A week ago while going door-to-door in his campaigning for Alan Lowe, Palm Coast City Council member Ed Danko claimed Milissa Holland had resigned as mayor not to take care of her daughter, but because the governor had threatened to have her criminally charged if she did not. The governor refuted Danko’s claim as a complete fabrication. In the same campaigning pitch, Danko told the constituent that Holland’s daughter was not that ill and was working at a restaurant in Flagler Beach–also falsehoods. Holland’s daughter, who has not spoken publicly since her mother’s election in 2016 and through numerous controversies into which her name was dragged previously, does so now.
By Tori Holman
Hello everyone, I’m Tori, and it appears that I am being brought up by people whom I have never met, let alone had a conversation with, just so they can use me in their campaign tactics. My mother has been a huge part of Palm Coast since before I can remember, and while I find that amazing and honorable, I also have seen my fair share of hate come at her, especially in ways that no one should ever have to walk around with.
I would just like to clear the air.
No, I do not currently have a job. I have not had a job since my transplant. I would love nothing more than to go to work, to go hang out with my friends, grab a bite to eat from a restaurant without having to have it delivered. But the fact of the matter is — I can’t.
My mother has done everything in her power to make me as comfortable and happy as possible given the situation I am in. She has given up so much for me and I can’t express the amount of gratitude and love I have for her. This has even brought her to step down from being mayor, which is something I think I will always feel a little bad for, given the amount of love, respect and dedication she has for the city.
As for those who will tell her that if it were the “real reason” than she would have stepped down sooner, I say: I would never have let that happen. I have known I was sick since I was a senior in high school. Which by the way is not the best way to spend your last year. I have struggled with my health being in and out of hospitals since then, but I was always someone who, like my mother, did not want that to define me. So I would rush out too quickly to try and live my life to the best I could before I knew I would inevitably end up back in a hospital room.
But circumstances change. Needing a liver transplant and actually getting one are two completely different things. My mother was able to work a lot more beforehand. I had long hospital stays, but nothing like when I was in Miami. When I was there, she worked as much as she possibly could virtually, but occasionally had to be in Palm Coast physically. She would drive the five hours home, just to turn back around immediately after attending to business to come to Miami and be by my bedside the entire way through. Which is something I couldn’t imagine was easy, and a lot stronger than anyone I know could do.
So as far as Mr. Danko’s comment stating I “can’t be that sick.” I am. Which also shows you the type of character you have when it comes to making light of such a traumatic thing I have to live with for the rest of my life.
I also just wanted to touch on two more things. Those are to express my absolute gratitude first to Java Joint, the Flagler Beach restaurant Mr. Danko claims that I work at. (By the way I’m sure all of the research that went into that was looking on to my Facebook which I still have listed on and could have easily been cleared up by even stopping in and asking, but I digress). It was mentioned in the article that Java Joint organized a fundraiser for me during the time I was about to receive my transplant, and I want to confirm that they did. I don’t think I have ever felt so loved at a job in which they knew about my health and constantly cared about it every step of the way. I could never repay them for that and I hope that once I am able to return to work, I can go back there. I also would love to promote them, as their initiative on my behalf shows such outstanding character and love they have for our community. They are an amazing place to eat with top notch food and people working there.
Secondly, I couldn’t be more appreciative of all the thoughts and prayers that you all have all given not only for me but for my mother during this ordeal. The love shown is a prime example of why my mom does care for this city and always has, because of how you all came together like that, in spite of the politics.
My mother has resigned. She has given so much to this city. She has without a doubt made her father, my grandfather Jim Holland, proud. She has without a doubt made me proud.
I am 25 years old and the amount of immaturity displayed in this campaign is embarrassing. 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.
Tori Holman is a Palm Coast resident.
Peaches McGee says
Tori Holman has more fortitude and honesty than Danko’s and his cronies will ever have.
Well said young lady. Well said…..
Danko needs to stop with lies and his other stoogies stop you are grown men acting like children that were raised with no manners or respect.
