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OCTOBER 20, 2016

ELECTION GUIDE

Your community. Your decision. Welcome to final round of Speed Campaigning. Vote Nov. 8.


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ELECTION GUIDE 2016

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PalmCoastObserver.com

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016

OFFICIAL SAMPLE BALLOT

GENERAL ELECTION NOVEMBER 8, 2016 FEDERAL

NONPARTISAN

PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

President of the United States

Justice of the Supreme Court

No. 1 Constitutional Amendment Article X, Section 29

(Vote for One)

o Donald J. Trump REP Michael R. Pence o Hillary Rodham Clinton DEM Timothy Michael Kaine o Gary Johnson LPF Bill Weld o Darrell L. Castle CPF Scott N. Bradley o Jill Stein GRE Ajamu Baraka o Roque (Rocky) De La Fuente REF Michael Steinberg o Write-in ________________________

United States Senator (Vote for One)

o Marco Rubio REP o Patrick Murphy DEM o Paul Stanton LPF o Tony Khoury NPA o Bruce Nathan NPA o Steven Machat NPA o Basil E. Dalack NPA o Write-in ________________________

Representative in Congress District 6 (Vote for One)

o Ron Desantis o William (Bill) McCullough

REP DEM

State Senator, District 7 (Vote for One)

REP DEM

State Representative, District 24 REP DEM

COUNTY Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller (Vote for One)

o Tom Bexley o Douglas Courtney

REP DEM

Sheriff (Vote for One)

o Rick Staly o Larry D. Jones o Thomas Dougherty

REP DEM NPA

Board of County Commissioners District 1 (Vote for One)

o Charles F. Ericksen Jr o Jason DeLorenzo

REP DEM

Board of County Commissioners District 3 (Vote for One)

o David C. Sullivan o Barbara Revels

REP DEM

Board of County Commissioners District 5 (Vote for One)

o Donald O’Brien o George E. Hanns

Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice

Justice of the Supreme Court Shall Justice Jorge Labarga of the Supreme Court be retained in office?

o Yes o No

Justice of the Supreme Court Shall Justice Ricky L. Polston of the Supreme Court be retained in office?

o Yes o No

REP DEM

This amendment establishes a right under Florida’s constitution for consumers to own or lease solar equipment installed on their property to generate electricity for their own use. State and local governments shall retain their abilities to protect consumer rights and public health, safety and welfare, and to ensure that consumers who do not choose to install solar are not required to subsidize the costs of backup power and electric grid access to those who do.

Fifth District Court of Appeal Shall Judge James A. Edwards of the Fifth District Court of Appeal be retained in office?

o Yes o No

Fifth District Court of Appeal Shall Judge Brian Lambert of the Fifth District Court of Appeal be retained in office?

Fifth District Court of Appeal

CITY OF PALM COAST VOTERS ONLY

Increased costs from this amendment to state and local governments cannot be determined. There will be additional regulatory costs and enforcement activities associated with the production, sale, use and possession of medical marijuana. Fees may offset some of the regulatory costs. Sales tax will likely apply to most purchases, resulting in a substantial increase in state and local government revenues that cannot be determined precisely. The impact on property tax revenues cannot be determined.

o Yes o No

No. 3 Constitutional Amendment Article VII, Section 6 and Article XII

East Flagler Mosquito Control District, Seat 3 (Vote for One)

o Florence Fruehan o Aynne McAvoy

ALL VOTERS IN PRECINCT 31 GRAND HAVEN Grand Haven Community Development District, Seat 2 (Vote for One)

o Jim Gallo o Ray Smith

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Tax Exemption for Totally and Permanently Disabled First Responders

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Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to authorize a first responder, who is totally and permanently disabled as a result of injuries sustained in the line of duty, to receive relief from ad valorem taxes assessed on homestead property, if authorized by general law. If approved by voters, the amendment takes effect January 1, 2017.

Early

o Yes o No

No. 5 Constitutional Amendment Article VII, Section 6 and Article XII

(Vote for One)

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Allows medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating medical conditions as determined by a licensed Florida physician. Allows caregivers to assist patients’ medical use of marijuana. The Department of Health shall register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue identification cards to patients and caregivers. Applies only to Florida law. Does not immunize violations of federal law or any non-medical use, possession or production of marijuana.

City of Palm Coast Council Member, District 3 o Nick Klufas o Pam Richardson

Regi

Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions

o Yes o No

o Maria P. Barbosa o Myra Middleton Valentine

You may c Day. Pleas election pr

No. 2 Constitutional Amendment Article X, Section 29

Shall Judge Vincent G. Torpy Jr of the Fifth District Court of Appeal be retained in office?

(Vote for One)

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o Yes o No

Shall Judge Jay Cohen of the Fifth District Court of Appeal be retained in office?

o Yes o No

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The amendment is not expected to result in an increase or decrease in any revenues or costs to state and local government.

Fifth District Court of Appeal

School Board, District 5

(Vote for One)

o Paul Renner o Adam Morley

o Yes o No

o Yes o No

STATE o Travis Hutson o Curtis Ceballos

Shall Justice Charles T. Canady of the Supreme Court be retained in office?

