In his video interview with Palm Coast Observer Publisher John Walsh, Alfin stressed that public service is very important to him.
Real estate broker David Alfin moved to Palm Coast about 10 years ago from the Mid-Hudson Valley area of New York state. But the mayoral candidate is no newcomer to Florida. Alfin grew up in St. Petersburg.
In his video interview with Palm Coast Observer Publisher John Walsh, Alfin stressed that public service is very important to him: His three sons have all served this nation, as a police detective, an FBI agent and a pilot in the Army.
Below is an edited transcript of Alfin's interview.
What makes you qualified to be mayor of Palm Coast? List the top three.
The top three are really very simple. I’ve always had a philosophy that people offer and give you things — whether they be comments, suggestions, material things — throughout your life. If you were to inventory all the things that you have ever received from everyone you would quickly realize that you could never pay it all back. I made a decision prior to moving back to Florida and to Palm Coast that I would engage with the community and offer my service in every way I knew how.
What do you think is the biggest issue facing Palm Coast?
Being able to afford public safety, being able to repair and add new infrastructure, being able to relieve the tax burden, which is skewed unfavorably against the residential homeowner, are paramount issues.
One of the biggest issues today is the opening at city manager. Should the City Council enlist the services of a professional HR group experienced in hiring executives or go it alone?
I attended the City Council workshop which addressed that very issue. ... I have great faith in the staff and structure of the city of Palm Coast organization. I don’t think we need to hire and spend the extra money — which is significant — on a search. I think the real significant piece is that when we locate several candidates that the City Council vet them very carefully.
So, input from staff, but not the end all?
No, not the end all, and equally important is input from residents.
If you’re elected mayor the first item that you’ll be presented is the budget. What is the largest budget you’ve managed?
I have been a president of a public company that had a budget in excess of a $100 million. I’ve also worked for a small family business which had a budget of several million dollars ... but more importantly, here in Palm Coast in my last 10 years I have served as treasurer for organizations like the Women’s Council of Realtors, the Flagler County Education Foundation, the Flagler County Association of Realtors. So, I understand what the budget means here locally.
Would you propose to defund MedNex?
I’m a huge supporter to the MedNex initiative. I wouldn’t confine it just to MedNex, because the MedNex initiative becomes a multiplier of revenue sources and business relocation to our area. So, I am running my campaign very much in favor of moving that initiative forward.
Another item that was recently approved was over $5 million for Phase 1 of the tennis center. Would you vote to defund the tennis center?
My problem with the tennis center discussion so far is I’ve heard a lot of back and forth among City Council and residents and stake holders. No one has stepped forward to offer and an ROI, a return on investment. ... So, with no ROI in place at this time I think it would be a two-part answer. One, let’s figure out if it brings an ROI that’s acceptable and then, No. 2, decide if it’s a feasible project or not.
The Florida State Chamber is predicting the population of Palm Coast will increase by 20 to 30,00 in the next 5-10 years. Do you think it’s a choice between urban sprawl and high-density housing?
Absolutely not. That’s not the correct way to phrase the future, and let me give you an example. My daughter just graduated from UCF. On her own volition she decided to move back to Palm Coast to start a career. ... Today, it would be very difficult for her to afford a home by herself with a mortgage here in Palm Coast. So, I would seriously look at housing options for someone like my daughter to invest in, buy a home and be here for the long term.
Do you support allowing commercial vehicles including signs to be parked in the driveways after business hours?
... I would be in favor of commercial vehicles to park in driveways provided there were a significant list of requirements on what type of vehicle, what size of vehicle, what condition of vehicle, what kind of permit and on and on and on to be sure that the property owners in that same neighborhood would not suffer any value depreciation.