2024 Palm Coast Mayoral Race: Candidate Mike Norris

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I had the opportunity to interview one of the 2024 Palm Coast Mayoral Candidates; Mike Norris.  Below you can read the questions I asked, and the answers he provided during this “Meet the Candidate” Interview.

Q: How long have you lived in this area?

A: ” July makes 17 years for my family.” He has raised two kids through the school systems here in Flagler county, one is already in college and the other is finishing high school at Matanzas now. His oldest son, Christian, is an Embry-Riddle and is a Navy Ensign working on becoming a Nuclear Submarine Officer. His younger son, Sean, will be a college attendee in the Fall at FSU.  Both graduated from Flagler County School District.

Q: What did you do for work? How does that qualify you for the office of Mayor?

A: Mr. Norris explained about his 24 year military background, 13 years as an enlisted, and 11 years as an officer. He has been to Iraq a few times of the years, and explained that the military brings out leadership skills. He explained how he and his wife, Tracy, are both retired from their careers and now run businesses in the area; Tracy runs a pet care business, and Mike runs a paint business. He also detailed his career after the military while he worked as a contractor for the government. He spent time doing anti-terrorism at the  Marine Corps Installations Pacific (MCIPAC) Headquarters and Support Battalion Camp Services Branch, MCB Camp Butler Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan , AP 96379-0557; and helped with the community work in that area; handling things like storm preparations as well as after storm clean up and repair; infrastructure, events and community engagement, including Comic Con and Jimmy Buffet concerts, which required major security due to close proximity to China. He states this background in government contracting as well as military service leaves him with experience, and certifications that would be very useful in the local government here and are very sought after.

Q: How are you currently involved in our community?

A: Mike Norris explained that his family volunteers with their church, food banks, and with the Flagler Republican Executive Committee, as well as helping out his neighbors both in his old neighborhood in the B section of Palm Coast as well as his new neighbors in the L section of Palm Coast.

Q: Why did you throw your hat in the race so early?

A: “Campaign season officially starts in May of this year, and I want to build a solid campaign.” Mike talked about how he wanted the time to get the 750+ petition signatures, instead of paying the $4,000 fee to run for the office of mayor. He wants to build a solid campaign and make himself known.

I followed up this question with this: Since the council has gotten a raise in salary and the city has grown so rapidly recently, should the charter be reviewed regarding the qualifications of offices/requirements etc?

A: Mike agreed that the charter should be reviewed, as many of the positions have very bare bones qualifications, and as the city grows it doesn’t hurt to at the very least look it over and see if changes to qualifications and requirements should be made.

Q: What is your platform you plan to run on?

A: in an answer to this Mike Norris gave a brief run down of his basic platform he is running on. As time goes on his platform will gain more details, policy standings etc., but his basic platform is “RAISE”; which stands for R – Revitalize Existing Infrastructure; A – Attract Industrial Growth and Employment Opportunities; I – Increase Public Safety and Security; S – Smart Growth and Expansion of Palm Coast; E – Empower the Commercial Development of its Town Center.

Q: How do you plan to handle the growth of Palm Coast?

A: Mike Norris talked about some mistakes he felt the past city council has made. He said the entire west side of US-1, that development, is a mistake. That west side of US-1, has access to the railroad system, access to the freeway, and to the county, and instead of putting industrial companies and potentially manufacturing plants there, they have put a residential community. He also brought up the 290 + town house/condos going near the Marina; he states that it should have been a destination resort, as that would have netted us a lot of jobs and revenue that we will now be missing out on.

Q: What is your stance on our property taxes?

A: Mike Norris is adament that we need industry to help offset the burden of taxes on the residents. He states that leaving the residents to shoulder the tax burden alone is not sustainable. He also brought up the issue of an amendment that will be going on the ballot to take the homestead rate from 3% to 2%, and he feels, like many others, that people will vote to lower their taxes, not raise them.  he said this bedroom community ideal is not a sustainable ideal, and we need to be working towards the future and looking to bring in some industry or manufacturing jobs to our area.

