2022 Primary Election: City of Palm Coast, District 2 Candidate Comparison

The Palm Coast-Flagler Regional Chamber of Commerce proudly offers the following side-by-side comparison of the candidates running for Palm Coast City Council (District 2) during the August 2022 Primary Election season. Below you will find the answers provided to the Palm Coast-Flagler Regional Chamber of Commerce directly from the candidates running for the Palm Coast City Council District 2 seat.

Basic Information

Palm Coast City Council District 2 is being contested by 4 candidates, none of which are the incumbent. Candidates include (as appearing on the ballot):

Theresa Carli Pontieri

Sims Jones

Shauna Kanter

Alan Lowe

Your Background (3 Focus Areas)

Question #1: Please summarize your education and work history, including certifications, professional designations and licenses.

Theresa Carli Pontieri:

I have been an attorney for nearly 7 years and currently practice in the area of business litigation law. I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies and a minor in sports law. I acquired my Juris Doctorate from Florida Coastal School of Law, where I subsequently coached the Mock Trial Team and taught as an adjunct professor in the area of motion practice and litigation.

I owned my own law firm here in Palm Coast prior to joining the firm of Jimerson Birr, where I am now a Senior Associate. I am licensed in the Middle District of Florida to practice in Federal Court and litigate on a weekly basis in several counties in Northeast and Central Florida.

I also own a separate tourism business with my husband, which we opened in February of 2020, and keeping it afloat through COVID was one of the toughest challenges either of us has faced. We managed to stay in business and are now watching it start to take off. Delayed gratification is something neither of us is afraid of, and we’re finally feeling that with this company.

Sims Jones: FAILED TO RESPOND

Shauna Kanter:

I have a Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management.  I obtained that degree while supporting the Palm Coast location of Daytona State College.  I have been a small-business owner/instructor of a fitness franchise for adults and children.  Focusing on living a healthy lifestyle, I transitioned into a position in nutrition services at the hospital for patients during their inpatient stay, as well as working in the emergency department at Advent Health, Palm Coast location.  I maintain a certification in psychological first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to help the community in the event of a disaster.  I am also a Flagler County Volunteer.

Alan Lowe:

I study at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and majored in Electrical Engineering and minored

In Mechanical Engineering. Life circumstances did not let me finish. I have had a pool contractors license and am a Scuba Instructor. I am a 39 years resident of Palm Coast with 35 of those years as a local small business owner and 33 years living in district 2 that I will to represent. I have two US Patents in my name, one in marine biology and one in mechanics.

Question #2: What experience do you believe uniquely qualifies you to be a Palm Coast City Council member?

Theresa Carli Pontieri:

My skill set as an attorney—specializing in the area of business law—requires me to write and interpret contracts, understand and litigate under Florida Statutes and municipal code, and represent the legal needs and rights of others. I am required to be strong and steadfast in my positions, while at the same time engaging in compromise when necessary and/or when it’s in the best interest of my client. All day, everyday, it’s necessary that I have the foresight to anticipate the future needs of clients while attempting to solve their current issues.

I also compare operating the City to operating a business. It requires the ability to properly manage finances, people, and diverse needs and interests, while at the same time ensuring the business itself thrives, grows, and generates benefits to its owners, employees, and customers/clients. Operating a city is markedly similar: we must be fiscally responsible, manage staff and one another appropriately, consider the diverse interests and needs of our citizens, and ensure that every decision we make is in an effort to generate a net benefit to our community.

Sims Jones: FAILED TO RESPOND

Shauna Kanter:

I remember looking out at the water, the first time I saw Flagler Beach and I thought to myself, this is where I want to live forever.   As an eleven-year resident and as a community service member of this community I know what a “gem” of a town that we live in and I am dedicated to keeping it that way, in any way I can help.  I love the city I live in.  With a background of dedication and commitment to everything I do, I will fully commit and dedicate myself to this job.  I will use sound judgment and integrity while committing myself to the policies, goals, projects, community growth and finances of this great city.