Being a bully and lying seems to be the way the Republican party operates these days. Milissa Holland and her family have done more for Flagler County then Danko will ever accomplish in his lifetime.
Lowe is another poor excuse for a politician. He is disgracing our town with his lies and if elected will be corrupting our town.
Mary Kay Hayward says
I am so glad you found the courage to speak up, Tori. I never, for one single moment, believed that your mother would use your serious illness as a scape-goat excuse. I believe that for her it would have been sacrilegious to do such a thing. I was in attendance at several meetings while you were in Miami and your mother was at those meetings via phone doing her job. How does a worried mother at her daughter’s bedside still have the dedication to public duty and fortitude to conduct business? I’m not that strong. I would have lost focus and resigned a long time ago. I wish you and your mother all of God’s many graces on your road to recovery. The heartlessness portrayed by some in the name of political gain is disgusting IMO.
Tori – May God touch you with his healing hands! I have and will continue to pray for you, along with your mother, through your recovery.
Your mother by far has done everything humanly possible to make Palm Coast the wonderful place it is to live. I commend her for her many accomplishments as being Mayor!! (MedNex was a brilliant accomplishment for Palm Coast along with many others)
I am truly sorry to see and hear about the stress that Danko and Lowe have have bestowed upon you and your mother! Please know that their ruthless, lying behavior reflects on all Palm Coast residents! And for for one am totally ashamed of their behavior! No: Lowe did NOT get my vote!!
Please get well soon! Much love and prayers to you and your mother!
PS If you haven’t eaten at the Java Joint on the beach in Flagler Beach….do so….it is 5 star….at a reasonable price (indoor and outdoor seating)
Good for you Tori; Danko is a worthless Trump addict as is anyone who applauds his dishonest actions. We all have seen his tactics daily and anyone with any sense of honesty and morals, would disregard his ignorance. Instead of attempting to unite this city, he only incites hatred and separation. He needs to go and now!!!
…He is not the only one that incites hatred and separation. Read the comments listed here – especially YOURS!
Bill C says
What class! Danko et al should take a lesson from you in dignified behavior.
Pat Fields says
In the time of covid, it is understood that its more important for a transplant patient to remain calm and stress free and sheltered because the vaccine doesn’t necessarily work in the favor of a transplant’s immune system. With her mom out in public each day, I’m sure it became abundantly clear than she needed to protect Tori and resign from office.
That being said, the Holland family has cared for our City for a great deal of time and should be respected and protected from the Bully Pulpit that only cares about themselves.
Take care of you Tori and know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
Good for her, this just proves without a doubt what a low life Mr. Danko is. Danko needs to find that rock he crawled from out under and go back to being the ground crawler he is.
Concerned Citizen says
My question now is.
What are we going to do to fix this mess?
As constituents of these people we have plenty of recourse. But most just end up voicing their displeasure on this commentary. There are those of us who have tried to get things rolling but it takes a village.
Now we have let these shameless and unethical “politicians” stoop to new lows. They argue and bicker at our expense. Even our temporary Mayor engages in this behavior. Our commissioners berate and disrespect staffers and go after private citizens. No more rumors we have solid evidence on video. And now someone is having to stick up for her family.
When do we band together and stop this? Why are we scared of these bullies and con men?
Concerned citizen, while the unethical politicians are stooping to new lows, that’s when we kick them to the curb and VOTE NO to them and fill in the circle next to a decent candidate, not matter what the party. The ballot has a lot of people power.
Mary Gallo says
God Bless you Tori. Don’t let these ignorant people stress you. They are not worth your time and energy. Your focus should be on your recovery.
Mary Fusco says
When are the mickey mouse politicians in this county going to stop preaching morals when they have NONE themselves? What a disgrace this place has become. This young woman has more class and dignity than the whole bunch of clowns supposedly running Flagler county together. I wish her and Ms. Holland the best.
John Smit says
Why bring Flagler County into this? This is 100% the City of Palm Coast!!
Mary Fusco says
The county is no better. Just saying. Those that have no morals telling others how to live are a joke in my book. I’ll let it go at that.
