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Ending Long Fight, County Approves Short-Term Rental Regulations–With Grandfather Clause

| February 19, 2015

New rules limit short-term rental homes to 10 overnight occupants, and require inspections and a certification process, ending a three-year effort by the county to change state law and enable the commission to regulate the industry.

Craig Coffey’s $15,000 Raise Request: An Insult to Public Employees at Taxpayers’ Expense

| December 30, 2014

The insult wasn’t just Flagler County Administrator Craig Coffey’s Christmas tithing to himself. It was the way he and his administration went about it, and the way three county commissioners played along.

Supervisor of Elections Weeks and Ex-Candidate File Load of Ethics and Elections Complaints on 4 Commissioners

| December 12, 2014

Calling it a “witch hunt,” the four commissioners say the complaints rehash minor issues that were almost all resolved during the election season, and that the ploy mostly is an attempt to tarnish.

Election Supervisor Kimberle Weeks Caps Final Canvassing Session With Hit List Frown Song

| November 20, 2014

Kimberle Weeks once again indicted a slew of local officials on evidence largely fictional while portraying herself as voters’ last great hope as she responded to the county’s latest request for an state intervention.

New, Younger Faces Sworn In at Palm Coast Council, Same Old at County Commission

| November 18, 2014

The swearing-in ceremonies were a study in contrast, if not a reflection of the election’s paradoxes as Palm Coast showed its desire for change and the county commission stayed the same.

Denise Calderwood, Flagler County Commission Candidate: The Live Interview

| October 20, 2014

Independent Denise Calderwood is challenging Republican incumbent Nate McLaughlin in the District 4 race for Flagler County Commission in the Nov. 4 election. All registered Flagler County and and municipal residents may cast ballot in the race.

Howard Holley, Flagler County Commission Candidates: The Live Interview

| October 20, 2014

Howard Holley is an Independent candidate for the Flagler County Commission in the Nov. 4 election, challenging incumbent Republican Frank Meeker. All registered voters may cast a ballot in this race.

Supervisor of Elections’ Husband Duane Weeks in Threatening Altercation With Flagler Commissioner Meeker

| September 25, 2014

The brief confrontation, which entailed Duane Weeks at one point inviting Frank Meeker outside, took place before an NAACP meeting where Sheriff Manfre was to address the fallout from the racial events in Ferguson, Mo.

Reagan Assemblies’ “Watchdogs” Can’t Take Defeat: As One Suit Is Tossed, a Pledge to File Another

| September 4, 2014

Just after a judge threw out a lawsuit this afternoon, the attorney for an obscure “Watchdogs” group said he’d file a new lawsuit alleging illegal conversations outside of meetings by county commissioners.

Frank Meeker, Flagler County Commission Candidate: The Live Interview

| August 24, 2014

Frank Meeker is a candidate for the Flagler County Commission in the Aug. 26 Republican primary, in which only registered Republicans may cast a ballot.

Dennis McDonald, Flagler County Commission Candidate: The Live Interview

| August 24, 2014

Dennis McDonald is a candidate for the Flagler County Commission in the Aug. 26 Republican primary, in which only registered Republicans may cast a ballot.

Nate McLaughlin, Flagler County Commission Candidate: The Live Interview

| August 24, 2014

Nate McLaughlin is the District 4 incumbent candidate for the Flagler County Commission in the Nov. 4 election, running against Independent Denise Calderwood. All registered voters get to cast a ballot in this race.

Mark Richter, Flagler County Commission Candidate: The Live Interview

| August 24, 2014

Mark Richter is a candidate for the Flagler County Commission in the Aug. 26 Republican primary, in which only registered Republicans may cast a ballot. He is challenging first-term incumbent Nate McLaughlin.

When a County Commissioner Calls The Supervisor of Elections A “Bitch”

| August 19, 2014

In a conversation with a reporter Monday, Flagler County Commissioner Frank Meeker referred to Supervisor of Elections Kimberle Weeks as a “bitch” in what he termed a slip of the tongue, quickly apologizing afterward.

Flagler County Argues Charge Against Commissioner Revels Belongs at Ethics Commission, Not in Court

| July 9, 2014

County Attorney Al Hadeed countered a lawsuit alleging ethical improprieties by Commissioner Barbara Revels in last summer’s purchase of the old Memorial Hospital by claiming that the group suing has no standing in circuit court, but can take its case to the Florida Commission on Ethics.

Angry But Cornered, County Takes Old Courthouse Back from Bunnell, Handing Its Fate to a Committee

| May 19, 2014

Commissioners Barbara Revels and George Hanns bitterly criticized Bunnell’s decision to reverse course and reject the old courthouse, blaming the city for accelerating the building’s deterioration and leaving the county little choice. In the meantime, the county will again pick up the $60,000 to $80,000-a-year tab of maintaining the building to keep it from deteriorating more than it already has.