Alan Lowe:

As a 39 year resident and 35 year Local business owner, I have an understanding of our city’s past and present as such I know what has and hasn’t worked and that gives me a unique ability to make positive decisions as we grow as a community. Over the past few years, I have personally attended the majority of city council meetings not just as a candidate but as a concerned citizen and that gives me an understanding of how council, city manager and staff  work and interact. I have spoken with thousands of residents and on numerous occasions have brought their voice to the podium in city hall. As such, I am the only candidate that has continuously participated. This combination of local involvement has prepared me with an understanding of resident needs and the workings of council so that I am the best qualified to make an easy transition.  

Question #3: Please list any charity work, board experience and other community engagement you believe is important for voters to know about.

Theresa Carli Pontieri:

Through our company, my husband and I give back to at least one charity each month, and we are currently “donated out” through September of this year. Even through COVID, we continued this dedication to donate. Additionally, I commit to doing pro bono legal work every year.

Sims Jones: FAILED TO RESPOND

Shauna Kanter:

Serving Palm Coast as a Flagler County Volunteer for nine years, I spent most of that time volunteering as a reading mentor for students prekindergarten to sixth grade in the public schools.  Concerned for my community’s mental health I became certified in psychological first aid during the pandemic due to the drastic increase of anxiety and depression in adults and children.  Currently I have been concerned for the people in our community that are struggling to feed themselves and their families.  I have been volunteering for the “Incredibly Kind” 100% volunteer supported non-profit Grace Community Food Pantry that supplies food to families in need on a weekly basis.

Alan Lowe:

During the time of of hurricane Maria, I organized a group of residents, started some fund raising and put together 115,000 meals, personal items and medical supplies then shipped them to the Commonwealth of Dominica. Locally, for the past couple years I have hosted a Christmas market and tree lighting event donating all toys and proceeds to local charities. I am on the board of directors for the Flagler Open Arms Recovery Services, a supporting member of the Flagler Drug Court, and an associate member of the Fraternal Order of Police, 

Positions Economic Development (2 Focus Areas)

Question #1: What is your assessment of the City of Palm Coast’s economic development efforts?

Theresa Carli Pontieri:

As our state and city has undergone an extreme amount of growth over the past two years, I think we have struggled to find that perfect balance of sufficient business, residential, and essential services. I am encouraged by what our future can hold, but in order to be successful, we have to take a very robust look at what is actually coming to Palm Coast in the form of large businesses, medical facilities, etc., and then ensure we have sufficient housing, schools, and public services to fulfill the needs those businesses will bring. This is the very definition of smart, managed growth, rather than overdevelopment. We have to ensure we are not operating in silos, but rather, and looking at Palm Coast’s landscape as a whole now, while anticipating the realistic needs of the future.

Sims Jones: FAILED TO RESPOND

Shauna Kanter:

It is my opinion that the economic development efforts of Palm Coast have been consistent and positive.

Alan Lowe:

Although the city has made some strides in economic development, there is a long way to go.

Question #2: If elected to the City Council, how would you approach economic development? Please share your economic development priorities.

Theresa Carli Pontieri:

My approach is two-prong: (1) Any development that is approved needs to provide a net benefit to the community; and (2) smart, managed growth in furtherance of the our Comprehensive Plan needs to be the focus. I would also like to put great emphasis on the way the City communicates its economic development plan and improve those communications to the community. We can certainly improve on communication between the city and the citizens on the overall comprehensive approach to the manner in which our city is growing. A lot of change is happening very quickly, and our citizens feel very much like they are being left out of the decision-making process. We must do a better job of communicating our intent and providing transparency to our decision-making. Therefore, I would like to implement quarterly town halls to give us the opportunity to engage the citizenry, hear their needs and wants, and communicate with them as to the direction we are going.

Sims Jones: FAILED TO RESPOND

Shauna Kanter:

I would like to focus on generating new jobs and generate most of those jobs from existing businesses.  The goal would be about “growing our own “creating a culture where business owners support each other.  We need to understand and support the needs of the businesses in our community.