Mike Cocchiola says
Ed Danko is a congenital liar. Trump people like him are incapable of truth. I expect this. But, something I didn’t expect happened at this morning’s PC City Council meeting which I watched online. Acting Mayor Eddie Branquino floored me by repeating known Republican falsehoods. Toward the end of the meeting, perhaps to hone his crazy Trump Republican street cred, Branquino lavished praise on Ron “No COVID Here” DeSantis and proclaimed that former mayor Melissa Holland was ‘under investigation” and was told by DeSantis to resign or be fired. This falsehood has been disproven by the governor’s firm denial that such a conversation took place. Then, Branquino stated that former mayor Holland’s daughter Tori was currently working at a local Flagler Beach restaurant, another disproven falsehood. I am so disappointed in Eddie Branquino. I thought he was one of the sane ones.
Palm Coast is in deep trouble. We need a mayor who will stop this crap and bring professionalism to this dysfunctional city council.
Why do people feel the need to bring Trump into this discussion? This is a local issue and a common tactic used by scum politicians throughout this once beloved country. Stop with the “Trump Syndrome” as he is no longer the POTUS. Focus on this clown Danko and stop making comparisons.
As for Tori, I don’t know you or your mother, but I admire your courage to expose yourself to the political viciousness and explain your health situation. Be true to yourself and stay humble. Get well and God Bless.
Priscilla Bugari says
Doug, I agree! I voted for Trump but don’t appreciate being stereotyped or called names. This city is in trouble! There is so much hate and dishonesty here I find it hard to have a responsible and honest election. Everyone has a past, so of it good and some not so good but it’s the past. We need to move forward as a city and elect someone good for the people of PC. Tori I’m sorry you had to step up, but have the greatest respect for defending your mom! Don’t give up, as an intelligent women you are the future and represent values the candidates and the city counsel lack. Best of luck and may God heal you completely.
My feelings exactly.
Trump is out . Move on and get over it.
Trailer Bob says
I read your article and you nailed it…this is coming from a republican who is a former politician. The people are are speaking of are low IQ people. They’re cruel, their selfish, and whomever is voting for them has no political reasoning.
I am sure I not the only embarrassed Republican in the County.
You’re not alone Bob. They know they have no political offering so there “true colors” come out in an effort to garnish votes amongst the voters who don’t do there due diligence in researching the candidates. Sadly, this stands true on the national level too. It’s called “name recognition” at the ballot box.
David Schaefer says
I am so sick and tired of these two clowns Stanko & Barbosa . Thank you Tori for sticking up for yourself and your mom. I pray that one day the moving van will pull up in front of our house and we can get the hell out of this town. I hope that in one week we can elect someone who can work for the tax payers like Ms. Holland did.
Merrill S Shapiro says
I think we should begin a debate!! The question to be debated is, “Which is more obscene, those signs Republicans are waving at the corner of State Route 100 and A1A or the current claims about the Holland family?” I think its a real important question. Thinking about it might lead someone to feel as though voting for Republicans is voting for obscenity in our community!
Carol Clauson says
Dear Tori……. you are a young lady with a lot of class……as is your mother.
Unfortunately the Ed Dankos of the world , along with Mr. Lowe and Barbosa trade on lies and accusations that will not survive the light of day. They cannot be permitted to spread their filth in our town.
I hope with all my heart that you will prevail with your illness…… you and your mother are an inspiration to all of us who believe in goodness and honesty .
This is a young lady that has been raised to be strong, forthright and brave. Just like her mother.
This was Palm Coast’s loss but demonstrates true leadership and prioritization of family.
My best to both of these remarkable women.
Tori, you are your mothers daughter. You are strong and smart and say what needs to be said. I remember talking to your mom after a late Tuesday meeting where she then drove to be by your side.
People assume how they would react in her situation and expected her to cry and crumble openly. But she knew she had to be strong for you.
I hope you stay well and can shut out the gossip and lies that are being used. I hope people vote wisely. The behavior is appalling but now we know their plan for our city and can prevent the hate from spreading. Be well.
