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Jon Netts, Palm Coast’s former mayor and councilman, is back on the City Council.
“I think it’s very, very important that we make good decisions — good budgetary decisions, that we make a good distinction between need to have and nice to have — because we’ve got to protect our citizens and our community.”
— JON NETTS, speaking as an applicant for a vacant City Council seat, on budgeting during the pandemic
Council members voted 4-0 on Aug. 4 to appoint Netts to former Councilman Jack Howell’s old seat, which Howell vacated for health reasons last month. Netts had run against Howell for that seat in 2018, and lost. He will step down after the November election, turning the seat over to whoever wins.
Netts was one of four applicants for the three-month position. The council interviewed three of them at the Aug. 4 council meeting.
In his opening statement, Netts said several people, his wife included, had asked him why in the world he’d apply.
“Well, here’s the answer,” he said. “The next several months are going to be very important for the city of Palm Coast.”
In August and September the city will be finalizing and adopting its budget, he explained, and in October and November, the city will implement it.
“What you’re doing is really setting the direction for the next year for the city,” he said.
Netts had served four terms as a city councilman in New Jersey, then six years as a Palm Coast City Councilman and nine as Palm Coast mayor.
“So if you’ll pardon the cliche, if I’m appointed I think that I can hit the ground running,” he said.
His first term as Palm Coast’s mayor started in 2008 with the recession, so he has experience managing budgets through a financial crisis, he said.
The council also heard from Hung Hilton, a senior solutions architect for Gerber Life Insurance; and William Schreiber, a retired scientist and high school science and math teacher.
Both men expressed interest in becoming more involved with the community, but had no experience with elected office.
Council members thanked both for applying, and said they hoped both would stay involved in city issues.