PREPAR

Homestead Tax Exemption for Certain Senior, Low-Income, Long-Term Residents; Determination of Just Value Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to revise the homestead tax exemption that may be granted by counties or municipalities for property with just value less than $250,000 owned by certain senior, low-income, long-term residents to specify that just value is determined in the first tax year the owner applies and is eligible for the exemption. The amendment takes effect January 1, 2017, and applies retroactively to exemptions granted before January 1, 2017.

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Make sure your voice is heard. One vote can make a difference. Prepare now to be Election Ready in 2016!

Kaiti Lenhart

FLAGLER COUNTY SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS 1769 E. Moody Boulevard, Building 2, Suite 101 PO Box 901 • Bunnell, FL 32110 Phone: (386) 313-4170 • Fax: (386) 313-4171 Online: www.FlaglerElections.com

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ELECTION GUIDE 2016

PalmCoastObserver.com

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016

3B

The Amendments A nonpartisan guide to Amendments 1, 2, 3 and 5, on the Florida ballot on Nov. 8.

AMENDMENT 5: HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION FOR LOWINCOME SENIORS

The following text is used with permission from the Florida League of Women Voters’ election guide, found at bereadytovote.org:

AMENDMENT 1: SOLAR ENERGY Synopsis: Amendment 1 is the utility-backed response to a third solar initiative that failed to make the 2016 ballot but would have allowed Floridians to buy power directly from third-party solar providers. The full ballot title for Amendment 1 is “Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice.” It essentially would enshrine in the state Constitution existing laws on solar energy, which opponents say have blocked solar growth in favor of existing utility companies like Duke Energy and Florida Power & Light by helping ensure their monopoly on the sale of power to Floridians. Supporters counter that the amendment is needed to ensure state and local governments can pass regulations that protect solar-power consumers as well as utility customers. A central issue is Florida’s current ban on the third-party sale of electricity. In most other states companies are allowed to install solar panels on homes or businesses and then sell the power directly to the consumer, bypassing utilities altogether. Florida is one of only a handful of states that prohibit consumers from buying power directly from third-party solar providers. A divided Florida Supreme Court approved the ballot’s wording in a 4-3 vote on March 31, 2016. If passed, Amendment 1 would take effect immediately. A YES VOTE ON AMENDMENT 1 WOULD:

Put existing statutory language into the state constitution, making it difficult to change future solar energy policy. Establish a constitutional rather than statutory right for consumers to own or lease solar-power equipment on their property to generate electricity for their own use, leaving out the ability for third-party providers to install solar equipment on their homes or businesses and then sell that power directly back to the consumers, bypassing the major utilities. Create an assumption that those who use solar power are being subsidized by non-solar utility customers for the cost of providing backup power and electric grid access and not paying enough for the upkeep of the transmission and distribution system. It then creates a constitutional mandate that state and local governments regulate solar power generators and users to correct the subsidy, potentially leading to increased costs to solar users. Not explicitly prevent Florida consumers from entering into contracts with a third-party solar provider, but possibly erecting barriers through its definitions and mandate for regulation. A NO VOTE ON AMENDMENT 1 WOULD:

Leave in Florida statutes the right

for consumers to own or lease solar-power equipment on their property to generate electricity for their own use. Leave open the possibility that homeowners and businesses could buy or lease solar-power equipment. Halt a potential constitutional barrier to new laws that would broaden the solar-power market by allowing solar companies to sell electricity directly to consumers. Protect existing rules that allow net metering, where utilities credit a retail rate to customers generating excess solar power that is returned to the electric grid. Supporters: Duke Energy, Florida Power & Light Co.; Gulf Power Co.; Tampa Electric Co.; 60 Plus Association. Opponents: Floridians for Solar Choice; EarthJustice; Florida Solar Energy Industries Association; Southern Alliance for Clean Energy; League of Women Voters of Florida.

AMENDMENT 2: MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Synopsis: Two years after a similar amendment narrowly failed, Amendment 2 is on the ballot to legalize the use of medical marijuana to relieve the symptoms of people afflicted with specific diseases and conditions. Amendment 2 differs from the 2014 amendment question by providing more specifics about which “debilitating medical conditions” would qualify for marijuana use by patients, with the approval of a physician. It also permits caregivers to assist patients in administering marijuana treatments and sets up a regulatory scheme, administered by the state Department of Health, that includes issuing ID cards to patients and caregivers. It does not provide legal cover to those who use marijuana outside the regulated use for medical conditions. Current state law, passed in 2014, allows the use of noneuphoric cannabis for patients with medical conditions that cause seizures and severe muscle spasms. The Legislature also passed a law this spring that allows terminally ill patients to receive prescriptions for fullstrength marijuana.

