Palm Coast will have a $10,000 weekly city radio show hosted by Mayor Milissa Holland.
City Councilman Steve Nobile was the sole city council vote against the proposal at a council meeting March 7.
"I just don’t think it’s going to be effective," Nobile said. "I just don't want that use of money to affect things that would be effective."
The idea of the radio show stirred controversy. It was first revealed to the public when it was mentioned in passing by Flagler Broadcasting General Manager David Ayres on a live radio show Feb. 24, at which Holland was a guest.
News website FlaglerLive.com then ran a story on the proposal, revealing its cost and the fact that Landon had not brought the idea to the City Council before negotiating with Ayres.
City Council members expressed their frustration with Landon in a Feb. 28 workshop, with Nobile opposing the idea as a waste of money that gave an unfair platform to Holland at taxpayer expense, and council member Heidi Shipley expressing concerns about its value.
Landon said the proposed show would be an opportunity for the city to promote itself. It could be pre-recorded, he said, and would be a platform to showcase city events and issues, not for Holland to espouse opinions.
But he apologized for not bringing the issue to the council sooner, and agreed to have staff write an alternative proposal that could be brought before the council at the March 3 meeting.
The proposal revealed at the March 3 meeting replaced the proposed radio show hosted by Holland with a regular podcast hosted by city staff, plus $8,000 in radio advertising for city events.
"When our team huddled, we reevaluated if a radio show was indeed the best way to accomplish this strategy," a city staff memo on the podcast proposal states. "This alternative approach addresses this strategy, by using not only radio, but also multiple channels to maximize our reach and limited marketing dollars."
Nobile thought the podcast proposal could be effective.
But by the March 3 meeting, Shipley had changed her mind about the radio show.
"I was originally against it, but the more I think about what it can achieve — and we can always, after a year if we don’t like it, we can say it didn’t work," she said. "There are people who just listen to the radio, and might just get out and do one of the games, or one of the activities."
Council members Bob Cuff and Nick Klufas had favored the proposal during the previous workshop.
That left only Nobile in opposition.
So rather than voting on the staff proposal for the podcast, Councilman Bob Cuff made a motion to move forward with the radio show, with the caveat that it not be on Sunday morning, as a proposal from Flagler Broadcasting had listed it. City staff had intended that the originally proposed show air for half an hour each Saturday.
The motion passed 4-1, with Nobile dissenting.