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At Flagler Library, Matthew and Arrogant Campaign Vehicles Aggravate An Old Problem

| November 14, 2016

The Flagler County Library Board of Trustees has been chronically wrestling with parking and free speech issues at election time, but it’s shifting the burden to the county commission in hopes that a countywide ordinance might settle the issue in future elections.

McGuire Resignation a Dilemma for Palm Coast Council, But 2 Ex-Councilmen Offer Solution

| June 23, 2016

Holsey Moorman and Alan Peterson, who both served on the Palm Coast City Council, are willing to fill out Bill McGuire’s last four months, thus enabling the council to avoid making a more politically fraught appointment or leaving the seat vacant.

As County Has Yet to Pick a Site, Flagler Library Construction May Not Start Before 2018

| January 20, 2016

The Flagler County Commission has been talking about a library expansion for going on three years, but it may be five years before a new branch is actually built as various factors have yet to fall in place.

Anonymous Donor Offers $1 Million For Flagler County Library Construction, But With Strings

| January 4, 2016

The donor wants the $1 million to be spent on an expansion of the library in Palm Coast even as the county is planning construction of a separate, additional branch, somewhere along State Road 10.

From Washington to Palm Coast City Council, Elections Herald Less Change Than Advertised

| November 5, 2014

Tuesday’s election looked more revolutionary than it was, as political dynamics changed very little, even at the Palm Coast City Council, where two seats turned over, and even more so at the school board and the county commission, where change may be imperceptible.

Edifice Complex: Palm Coast Council Should Forget About Gang of Six’s Geezer Gimmick

| July 12, 2013

The Gang of Six–the former Palm Coast City Council members wanting to build a new city hall–are showing their age with the outdated nature of their idea, argues Merrill Shapiro. The council should forget their proposal and focus on the challenges of a rapidly changing city and society.

Palm Coast Council Sniffs at Gang of Six Push for New City Hall, Opting for Rental Analysis

| July 9, 2013

At least three council members are opposed to a new city hall, citing timing and the absence of a referendum, and in one case ridiculing a proposal put forth by aged and former council members pushing for a new building. But council members want clearer numbers about their options as the city’s three-year lease on its City Market Place digs nears expiration in November 2014.

Commissioner Alan Peterson Logs His Last Meeting, But Not Without One Last Showdown

| November 19, 2012

Flagler County Commissioner Alan Peterson served his last meeting Monday evening, but not before taking on Clerk of Court Gail Wadsworth’s raised for her employees and reminding fellow-commissioners what had made him their most ardent bean-counter.

Snubbing Voters, Lame-Duck County Enacts 20-Year Sales Tax While Slashing Cities’ Shares

| October 1, 2012

Many questions remained unanswered about the use of the money and the size of the proposed jail it’s supposed to pay for as the Flagler County Commission voted 4-1 to enact a sales tax it feared the public would not have approved at the ballot box this November.

County Sends Protest Letter to Palm Coast Over Red-Light Spy Cameras on SR100

| September 17, 2012

The Flagler County Commission is asking the Palm Coast City Council to reconsider installing some of its 52 spy-and-snap traffic cameras on SR100 because the county claims it will inhibit shopping and tourism, and leave a bad taste in visitors’ mouths just as the county is advertising itself as a welcoming beachside destination.

Split Flagler Commission Approves $900,000 Tourism Budget With Glaring Increases

| September 5, 2012

The $100,000 budget increase over the current year led one commissioner to raise objections over a doubling in rent costs and a tripling in furniture costs, while another commissioner objected to the rebranding of tourism efforts to include Palm Coast on par with Flagler’s beaches.

Commission Candidates Support a Jail Sales Tax, But Not the Way the County Went About It

| August 9, 2012

Four of the five candidates for the Flagler County Commission agree with renewing the county’s portion of a half-cent sales tax, on the books for 20 years, but they’re very critical of the way the commission opted out of a voter referendum on the issue.

In a Snub to Cities, a Split County Commission Agrees to 15-Year Sales Tax for Jail Expansion

| July 2, 2012

A 3-2 split of Flagler County commissioners agreed to place a continuation of a half-cent sales tax on the November ballot, but substantially increase the county’s share of the revenue at the expense of cities–a move Palm Coast and Flagler Beach oppose, and may jeopardize the levy’s success when voters have their say on Nov. 6.

Write-In Sham: How an Obscure GOP Group Is Disenfranchising 40,000 Voters in Local Races

| June 6, 2012

Democrats and Independents would normally be allowed to vote in primaries featuring only Republican candidates. By fielding write-ins who have no chance or intention of winning, the Ronald Reagan group is locking out those Democrats and Independents by creating the artifice of a contested general election.

Flagler County Government Faces Potential $3.3 Million Gap as Stresses and Needs Endure

| April 9, 2012

The Flagler County Commission got its first budget overview of the year Monday, ahead of six months of discussions, debates and battles over budget priorities in the midst of an election year with its own unpredictable variables.