As of mid-April, 24 states had laws permitting the use of marijuana for medical conditions. A YES VOTE ON AMENDMENT 2 WOULD:

Create a constitutional right for people with specific “debilitating” conditions – such as cancer, epilepsy, AIDS, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis – to use marijuana as long as a physician has certified they have one of the specified conditions. Require parental consent before a minor could be certified by a physician to receive medical marijuana. Permit caregivers to assist patients with marijuana treatments as long as that person possesses a caregiver identification card issued by the states. Caregivers must undergo a background check and are not allowed to use marijuana themselves. Require patients and caregivers to get a state-issued ID. Retain state and federal prohibitions on recreational marijuana use, as well as prohibitions on operating vehicles and boats while under the influence. Create “medical marijuana treatment centers” to cultivate and dispense drugs to certified patients or caregivers. Shield physicians from criminal or civil actions for issuing patient certifications. A NO VOTE ON AMENDMENT 2 WOULD:

Not impact the current limited medical marijuana laws in Florida, including those passed in 2014 and 2016. Not allow patients with debilitating conditions, and not deemed terminally ill, access to medical marijuana as a prescribed treatment by their doctor. Have no effect on current laws prohibiting the recreational use of marijuana. Supporters: John Morgan, Orlando lawyer; Florida Democratic Party; Service Employees International Union, American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, AFL-CIO, Florida NAACP, Medical Marijuana of Florida, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Opponents: Florida Chamber of Commerce; Drug Free Florida Committee.

AMENDMENT 3: TAX EXEMPTION FOR DISABLED FIRST RESPONDERS Synopsis: Florida’s Constitution already grants a property-tax exemption to the spouses of first responders who die in the line of duty. Amendment 3 authorizes the Legislature to extend that exemption to first responders who are “totally and permanently disabled” from injuries they received in the line of duty. First responders are defined under existing law as police and correctional officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics. The Senate and House voted unanimously to place this amendment on the ballot. State officials did not estimate how much the new exemption might cost local governments from lost property tax revenue. If approved by voters, the amendment would take effect on Jan. 1, 2017, but would still need approval by the Legislature to become law. A YES VOTE ON AMENDMENT 3 WOULD:

Authorize the Legislature to grant a property tax exemption on homestead property to first responders who are totally and permanently disabled from injuries sustained in the line of duty. Allow the Legislature to decide whether the exemption should provide full or partial relief from property taxes. Require a determination that the first responder’s disability was caused by his or her service in the line of duty. Have an undetermined impact on local property tax revenues. A NO VOTE ON AMENDMENT 3 WOULD:

Not extend property tax exemptions to first responders who became totally and permanently disabled in the line of duty. Not have an impact on localgovernment tax revenue. Supporters: There does not appear to be any organized support or opposition. Opponents: There does not appear to be any organized support or opposition.

Synopsis: Amendment 5 would ensure that low-income seniors who qualify for an additional homestead exemption as longtime residents do not lose that exemption if the value of their property rises. The exemption to the state Constitution was originally approved by voters in 2012. The law currently allows cities and counties to grant a full exemption from property taxes to people with the same age and income limits if 1) the homeowner is 65 or older, 2) annual household income didn’t exceed $28,448 in 2015 (income limits are adjusted annually for inflation), 3) the just (market) value of their property is less than $250,000 and 4) the homeowner has lived there for at least 25 years. The original intent was to ensure that long-time, lowincome seniors don’t lose their homes because they can’t pay the tax bill. But seniors who now get the exemption would lose it if their home value tops $250,000. Amendment 5, which passed the House and Senate unanimously, would lock in the exemption permanently once a senior qualifies, regardless of how much the property increases in value. The amendment would take effect on Jan. 1, 2017, but is retroactive to 2013, which means a senior who qualified for the exemption in 2013, but lost it, would regain the exemption. A YES VOTE ON AMENDMENT 5 WOULD:

Ensure that low-income seniors who qualify for a city- or countyapproved property tax exemption do not lose that exemption if the value of their home exceeds the $250,000 limit. Be retroactive to include seniors who received the exemption starting in 2013. Cost cities and counties that currently grant the exemption an estimated $2.3 million in fiscal year 2016-17; $500,000 in 201718; and eventually $1.2 million in 2020-21. A NO VOTE ON AMENDMENT 5 WOULD:

Retain the property tax exemption for low-income seniors who are longtime residents, but not ensure they keep it if property values rise. Not provide retroactive tax relief to low-income seniors who had the tax exemption but lost it after their home value exceeded $250,000. Not cost cities and counties additional revenue from this property-tax exemption. Supporters: There does not appear to be any organized support or opposition. Opponents: There does not appear to be any organized support or opposition.


4B

ELECTION GUIDE 2016

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PalmCoastObserver.com

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016

Flagler County Sheriff DO YOU AGREE? As a voter, what do you think about the state of Flagler County? What do you want to see in the future? We asked the candidates to consider several statements and tell us how much they agree or disagree with the statements, on a scale of 1-10. A “1” means you completely disagree; a “10” means you completely agree. (Note: There is no truly neutral number. A “5” means you slightly disagree; a “6” means you slightly agree.) The statements are listed below. Take a minute to fill out your own reactions. How do your numbers compare to the candidates’ answers?

