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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.