David Alfin, a horse enthusiast and real estate broker, is Palm Coast’s fourth mayor. He spoke with the Palm Coast Observer in August, saying that he feels “communication through the media is extremely important.”
Would you rather be riding a horse right now?
I love riding a horse. We have seven, but really only two are good rides. But it’s hot outside, so being on a horse would be a sweaty proposition.
How do you think your background in real estate will help you as mayor?
I’ve been a student of the comprehensive plan, the future land use map, and our zoning map. When I first moved to Palm Coast a decade ago, I choice to get a real estate license expressly for that purpose: so I could meet people and understand the lay of the land.
Did you always have it in mind to run for office?
When Tammy and I moved to Palm Coast, I did have it in my mind that I would do service work of some kind. If you add up all the things that people have done for you, you could never pay it all back, but I decided it was the time in my life to make that attempt — to give back. As far as I’m concerned, running for mayor is at the apex of that idea.
This is an oversimplification, but do you see your main job as mayor to preserve what we have, or to take the city in a new direction?
My role is to choose what’s best about Palm Coast and transition it to the unstoppable future of Palm Coast — quality of life being the theme.
We can’t stop growth. It’s coming. What we need to do is make sure that we protect those things that are most valuable to the largest number of residents and make sure they’re well planned for the future.
Why does it matter if people park a work truck in a driveway?
I’m not in favor of a driveway becoming additional advertising or a bulletin board.
If a brokerage decided they had 100 agents and they wanted some additional advertising, they could conceivably wrap 100 vehicles and have every one of those vehicles park in residential neighborhoods to promote their business. I’m not sure the residential neighborhoods should suffer with that.
I’m sympathetic to the commercial tradesmen who have no place to park their commercial vehicle in the evening. I would like to help them. So I think what I might suggest is that we increase the size of the magnetic signage. Meet somewhere in the middle.
You have said you want to start an Economic Development Council. What would that look like?
I’m interested in a public private partnership. I’m not sure government by itself is a strong enough economic driver. Private industry has a much larger incentive to bring in the type of businesses that would help their own businesses, a natural incentive. And also, most of the astute business people in the area understand that if you bring in the right businesses, it will lift everyone’s businesses.
I always fall back on MedNexus for that. It’s dream of mine to search for and court related business models to town enter. For example: small laboratories or research firms, or smaller pharmaceutical companies.
You said you stand with our law enforcement officers. But law enforcement is expensive. Is there a limit to how much the city should contribute to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office?
Of course there’s a limit; the limit is dictated by the budget. But I will say this: You can’t build a city, you can’t enjoy qualify of life, you can’t really run a government, until you know your citizens are safe.
What questions should we ask the mayor or other City Council members in our next Q+A? Email [email protected].