I am not defending Mr Landon at all, but I do have a problem with an evident surprise to fire the city manager.
It seems to me the city should have provided Mr Landon a said date to provide his plans once he said he was going to retire. If the city (the mayor) was unhappy with his performance, where was the set of metrics in place to measure performance and to take action previously? Why was there no agenda item to adjudicate this with the council members? Seems to me this is going to be problematic in the hiring of a new manager who might view this action as a Kangaroo court. Next time, suggest measures be established to gauge performance, measure and discuss with the manager on a recurring basis your expectations and make clear continued job security is tied to performance against attainable goals and objectives you all set!