Victor Barbosa, the Palm Coast City Council member, announced in a terse Facebook post: “3 day in the hospital fighting covid and pneumonia.” Two days before his hospitalization he was at an election-night party for Alan Lowe where someone described him as “pretty wore out,” and where no one was masked.
There have been no direct challenges to the election result that saw David Alfin beat Alan Lowe and four others, but a request for a “forensic audit” of the election and a vast public record request for information about anyone and everyone involved in the supervisor of election’s running of the election have been filed, suggesting more noise than reason.
A 15-month drumbeat of sound and fury over allegations of corruption, cover-ups, cabals and criminal acts, a drumbeat that influenced two elections, a city manager’s career and the mayor’s own, among others, tarnishing the reputation of a leading private company in the county, came down to a minor rebuke over an email misuse Holland long ago acknowledged and apologized for. Nothing else.
Palm Coast Mayor Eddie Branquinho’s sarcasm can be difficult to detect behind a Portuguese accent. When he used it today to ridicule a fellow-council member’s bogus claims, opponents took it as an opportunity to deflect from the lie and attack Branquinho instead.
Helped by safe, general questions, the News-Journal forum at no point resembled the mud wrestling matches that the Palm Coast City Council meetings they want to arbitrate have become. But the six candidates revealed their personalities, their sincerity, their deep lack of familiarity with the job–or their contempt for fact or truth.
Ed Danko and Victor Barbosa since their election have turned the Palm Coast council into an embarrassment. The two are vying for a third vote in Alan Lowe and the mayor’s seat. That potential majority risks turning the city into a mirror of the toxic trio.
Ed Danko, the Palm Coast City Council member working on behalf of Alan Lowe to get him elected mayor, has been making misleading or baseless statements, including outright lies, and leveling false and potentially defamatory accusations about former Mayor Milissa Holland, her ailing daughter and to some extent former City Manager Matt Morton, a FlaglerLive investigation found.
Lowe’s contempt for facts was apparent in his run for the mayorship last year and has characterized his renewed run in the July 27 special election for mayor. If all six candidates are sincere, including Lowe, only Lowe makes explicitly false statements, misleading claims, legal violations, and ideologically-driven pitches that have little to no connection to Palm Coast governance.
In a preview of the sort of council to come if Ed Danko gets Alan Lowe elected mayor and aligns with Victor Barbosa, as Danko has continuously suggested, Tuesday’s Palm Coast council meeting was a rank display of the politics of destruction, of an elected official lashing out publicly and brutally against his own colleagues and the only two people on the council who report to him while distracting from a still-active internal investigation against him.
Carol Bacha is a candidate for Palm Coast Mayor in the July 27 special election. All registered voters in the city may cast a ballot in that non-partisan election regardless of party affiliation or location in Palm Coast.