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Palm Coast Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 1 year ago

On Palm Coast and Flagler County managers as elected CEOs, low-income housing, A1A

Also, on letter writer says low-level inmates should be released until the jail is safe.
by: Guest Writer

Make the county and city manager into elected positions

Dear Editor:

"Absolute power corrupts absolutely," said 19th-century British politician Lord Acton. There has never been a better example of the truth of this statement than what occurred here with both the county manager and the Palm Coast city manager. Both were very qualified and talented men who held very important and well compensated positions.

These manager positions are the CEOs of both the city and the county, and in this single position rest all administrative and executive power at both levels of government. On the organization charts of both city and county, these managers report to the elected council or commission. On the same organization chart, all department heads report to the managers. Another wrinkle in this system is that by provision of the respective charters, only the manager may direct an employee.

Both managers have recently been terminated because their respective supervisory authorities, the elected officials, got pissed off with them.

As I have observed since 2011, these elected officials failed to discharge their supervisory responsibility. These elected officials either did not understand or did not care to act as supervisors to the managers.

This continuing failure led the managers in both cases to gain more and more power. One means of gaining power was to put issues on what is known as the consent agenda. These issues were judged by the respective managers to be the “no brainers,” and in some cases these were pet project issues that the managers wanted to get passed without adequate justification.

The City Council or County Commission would accept the managers’ judgment and pass the particular item, which was usually included with several real “no brainers” on the consent agenda.

Both the City Council and County Commission are in the process of hiring a new manager, and there is no reason to believe that the same power-transfer process will not repeat. Whoever is chosen will be obsequious to the elected officials at the beginning of his or her tenure, but, as elected officials change and the managers gain more control, we will be right back to where we are now.

My solution is to make the CEO be an elected position. This is the model on every governmental level above the county. The elected strong executive works well in locations throughout the country. The people would directly elect the person to run the government and have electoral control over the tenure of the chief executive.

This electoral process of the CEO would end the ability to gain absolute authority

John Brady

Palm Coast


We don’t want low-income housing here

Dear Editor:

There is no home for low-income housing in Palm Coast. Period. Re-branding it "affordable housing" or "workforce housing" is like calling a illegal alien an "undocumented immigrant." Madam Mayor, voters are not stupid.

Ed Danko

Palm Coast


Be patient during reconstruction of A1A

Dear Editor:

This is my home, this is my community. We are fortunate enough to have Florida Department of Transportation rebuilding and spending the money to rebuild our community.

After working days on this project, I have personally seen some situations that concern me and the safety of our community, my neighbors, and the workers that are trying to make Flagler Beach a better place.

This is going to take months. Our community and visitors need to have patience while this is going on.

In the long run, we will come out as winners with a better beach.

Please be safe. If we have a dunes walkover with caution tape and stay out signs, don't take a chance. It's not safe.

Slow down! All of us working out there have wives, kids and a life to go home to. It is obvious who we are!

Do not run stop signs and pull out in front of trucks pulling equipment or with a heavy loads.

If you use a side road, be safe! The residents walk their dogs, ride their bikes, use their golf carts, jog and exercise. These are your neighbors, and we are putting a burden on them and their streets.

We are making Flagler Beach better. Please help us do that safely and for your safety as well.

Charles Burgan



Act of kindness at dinner

Dear Editor:

Many people have written regarding issues that trouble most of us these days. It is most difficult to find a true act of kindness that restores one’s faith in the goodness that is all too often hidden from all too many.

On a recent Friday decided to go to one of my favorite eateries in Palm Coast, the Metro Diner. A couple was seated at the table next to mine. They are young (well, 60s is young in my book), and the wife turned to me, and we began talking about our places of origin, and that became our connection; the cities were different but life’s experiences with “eateries” were the same.

The time flew by and we laughed and talked endlessly – what fun. A moment later, the check that had been put on my table by the waitress was scooped up by my new friends. I was so surprised and tried very hard to make them reconsider their generosity to a total stranger. After much back and forth, I asked the husband why they were doing this for me, and his response was, “Because we can.” Hers was, “Because we love you.”

We hugged upon leaving and, although we did not exchange personal information, I know that one evening we shall meet again. I would love to reciprocate their kindness – but if that never happens face to face, I would like those reading this note to know how their random act of kindness affected my belief in the fundamental goodness in mankind – and they are the best in all of us.

Dana Williams

Palm Coast

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