Thomas Dougherty

Larry D. Jones

Rick Staly

 Age: 55  Political party: NPA  Why do you feel you’re more qualified to be sheriff than your competitors? More diverse background and experience as a law enforcement and educational professional. In addition, my refusal to accept political donations solidifies my commitment to remove unethical behavior from the office. I have 20 years as a decorated police officer and sergeant in the busiest police department in the world. Exceptional training in the NYPD. Counterterrorism training. No unethical or improper conduct in 23 years as a law enforcement officer. Never had to discharge my weapon or was fired upon during my career, a testament to my adherence to police safety procedures. Masters in education. Grades 3-12 Flagler County schoolteacher. Youth sports coach. American flag bearer, St. Thomas Church.  If elected, how would you change things in a way residents might notice? Leading by example. I will be highly visible and accessible in the community. Weekly feedback, informational meetings, open to the public. Improved police officer communication skills with residents. Improved traffic and cell phone enforcement. More efficient and rapid police response to calls for service. Improved domestic violence response and follow up. Youth mentorship program.

 Age: 56  Political party: Democrat  Why do you feel you’re more qualified to be sheriff than your competitors? As a sheriff, one should be invested in the community. Having the experience (30 plus years in the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office), knowledge, and cultural makeup of the community is essential to being an effective leader. Based upon that notion alone, I am best qualified to run the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office in this era.  If elected, how would you change things in a way residents might notice? In short, deputies would be visible in the community. We have to get our community partnership back in motion with the community we serve. And in order to do this, we have to improve the deputies’ morale, remove politics from promotions and replace with merit and performance.

 Age: 60  Political party: Republican  Why do you feel you’re more qualified to be sheriff than your competitors? 40 years Florida law enforcement and business experience. As Orange County undersheriff, commanded 2,000 employees and $120 million budget. Served as Flagler County undersheriff. Graduated FBI National Academy; certified in Homeland Security. Master's in justice administration. Received Medal of Valor and Governor's Medal of Heroism after being shot saving the life of a fellow deputy. Committed to community: past president of Flagler County Rotary Club and Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida, member Elks and Flagler Beach United Methodist Church. Successful business owner based in Palm Coast: 128 employees, $3.5 million annual revenue (sold in 2012 to a national company). Recognized by American Board of Law Enforcement Experts in leadership and operations. Endorsed by the founder of the National Institute of Ethics, police chiefs and all nearby sheriffs. Endorsed by Flagler deputies, support staff.  If elected, how would you change things in a way residents might notice? Flagler County has three distinct communities: beachside, Palm Coast and westside. I would create three districts responsible for delivering community-based police services.

DISAGREE Manfre’s command staff should remain in place to help provide continuity in the agency. Loyalty is one good reason to promote someone to a role of greater responsibility. A new deputy who makes a serious error in judgment deserves a second chance. As a leader, sometimes you have to make an example out of someone. The number of deputies needs to be increased, even if it means higher taxes. More money should be spent in an effort to hire deputies from minority groups. School resource officers provide an essential service, and more should be hired. The city of Palm Coast should contribute more money to support its additional deputies. Without supporting those additional deputies, the city of Palm Coast would still receive sufficient law enforcement support.

AGREE

DISAGREE

AGREE

DISAGREE

AGREE


ELECTION GUIDE 2016

PalmCoastObserver.com

Curtis Ceballos

Travis Hutson

Adam Morley

Paul Renner

 Age: 54  Political party: Democrat  Years living in the district: 18  Why do you feel you’re more qualified than your competitors? I know the residents of our district, I have worked very hard while assisting the community and serving on various boards and social clubs. I am a small-business owner with a technology startup that has inspired other entrepreneurs in the area. I have a 28-year marriage to my wife, and we have raised two great kids through our school district, and I understand every single point of my platform items.  If elected, how would you change things in a way residents might notice? I want to champion all issues with our environment and make sure that our beautiful area stays beautiful. I want to develop regional vocational schools where our tax dollars can be used effectively and not just going to national for-profit education. I will do everything in my power to attract clean technology careers, not jobs, to our area and help bring better private funding to develop our amazing entrepreneurs that already reside in our district.

 Age: 31  Political party: Republican  Years living in the district: 16  Why do you feel you’re more qualified than your competitors? I have served 2.5 years in the Florida House and 1.5 years as a Florida senator. I am a business-minded candidate that believes we can improve our economy by educating our workforce across all spectrums, including college and career. I have worked hard as your senator to make Flagler County relevant in the Legislature and will continue to do so if elected.  If elected, how would you change things in a way residents might notice? I will continue to push policies to create jobs for small businesses throughout the state. I want to restore local control to our school districts and incentivize them to work on all pathways to graduation, including college and career. We need more vocational schools so kids can be workforce ready. Lastly, this district took a direct hit with Hurricane Matthew, and it is important that we rebuild our roads and beaches. I will fight for every dollar I can to restore our environment.

 Age: 31  Political party: Democrat  Years living in the district: Born and raised here, so about 28 years (I spent a few years just over the district line and in the Everglades National Park).  Why do you feel you’re more qualified than your competitors? I am a product of this district, and I offer a more balanced and accurate representation of it than my opponent. I have started, owned, and operated small businesses in the district, and I serve on several nonprofit boards locally. My commitment to this community cannot be matched; my history and actions prove this.  If elected, how would you change things in a way residents might notice? Residents would notice real engagement from their state rep in the issues that affect their quality of life, not just someone that shows up for photo opps.

