David Alfin wins Palm Coast municipal election
David Alfin won the six-lane town hall race for the city of Palm Cost and will become the fourth mayor of Palm Coast.
Alfin, a real estate agent who has lived in Palm Coast for a decade, won 36.34% of the vote (6,891 votes) and was followed by Alan Lowe, who had 26.91% (5,102 votes) and Cornelia Downing Manfre, which had received 24.04%. (4,558 votes), all constituencies being reported at 8:10 pm on polling day.
Of the three remaining candidates, Doug Courtney got 8.88% of the vote, Kathy Austrino 2.85% and Carol Bacha 0.99%.
“The expectations that have been placed on my shoulders are rather heavy, both on the part of the supporters and the general public, but I feel full of energy and up to the challenge, and I can’t wait to do of this city the best city of the best county of the best state in which to live, ”Alfin said on Flagler Broadcasting’s WNZF radio shortly after the results were announced.“… We are now talking about building a city of Palm Coast for a long term future. It’s that transition, and that’s when City Council demands a collaborative effort to form consensus, unify and now reclaim the respect of the community of Palm Coast citizens. “
“City Council requires a collaborative effort to form consensus, unify and now regain the respect of the Palm Coast citizen community.”
– DAVID ALFIN
Speaking on the radio, former mayor Milissa Holland congratulated Alfin and said she was encouraged by the election results.
“This was the outcome I had certainly hoped for… and it shows me that our community was looking for a problem solver,” said Holland.
At its first meeting after taking the oath, on August 3, Alfin will be responsible for voting to establish the city’s provisional maximum property tax rate for the coming fiscal year. The provisional maximum is a rate set at the start of the city’s budget process as a cap: the council may ultimately set an actual rate lower than the provisional maximum, but cannot go higher.
Two council members – city councilors Nick Klufas and Eddie Branquinho, who have both backed Alfin – are in favor of setting the current property tax rate as the provisional maximum for the coming year, saying they could still reduce rate later if future budget meetings reveal it to be feasible. . But city councilor Ed Danko and Victor Barbosa – who had both backed Lowe – had offered to set the provisional maximum lower. Alfin has said he will keep the current rate at the maximum.
He is also expected to sever a potential link over whether the city should reverse an order banning most commercial vehicles from parking overnight in residential driveways. Alfin said he was not in favor of removing the ordinance, as voters appear to be divided 50-50 on the issue.
Although the mayoral race was non-partisan, both Alfin and Lowe are Republicans, while Manfre is Democrat. Alfin said he designed his campaign to attract Palm Coast residents regardless of their political affiliation or lack of it.
“The mayor of the city of Palm Coast is responsible for representing the whole community – every inhabitant of the city,” he said.
Alfin’s strategy contrasted with that employed by Lowe, who had described himself in campaign documents as “the conservative voice of the Tories.”
An examination of the distribution of votes by when and how they were cast shows that Alfin’s lead over Lowe was strongest in the category of postal voting: he obtained 3,784 postal ballots against 1,869 for Lowe. Cornelia Manfre obtained 3,173 postal votes. Election day results were much closer: Alfin had 1,169 votes to 1,157 for Lowe – while early voters were slightly in favor of Lowe, who received 2,076 early votes against 1,938 for Alfin.
Alfin has presented himself as a champion of collaboration and consensus. In addition to the endorsement of Klufas, Branquinho and former city councilor Bob Cuff, it has been endorsed by the local firefighters union, Palm Coast Professional Firefighters Local 4807; and law enforcement union Flagler County Coastal Florida PBA.
Alfin has served on numerous local boards and committees, including as chairman of the Flagler County Education Foundation and as a member of the Realtors Association and the County Value Assessment Board. He is a graduate of the Palm Coast and Flagler County Citizens’ Academies and the County Political Leadership Institute.
Previously, he ran in local elections in 2020, competing in a four-man race for the District 2 seat of the Palm Coast City Council, but losing to Victor Barbosa.
Of the 72,510 Palm Coast voters, 18,980, or 26.18 percent, voted in the non-partisan mayoral election.