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Palm Coast Friday, Jul. 16, 2021 2 months ago

Commissioners achieve advocacy awards, certifications, leadership board seats

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They represented Flagler County at the Florida and National Association of Counties conferences.
by: Julie Murphy Flagler County Public Information Officer

July has proven to be a whirlwind of a month for Flagler County’s Board of County Commissioners who collectively represented the best interests of residents at the state level, and individually were elected or appointed to leadership board seats, were presented advocacy awards, and earned certifications through the Florida Association of Counties during its annual conference. Flagler County was also represented at the National Association of Counties conference.

“I am proud to serve in leadership roles for the Florida Association of Counties and the Small County Coalition,” said Commission Chairman Donald O’Brien, who was re-elected to the FAC Board of Directors, and was appointed to the Executive Committee of the Small County Coalition. “It is so important to take every opportunity to fully support home rule efforts, both for Flagler County, and all counties across the state.”

O’Brien also earned an Advanced County Commissioner Level II designation following the completion of a comprehensive study program developed by the Institute for County Government. Vice-Chairman Joe Mullins earned the Advanced County Commissioner Level I designation, and Commissioner Andy Dance earned the Certified County Commissioner designation. The levels build up from the previous through dozens of hours of coursework, beginning with Certified County Commissioner, to provide participants with the strategic foundation to deal with Florida’s most intricate and complex details while fostering relationships with other leaders on the county, state, and national levels.

“I’m anxious to continue to pursue these educational opportunities to become a better and more effective commissioner, particularly in the area of policy,” said Dance of the voluntary program. “The entire conference was very beneficial.”

Commissioner Dave Sullivan echoed those sentiments.

“The presentations and guest speakers were excellent,” Sullivan said. “It was interesting to see that many of the issues we are facing here in Flagler County are similar to those facing many of the other 66 counties in attendance.”

Three commissioners – O’Brien, Mullins, and Greg Hansen – were presented Presidential Advocacy Awards for their work during the 2021 Legislative Session.

“Every day, our Commissioners work hard to tackle complex challenges and respond to the unique needs of their local area,” said FAC President and Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay in a news release. “Their consistent drive and dedication for their constituents is the reason we’re able to sustain our communities, and those that take the extra mile to advance the counties’ legislative agenda play a leading role in improving quality of life for all Floridians.”

Hansen credits the association and the Flagler County Legislative Delegation for their support.

“It was very difficult during this last session of our legislature to get our priorities in front of the members,” Hansen said. “With the help of FAC, and several phone calls, we were able to explain our positions. We were supported throughout the process by Sen. Travis Hutson and Rep. Paul Renner.”

After attending the FAC conference, Mullins attended the annual NACo conference in Prince George’s County, Maryland to accept Flagler County’s four 2021 Achievement Awards in the categories: Health; Criminal Justice and Public Safety; Information Technology; and, County Administration and Management.

“It was an honor to receive these awards on behalf of our talented staff, and meet President Gary Moore,” Mullins said. “I also got to continue my work on the Economic Development Workforce Committee, and met with the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and HUD (United States Department of Housing and Urban Development). There were some great discussions about affordable housing. It was a very worthwhile trip.”

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