Palm Coast city councilman Ed Danko defended his usage of a Trump-themed mask on his personal Facebook page Thursday afternoon. According to Danko, he’d received an email from a constituent imploring him to reconsider his usage of the political mask. Danko went on to post the full reply he sent to the Palm Coast resident, which read:
“Today I received an email from a resident complaining about me wearing a Trump mask at City Council meetings and telling me to be non-partisan. I am sharing my response to that person below:I’d like to correct a few misconceptions here.The city council is not a non-partisan body. Elected members of the council can and do belong to political parties. In fact, presently all current members are registered Republicans.However, elections to the council are conducted as non-partisan elections, which simply means that party affiliation is not attached to the candidates on the ballots or on campaign signs. So, when you cast your ballot you will not see an “R” or “D” in front of a city candidate’s name, nor will you see Republican or Democrat on a candidate’s yard sign.I am a registered Republican. I am a lifelong Republican and proud of it. I am also Vice-President of the Flagler Trump Club and proud of that too. I support President Trump and I will work for his re-election in 2024, should he decide to run again.I was endorsed by the Flagler Republican Party. My opponent, who is a Democrat, was endorsed by the Flagler Democratic Party. Both parties campaigned for their candidates.Over 60% of the voters elected me because of my Republican conservative values and positions, which includes Trump values, such as less government interference, free enterprise and lower taxes.Elections have consequences. Florida is still a “Red” state and the same goes for Flagler and Palm Coast.Finally, we have freedom of speech. Wearing my Trump mask is protected by that freedom. If my Democratic opponent had won instead of me and wore a Biden mask to council, be assured I would be the first person to stand up and defend his right to do that. This is an American freedom. It is the freedom I defended while serving in the United States Navy and the freedom I still defend today serving in the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary.I will continue to wear my Trump mask.”
January 23, 2021 at 1:23 pm
It’s worth noting that this was Danko’s very first day on the job. And during his debut as a newly elected Councilman, he chose to show up sporting a partisan political mask intentionally telegraphing his political leanings for all to see… and did so, not only on his first day, but also in the midst of a hyperintense national political controversy dividing our country.
In Palm Coast city council elections, the ballot doesn’t list the party affiliations of the candidates in part for the important reason that once elected, if you don’t leave those affiliations at the door, it’s counterproductive to the success of the council and of the community as a whole. Danko apparently is refusing to accept the role of the City Council as an inclusive nonpartisan entity that represents us all irrespective of political leanings… and sadly it appears that he is setting the stage for a discordant and controversial future on the council.
Our community has experienced this kind of unfortunate and unwelcome divisive behavior for the last several years from Commissioner Joe Mullins. We don’t need more.