Why endorse? Let us think for ourselves
I would like to address this letter to anyone at the Palm Coast Observer who cares about anti-bias and fair journalism.
Page 6A on Oct. 27 was a real disappointment. The headline says, "We recommend ... " Who are "We"? Does really every single contributor, editor, journalist agrees? And shouldn't it be more like We, the people of Palm Coast?
In fact, it was not only disappointment, I was disgusted to find out my new hometown's paper is as corrupt as every other regular news source there is these days.
You know very well that many people in Palm Coast read your paper and trust your opinion, and perhaps are not active in other social media. To try to influence their opinions by recommending candidates is just as dirty as all the politics are.
I was glad to see last week’s informational Election Guide and a little about most of the candidates. It actually made me excited and interested in voting and getting to know people I will be voting for. Now I feel even more passionate about them but can only hope that our Palm Coast people will do their homework and use their own brain in their voting decisions.
I see you didn't dare to recommend a presidential nominee. Good for you.
There is too much divide these days, and I wish Palm Coast Observer would do a better job of informing people and letting them make their own decisions.
Losing my faith in you (whoever you are), Palm Coast Observer!
Editor’s note: Thank you for your feedback. Your first question is who “we” are. I am the editor, Brian McMillan. The publisher is John Walsh. The news editor is Jonathan Simmons. The three of us, together with a handful of community members who wish to remain anonymous, discuss the candidates and try to come to a consensus about who we think would best serve our community.
We trust that, just as you stated, people will make their own decisions. Even after reading our Election Guide and other news articles, however, some voters are undecided. We hope that our opinion will be of some use to those voters.
If you read our pages in the future and still believe we are biased, please email me at [email protected]. It is our commitment to be as objective as possible in reporting the news.
Vote for my husband, Tom Bexley
I’m writing today because I want to show why the voters of Flagler County should vote for my husband, Tom Bexley, for Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller.
I have no doubt he is the best person for the job. I realize that many who read this will at first think, “Well, of course she does; she’s married to him!” However, if the readers of this newspaper will indulge me, I’d like to explain why.
If you don’t already know, the reason why you should is because he’s been your chief deputy for almost seven years. The way he knows the clerk’s office is the way a great cellist knows his instrument. He understand every nuance, every string. It’s because of this level of knowledge and care you should entrust my husband with the stewardship of the county’s money management.
I’ve watched over the years as my husband has thrown himself into this “job.” I use those quotes because it’s more than just a job to him. He has always made himself available before and after hours to all the clerk’s needs, the employees’ needs, and you, the public’s needs. I’ve watched him answer his phone at 10 o’clock at night to help with a crisis, a question or a concern. On vacation, if he’s needed, he makes himself available.
It’s that level of dedication you will continue to receive if you elect him. Tom truly believes he is a public servant. He’s there for you.
Bexley has accepted the challenge and is most qualified
"I believe every CEO, both private and public, has an obligation to find and train their successor. Tom Bexley accepted the challenge and has proven himself to be our most qualified candidate for Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller."
I cannot tell you how many months it has been since I penned the above endorsement. I can tell you that Tom continues to amaze me. I can also tell you I will miss working with this man who simply is the person we should entrust with this position.
Were I asked to write an endorsement for Tom today, it would not change. Tom Bexley has proven himself to be our most qualified candidate.
Editor’s Note: Gail Wadsworth is the current Clerk of Court.
Bexley is a ‘stellar choice’
Tom Bexley is one of the most gifted, dedicated, hard working, innovative and citizen-centered public service leaders I have known in my three decades of working with local governments across Florida.
He is a stellar choice for Flagler County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller. I am especially proud to join so many leaders and good friends in Flagler County in strongly supporting him.
Dr. Joe Saviak
Bexley provides leadership, experience, service
I am writing to you so that you and your readers will know who my choice is to be Flagler County’s next Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller. I am basing my decision on three criteria: Leadership, experience and service.
Tom Bexley has proven to me to be the only one in Flagler County who measures up. Tom has been the chief deputy and chief operations officer for our current clerk for seven years. I know of no one else who can step into the job on Day One.
Tom has worked tirelessly to integrate technology, increase efficiencies and maintain the high level of public service that our community has come to expect from the Flagler County Clerk’s Office.