Pretty hard not to bring up the “family” thing, the resignation is linked to the very reason we’re voting again for something that was voted on Nov. 2020. I don’t condone Danko’s approach. But this is also the politics of this era, it comes with the territory.
Just me, but I really don’t see the point in running for a public office in 2020 and 6 months later resigning. It’s not like this situation is a new circumstance. Equally, it’s absurd to read stories of threats & intimidating actions that aren’t followed thru by FCSO with the same enthusiasm to jail & imprison that any local teen or HS student gets for lyrics to a song, regardless of how lousy the music is or isn’t. There is & should be no immunity for that, it’s really unacceptable the way that was handled.
To Tori Holman, ‘thank you’. You have more character than these slugs who are trying to harm both you and your Mother. Neither of you deserve this. You are a warrior! Hang in there.
To everyone who has posted on this site, the only way to get rid of these idiots is to get out and VOTE. Don’t just post your concerns here, grab a neighbor, friend, family, anyone you know and get them to the polls!. Our beautiful city is under attack by the likes of Lowe, Stanko, Barbosa and Mullins. They are out for their own personal gain, not the good of the city. Do not vote for Lowe. His handler, Stanko has already said ‘if Lowe is elected, they will replace the current temporary City Manager and General Council’. Think about who they would replace the manager with…does the name MacDonald sound familiar?
All the attacks on Mayor Holland and her daughter are all lies; as proven via video. I do not understand how his supporters, some of them veterans, can ‘beat the drum’ for this low life who denounced our country . Yeah, I know that was a long time ago, but what has he done to redeem himself since then? NOTHING! Just registered to vote last year when his name was on the ballot. After hearing and evaluating all the other candidates in the forums, I have come to the conclusion that David Alfin is the only one who can give balance to this dysfunctional city council and when I vote, I will vote for him.
This more than amply illustrates the depths to which Danko and his ilk have been willing to sink in their zeal to obtain power and control.
It should not be up to someone who is so young and who has been through–and is still going through–so much to appeal to the adults around them to get past their petty prejudices and do the right thing–by rejecting all the wrong things that Danko and his compadres stand for.
Alfred Ruiz says
In response to a recent article in FlaglerLive.com from Tori Holland, I feel an overwhelming responsibility to retract some of my statements:
“I am therefore man enough to make a public apology if any of my statements that might have directly or indirectly accused the Holland’s in any way! Tori, I pray that your health begins to turn around in the near future! No one who is in your condition should be subject to constant political unfounded accusations!”
Just an FYI Tori…he’s going to lose. He’s desperate.
Bravo by the way and I pray that your life does get easier and your health improves.
Celia Pugliese says
First of all I have to recognize Tori’s courage to defend herself and her mom I also will be praying for your total recovery Tori. Do not let some of these extreme individuals affect you or your mom on a negative way as you have more important things to keep your attention now in both your lives. To our loss, Mayor Holland is already out of city hall and the mayoral race ( she was the most responsive mayor we had for the city residents ever) and as such her, her daughter and partisan attacks should be out of this race for good. Since when a political campaign should have a platform attacking the ill child of a past elected official in Palm Coast?
Shame of those that still want to win a a city election with frivolous attacks based on lies and flying the T flag. If any of you win, hope will change your perspectives and attend our city issues instead.
Janet Scott says
I don’t live in Palm Coast but I have lived in Flagler county since 1964.
I have seen Palm Coast evolve to a city beyond ITT’s expectations!
Leadership has been an issue with this city and will need someone very strong and honest to lead it!
I don’t think there is that choice on the ballot.
You should start over…
Throw these candidates out and allow people in WITH EXPERIENCE!
I believe some people get all caught up in the salary and prestige!
What’s needed here is knowledge and expertise!
This will just continue…. To be a mess!
I have listened to the candidates on 2 forums. I feel the best choice for our Mayor is Cornelia Manfre. She is well spoken and intelligent. I sense that she is honest and experienced. You don’t have to necessarily have experience as a Mayor to run for the office. She seems level headed and down to earth. I hope you all will take a good look at her.