Depending on which of the Bunnell City Commission’s members you ask, City Manager Dan Davis is doing either an outstanding job, a satisfactory job, or a job that needs improvement.
Derek Fraser worked for Bunnell for 25 years, nine of them as fire chief. In August he was put out for having to defend his job and his department before the city commission. A commissioner’s proposal to abolish the fire department is still on the table.
Flagler Beach incumbents Marshal Shupe and Kim Carney have drawn Paul Eik as an opponent. In Bunnell, John Sowell, a former pilot for Flagler County Fire Flight, will challenge incumbents Bonita Robinson and John Rogers.
Commissioner Bill Baxley’s proposal to raise salaries cut in 2014 back up to $9,600 a year got no support from a commission with two members–John Rogers and Bonita Robinson–running for re-election in March.
There is some division within the Bunnell commission over the qualifications of the next manager and whether to appoint an interim meanwhile, risking the commission’s hard-won cohesion of the past year.
Two years after he was hired , Larry Williams announced his resignation effective in 60 days, saying he’d accomplished all he wanted to and that he’d lost the adrenaline rush even though the city and the commission are working smoothly.
In 2014 Bunnell commissioners took a 10% pay cut. Monday they could have raised their pay back up 3.8%. A 2-2 vote meant the proposal failed, with Mayor Catherine Robinson and Commissioner Elbert Tucker voting against the raise.
Seeking to cut an $800,000 deficit that represents a fifth of the city’s budget, the Bunnell City Commission Monday cut its commission salaries by 10 percent, eliminated its grants department and laid off staff that have been mainstays of the Bunnell administration and police department over the years.
The Bunnell City Commission in a tension-filled, four=-hour meeting Monday voted 3-2 to eliminate code enforcement and the humane society, among a list of cuts, but delay eliminating the police and grants department for two weeks, giving department heads time to make their case for survival.
With recurring deficits of close to $1 million in the general fund, the Bunnell City Commission heard the bleakest audit report it’s heard in recent years, with no new revenue expected to brighten the picture.