Tom’s knowledge of the county’s budget will be valuable from Day One, which is necessary to fulfill the office’s comptroller function. Tom has worked for the last seven years to help craft a budget that has allowed this office to maintain the highest standards of quality and customer service despite multiple years of budget cuts from the state Legislature. I would hate to imagine someone being elected our next Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller who does not understand this function from Day One.
Tom Bexley knows what’s best; Tom Bexley does what’s best; and Tom Bexley is the best choice
Editor’s Note: Luke Givens is the manager of records at the clerk’s office.
Groundswell of support for Bexley
I am writing you so you and your readers are aware of the groundswell of support among not only the Flagler County clerks, but also numerous other clerk’s offices around the state, to elect Tom Bexley as Flagler County’s next Clerk of the Circuit Court.
I have known Tom for a number of years now and have had the pleasure to work alongside Tom and Gail Wadsworth in the capacity as manager of criminal courts and now as the director of courts here in Flagler County. Tom is a proven leader with years of experience and knows what it takes to build a winning team.
Bexley’s foresight protected records during Hurricane Matthew
Under Tom Bexley’s leadership as chief operations officer, the clerk’s office continues to realize a cultural shift in technology. Flagler County records maintained by the clerk’s office are far more accessible online than ever before. Tom’s vision of bringing clerk resources online shaped key initiatives such as eFiling in courts, eRecording of land records, online court payments, and online juror eResponse.
Tom also understands the importance of protecting Flagler County records and has worked closely with Technology Services to develop the clerk’s disaster recovery plan. Flagler County can rest assured that its clerk-maintained records are safe guarded at a remote data center located at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Jacksonville Branch. The recovery plan was successfully executed during Hurricane Matthew. Without Tom’s leadership, the disaster recovery plan would not have been a reality in time for Hurricane Matthew.
Leadership is a process that evolves with time. Tom is a leader who acts as an agent of change, a developer who forges a better way forward. Tom understands the need to integrate staff, partners and ideas by drawing from the past and present experiences to show how the future will be orchestrated. Tom leads and motivates staff, bringing them together in an organized and practical way.
Without reservation and with strong conviction, I endorse Tom Bexley as Flagler County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller. Further, I look forward to working with Tom as we continue to modernize access and protect the public records of Flagler County.
Editor’s note: Carlos Garcia is the director of information technology at the clerk’s office.
Donald O’Brien is energetic and has integrity
Once again, the Observer got it right. Donald O’Brien is an energetic, knowledgeable individual who will bring forward-looking ideas to the County Commission. He has been a successful businessman in the community and is involved in numerous civic endeavors. He is also an individual of the utmost integrity.
We need O’Brien now more than ever
In all the years I have known Mr. Donald O'Brien, he has been honest and hardworking in everything he gets involved in. What better person can you ask to make decisions in our county to make sure we get what is best for our citizens? I don't normally publicly support politicians. But I feel that we need someone at this time, more than ever, to watch our backs.
Ronald J. Szymanski
O’Brien: a servant’s heart, a man of integrity
As the election draws near, I would once again like to recommend Donald O'Brien for county commissioner. I have known Donald for about 10 years, first as our insurance man and since as a friend. I have found Donald to have a real servant’s heart with a high level of integrity.
O’Brien has integrity and reliability
Honesty and sincerity. What more do you want in the person who will be instrumental in shaping your county? Integrity, got it. Reliability, got it.
As residents of Palm Coast for the last 27 years, we're endorsing Don O'Brien for county commissioner for all those reasons and more.
June and Jerry Curti
My dad believes in ‘service above self’
Donald O'Brien is a fresh face, but he's someone who has been positively impacting the Flagler County community for more than 25 years.
My dad always says "service above self." Those words are true for him in his professional life and his personal life. We need someone on the County Commission who will get things accomplished rather than just repeat the rhetoric we hear every election cycle.
It's time for fresh energy and new ideas. It's time for Donald O'Brien.
Experience vs. ‘out-of-the-box thinking’
I am flabbergasted by the Observer’s endorsement of Nick Klufas for City Council District 3. Almost all of the other endorsements are based on a candidate’s experience, yet the endorsement of Klufas is based on lack of experience, which you call “out-of-the-box” thinking. In order to have effective “out-of- the-box” thinking, one must first understand the complexities of what is in the box. The only way to gain this knowledge is to work in the box.