 Age: 49  Political party: Republican  Years living in the district: 2  Why do you feel you’re more qualified than your competitors? I was privileged to serve our country in the U.S. Navy, both on active duty and in the reserves. That service involved assignments in the U.S. and overseas and included two wartime deployments: in the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Desert Storm and, 20 years later, in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. During this time, I was proud to serve with the finest men and women I have ever known, who have a deep love of country, place service above self, and never quit until the mission is complete. They are my model for public service. After law school, I returned to public service as a prosecutor. Currently, I am a business attorney and partner in our firm, so I understand the challenges faced in running a business. I have served as the current state representative for District 24, where I advocated for principles important to our community. Leadership experience in the military, as a prosecutor, and in business will allow me to provide leadership for our community in Tallahassee.  If elected, how would you change things in a way residents might notice? I have served District 24 since April 2015. During that time, I have supported policies that promote economic growth, expand opportunities, and improve the quality of life for all Floridians. I have co-sponsored legislation that can lower the cost of health care, give greater control to patients and improve health care quality. We have reduced state taxes on our citizens, while also supporting record funding for education. Sen. Travis Hutson and I were able to secure needed state funds for the Malacompra Basin Water Quality Enhancement Project, Flagler’s Adults with Disabilities Program, and the Summerhaven River Restoration Project, among others.

DISAGREE

Cities should have more power to challenge counties if they want to provide ambulance services. It’s important to try to bring as much state money back to the district as possible. Local school districts should have more control to adjust their tax rates. Statewide, law enforcement officers should be able to give a civil citation for possession of marijuana.

INCUMBENT

INCUMBENT

DO YOU AGREE?

The state of Florida is doing a good job of protecting the environment.

5B

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016

State House 24

State Senate 7 As a voter, what do you think about the state of Flagler County? What do you want to see in the future? We asked the candidates to consider several statements and tell us how much they agree or disagree with the statements, on a scale of 1-10. A “1” means you completely disagree; a “10” means you completely agree. (Note: There is no truly neutral number. A “5” means you slightly disagree; a “6” means you slightly agree.) The statements are listed below. Take a minute to fill out your own reactions. How do your numbers compare to the candidates’ answers?

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AGREE

DISAGREE

AGREE

DISAGREE

AGREE

DISAGREE

AGREE


6B

ELECTION GUIDE 2016

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PalmCoastObserver.com

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016

County Commission 5 District 1

George E Hanns

Donald O’Brien

Jason DeLorenzo

Charles F. Ericksen Jr.

 Age: 69  Political party: Democrat  Why do you feel you’re more qualified than your competitors? 2 years Palm Coast Service District councilman and 24 years Flagler County Commissioner District 5. I have served in leadership roles while serving in the U.S. Army 1963-69, a residential building contractor since 1970. I have never in 24 years as a commissioner had to file a conflict of interest form prior to voting, as it is illegal to vote on an issue if there is any direct or indirect profit to be made. My eight endorsements by Flagler County professional organizations is something I am very proud of.  If elected, how would you change things in a way residents might notice? I will continue to find ways to improve the community and find solutions to difficult needs as they arise.  How would you work to improve the county’s relations with the city of Palm Coast? The county and city work better than most in Florida. I have high hopes that the new mayor and City Council will strive to resolve issues as they arise. I also believe we will interact and talk more at public meetings.

 Age: 56  Political party: Republican  Why do you feel you’re more qualified than your competitors? My tangible skill set includes 35 years in the financial services sector serving in positions of increasing responsibility including as chief financial officer of two community banks. For the last 10 years, I have been a smallbusiness owner. I earned an MBA, majoring in finance. I have served on many community, civic and nonprofit boards. My 27 years of community service has afforded me the opportunity to truly learn the community, interact with community and government leaders, and experience the diversity of Flagler County.  If elected, how would you change things in a way residents might notice? Citizen engagement. I believe engagement will come if you do it over multiple channels (social media, in-person, written, etc.) and on a consistent basis. I have been hearing from the county about their social media plans for two years now ... nothing. We are not on Twitter or Facebook. The county’s website is clunky at best. I will work to have Flagler County government active on all the social media sites. I plan to develop an e-newsletter that will provide updates on current projects, etc., and encourages feedback. I plan to continue to attend Neighborhood Watch meetings, conduct town halls and look for every opportunity to attend events and functions.  How would you work to improve the county’s relations with the city of Palm Coast? The root cause of strife is most likely egos, personal agendas and failure to remember the mission of the organization is always to serve the citizens. How we fix it: elected official leadership; communication; assigned attendance at respective meetings; senior management interaction; develop a plan of common or joint issues (mini strategic plan with actionable items) with input from stakeholders on both sides.

 Age: 45  Political party: Democrat  Why do you feel you’re more qualified than your competitors? I’ve spent the last 10 years 100% engaged in this community through my work and civic involvement. I’ve had the pleasure to serve on over a dozen boards or committees that shaped this beautiful place, including the Palm Coast City Council and Flagler County Futures Committee, and I have a strong understanding of governmental accounting. More importantly, I work in this community, own a business in this community, my retired mother lives in this community, and my wife and I are raising our child in this community. I understand the joys, needs and concerns of Flagler County citizens through my own day-to-day joys, needs and concerns.  If elected, how would you change things in a way residents might notice? I will be a proactive commissioner, bringing issues forward including emergency communications, economic diversification and strategic planning and budgeting.  How would you work to improve the county’s relations with the city of Palm Coast? First, I will ask my new colleagues to agree to a joint meeting with the city. I have served the 80,000 plus residents of Palm Coast for the last five years. I know the issues facing Palm Coast, and I will use that knowledge to communicate those concerns with my fellow commissioners. I will also rely on the relationships I have built at the city to communicate the concerns of the county so we can solve issues and act like a community again.

