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County Commissioner Barbara Revels. PHOTO BY BRIAN MCMILLAN
Palm Coast Thursday, Jun. 23, 2011 11 years ago

Enterprise Flagler proposes inclusion

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by: Brian McMillan Contributing Writer

Bunnell and Flagler Beach would have official seats in a new option, which will be proposed at the next Economic Summit.

The consensus is that Enterprise Flagler needs to be restructured. But there is no consensus yet whether Bunnell and Flagler Beach will have official members on the new board.

With 22 members, the current board is an unwieldy decision-making body and needs to be smaller, officials say. Two proposals, to presented at the July Economic Summit, would shrink the board to 12 members, with six each from the private and public sectors.

The first proposal would give Flagler County three appointments and Palm Coast three, as well. The second would give two each to the county and the city, with one each being reserved for Flagler Beach and Bunnell.

Concerns about the makeup of the board should be secondary to the primary goal of creating jobs and diversifying the tax base, according to County Commissioner Barbara Revels.

She went on to say via email: “But as said by some at the table, there has to be a little faith that the best people with the brightest minds and commitments will (form) an active board to accomplish those goals.”

If it came down to selecting a final member of the board, she indicated city of residence should not be the deciding factor.

“I want the most qualified person,” Revels said.

Flagler Beach City Commissioner Jane Mealy said the June 2 meeting led to some confusion because the agenda identified Bunnell and Flagler Beach as nonvoting members, when actually they do have voting power currently. Therefore, any notion of a consensus to limit the role of the county’s second- and third-largest cities is misleading.

“We offer very little financially because we don’t have the money, and we don’t have an area where we could build an office park or a factory,” Mealy said. But, she said: “Flagler Beach, while it is very small, offers a lot in the way of economic development.”

She noted that tourism has been a major consideration in the future of the Flagler County economy, and therefore, even though Flagler Beach contributes just a fraction of the funds that Flagler County and Palm Coast contribute, the city should not be relegated to a spot on a subcommittee, but should have an official seat on the board.

Contact Brian McMillan at [email protected].

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