Mark Phillips, the North Flagler resident at the center of a tense moment at a May meeting of the Palm Coast City Council, when he aggressively rushed the dais toward then-Mayor Milissa Holland, is no longer trespassed from City Hall.
Phillips appealed the trespass order within days of then-City Manager Matt Morton requesting it from the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. He was to have a hearing on his appeal. “This is an appeal to a trespass,” he wrote the city clerk in a hand-written note on May 12. He requested all documents pertaining to the hearing.
In the interim, Holland resigned–she did so two weeks after the Phillips incident, and said the incident or other tense matters at recent council meetings had nothing to do with her decision–and nine days later Morton did so as well. The City Council appointed Denise Bevan, formerly one of two chiefs of staff in the administration, as its interim manager.
On Wednesday, Bevan lifted the trespass warning and cancelled the appeal hearing in a letter to Phillips.
“After review of the files and the video, which were also sent to you by the City Clerk, for this appeal hearing, I hereby release the trespass order,” Bevan wrote. The brief letter was not without a measured admonition: “Please understand that public safety is of great concern to the residents and the City of Palm Coast. By understanding and following the rules of the Council chambers, you are welcome to return to City Hall.”
Phillips is a member of a local pressure group that calls itself the “Flagler Liberty Coalition.” The group, with funding from County Commissioner Joe Mullins, organized a bus trip to the Washington, D.C. pro-Trump rally on Jan. 6 that degraded into an assault on the U.S. Capitol, in which innumerable people at the rally took part, and 516 people charged so far. Phillips locally was part of an anti-masking movement, and has since broadened his attention to other local matters.
At the March 4 meeting he had addressed the City Council before the incident with Holland, during the public comment period. Apparently inaccurately identifying himself as being a Palm Coast resident (he recently took ownership of a house at the north end of the county–he spoke in opposition of the city’s plan to spend upwards of $5 million on an expansion of the municipal tennis center.
His comments were within all normal bounds of public discourse, as they generally are whenever he addresses public bodies. But immediately after the council’s vote approving the initiative, and as the city manager was summarizing the next item–the council was clearly still in session–Phillips rapidly approached Holland, causing her to interrupt the proceedings in fear and requiring law enforcement’s intervention. Shortly after that, Phillips was issued a trespass warning. He told a deputy that he was under the impression that the meeting had adjourned or was in recess, because he saw people leaving the room, and had intended no harm, but rather only intended to ask Holland why she had voted for the expansion. As a deputy was preparing to issue him the trespass warning, Phillips said he would be suing the city.
So the bully gets his way. What a great way to reinforce the behavior.
Maria Darcy says
When a person asks questions, or challenges an idea, policy decision, or expenditure, does that make them a bully? When Mark shows up at meetings he is there as a concerned taxpayer and often has the support of other taxpayers. Mark takes the time to be involved in the issues facing the community. Maybe it’s time to stop the name calling and listen to another point of view. Mayor Holland was familiar with Mark , his affiliation to Flagler Liberty Coalition, his views on the issues, and used this as a perfect time to act as though she felt threatened, raised her voice in “fear” and needed an escort to her home…AND THE ACADEMY AWARD GOES TO…..Holland was part of the problem!
Just my opinion says
If Mark was a resident of Palm Coast all good and well but he wasn’t and still isn’t. So you feel he has a voice in what happens in Palm Coast? I think not
If he were a liberal you’d lose your mind about it lol.. oh the irony
People need to learn how to tell the difference between authoritarianism and leadership. Bullying is not strength–It’s the way that cowards try to take advantage of the perceived weaknesses of others, usually for selfish gain.
Charlie Ericksen Jr says
Let’s not forget, that this is the same character, ( along with more Mullins paid employees who interrupted , the start of the County Commission meeting when masks were first required. It was so disruptive that the Sheriff needed to add 6+ officers , to the location. Mr. Mullins, jumped right in and protected his paid employee , and then threatened 2 of the Commissioners..
Joe’s big problem is that he thinks a Commissioner, ” runs the show” He brags and lies at every meeting.. And always has $$ to buy acceptance.. and many have taken so.. He’s gone/bought all the way to Tallahassee ..There needs to be a responsible candidate , who challenges him in his Commission seat or he will keep ” Ticking” and return..
Trailer Bob says
I certainly agree with your last statement. He is an embarrassment to us logical Republicans who only want a healthy and happy community to live and work in. The great news is that we will soon get to vote again, and correct our mistakes of the past.
Concerned Citizen says
But why doesn’t the BOCC correct the Mullins issue?
What kind of hold does he have on them that they run scared of him. He should have been censured. And recalled a long time ago.
Why hasn’t the public lit up those phones in Tallahassee? De Sanits can remove him but it will take pressure to do it.
I have made my phone calls and emails. But it takes a village.
Where else but in local politics can you bully and harass your co-workers and constituents. Where else but in local politics can make threats to have people forcefully removed and advocate bodily harm? Then be protected by the Sheriff who is sympathetic. If you act this way in the private work force it’s called HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT. And people get fired for it.
This Flagler Liberty Coalition amounts to little more than a domestic terroist group. They use threats and intimidation tactics to get their way. And people think that’s just fine. And in the process they cost this county thousands of dollars in special elections.
When will YOU voters wise up? And demand change? Instead of expecting different with the same?
This man doesn’t even reside in Palm Coast, our city decisions do not affect his taxes…he just wants notoriety. His district is covered by the FCBOCC so he needs to go keep raising cane there instead, like he frivolously did about mask mandate.
Our tennis, golf courses or Holland Park’s splash park, his taxes do not pay for so stay away from Palmcoaster’s affairs and keep hanging around with or (boot licking) Mullins in the county, please.
Flagler Expatriate says
Palm Coast is a three ring circus and a punchline for the rest of the state. From illiterate mayoral candidates, an out of control police force to 3 hour town hall meetings about wanting more Dollar Generals, it’s an absolute joke.
I couldn’t believe the dirty politics last year over a a 12k bumpkin mayor’s job!
This is un believable. Watch the video. This psycho knew damn well this meeting wasn’t over. He came at an elected official in a VERY threatening manner. What is wrong with people! This is acceptable behavior?? Are you kidding me!?!