In a recent one-on-one conversation with Nick Klufas, I posed the question: “How does your experience in the technology world translate into the skills needed to represent the people of the 3rd district in the City Council?” He responded with his standard talking points about how the new world revolves around technology and we must take advantage of the backbone the city has.
I followed up with: “But how does your experience prepare you for the other myriad of issues facing the city and our district?” He responded: “What other issues?” His lack of understanding of the environment we live in is disconcerting.
His proposal for Realtor registration and sign placement is simply not possible within the current statutes and codes we must live with. His proposal for micro cell towers like some other cities is based upon using street lights as mini towers. This is simply not doable in Palm Coast, where the street lights are not owned by the city. Such a system would require extensive coordination, negotiation and cooperation between the city, county, FPL, various community associations, CCDs and every individual carrier. With all due respect, I don’t think Mr. Klufas understands the complexity of this proposal.
Those who know Pam Richardson are acutely aware of her vast experience and knowledge of today’s environment, both city and county, and the complex interrelationships involved. She has a reputation for being somewhat of a maverick because she herself thinks “out-of-the-box.” She has a plan for improving communications using technology, based on her advisers’ broad expertise, but it is only a part of a broader set of goals based on her extensive experience dealing with a wide range of issues.
In my way of thinking, good quality experience always trumps narrowly focused “out-of-the-box” thinking. My endorsement for the 3rd district City Council seat goes to Pam Richardson.
Neil C. Copeland
Klufas provides ‘fresh ideas’ for Palm Coast
We support Nick Klufas for Palm Coast City Council District 3 and hope others will give him their vote.
Nick Klufas is an impressive candidate with intelligent ideas. He has a solid understanding of the city’s past and a clear vision of its future. His knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment will provide a positive force in our community. We need his intellect, energy, fresh ideas and balanced perspective on our City Council.
We agree with his views regarding the importance of the city’s amenities and business initiatives. This defines us as a city and provides opportunities to every city resident, both young and old.
Mike and Joyce Jackson
Klufas understands value of city trails and amenities
If you’ve met Nick Klufas, you already know about his passion for technology and the benefits it will bring to Palm Coast. But Nick, who is a software engineer, working for a Palm Coast technology company, could pretty much live and work anywhere he wants. That’s where his other passion comes in.
Nick and his wife are professionals and homeowners here in Palm Coast because they want to be. Nick is a runner who appreciates the miles of accessible hiking and biking trails. He sees value in the pristine beauty of our area beaches, waterways and forests. He sees the importance of recreation amenities such as golf courses, soccer fields, swimming pools, tennis courts and green open spaces to the fabric of our community.
He understands that these amenities are at the core of what makes living and working in Palm Coast unique. They are at the heart of his positive vision of our future quality of life and economic growth. I’m voting for Nick Klufas, because he believes in the brightest possible future for Palm Coast.
Klufas sincerely cares about the future of our city
I’ve known Nick Klufas for many years now, and every single time I run into him around town, whether on the field of one of our beautiful parks for a pick-up game of Ultimate Frisbee, or if I catch him driving to work at ACI, he always gives me a genuine smile and asks “How’s it going?”
I’m honored to call Nick one of my good friends. He sincerely cares about the future of our city, and, most importantly, he thinks critically prior to making any judgments or decisions. We need more critical thinkers holding office, and that is the reason I am urging everyone I know to get out and vote for Nick Klufas.
He has great ideas for our city and will bring a fresh perspective to the council. My hope is that this inspires more young people to get involved in making our city and our county a better place to live, work, and play.
John Birney Jr.
Klufas is a ‘bright light in this election year’
It is a privilege for me to endorse Nick Klufas for the Palm Coast City Council.
Mr. Klufas has been a bright light in this election year. He brings a respectful and positive attitude to the table along with fresh, creative and exciting possibilities for our city of Palm Coast. As I follow Nick through his campaign and watch as he grows ever more comfortable and confident in his pursuit, I am more than impressed by his pride in our city and his hope for interesting, affirmative developments for our city's future.
Therefore it is with conviction that I choose Nick Klufas for City Council.
Klufas’ technology leadership is needed
Two letters to the editor were written to the Observer recently, regarding the spotty cell service and the breakdown of some of our emergency communications in Palm Coast during the recent hurricane. In reading through the Observer’s Election Guide, I see that one of the people running for City Council has a great background in this very area.