Q: The City of Palm Coast and Flagler County are currently working with Berry Dunn, on a 10 year master plan for our city and county parks, and for the first time, they are asking the public opinion on the issue. How do you fell about this POP program and are you on board with the idea? Will you stick to whatever the master plan is, even if you disagree with the public opinion?

A: Mike Norris agreed wholeheartedly. He said ” People should be heard, and it should be considered based on budget and ability” Feasible requests should be met if the budget allows, and asking the public what they would like to see added to their community is a great idea. He also said, ” People need results”, and those holding office should be compassionate and realistic about the plans for the community.

Q: Will you be on board with trying to be more transparent and make yourself available, not just to the press but to the general public as well?

A: “Yes, Town halls are a great idea, and my office is always open, unless it is a personal matter.” Mr. Norris went on to explain that he believes in total transparency and a 100% open door policy. He thinks that the idea of regular town halls, so citizens can talk to leaders about the issues important to them are a great idea.

Q: I followed the previous question with a question about the canals, the canal dredging has been an issue that many go back and forth on, and I wanted to get Mr. Norris’s stance on that issue. I brought up the fact that with all our utility fees, storm water fees, and taxes, that many felt the canal dredging should have been regularly maintained all along.

A: Mr. Norris said, ” I go fishing every Monday morning, and I have seen probably 15-20 different sailboats all get stuck on that sand bar that has shifted and shifted and shifted some more.” He acknowledges that it is an issue, and stated that this is a very expensive project that would drain the budget funds. He brought up that Palm Coast should have some of the best grant writers in the area on staff to be writing up grants in an effort to find the money outside of the budget to pay for big projects like canal dredging.  He said the main issue behind all of it is we need better leadership and we need to prioritize what the city needs most.

Q: What makes you stand out from your opponent?

A: “30 years in the military and as a government contractor, 2 advanced degrees and a diverse background”, Mr. Norris talked about how his experiences have given him the experience he needs to lead; he also stated that the people working under you need to believe in you. ” I am not part of the Good ol Boys’s Club either” Mr. Norris said.

Q: Do you feel wee balance the desires of the public with the needs of the city and the city staff? Please explain.

A: “I can’t say for certain, as I do not know many people who work for the city, I would need more information to make that assessment”, said Mr. Norris. He did say that we can always improve on efficiency and on working together.

Q: Do you feel the City of Palm Coast, the City of Bunnell, the City of Flagler Beach, the County Commission, the School Board, and the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office collaborate enough? Do you feel we can improve on our inter-community collaboration?

A: “We can always improve, and I will always value the most important stake holder most above all others, and as mayor that stake holder is Palm Coast City residents.” He did say that things need to be proportionate, and that if things are not proportionate, we need to negotiate better. We do have to work with all other local municipalities, but if he were to become mayor his most important stakeholders, he said, were Palm Coast residents.

Q: What are ways you fell the Community of Palm Coast can get involved and help support the needs of the city and staff? How do you feel about a community service board that helps coordinate community groups and residents who want to help donate time, money and other resources to upkeep our community, thereby taking some of the burden and workload off our city staff?

A: “I agree 100%, when the community is involved they are more invested.” said Mr. Norris. He said he was 100% on board with advisory committee’s and boards forming to help coordinate different things. He said you have older kids who need community service hours for school, and older residents who would love to be more invested in their communities.  He said community service projects like this are great for communities and he stated he was all for that happening here.

Mr. Norris has said that he welcomes future interviews and questions as the race for 2024 Palm Coast Mayor gets closer.

By Krys DeWind

Krys DeWind has been a Flagler County resident since 2016. She is active in her community and is always looking for ways to better it. She has a community first attitude which is one of the central founding ideals of the Flagler County Buzz.

One thought on “2024 Palm Coast Mayoral Race: Candidate Mike Norris

  • Mr. Norris would be a great Mayor, very well rounded with community programs as he worked for me (Camp Director Camp Foster, Okinawa) as my Anti-terrorism Officer, he was responsible to ensure 3 camps (Foster, Lester and Plaza) were in compliance with all USMC safety and encroachment directives for over 40,000 troops and families stationed at these facilities. He was highly involved with the revitalization and total upgrades to MCIPAC infrastructure because of degradation.

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