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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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.