 Age: 73  Political party: Republican  Why do you feel you’re more qualified than your competitors? 1. Have been in position four years. 2. I am retired; this job requires full-time attention with on the job responsibilities. I presently chair two committees, and spend time with Drug Court, Disadvantaged Transportation and Housing, Carver Gym activities and Homelessness programs and more. I work a 40-hour week and more, with events in the county. 3. I talk and listen to residents, getting their input.  If elected, how would you change things in a way residents might notice? Change continues to be the buzz word, yet to make changes just to make changes is wasteful. We will need to control/manage the growth coming, and it’s coming. Plan on infrastructure changes, get the water system in Plantation Bay resolved, build new library, make a decision on a senior center (Is it a city or county responsibility? To what extend do we go for activities?) Make a decision on MJ ... Get closer to the voters by better communication. Residents are too suspicious of what’s happening but do nothing to help change it. Improved bus availablity (but it would be expensive with no funding).  How would you work to improve the county’s relations with the city of Palm Coast? New Mayor Milissa Holland will help this, along with meetings of both entities together. Right now, the biggest problem is one saying this, and the other saying that. Real questions on truthfulness. Right now, there is still BS going on. Elected officials have to decide and tell their manager/ administrator that this problem has existed too long, with no plan to make it change.

DISAGREE

The County Commission was justified in raising taxes this year. The County Commission made the right decision to approve fluoride in the water. Additional sheriff’s deputies need to be hired in the next 12 months, even if it means higher taxes. To help with retainment, Fire Rescue employees should be paid more, even if it means higher taxes. Law enforcement officers should be able to give a civil citation for someone caught with marijuana.

INCUMBENT

As a voter, what do you think about the state of Flagler County? What do you want to see in the future? We asked the candidates to consider several statements and tell us how much they agree or disagree with the statements, on a scale of 1-10. A “1” means you completely disagree; a “10” means you completely agree. (Note: There is no truly neutral number. A “5” means you slightly disagree; a “6” means you slightly agree.) The statements are listed below. Take a minute to fill out your own reactions. How do your numbers compare to the candidates’ answers?

INCUMBENT

DO YOU AGREE?

AGREE

DISAGREE

AGREE

DISAGREE

AGREE

DISAGREE

AGREE


ELECTION GUIDE 2016

PalmCoastObserver.com

District 3

 Age: 64  Political party: Democrat  Why do you feel you’re more qualified than your competitors? I am more qualified than my opponent because I have spent eight years learning the job, and I am still learning. Those are years of value to our citizens. I am one of the most active and dedicated of the sitting commissioners. I have chaired or served on the most committees for the county, carrying a tremendous load. I have the knowledge and tools to continue to expand (where needed) our services to citizens, but do it with a heavy hand on costs to taxpayers.  If elected, how would you change things in a way residents might notice? I intend to see through several large capital projects, such as the southern county library, our communications system, beach renourishment, Ag museum collaborative development, and continued road and bike path projects. Keeping in mind many or most of these will develop via grants or a variety of state taxes. Whenever possible, not property taxes.  How would you work to improve the county’s relations with the city of Palm Coast? I am confident the newly elected City Council and mayor will have a goal of a renewed co-operative relationship with the county. I believe the same for Flagler County commissioners. Once they are educated on their city’s issues and our new commission has done the same, I would like to see a joint meeting with a specific agenda. Additionally, I feel each elected body should have a specific council member or commissioner that will take on a topic to work through with their fellow commissioners in the sister government entity. This will dedicate point persons to champion the issue and bring about consensus whenever possible.

DISAGREE

AGREE

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016

7B

City Council District 3 DO YOU AGREE?

INCUMBENT

Barbara S. Revels

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David C Sullivan

 Age: 74  Political party: Republican  Why do you feel you’re more qualified than your competitors? My education includes graduate degrees, as well as many qualifications requiring extensive testing while in the Navy and business. I was a director at both Hughes Electronics and Boeing Space and Communications corporations, handling multimillion defense and civilian contracts in an extremely competitive environment. Since coming to Flagler County, I have been actively involved in leadership positions: national director and executive board member of the 40,000-member U.S. Navy League, chairman of the Flagler County Republican Executive Committee and Flagler County State Republican Committeeman. I have stayed closely involved in Flagler County/ Palm Coast government affairs, completed both the county and city Citizens Academy course. As a homeowner for over 15 years, I understand what we face as taxpayers.  If elected, how would you change things in a way residents might notice? Time has a tendency to have currently elected officials serving in the same positions for many years grow distant from the regular citizens and become very dependent on the professional staff for most of the actual decisions they make. I think I can make this representation better than my opponent and this would be obvious to all if I am elected. I am a believer in term limits, and two four-year terms is more than enough.  How would you work to improve the county’s relations with the city of Palm Coast? Elected officials, not the county and city managers should be the public face to our citizens. Most of the time these differences should be resolved with meetings between the elected officials supported by appropriate staff and never reach public debate by nonelected officials in the newspaper or blogs.