Alan Lowe:

The business approval process (permitting and so forth) needs to be clear, concise and well defined to eliminate red tape delays. We also should be looking at diverse business opportunities such as manufacturing to be placed in our industrial park as that industry is not dependent upon the number of rooftops unlike retail that does depend on population. Manufacturing looks at supply chains and transportation. We have a railroad that runs through our industrial park, we are close to the Daytona international airport as well as Orlando and Jacksonvile. We have the puzzle pieces, we need to put them together.

Higher Education (2 Focus Areas)

Question #1: What is your assessment of the city’s recent efforts to strengthen higher education in Palm Coast?

Theresa Carli Pontieri:

I am encouraged by the city’s efforts to make Palm Coast somewhat of a medical training “hub,” and I would continue to strengthen those efforts. The medical field is not only a field that provides both financial security and job security, but specifically for Palm Coast—due to our aging population—we are going to have a continuing need for medical personnel. It’s wonderful that we are working to improve our ability to train and educate our young adults closer to home, so that they can grow professionally here and then hopefully stay in Palm Coast and raise their families here.

I’d like to see more attention and advocacy given towards technical colleges and trade schools for those same reasons.

Sims Jones: FAILED TO RESPOND

Shauna Kanter:

I support all education, Public, Private, Home School and Higher Education.

Alan Lowe:

If you are referring to the nursing and other medical college classes, these are great opportunities and can help to train local residents to work in our own hospitals and Dr. Offices.

Question #2: Would you continue to support Jacksonville University and the University of North Florida’s presence in Town Center?

Theresa Carli Pontieri:

I absolutely would continue to support this, as it has the potential to bring good-paying jobs, young professionals, and positive, managed growth. It also provides an avenue for our current high school students to stay in Palm Coast, while earning a good education. We should explore every opportunity for our youth to either stay in Palm Coast for their education or return to grow their professional careers after they’ve earned an education elsewhere. This will also bring high-level and high-service businesses and industries, which is a very important step in improving the city’s value.

Sims Jones: FAILED TO RESPOND

Shauna Kanter:

I support higher education.  

Alan Lowe:

The business approval process (permitting and so forth) needs to be clear, concise and well defined to eliminate red tape delays. We also should be looking at diverse business opportunities such as manufacturing to be placed in our industrial park as that industry is not dependent upon the number of rooftops unlike retail that does depend on population. Manufacturing looks at supply chains and transportation. We have a railroad that runs through our industrial park, we are close to the Daytona international airport as well as Orlando and Jacksonvile. We have the puzzle pieces, we need to put them together.

Positions on Taxes, Budgeting and Spending (3 Focus Areas)

Question #1: What is your assessment of the City of Palm Coast’s budget?

Theresa Carli Pontieri:

As a fiscal conservative, I am always looking for ways to further scrutinize the budget, as there’s always room for improvement. At all times, we need to ensure our public safety and education is sufficiently funded, and at this time, a special focus should be placed on ensuring all of our schools are adequately staffed and not over-crowded. I would like to see us take better advantage of grants and state monies for projects, and engage in smart private-public partnerships with high-value, performing contracts, therefore, accountability in ensuring we are doing those things will be a focus of mine.

Sims Jones: FAILED TO RESPOND

Shauna Kanter:

To maintain priorities such as citizen safety first, infrastructure, tax base and quality staff we must plan and budget for what we must have and need for the next year.  We all want a strong economy and the revenues to finance the things we would like to have in our community.  Strategic budgeting and spending is the key to success.

Alan Lowe:

Palm Coast is looking at a 1/4 of a Billion dollar budget. In this slow economy with hyper inflation and high fuel prices, all things cost more and City operational costs are no exception. The city spends other people’s money gleamed from taxation and fees so it must do so conservatively, with transparency and with a clear plan. We as residents must make ends meet with our own budgets and in many cases are forced to make sacrifices to do so. The city has asked the various departments to be conscious of this. In the short term the departments should bring forth budget essentials for council to review and delay unnecessary expenditures to set a proactive example for the public.

Question #2: How would you describe your approach to adopting the upcoming city budget? Do you have any budget priorities that you would like to call attention to?

