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Interim City Council Seat Draws Eight Applicants

Clockwise from upper left: Perry Mitrano, Hung Hilton, John Fanelli, Bob Coffman, Carl Jones, and Antonio Amaral. Not pictured: Larry Gross and William Schrieber. All photos courtesy of applicants' Facebook accounts, with the exception of Jones' photo which is courtesy of Stephen Helfrich.
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PALM COAST – The Palm Coast city government has released the eight applicants to serve the interim term in the City Council’s second district seat. The seat opened up with the sudden resignation of Victor Barbosa, and the appointment process is outlined in the City Charter. The eight individuals are as follows:

  • Antonio Amaral Jr.
  • Bob Coffman
  • John Fanelli
  • Hung Hilton
  • Carl Jones
  • Perry Mitrano
  • Larry Gross
  • William Schreiber

The candidates will be interviewed and appointed by the City Council at a meeting this coming Tuesday, March 22nd. The candidates were asked to only apply if they did not intend to run for a full term in the November election. That race currently only has two candidates: Alan Lowe, and Sims Jones, both staples of City Council meetings who’ve ran for a Council or Mayor seat multiple times before.

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The eight candidates, listed in alphabetical order with a few resume highlights, are as follows:

Antonio Amaral Jr. submitted a one-page application to the Council, most of it comprising of his letter of interest. His resume mentions:

  • Graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona State College
  • Lifetime board member of Flagler Homebuilders Association
  • Real estate broker

Bob Coffman has vied for a seat in the local legislature before; he ran for this same City Council seat in 2020, finishing second to Victor Barbosa and ahead of now-Mayor David Alfin and Dennis McDonald. Coffman’s resume mentions:

  • Graduate of the University of Denver
  • 21-year U.S. Air Force veteran
  • Aviation consultant, former American Airlines pilot

John Fanelli is a career educator with experience in both Flagler and Volusia schools. He has served as Principal at Buddy Taylor Middle School and Wadsworth Elementary School, as well as a teacher at Old Kings Elementary School. His resume mentions:

  • Graduate of Stetson University, University of Central Florida, Daytona Beach Community College
  • A reference from Jacob Oliva, and current Chancellor at Florida Department of Education and former Flagler Superintendent
  • 21-year educator

Hung Hilton is likely best-known to the politically active as a member of the Palm Coast Planning and Land Development Regulation Board, which also meets periodically in the City Hall chambers. His resume mentions:

  • Graduate of Western Governors University (B.S., Information Technology Management)
  • Former solutions architect, Gerber Life Insurance
  • Senior Principal Architect, Majesco

Carl Jones has also run for office, having gone against Janet McDonald in the 2018 School Board election. He remains active in the community with SURJ, otherwise known as Showing Up for Racial Justice. His resume mentions:

  • Graduate of Community College of the Air Force (Associates), American Military University (Bachelors), and University of Phoenix (Masters)
  • A director of the Purple Heart Foundation
  • 26-year U.S. Air Force veteran

Larry Gross is one of the lesser-known applicants, but posts a robust resume. It makes mention of:

  • Graduated from Maryland University (Associates)
  • Overcame a drug addiction in the 90’s
  • Received a reference from Tim Curtis, founder/CEO of Houligan’s

Perry Mitrano was the first applicant to the process, and is known for his run for the East Flagler Mosquito Control Board in 2020. Before that, Mitrano was the Director of Solid Waste at the City Bunnell, a post he held until retirement in 2019. His resume boasts:

  • 45-year business owner
  • Commissioner and Vice Chair of the Palm Coast Redistricting Board Appointment
  • Licensed auctioneer

William Schreiber is also a relative newcomer to the public political realm, but also posts a detailed resume with a myriad of accomplishments. They include:

  • Graduated from the University of Tampa (Bachelors) and Brevard Junior College (Associate)
  • 23 years of industrial experience
  • Former physics, calculus, and physical science teacher

Written By

Chris Gollon is a Flagler County resident since 2004, as well as a staple of the local independent music scene and avid observer of Central Florida politics, arts, and recreation.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Nick

    March 16, 2022 at 10:43 pm

    Nice job 👍 some good candidates too bad we can’t replace of them with this fine gentlemen

  2. Rebecca A

    March 17, 2022 at 9:44 am

    I am glad to see Barbosa stepped down but I think it is ludicrous to ask others to fill a position only if they don’t plan to run again in Nov. They should have every right to run again in Nov if they so choose and do a good job. If the council doesn’t want them to fill the position then they should be looking at the other 2 now and then let them run in the Nov elections to see what the people in the county want. Ballots at that point could and should be open to the potential candidates along with the 2 that the board seems to want on the council. This should be about what the residents of PC want not what the current council wants. Things are going backwards now not forwards!

  3. MAT Talley

    March 24, 2022 at 9:36 am

    We have more than enough “connections” to the home builders populating county/city government. We don’t need another, thank you very much.

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