DISAGREE

As a voter, what do you think about the state of Palm Coast? What do you want to see in the future? We asked the candidates to consider several statements and tell us how much they agree or disagree with the statements, on a scale of 1-10. A “1” means you completely disagree; a “10” means you completely agree. (Note: There is no truly neutral number. A “5” means you slightly disagree; a “6” means you slightly agree.) The statements are listed below. Take a minute to fill out your own reactions. How do your numbers compare to the candidates’ answers?

AGREE

Nick Klufas

 Age: 28  Why do you feel you’re more qualified than your competitors? My career requires that I have excellent critical thinking skills and work collaboratively with a team of developers and project managers. These skills directly translate to the position on our City Council. Not only do I bring diversity to our government, but I also offer an entirely new perspective as a development engineer working in the technology industry. I am a quick study, and I have a better understanding of our city’s utilities and public services: This is why the fire, police and public works departments have chosen to endorse me over my opponent.  If elected, how would you change things in a way residents might notice? Residents and businesses alike will notice a more “business friendly” Palm Coast. Realtors will notice an improved system in place for their “open house” signage, with a system similar to how garage sales are handled. This will allow Realtors to submit the address of the open house and be provided back an e-list of public right of ways in a five-mile vicinity where they may place their approved signage for 48 hours. Another noticeable change will be improved cell phone coverage. We can leverage Palm Coast’s already installed, fiber-optic infrastructure to deploy micro cell towers on top of lamp posts and street lights. We can then lease the towers to cell phone carriers. Cities around the country are currently implementing these solutions, which diversify their revenue streams, and increase the budget without raising taxes.  How would you work to improve the city’s relations with Flagler County? I currently work in a collaborative environment with very different people and personalities, so to me this is no different. I’m a first-time candidate, so I have no predisposition on current and former local officials. My goal is to move Palm Coast and Flagler County forward, together. DISAGREE

The city should relax its landscaping standards to give businesses more flexibility.

The city of Palm Coast should add fluoride to the water. The city should continue to spend money for additional deputies, even if it costs more money in the future. To help with retainment, Fire Department employees should be paid more, even if it means higher taxes. Law enforcement officers should be able to give a civil citation for someone caught with marijuana.

AGREE

Pam Richardson

 Age: 58  Why do you feel you’re more qualified than your competitors? I have been serving the community for the past 12 years: I have served on boards that are governmental, professional and charitable, bringing leadership experience to the legislative processes that are required to make informed, reasonable decisions. This experience includes serving as chair of the Palm Coast Code Enforcement Board, a founding member of the Women's Initiative for the United Way, and the board of directors for the Flagler County Association of Realtors and other community organizations. My experience and passion underscore the need for a common-sense approach to government. Being an entrepreneur has made me a strong advocate for the hard-working residents of Palm Coast. As a member of City Council, I will build partnerships and coalitions that ensure economic prosperity while maintaining the quality of life we have come to know and love. Experience matters!  If elected, how would you change things in a way residents might notice? I will work to ensure that decisions are fact-driven. My goal is to foster conservative spending by implementing zero-based budgeting, meaning we do not begin with last year’s numbers. We review and establish performance goals and objectives, making certain they are absolutely necessary, then appropriating the money. This is no different than what most families do at the kitchen table.  How would you work to improve the city’s relations with Flagler County? The city and county generally share the same basic goals. Mostly, projects and initiatives are completed cooperatively, with great success. However, sometimes the council and commission differ over methods, details or implementation. As long as the focus is on the issue and not personal, the decisions that result from the thorough examination of facts should benefit us all. DISAGREE

AGREE


8B

ELECTION GUIDE 2016

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PalmCoastObserver.com

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016

School Board District 5

Clerk of Courts

DO YOU AGREE? As a voter, what do you think about the state of Flagler Schools? What do you want to see in the future? We asked the candidates to consider several statements and tell us how much they agree or disagree with the statements, on a scale of 1-10. A “1” means you completely disagree; a “10” means you completely agree. (Note: There is no truly neutral number. A “5” means you slightly disagree; a “6” means you slightly agree.) The statements are listed below. Take a minute to fill out your own reactions. How do your numbers compare to the candidates’ answers?

Dr. Myra Middleton-Valentine  Age: 65  Why Do you feel more qualified than your opponent? I am the most qualified because of my education and experiences as a successful educator (PhD in education and over 40 years in public education at different levels).  If elected, how would you change things in a way residents might notice? There will be very little visible change initially because I need time to evaluate what's in place and talk with personnel. However, visibly, I hope there will be greater parent involvement and citizen attendance at School Board meetings. Less visible, but achieved, will be a decrease in the disparity of negative behavior consequences, increased graduation rates and overall higher student achievement. In the future, I hope we will develop more vocational-based programs for students who are not going to college.  Would you approve more funds to add school resource deputies in every school? Why or why not? Yes, I would approve funding to have at least one full-time resource officer in every school, with more at the high school level to help ensure the safety of students and staff, and to develop good communication between police and young people.