Theresa Carli Pontieri:

My budget priorities are public safety, sound infrastructure, and education. Public safety encompasses not only police and fire, but also things like ensuring we have a safe walking community. There are large, expensive infrastructure projects aimed at improving our roads and drainage that need to be addressed, and we need to be planning for several years in the future when we take into account what we are budgeting for each year. As a fiscal conservative, I do not advocate for raising taxes, and I’ll scrutinize each year’s budget with a fine-tooth comb to ensure we are not engaging in wasteful spending or entering into non-performing contracts.

Sims Jones: FAILED TO RESPOND

Shauna Kanter:

Stop spending, start saving.

Alan Lowe:

My approach to the budget would be to first go over the line items and make notes to approach staff for clarification and justification. I would then weigh my concerns on a balance of need vs want. When money is tight I will look at needs. When money flows freer, I will consider wants.

I would prioritize safety first (law enforcement, fire department and paramedic needs. I would then prioritize infrastructure, roads and swales.

Question #3: Please share your position on voting on a “roll-back” tax rate (no increase in property taxes), versus voting on a tax rate that may increase local property taxes.

Theresa Carli Pontieri:

As our population grows, so do our expenses. This is a factual trend. Our entire state is seeing exponential growth, so this is not something that is necessarily specific to Palm Coast. Our expenses are especially going to grow due to the need to increase personnel in law enforcement and in our fire department. Two of the most important things nearly all citizens focus on when determining where to live are the safety of the city and the quality of education. These two items also directly affect our property values. If we want to attract hard-working families, young professionals, and high-service businesses, we must prioritize our education system and public safety.

Additionally, we have large-scale infrastructure needs, such as improving the sustainability and safety of our roads, addressing our drainage issues, and finding an affordable solution to dredging our canals. I cannot not support a rollback at the expense of sacrificing these vital needs, as well as, other services that would inevitably have to be cut, just so that I can say, “I voted for a rollback.”

Sims Jones: FAILED TO RESPOND

Shauna Kanter:

I do not support a tax increase. 

Alan Lowe:

It has been said that 92% of our tax base is on the shoulders of residents with just 8% on business. This is how economic development can help offset the burden on homeowners. I have been approached by many people that have stated that they have been hit hard by drops in the stock market, raising inflation and fuel costs. This is putting many people into a position that a tax increase of even a few dollars may drive them to move elsewhere. The city is here for the residents and not the other way around. Therefore, I am in favor of a roll back now to help the residence and as we may never have the opportunity to do it again in the future.

Position on Being Business Friendly

Question: What is your assessment of the City of Palm Coast’s “Business Friendly” initiative?

Theresa Carli Pontieri:

I applaud the efforts of Palm Coast to initially engage with the business community and gather feedback as to what our business community feels would enhance our business development. Small businesses are the backbone to our country’s economy, and having strong small businesses translates to a strong sense of community. As a city, we should be continuing to look for ways to enhance the visibility and value of our small businesses and ensure we are staying consistent in those efforts and continue to implement business-friendly initiatives.

Sims Jones: FAILED TO RESPOND

Shauna Kanter:

I think collecting feedback from business owners to determine a level of service and trying to improve processes was a good start to understanding the needs of our local businesses. Suggestions for improvement and feedback are very important to the community.

Alan Lowe:

The city may have a “Business Friendly Initiative” but there are many business that don’t feel it is that friendly. I believe there is a communication and consistency issue. 

Businesses need to feel supported by the city and the city needs to make every effort to reduce red tape, streamline business permitting and other governmental needs to help businesses start and thrive. A strong and open line of communication is essential.

Position on Construction, Growth (4 Focus Areas)

Question #1: Please share your perspectives on the rate of growth and development-related topics in the City of Palm Coast?

Theresa Carli Pontieri:

We must engage in smart, managed growth based on the Comprehensive Plan, while keeping in mind our yearly Strategic Action Plan, which is highly focused on quality of life and preservation of the beauty of Palm Coast. The entire State of Florida is growing, Palm Coast included, therefore, we must ensure it’s growing in a manner that will benefit the city as a whole, brining with it business and companies that will provide good-paying jobs and high-level services. Smart, managed growth and overdevelopment are not synonymous, and we need to engage in the former, not the latter.

