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AskFlagler Reader Poll: Do You Support the Proposed Raise for the Palm Coast City Council?

ⓒ Stephen Helfrich

Do You Support the Proposed Raise for the Palm Coast City Council?

  • Yes 
      (4.03%)
  • No 
      (95.97%)

Please vote one time. One vote is allowed from one email address. Please do not spam the poll with fake emails addresses, especially ones attacking people. Those votes will be removed. 

It’s the hotbed issue of the times in Palm Coast: does the City Council deserve a pay raise? Mayor David Aflin kickstarted the conversation in a March Council meeting where he proposed salaries jump from $9,600 to $44,700 a year, representing more than a quadrupling. His rationale: the increase would attract a more robust field of candidates, and the workload required to serve on the Council has increased substantially since the lower salary was decided upon.

Alfin earned the support of fellow Council members Nick Klufas, Ed Danko, and John Fanelli, all of whom voted for it on the ordinance’s first reading out of two. Councilman Eddie Branquinho was apart from his colleagues on the matter, but recently entertained the idea of a lesser raise: somewhere between $12,000 and $15,000 a year instead.

Some community members have expressed sharp disapproval of the raise, criticizing Alfin’s execution in breaching the idea (he brought it up in the Other Business section of the meeting, when many had gone home), as well as questioning the merits of it. Additionally, the results of a recent citizen survey show that 37% of residents have confidence in the city government.

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Palm Coast resident Mike Martin has become the de facto face of this opposition. He’s started a citizen petition to place the power to approve a Council raise in the hands of the voters via referendum, instead of with the Council as it is now.

So with this in mind, we’re asking Flagler County residents to share their opinion: should the City Council move forward with giving itself a raise? This poll is not intended to be used as part of the decision-making process for the City Council, but merely to engage citizens in one of the most important municipal issues of the current times.

Some other things to consider with this poll: it’s not conducted scientifically, which means the results are not meant to be a definite, quotable representation of Flagler County’s opinion of the matter as a whole. In other words, if 70% voted one way, it would not be accurate to claim this poll as evidence that 70% of Flagler County felt that way.

 

 

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Written By

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Don Wilburn

    April 14, 2022 at 2:18 pm

    The Council is undermining it’s Credibility & Trustworthiness with the people of Palm Coast by Raming this vote through with such a high percentage of disapproval. Mayor Alfin’s priorities have been suspicious already in his short tenure & even before his election. Klufas & Danko should simply know better than to approve this unpopular issue. To many people are highly disappointed & suspect of national government tactics and schemes. Now our own local government is being viewed with the same distain & sense of rejecting of the majority will of the voters…WHOM I MAY SAY THAT THEY SERVE!

    • Roberto Rivera

      May 25, 2022 at 8:59 pm

      I think they should get some sort of increase, but not what the Mayor has introduced. I would want to know what are there duties and how many hours do they work on avg on a bi-weekly or bi-monthly schedule. People need to see what they are paying for.

  2. Jerry

    April 14, 2022 at 2:21 pm

    Although they may deserve a small raise say in line with what was our COLA increase was not more. This is not the time to get an exuberant raise!!!!

  3. Marvin Allbritton

    April 14, 2022 at 2:40 pm

    I worked for a large city in florida and if the mayor of our city would have approved a raise like this, he would been fired. These city reps knew what their job paid when they were hired. If the money was not ok, then they should not have taken the job.

    • Cynthia Bielec

      April 14, 2022 at 9:03 pm

      Couldn’t have said it better Marvin. Who do they think they are? If their increases go through, we need to find a way to fire their sorry butts.

    • Dennis

      April 15, 2022 at 5:15 pm

      That’s the problem!! Everyone is unhappy with the present city council members. However, they are unable to make the connection between the present pay scale and the candidates this low paying full time job attracts. Perhaps if the pay scale would be in line with other executive office positions in the area it may attract higher quality candidates. Make no mistake, being a mayor or a city councilmen is a full time job. If our city officers dedicated only the time this position pays, there would be an outcry that our city officers are ignoring its constituents. For them it’s a loose loose situation, regardless what the council does they will be the recipients of the public’s ire.
      I support the pay increase, the timing may be a little off, as the pay raises should have kept pace with the growth of the city since it’s inception in 2000.
      I ran for the charter city council in 1999 and was defeated by an individual who has a park now named after him. I remember the questions that were posed to the candidates at various public forums were residents were given the opportunity to ask questions of each and every candidate. We were all asked this one question that I remember very clearly to this day. The question was regarding urban growth! “What are your feelings regarding the future development of the city?”
      Councilman Ralph Carter, my opponent for my district responded as follows: “ I am in favor of urban development, because every time my wife tells me we need office supplies I have to drive down to Daytona to get them, so yes I am in favor of urban growth and development.” This is not quite the response I would have expected or appreciated from a city council candidate as I felt then as I do now it was a short sighted answer, however he is the person the voters selected. Today we see in its full glory the short sightedness of him as well as almost every single person who have held a seat on the council, with only a very few who have had the ability to incision the future for this city. At present there is only one man serving on the council who fills that criterial, that man is Ed Danko, who I might as had been the recipient of a considerable degree of attacks. I would take his place for God or money.
      What I mean by that is as follows: rampant and disorganized growth, with high density housing cropping up everywhere in the city. No plan or effort being made to attract reasonably high paying jobs to the city capable of providing income for all the people who will inhabit all the new housing, in actuality it is being discouraged. Henceforth, we have massive expansion of fast food restaurants, numerous gas stations/convenience stores, discount stores like Dollar General, etc. etc. The recent relocation of a classic car parts distribution center was touted as a great accomplishment by the city, when at best it will employ 20 – 30 people. This is not the kind of growth I had envisioned for this city. Beyond that, we are still dependent on the County Sheriffs Department for law enforcement, which at best is doing only a fair job, and the cost of those services is growing continually. We have a scandal ridden government administration, as evidenced by the former mayors resignation and city manager under less than controversy free circumstances, and then we have the PC Maury list, a childish response to frustrated homeowners! Our city road system is deteriorating, with no apparent plan to address it. We also have a school system with rampant student on student violence, and two school board members who espouse socialistic/communist views. We have our division of storm water management which is the single department who has shown some little progress getting their act together. For the umteenth time the city council has voted down relaxation of city ordinances regarding commercial vehicles being parked overnight on residential property, (which is being unfairly/unevenly enforced). We now have a mayor who is in real estate business, who is using his position to enhance residential construction, which will ultimately enhance his business bottom line. Shall I continue with my very long list of errors being made by our city officers since the city’s incorporation. Furthermore, the projected population growth is expected to reach 500,000 by the year 2030, however no steps are being made to improve the traffic infrastructure of the main roadway systems in the city. All one needs to do is take a drive down Palm Coast Pkwy in the middle of any weekday to see that the present roadway system will be unable to support a 500% increase in the next 8 years without significant changes.
      As for me, there is no amount of money the city could offer me as a city council member to take on the challenges of the issues that will face this city in the short term. So frankly, I don’t understand why voters are in such an uproar over a long overdue pay raise for our city council. I’ve always said, “you get what you pay for.” In this city’s case we have what we paid for and there are people complaining about a pay raise. Stay at the present pay scale and watch and see what happens to this city over the next 8 years, as you will then have a justified reason to complain.