Gap of Dollars and Concerns Splits Flagler County and Palm Coast Over Sales Tax Renewal

| April 3, 2012

The two local governments are far apart over how to split revenue from a sales tax surcharge voters would have to approve this November, causing Palm Coast to think of dumping the sales tax–and the county to panic–as the two head for a joint meeting next week.

Peterson Draws Commission Challenge From Ericksen, the Man He Introduced to Politics

| February 20, 2012

Four years ago Alan Peterson encouraged Charlie Ericksen to apply to finish the term of Peterson’s seat on the Palm Coast City Council, when Peterson decided to run for the Flagler County Commission. Now the two Republicans will face each other in the Aug. 14 primary for that commission seat.

Christgate: With an Eye to Political Gambitry, Kimberle Weeks Demands an Apology

| February 9, 2012

County Commissioner Alan Peterson was speaking by phone to a supervisor of elections office staffer about his reelection petitions when he allegedly used god’s name in vain after he was told that 10 percent of the petitions were invalid, according to Kimberle Weeks, prompting the demand for an apology.

Warning of Brain Drain, Flagler Government Signals a Return of Employee Raises in 2012

| February 6, 2012

County employees, including firefighters and sheriff’s deputies, haven’t had a raise in three years, and have seen their take-home pay severely erode through inflation, health care and retirement costs. County officials are now worried about losing employees to better-paid jobs.

For Flagler’s Republican Leaders, Romney-Gingrich Anxieties Frame an Unenthused GOP

| January 31, 2012

Nearly a dozen prominent Flagler County Republicans spoke of their choices or hesitance in the Florida primary and beyond, illustrating a lack of excitement in the GOP, and nervous predictions about November.

Flagler’s 7 Governments Gather to Hear How Well Their Economic Development Is Doing

| December 13, 2011

Despite enduringly high unemployment and a year of fraying rather than unity among local governments, the county hosted an intergovernmental summit Tuesday that piled back-patting on exclamation marks.

Routine County Appointments Get Testy As Commissioner McLaughlin Challenges Holland

| November 22, 2011

Barbara Revels’s appointment as chairman of the Flagler County Commission was overshadowed by Alan Peterson’s and Nate McLaughlin’s unsuccessful attempts to replace Milissa Holland on two boards. McLaughlin did not take the rejection happily.

All-Business Snub: Flagler County Can’t Fill Its Own Economic Development Council Seats

| October 4, 2011

Only four people have applied for the county commission’s eight-member economic development council, an embarrassing result for the government that dissolved Enterprise Flagler, claiming it could do the job better.

Disbelief and Legal Maneuvers Meet Chamber’s Refusal to Budge on Creekside Exclusion

| September 23, 2011

The Flagler Chamber of Commerce stuck by its decision to deny non-partisan political candidates their own booths at the Creekside Festival, on public ground. County officials are looking for options as they take the brunt of the criticism for appearing to endorse the chamber’s exclusion.

Creekside Festival Slyness: How the Chamber Discriminates Against Non-Party Candidates

| September 19, 2011

Palm Coast City Council candidates Bill McGuire and Dennis Cross have been denied a booth at the chamber-run festival, though Democrats–whose members include Jason DeLorenzo, Cross’s opponent and the husband of the Chamber’s VP, will have a booth, as will Republicans and the Tea Party.

County’s Economic Board Would Exclude Cities and Bank on $400,000 a Year in Tax Dollars

| August 23, 2011

The county commission’s latest direction was surprising and divided, as a 3-2 majority settled on an economic development board with just one government represented–the county–and eight seats filled by business representatives with economic development experience.

Bonuses or No Bonuses, Supervisor of Elections and Commissioners Brawl in Ugly, 70-Minute Spectacle

| August 22, 2011

The Flagler Supervisor of Elections could not explain to commissioners’ satisfaction bonus checks cut at the end of 2010 or answer questions about her employees’ rates of pay and recent raises. Commissioners refused to grant her request for a 7 percent budget increase pending answers.

Blaming County, Elections Supervisor Closes 3 Outlying Precincts for Special Election

| August 15, 2011

Some Flagler County voters will have to travel 21 miles to cast a ballot in the special election for State Senate, District 1, others will have to travel 7 miles because of precinct closures.

A Divided County Commission Votes 3-2 To End Support for Enterprise Flagler

| August 8, 2011

Alan Peterson, Nate McLaughlin and Milissa Holland agreed to end support for Enterprise Flagler after David Ottati, the agency’s president, made his pitch for an up-or-down vote.

Flagler County Tax Rates Will Go Up 12%, But Tax Bills Are More Likely to Go Down

| July 25, 2011

Flagler County’s tax rate is going up for the fourth year in a row to make up for collapsing valuations, but the rise will still not translate into a tax increase for most. The contrary may be true.

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