What should be done with the housing market?
For existing foreclosed or abandoned homes, strong code enforcement for aesthetics, a clean county to encourage investment and continued support of Neighborhood Stabilization programs is required.
For new and existing projects, government must be more user-friendly controlling delay, uncertainty, controversy and excessive costs. One of the hardest things to correct is a bad first impression. When building something, delay is the single biggest killer of projects. The county permit-review process is open-ended. Therefore, to avoid delay, timeframes for staff-issued permits are a must. Delay leads to uncertainty. Uncertainty removes confidence in the outcome, causing the project to go elsewhere. Uncertainty leads to controversy and the time spent resolving the issues leads to more delay.
Excessive costs are associated with permitting and impact fees. A common cost comes from supplying staff with endless minor changes to plans, surveys and studies to secure the permit. Ask the right questions the first time. Impact fees, once needed due to fast growth, are now disincentives in this economic reality.
Probably the most novel idea for existing homes would be to create some level of portability with impact fees. When you’ve paid them once, why pay again when you relocate within the community? Likewise, when you purchase an existing building, why pay again as the first owner already paid? All of this can be accomplished without a loss in environmental protections or impacting citizens’ rights.
Is there room for further cuts to the county budget or would that mean sacrificing too much?
Probably not. The question is, are there services we’re paying for now, not required by the state constitution, that we should reconsider? Examples of such services are the Senior Center and Meals on Wheels, senior and social services, Adult Day Care, public transportation, the library, community centers, agricultural extension service, housing assistance programs and fire-rescue.
Having to take care of an aging parent, I understand and respect the value of these services and how they help many families here in Flagler County. With our propensity for wildfires, it would be foolish to hamper a strong fire-rescue operation. I would not be in favor of cutting these programs, especially those that affect Senior Citizens.
Why should people vote for you instead of your opponent?
I have been living, working and volunteering in Palm Coast and Flagler County for over 26 years, which provides a level of knowledge, experience, and commitment not present in any other candidate. Having lived here so long gives me a certain amount of historic knowledge important for carrying out the responsibilities of a County Commissioner.
My Palm Coast City Council experience brings a high level of leadership to the commission — including government fund budgeting and accounting. The Palm Coast Planning and Land Development Regulation Board (of which I was chairman twice) provided knowledge on complex land-use and planning issues. Being a director on the Palm Coast Community Service Corporation increased my knowledge of county drainage and stormwater-treatment issues.
My contributions over the years resulted in my peers voting me the VCARD Citizen of the Year in 2010. My educational experience is Florida-based, with a B.S. in Environmental Sciences and an M.S. in Coastal Zone Management from FIT. This provides extensive knowledge in coastal beach restoration for Flagler Beach or environmentally sensitive land acquisition through the county. In the spirit of community service, during those 26 years, I have been active through the Jaycees, numerous youth soccer organizations and my church, following on my belief that nothing prepares you better to serve others in the future than having served them in the past.
That's what I do: I serve. And for that reason, I'm asking for your vote Nov. 6.
Following the questionnaire, we had each candidate come in for a follow-up interview. A sample of Meeker’s responses is compiled below.
“(I’m running on) knowledge and experience, because I’ve been here for 26 years,” Meeker said, adding that, if elected, he would focus on fostering a more cooperative relationship between the county and the state.
Meeker also supports a moratorium on residential impact fees, which he believes will help fix the housing market.
“By reducing the impact fees, they’ve reduced the starting prices of these homes. ... If you put a nice home in an area with a couple other medium-nicer homes, the value of those medium-nicer homes should go up.”
On budgeting, Meeker said:
“Some people claim they’re a fiscal conservative — I can prove it. ... My simple formula for gathering money for government is, Property Values X The Millage Rate = The Money Government Can Spend. ... I was the first guy that ever voted against the budget … because it was a budget increase. ... By increasing our level of intelligence … and efficiency, we’re doing more for less right now. ... Do what you can with the money you’ve got.”
On Bounty for Business, Meeker’s incentive program to bring small business to Flagler, he said:
“If nobody uses it, it doesn’t cost us a dime. ... (There’s) 12.4% unemployment and how many vacant storefronts … and exactly what are we doing to fill those storefronts right now? ... This is something new, give it a chance.”
Currently 0 Responses
22 Inter-Faith Theology Club Meeting
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
22 PAWS to Read
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
22 Free Fitness Pole Walking Clinic
22 Hispanic Social Club Bingo
High School students donate to breast cancer patients
The Flagler Palm Coast High School Future Business Leaders of America class donated $580 to Florida Hospital Flagler Foundation’s breast cancer fund, which provides screening mammograms, diagnostic studies and education to local qualified women who are uninsured and seeking assistance.
Florida Hospital Flagler gives $2,000 in scholarships
Florida Hospital Flagler's medical staff donated $2,000 in scholarships to four graduating high school students.
Premier: Rotary of Flagler County gets thumbs up
Also, Club President Rick Staly was recognized with a "Well Done" Award.