  4. America

    April 14, 2022 at 4:20 pm

    Not surprised at Alfin, the king of the money grab.

  5. Franklin Hudson

    April 14, 2022 at 4:30 pm

    Maybe a raise,but closer to inflation, like 10%

  6. Janet

    April 14, 2022 at 4:33 pm

    5.8% per Cola; 1-3% state employees; some no increase. 360%. Get real. We have a problem with our waste removal providers; roadmaintenance issues; swale issues; inflation; gas prices. We all would like a 360% raise. When you can figure out a way to do that for all residents…. Go for it. Now. Its greed. Please take citizens views into consideration. But? Who came up with this absurd idea.

    • TR

      April 14, 2022 at 10:20 pm

      The Mayor did in a back handed way too.

  7. Joan Taylor

    April 14, 2022 at 6:09 pm

    I wouldn’t mind them getting a cost of living raise but this is unreasonable

  8. Vincent A. Liguori

    April 14, 2022 at 7:57 pm

    The next city council meeting on this issue is April 19, 2022 at city hall-9am. Please attend and express your views during public participation.

    • TR

      April 17, 2022 at 7:44 am

      The problem with this meeting is there are a lot of people that would like to attend, but it’s at 9am when those same people have to be at work. I believe the council knows this and that’s why they have the meeting during working hours so a lot of the people that want to show up (like myself) can not.

  9. BC

    April 14, 2022 at 9:46 pm

    Having been a council person up North, I don’t agree with this increase everyone there knew what the salary was, you are there to represent the community and not add more tax burdens on the community. Having the United States just go through 2 years of heart-ship due to the corona virus, loss of jobs and many businesses just starting to come back this is an outrageous percentage/dollar amount to increase the Mayor and councils salaries. Maybe they should have place this question on a voting ballot to get a feel for the community.

  10. Kelly

    April 15, 2022 at 5:24 am

    I agree with Marvin they knew what the pay was before they started a raise may be in order but not the type of raise they want. They should be fired. Can they be fired? Notice they waited until most everyone had left before the issue was raised. Shame on them!! Something needs to be done and fast.

  11. Maggie

    April 15, 2022 at 6:32 am

    The question to answer is…
    Does mayor and council deserve a raise?
    The simple answer is, Yes.
    Does mayor and council deserve a 360% raise?
    Also a simple answer, No.
    Many might approve a 15-20% increase which would be $2400.00-$3000.00 a year
    more.
    As a registered nurse for over 30 years, the different companies I had the privilege to work, never…ever increased salaries more than 2-3% for excellent performance.
    The mayor and council could instill confidence, from the residents of Palm Coast, in their ability to perform their elected positions with a reasonable request put before the voters for a salary increase more in line with the real world.

  12. JanC

    April 15, 2022 at 8:32 am

    Giving themselves a 365% raise without the consent of their electorate? That’s a breach of their fiduciary duty! Even the King of England had to get the consent from his subjects before taking wood, horses or carts for his own use! (Magna Carta in 1215)

  13. Faye

    April 15, 2022 at 8:38 am

    I have two issues with this proposal. #1. It appears to have been attempted in a very disingenuous way, back door sneak attack. #2 The recommended percentage is completely ludicrous.

    This is another example of politicians forgetting why they agree to serve or at least why they say they want to serve and how they abuse the trust of the people who put them in office. Compensation should be fair, but the process by which it is determined and acquired should always be done with the utmost integrity.

  14. Marcia

    April 15, 2022 at 8:40 am

    I understand a raise but not that much. They should not had taken job in the first place. The Palm coast town has made so many costly mistakes. Fix the problems here before we grow more . No one thinking except for there own benefits

  15. Mike Martin

    April 16, 2022 at 2:26 pm

    Please sign the Charter Amendment Petition. You can download the Petition at charteramendment.com. There is information there, and if you scroll down to the bottom of the page you can download the Petition. Please mail it back to me, my address is on the Form, above the part you fill out. If we all come together we can stop this. The final vote is this coming Tuesday, at 9 am in City Hall. Please come if you can. The larger the crowd the more they will see a united citizenry against their money grab.

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