Why does Steve Nobile want a charter review? An email could provide clues ...

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May. 19, 2015

Why does City Councilman Steve Nobile want a review of the city of Palm Coast's charter? He wouldn't say, even when other members of the City Council asked him. The dialogue is interesting, so if you haven't read it yet, check out the story by Jonathan Simmons.

Nobile didn't respond to a phone call about this topic, so I'm not sure what his thinking is. Incidentally, I asked for a comment in the same voice mail in which I was offering an apology for a big boo-boo: When editing Page 4 last week, I added a big quote from Nobile in the margin and then neglected to change the words, "Name, title, blah blah blah," which appeared on the printed page. Big oops. I assume he's not upset about that, but I can only assume.

Regardless, I do know that a resident named Ray Douglass sent Nobile an email to cheer him on with regard to the city charter review, and it could give a hint as to what Nobile, or others who might support a charter review, could have in mind:

"I like the idea of a charter review and an elected more powerful mayor instead of a city manager for life. Under the elected more powerful mayor system, we'll finally get some accountability around here for the first time in years. Paying the city councilmen accordingly as full time elected officials and holding council meetings when all can attend is also an excellent idea. I like it all, the ideas level the playing field and invite more participation and inclusion. Good work."

Right now, city council members make only about $8,000-$10,000 per year when they're in office, so I could see that having a higher salary might attract more vibrant candidates — people who still need a job to pay the bills.

The notion of a stronger mayor is also interesting. What powers would the mayor gain? I guess that's what a charter review committee would decide, if anyone is interested enough to be on such a committee. Hopefully Nobile will soon make his intentions known, and we can start talking specifics.