In fact, in his interview with the paper Nick Klufas stated, “We can leverage Palm Coast’s already installed fiber-optic infrastructure to deploy micro cell towers on top of lamp posts and street lights. These micro towers can then be leased to other carriers, increasing city revenues without raising taxes. Other cities are already doing this.”
I so liked this approach, I decided to look up his website where, among other things, he states he wants to be the technology watchdog for Palm Coast and upgrade our emergency communications systems. We certainly need someone with the right background and knowledge to upgrade these vital systems, and Nick is the obvious choice. His website, klufas2016.com, is a quick read, and his many endorsements are impressive.
We need Klufas to be part of the new City Council
The election Nov. 8 will be one of the most important for the city of Palm Coast since its incorporation. The election will create a new majority on the City Council and will determine how Palm Coast deals with new growth and develops in the years to come.
The city needs Nick Klufas to be part of this new majority. I am convinced that his professional skills as a software engineer will be invaluable as the council addresses issues such as the new emergency communications system with Flagler County, improved mobile phone service for residents, business and emergency services, and attracting new technology companies to Flagler County.
In addition, his demonstrated ability and willingness to research and learn about the many other issues facing the city, his enthusiasm and his desire to keep Palm Coast a green, beautiful place to live for residents of all ages make him the best candidate for the job.
I urge all Palm Coast voters to vote for Nick Klufas on Nov. 8.
Editor’s note: Robert Cuff won the Aug. 30 primary and was appointed to fill a vacant seat early on the City Council.
Art gallery endorses candidates
This has been a unique campaign season for us all. Regardless of what the choices are nationally, the impact of our local elections can resonate in the most meaningful way.
As artists, we seem to have a lot to say about our candidates without fully realizing the impact our candidates may have on the sustainability of our local art venues, businesses, organizations and art in itself. Art sustainability in our community comes from our choices of elected officials.
As a former president of the Flagler County Art League, my main goal along with fusing a family connection with other art entities and cultural organizations was to make our members understand that we are a strong body of voters, and that we have a powerful voice as to who holds office in our local government.
That is why Calypso Fine Art Gallery has decided to endorse candidates who, based on their position on cultural support, will forward the advancement of our cultural endeavors. So please don't take umbrage to our selection. We support them because they have demonstrated in words and in deeds their support for the arts.
We support Larry Jones for Flagler County sheriff; Barbara Revels for Flagler County Commission District 3; Jason DeLorenzo for County Commission District 1; Myra Middleton-Valentine for School Board District 5; Nicholas Klufas for Palm Coast City Council District 3.
Richlin and Weldon Ryan
Adam Morley showed his character by serving after the hurricane
I want to take a minute to call attention to someone who’s gone above and beyond since Hurricane Matthew. Someone whose entire life has been dedicated to this little area of the world. His name is Adam Morley, and he’s a St. Augustine native. He’s running for state representative for District 24 in the upcoming elections you might have heard something about.
But he dropped all of that on Wednesday, Oct. 5, to be of service to his community. He’s been literally all over St. Johns and Flagler counties in the aftermath of the storm that decimated the shores he grew up on. He offered to help family, friends, and complete and total strangers. He put out posts on Facebook, offering his help, his skill and his chainsaw to literally every person who needed it in the wake of the storm.
The compassion, kindness and strength he gave freely, without asking anything in return, should be an inspiration to us all.
Vote no on Amendment 1
We do not need to have an amendment added to the Constitution giving us the right to put solar on our homes. We already have that right.
The real issue with this amendment is the second part. This is a proposal totally funded by the electric companies. It is not a pro-solar initiative. The main idea of this amendment is to kill net metering.
How this works is your solar panels make power all day and all your excess electricity goes back into the grid, turning your meter backwards. The power you produce goes into the grid and is used by the next house down from you. You “bank” the extra power you make that goes back into the grid. This banked power is what you use on cloudy days and at night.
At the end of the year, any extra power you have “banked” is paid back to you at about 1/3 of what the power company charges you per kilowatt. They profit by 2/3 and they charge your neighbor for the power you make at full price. This proposal wants to take all of this away. They want to keep our excess power and charge us for cloudy days and night power use.
The power companies see that solar will take business away from them, and they are trying to add an amendment to our Constitution that will kill solar in Florida. The “Sunshine State” is not solar friendly. Those who invest in solar could end up paying twice as much as other customers pay to buy power from the electric companies.
For the future of the state, vote no on Amendment 1.