Lifelong Republican Turned independent: Howard Holley Launches All-Business Bid For County Commission

| April 1, 2014

Howard Holley, a Hammock business executive, would face Flagler County Commissioner Frank Meeker in November if Meeker doesn’t have a primary opponent, no black candidate and no independent candidate has ever won a county commission seat.

Flagler’s Vacation Rental Reform Bill Advances Through 2 Committees, Buoying Chances

| February 5, 2014

The proposed reform of a law that would return control of short-term rental regulations to counties and cities gained additional support at the Legislature Tuesday as it cleared a second Senate committee and its first House committee with solid backing.

Flagler a No-Show in Rep. Ron DeSantis’s Talk at Chamber’s “Think Flagler First” Event

| January 17, 2014

Speaking before almost 100 people at a Chamber of Commerce lunch at Pine Lakes Country Club today, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, whose district includes all of Flagler, talked mostly critically about a series of national issues, but never touched on matters relating to Flagler County until a county commissioner elicited one general response about unemployment.

County Rejects Donations of Flagler Estates Lots, Seeing No Public Purpose in Acquisition

| December 2, 2013

A divided commission rejected the proposal, 3-2, with Nate McLaughlin leading an adamant opposition that showed no interest in bailing out private property owners who made poor investments, or setting the county on a course that has no clear objective.

From Prohibition to Gag Order: Flagler Commissioners Told to Shut Up on Tobacco Policy

| September 10, 2013

Flagler county’s defensiveness regarding the new smoking policy underscores the shaky legal ground the local government stands on, and the likelihood of a legal and possibly costly challenge ahead.

Contempt and Deception: How Flagler County Sealed a Dirty Deal for the Old Hospital

| August 16, 2013

In the end, County Administrator Craig Coffey and the commission insulted the public’s intelligence by claiming to have been transparent about the hurried and expensive deal to buy the decrepit Memorial hospital as they hid behind cherry-picked documents Coffey stage-managed to arrive at a pre-determined conclusion.

Commissioner Frank Meeker: Why I Voted to Buy the Old Hospital Despite Reservations

| August 2, 2013

“Honestly, I can’t help but feel I’m being led, at times by the nose, to a conclusion to support the hospital purchase,” Meeker writes. “But fortunately for me, I don’t mind researching issues on my own.” In a broad-ranging discussion, he provides a point-by-point defense of his decision.

Sold: County Commission Votes 4-1 To Buy $1.23 Million Hospital in Bunnell for Sheriff

| August 1, 2013

After some anguish, a lot of analysis and, on Thursday, a pair of meetings adding up to nearly five hours, the Flagler County Commission approved buying the old 60,000 square foot Memorial hospital, ending four years of wrangling over where, when and how to move the sheriff to a more central location.

Appraisals for Old Hospital Place Value at $1.5 Million as County Moves Toward Acquisition

| July 25, 2013

The county wants to buy the old hospital in Bunnell for $1.23 million and use it as an HQ for the sheriff. Two independent appraisers have placed the market value of the old 81-bed hospital at $1.5 million, and an engineering firm that surveyed the hulking 60,000 square-foot property found no overt issues with the building aside from asbestos. A private consortium bought the building for $750,000 in 2003.

Flagler’s Firefighting and Helicopter Costs Expose County Tensions Over Wants and Needs

| June 17, 2013

Looking at the near certainty of a tax increase, Flagler County Commissioners Monday continued to wrestle with a budget submitted by their administration that is adding to their costs rather than making it easier to fill a budget gap, or keep taxes from increasing. But the administration argues there’s no room for going cheap short of eliminating services.

Flagler County Will Buy 11 Billboards on A1A and I-95 and Eliminate Most of Them By 2016

| June 3, 2013

The Flagler County Commission agreed to buy 10 billboards on A1A and one on I-95 for $140,000, and eliminate all but three by 2016, retaining the one on I-95 and two on A1A to promote the county’s tourism and economic development efforts.

Planning for Flagler’s Future, County Talks Library Repairs, New Fire Station and Jail

| May 31, 2013

Expanding an overcrowded county jail, building a modern new sheriff’s operations center, upgrading an inadequate drainage system as urbanization changes the rural character of Flagler and improving fire and emergency medical response west of U.S. 1 were featured in the first of four strategic-planning sessions by the county commission Thursday.

A “Nasty” Government Building Highlights County’s Priorities as Budget Spells Higher Taxes

| May 29, 2013

An unclear Government Services Building and what it costs to maintain it properly was emblematic of the Flagler County Commission’s budget discussion this morning, as the government faces at least a $3.3 million gap, or more, if it hires an extra custodian, no new revenue, and the likelihood of higher taxes.

Divided Flagler Commission Moves Ahead With $1.23 Million Option on Old Hospital

| May 6, 2013

The vote to acquire the old 60,000-square-foot memorial hospital property in Bunnell followed a flash-lit tour of the building for the commissioners, but did not change the option agreement except to require an appraisal and extend the due diligence period to 90 days. The county would still be acquiring the building for $1.23 million, as is.

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