What was the catalyst for bringing forward a pay raise for Palm Coast City Council members?
This is about managing, planning for and protecting the future of Palm Coast with diverse, qualified leaders who have a smart management growth mentality.
How do you see this increase enhancing the quality of candidates who are willing to serve?
I believe that raising salaries would expand our pool of competent applicants, giving us a City Council we expect, need, and deserve. We should appeal to people who can afford to give us their time and talent — not only because they believe in service to their community, but also because they are suitably remunerated, based on their commitment and responsibility. We deserve a City Council that represents the demographics and diversity of our community, and one that can relate to and have an understanding of all of the citizens in our great city.
While presented as a part-time job, being an elected official is really a full-time obligation. How does the increase more accurately reflect the time commitment and responsibilities of council members?
Palm Coast City Council members do not receive pensions, cost of living increases, health care or other service benefits like those received by county commissioners or School Board members. Monthly workshops and business meetings, agenda analysis, City manager meetings, facility visits, public and municipal public appearances, and attendance at monthly appointed committee meetings in itself is a full-time job. Council members offering their full share of skill, care, and diligence invest more than a full-time effort to the job.
As Palm Coast becomes more metropolitan, are there other opportunities on your radar to bring the city up to par with similar communities across the nation? If so, can you share?
Palm Coast is building a brand as a regional destination for health care services training. In addition to nursing programs, Palm Coast will offer a variety of well-paying and necessary health care specialties that fulfill regional health care job requirements. The Palm Coast brand attracts young professionally minded job seekers to train and enjoy the amenity rich lifestyle of Palm Coast. Additionally, our high level education institutions are a magnet for research labs, pharmaceutical companies, and other businesses that enjoy close proximity to education and hospitals. Palm Coast is developing into a unique and unrivaled location destined to make a significant impact on Florida’s regional economy.
Do you think the increase makes public service more attractive for the next generation to get involved?
My business career spans nearly 50 years across 62 countries. The laws of supply and demand support the theory that hiring employees possessing valuable credentials are scarce and more demanded. Their employment is usually dependent on market or better compensation being offered.