Sims Jones: FAILED TO RESPOND

Shauna Kanter:

I support business growth.

Alan Lowe:

The people of the city are concerned about growth outpacing infrastructure needs. I look at overdevelopment as a situation where development outpaces infrastructure maintenance and economic development. If this is in balance then we are growing at the right speed. Our shortfalls in the road maintenance budget requirements and public concerns points to us being out of balance. Again, the city needs to convey its position with better communication.

Question #2: Please share your perspectives on affordable/workforce housing and the role the Palm Coast City Council plays.

Thresa Carli Pontieri:

An appropriate amount of workforce housing is necessary in any community. As businesses around the country face labor shortages, we need to ensure our business community does not face plight due to those same shortages, simply because workers cannot afford to live in Palm Coast. Every worker that contributes to the successful operation of a business is vital, and they deserve to live and play in Palm Coast—not just service us and then be forced to live elsewhere. That being said, the amount of workforce housing should be based on a need, which should be based on the businesses we know are coming. In other words, we must look ahead and prepare for what we know is in fact coming and anticipate the need for workforce housing, rather than just building it to build it.

Sims Jones: FAILED TO RESPOND

Shauna Kanter:

I support growth and construction that boosts our local economy.  

Alan Lowe:

It is not governments place to tell people what type of home product to build. What is governments place is to set zoning for the different housing and commercial products and stick to that plan. With the west of Rt 1 opening up for even more development, I would work to develop a separate master plan and zoning in place for that area to accommodate houses that cost less. I would like to see the original plan for Town Center carried out in the new Western development area. A shopping district with a quaint downtown look with boutique shops on the first floor and apartments/condos above. This would reduce cost of travel for those that work in the building they live in. It would also create a destination area to promote economic growth. Obviously, good paying jobs elevates a person’s ability to afford housing. Zoning and planning with a separate master plan for this new area is how the city can play a role without dictating the product to be built. 

Question #3: Please share your perspectives on increasing residential density in a new development to preserve open space.

Thresa Carli Pontieri:

Open spaces are an important component to the overall health of any community, but they also need to be useful, accessible open spaces. Parks, recreational areas, and community spaces must be preserved, and we have to dedicate the proper resources to best utilize them and maintain them for the use of our citizens. Therefore, it’s necessary to conduct an analysis of where these open spaces are and do a cost-benefit examination of keeping that open space and reducing lot lines, rather than providing larger lots in specific developments. There must also be an analysis of other factors affected by smaller lots, such as traffic and safety implications, growth in schools, and the effect of values on properties.

Sims Jones: FAILED TO RESPOND

Shauna Kanter:

I would be interested in hearing more about “tiny home communities” instead of “affordable multifamily units”.  

Alan Lowe:

The only way increasing density is going to preserve open spaces is if there is a requirement for the developer to set aside some calculated ratio of “unimproved land to buildings” to preserve the open space as green space and/or the city needs to acquire land to keep as natural and preserve it. Simply increasing density without a preservation plan is not an answer in itself.

Question #4: Recently, the subject of a multi-family construction moratorium was debated by the Palm Coast City Council. What are your thoughts on multi-family construction, and do you believe a moratorium is appropriate?

Thresa Carli Pontieri:

I am not in favor of absolutes or extremes on either side of the spectrum, and a moratorium is both an extreme measure and an absolute. I was raised in a single-parent home and grew up in multi-family housing—both apartments and duplexes—therefore, I can attest to the difference in population and atmosphere in multi-family versus single-family communities. Multi-family housing is another necessary component of any community, as it services families like mine when I was growing up, as well as, college and graduate students, and young professionals starting off in their careers. The development of it should be based on actual need and still be congruent with the overall spirit of Palm Coast.

Sims Jones: FAILED TO RESPOND

Shauna Kanter:

I do not support multi-family construction at this time.  

