July 13, 2022 – All five Flagler County commissioners have achieved an “advanced” designation from the Institute for County Government (ICG) during the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) conference held late in June. Commissioner Donald O’Brien was elected to serve on the FAC Board of Directors. Chair Joe Mullins continues to serve on the FAC Federal Policy Committee and the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Policy Committee.

Andy Dance, the newest member of the Board of County Commissioners, earned the Advanced County Commissioner Level I. Mullins, Vice Chair Greg Hansen, and Dave Sullivan each earned the Advanced County Commissioner Level II. O’Brien earned his Level II during last year’s conference. There are a mere 41 graduates of the Level II program.

“As the highest designation offered by ICG, commissioners are challenged to confront the most intricate and complex issues that face Florida,” said Eric Poole, the Institute for County Government’s Executive Director. “These commissioners who volunteer to dedicate time and energy into earning this designation exemplify the quality of leaders we have on a local level in Florida.”

The Advanced County Commissioner Level I educational program – consisting of three two-day seminars and 27 hours of total coursework – focuses on leadership development with an emphasis on the future of Florida and is a follow up to the Certified County Commissioners. Since the program was launched in 2006, a total of 285 commissioners have earned this designation.

“This program brings together commissioners who are committed to facing Florida’s greatest challenges and allows them to collaborate and grow as they learn new strategies, which they may use to better their communities,” Poole added.

Both advanced level programs are made possible through a Florida Association of Counties partnership with the University of Florida/IFAS Extension. The Florida Association of Counties, founded in 1929, represents the diverse interests of Florida’s counties, emphasizing the importance of protecting home rule – the concept that communities and their local leaders should make the decisions that impact their community.

“The FAC is important to each and every county,” said Commissioner Dave Sullivan. “The organization ensures that the really big issues – the ones that affect all county governments – are handled appropriately. They help us serve our residents better through advocacy and fostering collaboration.”

O’Brien will play a key role in overseeing the association’s efforts and initiatives during his two-year term of office.

“As an elected member of the Board of Directors, a commissioner must be committed to representing the local interests and be willing to speak up for their communities,” said FAC Executive Director Ginger Delegal. “Commissioner O’Brien has demonstrated these qualities and been carefully selected by fellow commissioners to take on this position. I am confident he will excel on the Board of Directors and lead with grace and skillfulness.”

Media Release: Flagler County. Julie Murphy, MPIO