Palm Coast Mayor Jon Netts, Palm Coast City Councilman Jason DeLorenzo and Flagler County School Board member Sue Dickinson addressed their colleagues and communities Nov. 1 in their last formal meetings before the new elected boards will be sworn in afte
Three local elected officials said farewell to their colleagues on elected boards Nov. 1 in their final full meetings with those boards before their successors take their places after the Nov. 8 election.
Palm Coast Mayor Jon Netts and School Board member Sue Dickinson have served on the City Council and the School Board, respectively, since 2001. Palm Coast City Councilman Jason DeLorenzo was elected in 2011.
Netts has been the city’s mayor since 2007, and is leaving that position due to term limits. He served as a city councilman from 2001 to 2007, and served on the city of Palm Coast Code Enforcement Board member in 2000 and 2001.
“It has truly been a privilege and an honor to serve Palm Coast,” Netts said in his comments at the end of the Nov. 1 City Council meeting. Netts thanked his wife, Priscilla, for her support, and noted that the couple had “found Palm Coast sort of by accident, the way many of you did. … We came and looked, and it was exactly what we wanted.” Much of that, he said, was because of the vision of Palm Coast’s first mayor, Jim Canfield. “The guiding force for me for these 16 years has been that vision to make Palm Coast what it is today, and to keep it what it is today,” he said. Netts noted that the city’s five council members “don’t always agree, and that’s a good thing,” but that the city’s elected board, and its staff, “have always had the same goals in mind,” and share “the same vision ... the same enthusiasm about our community.”
Netts’ address Nov. 1 came shortly after that of District 3 City Councilman Jason DeLorenzo. DeLorenzo, who is Government Affairs Director for the Flagler Homebuilders Association,was elected in 2011 as the youngest candidate in Palm Coast’s history to win a City Council election. He opted not to run for reelection to City Council in 2016, instead running against incumbent County Commissioner Charlie Ericksen for the County Commission District 1 seat.
“I’ve tried to serve you to the best of my ability,” DeLorenzo said, choking up as he spoke. “Over the last five years, I’ve had to make some difficult decisions. Some kept me up at night, and some were not always popular.” But, DeLorenzo said, he’d always tried to make the best decisions for the Palm Coast community. “It has been my absolute pleasure to serve on the City Council,” he said. “I really have enjoyed every moment of it, and I hope you can see how much it’s meant to me.”
DeLorenzo and Netts will both appear together with the council two more times: for a City Council workshop on Nov. 9, and for the beginning of a City Council meeting Nov. 16, when the current City Council will initiate the meeting before the swearing in of the newly elected City Council.
While Netts was giving his farewell address from the City Council chambers in City Hall, Dickinson was addressing the School Board for the last time through an audio feed at the board’s regular meeting at the Government Services Building in Bunnell.
She has represented the School Board’s District 5 seat for three consecutive terms.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the citizens of Flagler County for entrusting me in a very important position over the past 16 years,” she said. Dickinson said she often heard both teachers and administrative staff members say they loved coming to work, and, she said, “that says a lot for what we are doing.” Dickinson noted that she didn’t yet know who would replace her — Myra Middleton-Valentine and Maria Barbosa are in a runoff election for the District 5 seat — and made a request: “No matter who it is, I only ask one thing,” she said. “I really would like to see our board come back together as one. We are each only one of five. We need to go back to agreeing to disagree, and not hold things against each other. No, we are not expected to agree on everything; we’re not supposed to. We are all here to bring our own thoughts and ideas forward. … I wish each of you the best, and I know I’m going to watch many more great things to come from Flagler County Schools.”
BOX: Reception planned for Mayor Netts
The city of Palm Coast will hold a reception at 4-6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, to celebrate Mayor Jon Netts’ 16 years of service to the city. The “We Honor Your Honor” program will be held in the Community Wing of Palm Coast City Hall, at 160 Lake Ave. The formal program will begin at 5:15 p.m. The public is invited to attend.