Alan Lowe:

I have a strong concern with multi-family development where property is rezoned to accommodate it. If the zoning already exists then ok. The city should produce a map showing where high density housing is zoned and present it to realtors so the public is better informed. However, a moratorium is/was the wrong approach because it is a short term stopgap measure to a long term issue. A Long term solution is to amend our master plan with green space preservation requirements in all new development and actually stick to it. To reduce maintenance costs the green area could simply left as a wildlife habitat. The opportunity for other housing products lay west of Rt 1 where we have a blank canvas and a special master zoning plan can be put in place.

Public Safety

Question: Last year, the Palm Coast City Council voted to increase the number of deputies patrolling our neighborhoods. What are your perspectives on law enforcement efforts in Palm Coast?

Thresa Carli Pontieri:

As our population continues to grow, so will the need for law enforcement to ensure we do not see an increase in crime. The growing population, in addition to the increased prevalence of drugs our Sheriff’s office is seizing on a weekly basis, makes very clear that in order to continue enjoying the safety we currently enjoy in our city, we must continue to provide the resources and personnel needed. Safe cities also attract high-quality businesses. 

Sims Jones: FAILED TO RESPOND

Shauna Kanter:

I fully support the police and I look forward to an increase of deputies patrolling all neighborhoods, Thank You!

Alan Lowe:

Crime is down which means safety is up. Safety is a priority along with our fire department and paramedics. We must ensure law enforcement, fire department and paramedics have the personnel and equipment to stay ahead of the population increase. Fix after failure is not an option

Candidate Demeanor, Creating Consensus (2 Focus Areas)

Question #1: How would you describe your leadership/management style?

Theresa Carli Pontieri:

The first thing I do with any team is figure out what everyone’s strengths are and what their communication style is. I want to ensure I’m exploiting and allowing to shine the strengths of my team, while especially stepping up and assisting them where they may have weaknesses. I delegate for efficiency and good work product based on each person’s strengths. Effective communication is also vital to any high-performance team, as people react differently to certain communications. If we cannot communicate efficiently, we will not perform or produce at our maximum level. I am also a proponent of brainstorming and bouncing ideas around my teams, as it helps to drum up the good ideas, discard the bad ones, and spur thinking outside of the box. Pulling the maximum potential out of each team member is always my goal.

Sims Jones: FAILED TO RESPOND

Shauna Kanter:

I will be an effective leader and I understand my strengths and weaknesses.  I will not be manipulated.  I will utilize the help of others, be humble and focused on each decision.  

Alan Lowe:

In my work life I have had 40 employees under my leadership and all thrived at their jobs. I listened to issues and was fair but firm in my decisions. I am more than willing to negotiate to find a beneficial resolution and am willing to change my point of view if I see a better way.

Question #2: How would you handle disrespectful or disruptive behavior at City Council meetings?

Thresa Carli Pontieri:

When I’ve had to deal with disrespectful opposing counsel in court, I simply continue to conduct myself with respect, rather than allowing it to elicit equally inappropriate behavior. That being said, if the behavior is prohibiting the goals and objectives of the agenda from being achieved or is preventing respectful discourse and discussion from occurring on the important issues addressed on the dais, I would kindly remind my fellow council member of our purpose and the fact that they are not representing themselves, but their district and our city.

Sims Jones: FAILED TO RESPOND

Shauna Kanter:

I will let the officers handle any situation of that type.

Alan Lowe:

Disruptive behavior has no place at council meetings. If it is a member of the public then they will be asked to refrain or be escorted out of the building. The council should be held to a higher standard and disruptive or disrespectful behavior should be shut down immediately by the Mayor and the council person removed from the Dias if the behavior isn’t immediately calmed.

Position on FiberNet

Question: Please share your perspectives on the City of Palm Coast’s FiberNet initiative.

Theresa Carli Pontieri:

Access to a high speed broadband network is vital for the successful infrastructure, growth, and flourishing of a city, therefore, I applaud this initiative. This initiative has the ability to create a source of revenue that should benefit our local tax base, and it should encourage new businesses to choose Palm Coast to open in. Therefore, in addition to providing a vital tool for our citizens, our schools, and our current businesses, it will also have a positive impact on our economic development.

