BUNNELL – Flagler County Commissioner Andy Dance has been appointed to the Chair position, with Commissioner Leann Pennington ascending to Vice Chair. The pair will hold their positions until this time next year, when Dance is up for re-election.
Dance was appointed unanimously by his colleagues, ascending to the Chair role from his previous position of Vice Chair. His new role marks the end of a contention Dance had with his fellow commissioners in the November 2021 Chair/Vice Chair selection process, in which Dance had unsuccessfully rallied for Vice Chair. The Commission instead chose Greg Hansen, whom Dance had instead wanted to be named Chair.
It’s customary for the County Commission to appoint a member to Vice Chair during their first term in office, and then promote them to Chair the year after. Dance will spend the final year of his first term as Chair, and now Pennington appears to be on the same track; if customs are maintained, she will become the Commission Chair from late 2024 to late 2025.
Dance will become the predominant voice of the Commission at meetings from now until the election, giving him a constant public outlet for his policy positions if nothing else. As of Friday, Dance has one election challenger: Fernando Melendez. This will mark Melendez’s second run for elected office, following an unsuccessful bid for the Palm Coast City Council in 2022. If tradition holds and Pennington is Chair after Dance, she will do so in her third year in office, and therefore not enjoy any potential advantage of being Chair in an election year.
Taking on the position of Chair will not be entirely unfamiliar for Dance, who also chaired the Flagler County School Board during his several terms there. Combining his service on the School Board and County Commission, Dance is the fourth longest-serving elected official in Flagler County, behind Bunnell Mayor Catherine Robinson, School Board member Colleen Conklin, and Flagler Beach City Commissioner Jane Mealy.