What should be done with regard to the housing market?
We need laser focus on two goals: 1) Maintain and improve the quality of living to attract our core demographics — retirees and second-home buyers; and 2) Attract businesses with high-quality employment, such as financial services, insurance and tourism development.
We have excellent infrastructure, natural resources and recreation, which we need to market and promote. We need to continue to focus on developing a skilled workforce, good schools and cultural attractions in order to achieve both of these goals. We also need to be effective partners with prospective businesses to create win-win partnerships.
Is there room for further cuts to the county budget or would that mean sacrificing too much?
I will cut waste in county government by redirecting efforts toward the priorities of the residents. I have spent a lot of time in the last few months listening. By listening to the voice of the residents, businesses and other stakeholders, we will develop the right strategic plan and then deliver value. We will then begin an intense process of making county government more efficient.
We will do this by: 1) Implementing the operational excellence and lean six sigma methodologies used at the best American corporations; and 2) Developing a flexible and dynamic workforce of motivated and energized public employees. I have worked in Flagler County government and can assure you that we have a dedicated and talented workforce. We can do a better job of developing departmental and individual goals and then reward success.
I will watch our tax dollars like a hawk and will abide by my motto, “No plan, no money: Taxpayers should never endorse blank checks.” I will oppose new taxes; we have enough money to run an effective county government. I guarantee that our strategic planning and budget process will be improved by embracing the ideas, desires, talents and vision of our best resource — the people of Flagler County.
Why should people vote for you instead of your opponent?
I am not a politician, unlike my opponent, who is a sitting Palm Coast City Councilman. I will work full time for the people of Flagler County. My opponent works full time for a local-, state- and federally funded regulatory agency. I will work with developers, not for them. Nearly 80% of my opponent’s campaign contributions have come from big developers, including out-of-county and out-of-state companies, and others with business interests with our local government.
My opponent’s voting record bears out his allegiance to developer interests. I will represent the public interest, not special interests. I will not be bought.
I have listened to the citizens of Flagler County. They have told me they do not want burdensome regulation and do not want Flagler to become a ”nanny state,” with red light cameras at every intersection. The business community has spoken, too. Business owners in Palm Coast say the city has created high hurdles for them. Government needs to assist, not hinder, our business community.
I will promote business development by working with the Department of Economic Opportunity to develop a comprehensive, accessible proposal for prospective businesses. My opponent’s best idea for economic development is the Wild West-themed “Bounty for Business,” which is an ineffective and wasteful gimmick. It is an opportunity to line the pockets of friends with your hard-earned tax dollars.
Together with my husband, I am raising three young children in this community and I want it to remain a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family. I am an experienced and effective public servant. I am reasonable, responsible and I listen to people with decidedly different points of view and then develop consensus around the right plan for the entire community.
Following the questionnaire, we had each candidate come in for a follow-up interview. A sample of Romaine’s responses is compiled below.
Twenty percent of all baby-boomers will start small businesses after retirement, Romaine said. “Those are the folks we want to attract and retain here … (through) marketing and publicity.
“We’ve been kind of sold the false choice, the circulating narrative, that being a proper steward of your natural resources and having economic development are mutually exclusive ideas. I don’t believe that. I don’t buy that. We need to have that. We deserve that. And we will have that.
“What I would really love to do is work hand-in-hand with our director of our new Department of Economic Opportunity. ...We’re here to help you.”
Romaine also criticized Frank Meeker’s position on residential impact fee moratoriums.
“During the height of the recession in 2010, he raised the impact fees by 8.5%. But now, in the election year and after receiving donations from big developers, he would like to have a moratorium and get rid of the impact fees.”
On Meeker’s hesitancy to cut any additional county services to reduce public spending, Romaine said:
“He’s a bureaucrat, and I’m a big-picture person. ... Really, what we need to do is go into the different departments, figure out what the vision is for each department and (set a) goal to attain that vision. (Then we should) see if each service provided lines up with that goal to achieve the vision. ... Eighty percent of all processes in government and business are waste.
“The citizens are the customer. They want to make sure they are getting value for the services, because they’re paying for it. They’re the taxpayers. And if it’s not adding value, then get rid of it. ... I’m beholden only to the voter. I’m a public servant. ... I serve them. ... (Meeker’s) beholden to that party line.”
On budgeting, a department for which Romaine grades Meeker an “F, in terms of management” she said:
“(Although) I have never managed a budget that large ... I would start the budget at zero. ... I really think that would be effective.
“You need to vote for me over Frank Meeker because I won’t forget who I work for, and that’s the citizens. ... And I’m a fiscal conservative ... I don’t like telling people what to do.”
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22 Help Detect and Report Health Care Fraud
22 Guided Prayer Vigil
12:00 pm - 12:15 pm
22 New Jersey Social Club Meeting
22 Playground Pals
Premier: Rotary of Flagler County gets thumbs up
Also, Club President Rick Staly was recognized with a "Well Done" Award.
Friends of A1A produce videos to promote cycling and safety along the coastal byway
The Friends of A1A has produced six new videos designed to attract more cycling visitors to the 72-mile Scenic & Historic A1A Coastal Byway that travels through St. Johns and Flagler counties. Also, AAUW awards scholarships and loggerheads have arrived.
Palm Coast offers summer recreation, tennis, golf camps for children, teens
The city of Palm Coast is planning a summer of fun and recreation for children and teens through its summer camp at Parks & Recreation, as well as summer golf and tennis camps.