Sims Jones: FAILED TO RESPOND

Shauna Kanter:

No Comment.

Alan Lowe:

I think there are private companies that can better install, maintain and utilize fiber better than the city. I do not think the city should be in the business of competing with other businesses.

Position on Parks and Recreation

Question: Please share your thoughts on the City of Palm Coast’s Parks and Recreation offerings/department.

Theresa Carli Pontieri:

While I am encouraged by the latest renderings of the community and recreation center, we really need to ensure we are utilizing the spaces in the best manner possible and offering more activities for teenagers. I’d like to focus on a YMCA aquatics center that offers swimming lessons and classes for both children and our elderly population.

Sims Jones: FAILED TO RESPOND

Shauna Kanter:

I believe the parks and recreation department is doing a great job, I love our parks and I am a parent.  My children love our beautiful, safe parks and recreation options.  

Alan Lowe:

Our parks and trails are beautiful and well utilized. The parks and rec department has done a great job with that. We need to be sure to maintain what we have before adding more.

Position on Tax Base Diversity (2 Focus Areas)

Question #1: On a scale of 1-to-10, with one being “poor” and ten being “excellent,” how would you rank the diversity of Palm Coast’s tax base (commercial vs. residential)?

Theresa Carli Pontieri:

While I will not rate the tax base diversity on a scale of 1 to 10, I will unequivocally say we need to diversify the tax base more, so that less of a tax burden is put on our homeowners. We should be actively looking for opportunities to bring in good, large, high-quality businesses that will serve our community in the form of providing good-paying jobs, needed services or commodities that do not result in the duplication of businesses we already have, and diversify that tax base.

Sims Jones: FAILED TO RESPOND

Shauna Kanter:

This is a complex issue.  I would say 8.

Alan Lowe:

“4”

Question #2: What strategies would you implement, if elected, to address the diversity of Palm Coast’s tax base?

Thresa Carli Pontieri:

The first thing we need to do is take a robust look at our Comprehensive Plan to ensure it’s in line with our current goals and future needs for the community and our citizens. We need to be open to adjusting the Comprehensive Plan to account for the immense population growth our entire State has seen, and once we have engaged in that exercise, we can actively look for opportunities to diversify our tax base with businesses that enhance that Plan, fit into the overall atmosphere of Palm Coast, and provide a net benefit to the city.

Sims Jones: FAILED TO RESPOND

Shauna Kanter:

This is a complex issue and I look forward to working with the community and finding the best strategic plan in reference to tax base diversity if elected.  

Alan Lowe:

We should be looking at all aspects of commercial from retail to manufacturing to mom and pop shops and encouraging them to come to our city. We have areas already zoned for all types of business. We are perfectly located with beaches, canals, airports, railroads and everything needed to head hunt hood companies that pay above a living wage to relocate here.

Closing Thoughts

Theresa Carli Pontieri:

I come from a big Italian family and a long line of small business owners. Family businesses have been in my family for several decades. My mother, father, aunts, and uncles grew up serving pies in my grandfather’s pizzeria in Tampa, Florida. After leaving the Air Force, my father started a pest control company with one S-10 Chevy truck, built a fleet of service trucks, and sold his company to a national franchise. My single mother also ran her own employment company for several years while raising three kids. My husband and I are currently small business owners, and we manage and run our company ourselves. I know firsthand the time, finances, blood, sweat, and tears that come from owning and running your own business. I also understand and greatly appreciate the fulfillment of running a successful business, knowing you’re employing good people so that they can provide for their families, and taking pride in providing the community with a good service and product. We should do all we can to elevate our small business owners, encourage diverse businesses that our community needs and wants to choose Palm Coast to put stakes in the ground, and stay diligent in our efforts to providing resources and tools our businesses need to be successful and continue to flourish.

Sims Jones: FAILED TO RESPOND

Shauna Kanter:

Thank you, Palm Coast Flagler Regional Chamber’s Governmental Affairs Committee for this opportunity.

Alan Lowe:

N/A

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