Palm Coast, FL (May 19, 2021) As people gathered at events on Tuesday and the workday was winding down, the news of Palm Coast Mayor Milissa Holland’s resignation spread like wildfire across social media.

Those who’ve long been ready to see Holland go were quick to express their glee while those who have continued to champion the embattled mayor were shocked, expressing their support and appreciation for more than a decade of service to Flagler County.

Ambitious would-be politicians wasted little time announcing their intention to run, including Palm Coast resident Alan Lowe, who narrowly lost to Holland in 2020, and had already declared his bid for a seat on the Palm Coast City Council. Joining the race, Palm Coast resident David Alfin also threw his hat in the ring, as the remaining members of the Palm Coast City Council met Wednesday morning to address the next steps in the process of holding a special election.

While it’s been a contentious two and a half years for Holland and personal issues became public including the one that finally concluded her time as mayor of Palm Coast – the wellbeing of her daughter, long-term members of the Flagler County community recall the leadership Holland has shown over the years.

Holland is the last of the old guard. A group of leaders who guided with a steady hand, a community that during the Great Recession had the highest unemployment in the state and a housing market in a death spiral.

Not just as a two-time member of the Flagler County Board of Commissioners – one of only a few who have held that position, but as a philanthropist who used her visibility to help support causes vital to the everyday person in Flagler County.

When neighbors were in need, she spearheaded the efforts to Feed Flagler. Working with professional women in Flagler County, she helped create and support what is now Women United Flagler under the United Way banner. Not only serving as an organization that supported women in business during the tough times, these innovative women became known for their food drives as Chicks with Cans and their efforts to ensure families had food on their tables during one of the most challenging times Flagler County has experienced in decades.

From the independent arts community to the Flagler Auditorium, Family Life Center and Flagler Volunteer Services, Holland willingly lent her name and countless hours to nonprofits and charitable organizations who needed an emcee or guest speaker almost anytime she was asked over the years, all in support of seeing them be successful and continue to have the ability to serve the community.

She built relationships across the state that ensured Flagler County wasn’t forgotten in the lean years, and demonstrated a tenacity for long range planning that is bringing two of the state’s universities to Palm Coast – all while managing the healthcare of her gravely ill child, and serving Palm Coast.

You may not like her. You may celebrate her exit. But you cannot deny the work and progress she made on behalf of this community.