DISAGREE The length of the elementary and middle school day should be extended to give students more class time. If there were a referendum today, residents would likely vote for an additional tax to support Flagler Schools.

iPads and MacBooks are used effectively in Flagler Schools.

Flagler Schools are safe.

Teachers do a good job of communicating with parents.

AGREE

Maria P. Barbosa

Tom Bexley

Douglas Courtney

 Age: 53  Why Do you feel more qualified than your opponent? My background as an entrepreneur and business owner, along with working with children of all ages, brings a different perspective to the School Board. In addition, I have nine grandchildren. With a PhD in Christian counseling, I bring yet another dimension to my community service. My bilingual skills and background add a cultural diversity which helps me understand the struggles of students. As a member and officer of service organizations that make children their No. 1 priority, I believe that my service on the School Board will bring a voice to children and their parents. Teachers are also an important component of our schools, and I hope to make sure their concerns are represented.  If elected, how would you change things in a way residents might notice? I am visible in the schools now and would be even more so if elected. I will be accessible to students, parents and teachers. I also intend to advocate for our schools with local, county and state officials. I want our community and beyond to understand what our schools need. Working in Tallahassee will also be very important. Restoration of local control is very important to me and to the success of the district.  Would you approve more funds to add school resource deputies in every school? Why or why not? I do understand we do have children who refuse to follow school rules; however, many times deputies don’t need to use violence. I would like to see more as PAL officers in schools where they build relationships as mentors with children, families, teachers and their communities. By doing that, the children learn respect, and they know where to go if they are in problem. Do like to see those police officers been trained to work with children.

 Age: 45  Political party: Republican  Years living in Flagler County: Family presence in Flagler County since 1980. Resident since 2007 – nine years.  What will be your top three priorities in office? 1. Increase awareness about this office: what we do and the services we provide. 2. Continue to enhance information technology: streamline current processes and enhance online and mobile interfaces. 3. Complete the process of publishing all historic documents online.  Please give a relevant example of your past success as a manager. Over the past three years, we have watched our court budget shrink. In this time, I have crafted a strategy to enhance our operational plan. These enhancements include: not filling positions left vacant through attrition, adjustment of operational hours, extensive cross training and enhancements to technology. I fully embrace the idea that government is expected to do “more with less” and will continue to deliver the high level of service the residents of Flagler County have come to expect.  Please give a relevant example of your ability to pay close attention to detail. As chief operations officer for your clerk, it is my responsibility to work closely with our CFO as the watchdog of your county funds. Knowing there's an ever increasing use of mobile banking, we choose to use “positive pay.” It allows us to easily stop checks from being both electronically and manually deposited; to be certain that checks we write are only cashed for the amount written; and to know that checks we haven’t written are not cashed. I can't tell you how much this attention to detail has saved both the clerk and the county; that means you.  Please give a relevant example of your ability to handle a large budget. Your clerk and comptroller’s office is very unique; there are two separate and distinct budgets encompassing several million dollars in operational costs. One budget is for state court operations, and the other is for county operations. If this were not enough, your Clerk’s Office is constantly dealing with legislative law changes and related unfunded mandates. For the last seven years, I have led the charge to keep the clerk’s budgets balanced and have the experience, flexibility, leadership and skill to deal with budgetary constraints while providing the level or service that has come to be expected from your Clerk’s Office.

 Age: 62  Political party: Democrat  Years living in Flagler County: 19  What will be your top three priorities in office? 1. Online records security 2. Technology proficiencies in office processes and with office personnel 3. Review of current organizational structure and processes to determine if better, more efficient, and/or less costly methods can be implemented.  Please give a relevant example of your past success as a manager. As a member of the founding administration and the first city clerk of Palm Coast, I created from whole cloth the procedures and processes that formed the foundation for the city’s administration. This effort included the development of budget processes, bookkeeping, ordinance development, and asset transfers from the county to the city. Many of the processes are still in use today, and the current success of Palm Coast reflects on the success of the managerial efforts in the beginning.  Please give a relevant example of your ability to pay close attention to detail. Recent efforts by Flagler Schools to close the Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club to the general public hinged on the analysis done by the administration in reference to the club’s large deficit. A detailed review of the administration’s analysis of the club’s finances and member lists indicated errors and opportunities. Implementation of solutions, with the cooperation of the School Board and school administration, based on this new analysis eliminated the large deficit and kept the facility open to the general public.  Please give a relevant example of your ability to handle a large budget. Large budgets are relative to the organization. The first budget passed by the city of Palm Coast amounted to $25,000 and was set to extend for one month. At the time, this was a large budget. When I left the city administration, our budget was in the hundreds of thousands and included numerous employees and new departments. Even though the city went through multiple budgets and budget processes in the first six months, the audit for the first year concluded there were no errors. Prior to working with Palm Coast, I developed budgets for Beverly Beach and Marineland. Before working with government agencies, the private sector budgets I worked with ranged from half a million to $3 million. Each included numerous employees, interactions among multiple departments, and successful implementation to maximize profits and ensure continued employment.

DISAGREE

AGREE

Election Guide 10 20 16  

You, Your Neighbors, Your Neihgborhood

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