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Mayor Milissa Holland Outlines Strategy, Projects and Finances at April MOAA Meeting

5/1/2017

At the April 26 MOAA luncheon meeting, attendees had the opportunity to hear firsthand Palm Coast Mayor Milissa Holland’s busy agenda for the city, and to ask any burning questions they might have about the future of Palm Coast.

Following a brief mention of her past public service experience and the fact that her son is in the Air Force, Mayor Holland set for herself a three-part outline to cover during the presentation about the City of Palm Coast, i.e., 1) Who we are, 2) What we do, and 3) Our future.

Mayor Holland addressing MOAA members

Who We Are:  Mayor Holland began her presentation with a quick introduction of the Palm Coast City Council members, noting that three of the five members are newly-elected to the Council this year, including the Mayor herself. Quickly she explained that the years of careful planning and forward-thinking of prior members, as well as the experience of present members who are not new, have helped to make the transition to the present Council’s business agenda virtually seamless.

What We Do:  Services provided by the City of Palm Coast were discussed next. First up was the fact that over the past five years, the population of Palm Coast grew 14.8%, more than double the national growth rate. Dazzling listeners with numbers, the mayor cited the city’s maintenance of 541 miles of road, 9,000 traffic signs and signals, and 1,222 miles of swale, to name just a few. And she was quick—and proud—to add that Palm Coast has the lowest municipal tax burden in the State of Florida, with adequate emergency reserves in place.

Deservedly, Mayor Holland spoke of the award-winning financial reports and performance of Palm Coast, including its 15 years for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and 13 years of the GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, among others.

Mayor Holland credits long-term planning for much of the growth and prosperity in Palm Coast. The Prosperity 2021 long-range plan for the city focuses on maintaining neighborhoods, assisting businesses, and attracting investment in Palm Coast. So far, the focus has been rather successful, demonstrated through higher median sales prices for real estate, five years of increased building permit activity, higher employment, and five years of increased visitor spending in the city.

Speaking of spending…Mayor Holland unveiled the newest emblem or design that will, no doubt, be omnipresent throughout the city, with the words “Shop Local: it’s a Big Deal”. And according to her, it IS a big deal. Because all tax monies spent in Palm Coast go back into the Palm Coast economy. Those taxes help to maintain roads, traffic signals, park facilities, etc. Apologies to Las Vegas but, in essence, what is spent in Palm Coast stays there.

Our Future: The final section of Mayor Holland’s presentation concerned the status of several public projects recently completed or in progress, such as the traffic management system to improve traffic flow and the community center expansion and renovation, making it 300% larger than the old structure. She also cited several private projects including new gas stations, additional shops at the Shoppes of Palm Coast, and several senior living projects.

Mayor Holland entertained questions from the audience at her presentation’s conclusion. One question asked about special projects specifically to assist veterans in the community. According to Holland, nothing specific is on the horizon at this moment; however, she personally is attending the county Veteran’s Advisory Council (VAC) to be aware of and better understand Flagler County veterans’ needs and to collaborate and partner with the VAC on its efforts.