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Palm Coast Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019 1 week ago

Andy Dance’s political tightrope: Running for County Commission while serving on School Board

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Dance skips superintendent’s State of Education address in favor of a Hammock forum for County Commission candidates
by: Brian McMillan Executive Editor

While Superintendent James Tager was delivering his State of Education address on Tuesday, Nov. 5, one person was conspicuously absent: School Board member Andy Dance.

Dance, who had helped to institute the annual State of Education tradition years earlier when he was chairman of the School Board, has declared his intention to run for County Commission in 2020, and so he will be resigning from the School Board next fall.

In the meantime, he is wearing both hats simultaneously: one as School Board member and the other as County Commission candidate.

On Nov. 5, The Hammock Community Association hosted a forum for county candidates, and Dance had a tough decision to make as to which one to attend.

“I was torn both ways,” Dance said in a phone interview Nov. 7. “The State of Education is very important to me. … I wanted to be there to support the superintendent in his last State of Education address [Tager is retiring next summer], but the Hammock scheduled their forum, so I thought it was important for me to be there.”

Dance did not have a role at the State of Education presentation; it was Tager's program. And Dance knew he could watch the address later on flaglerschools.com. He also called Tager to discuss the address after the fact.

If the choice had been between the forum and a regular School Board business meeting with votes being made, Dance said it would have been an easy choice: “You can’t put the board at a disadvantage with four members,” he said. “A business meeting with votes taking place would always take precedence.”

Superintendent hiring process

A review committee will meet in January to discuss the next steps for replacing Tager, Dance said. And although Dance will only be a School Board member for a few months after the next superintendent is hired, Dance doesn’t feel that will impact his role in the process.

“The goal is still the same: to pick the best person to move the district forward," Dance said. "We’ve laid groundwork in many positive areas, so I see a superintendent that is focused on children, that has transparency, and foremost, deliberates honestly with the board and with the community. There’s a lot of strengths that can carry on from Mr. Tager in those regards, and I look forward to the applications.”

Brian McMillan has been editor of the Palm Coast Observer since it began in 2010. He was named the Journalist of the Year for weekly newspapers in North America by the Local Media Association in 2012. He lives in Palm Coast with his wife and five children. Email...

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