Stack up on french fries (or popcorn), pour yourself a few stiff drinks, pull up an ottoman: FlaglerLive is live-streaming this evening’s Flagler Tiger Bay candidate forum from the Palm Coast Community Center, starting at 6 p.m., below.
The forum features six of the last eight remaining candidates in three races in the Nov. 8 general election–for School Board, the County Commission and the Palm Coast City Council. All are vying for open seats, so no incumbents are present.
Republican Leann Pennington, who defeated Joe Mullins, and Jane Gentile-Youd, an independent, are running for the County Commission seat Mullins will be vacating after one term. Both are at the forum.
The school board race is ostensibly non-partisan. Courtney VandeBunte and Will Furry are contesting the seat being vacated by Janet McDonald, who opted to run for a County Commission seat but lost. VandeBunte is at the forum. Furry is not. He did not give Tiger Bay an explanation for his absence, other than to say that he would not be attending.
Two Palm Coast City Council seats are open. That election is also non-partisan. One race is the District 2 run-off between Alan Lowe and Theresa Carli-Pontieri, who were the two top vote-getter in the primary, clearing past and Sims Jones and Shauna Kanter. Pontieri had 37 percent of the vote, Lowe 28 percent.
The District 4 seat features Fernando Melendez, a member of the city’s planning board, and Cathy Heighter, a Realtor and non-profit executive. Heighter was set to attend–a place was prepared for her as late as this afternoon alongside other candidates–but she called in sick.
The questions asked this evening were solicited by Tiger Bay from its members and from the community at large through emails, and culled by some of its panelists. The candidates were not privy to the questions before the forum, which is being moderated by Tiger Bay’s Jim Manfre, the former sheriff.
Panelists, all of whom are Tiger Bay members, are Sheri Dietrich, chair of the Tiger Bay Young Executives, Amelia Fulmer, executive director of the Flagler Auditorium, John Subers, who heads the AdventHealth Palm Coast Foundation, Terry Wines, pastor at United Methodist Church in Bunnell, and Darryl Boyer, a Young Tiger and a student at Florida State’s law school.
The forum is expected to run two hours.