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.
“I am 25 years old and the amount of immaturity displayed in this campaign is embarrassing,” writes Tori Holman, former Mayor Milissa Holland’s daughter. “To Mr. Danko and his detractors, Stop bringing my family into this mess to try to boost your votes. Stop bringing my family into this at all. To the rest of you, thank you.”
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.
The Palm Coast City Council’s five-hour workshop today had its share of tense moments before devolving again into a verbal brawl as Victor Barbosa professed ignorance about the allegations behind his apparent fugitive status before verbally dueling with Mayor Eddie Branquinho again.
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.
Palm Coast City Council member Ed Danko, elected last November, has been the subject of an internal inquiry triggered by allegations he harassed and bullied employees and was rude to them, records show. The investigation, which remains open, concluded in a draft report that Danko had “inappropriately attempted to influence staff’s administrative duties.” Interference would be a violation of the city charter. Danko disputes the finding.