We weren't able to fit everything in print in the Aug. 25 edition, so here is another question that could help voters see where the candidates differ:
QUESTION: While many love living in Palm Coast, we’ve all heard this complaint: It’s too expensive to build here because of fees. Is this complaint justified? What would you do to address it?
Charles Ericksen Jr.
A restaurant calls in and says they want to build a 3,000-square-foot restaurant, and here we tell them about the building fees being reduced but, by the way, the impact fees are six figures-plus.
I know we have to protect ourselves, but we used to get by with reasonable impact fees. I think during a period of time when we need them more than they need us, we ought to make some concessions …
I didn’t create the concept of impact fees. That’s peculiar to the state of Florida. It all comes from the 1985 Growth Management Act. They said we’re going to have something called concurrency. We’re going to try to prevent urban sprawl. Before you can build this and this, you’ve got to demonstrate that you have the infrastructure in place.
Now the question becomes, Who is going to pay for that infrastructure? … The Florida policy has been that a road should pay for itself …
I’d be happy to do away with impact fees, but now the residential taxpayer is going to pay more in taxes to provide the infrastructure for that new business.