Kim Carney Talks Flagler County Issues as She Ramps Up Her Campaign For County Commission


Kim Carney, a local realtor and former City Commissioner for Flagler Beach is running for County Commission District 3. She sat down with us to discuss some of the big issues facing Flagler County and her thoughts regarding them. Below you can read the interview, our questions are in bold, with her answers following them.

Why run for Flagler County Commission and what would you say are some of the qualifications you have for the seat? I served Flagler Beach on the city commission from 2011 to 2020. In 2020 I put my name in for district three and I lost by 482 votes.  It was a Covid campaign if you would, so I didn’t get a complete campaign in, as so many of us were locked in our homes. My qualifications are basically that I served in government here in Flagler Beach for nine years, and I’m ready to get started, I know how government works. I have an accounting degree, I have an MDA, I’ve worked in public customer service, sales, and all that other stuff, so I work well with the general public.

What are the most pressing issues facing Flagler County in your opinion? My priority issues in Flagler include stormwater control and road. I will advocate for a stronger stormwater project or plan, I should say, to ensure that stormwater and roads remain a top priority in the county. Lower taxes, as a fiscal conservative Republican, I will fight to keep taxes low. And cut wasteful spending wherever I can, while remaining focused on the community project that protects our home and our quality of life. And the third one is growth and development. I support smart, controlled growth to protect our residents from executive excessive development. We should accommodate new housing while keeping the same look and feel in our community.

Taxes, many residents are concerned about the rise in their property taxes; how do you plan to combat that while still providing the necessary services the residents need? My biggest concern with the budget right now is the report that they give you. I’m only a citizen right now, I’m not a commissioner, so I can only get information that they provide to the county as a resident. I’m concerned that no line says variation. If you have a budget and you show where we are today versus where we were last year, I use that in my analytical mind to help me decide if that is a good expenditure or not. It seems weird, but it’s a line-by-line review. We did it in Flagler Beach, they continue to do it in Flagler Beach. I have no problem asking for a zero base budget from any department in the county because I believe that’s where the fat is. We balance the budget no matter which municipality you live in, by stealing from the reserves. And I’m going to call it stealing because there’s no need; you should be building your reserve, you shouldn’t be stealing from the reserve. So, my goal would be to stay at the right millage with the increase in residents every year. It doesn’t matter how many new people come in that pay taxes we still increase taxes, and it just doesn’t make sense to me, so I’ll be calling for a zero-based budget. I like to ask the department through the administrator to give me two budgets; one is the one you wish you had and the other one is a 10% rollback, and I hope I get it.

In regards to the pace of development including the cities, how do you plan to handle the influx of people to cities like Palm Coast regarding needs of emergency services, infrastructure, and other county services provided to all residents while still keeping taxes low? The County has planned for growth with the jail and Sheriff’s office.  Currently the EMS and infrastructure are in need of funding and expansion to handle the growth. There are ways to fund projects other than raising the ad valorem tax. After reviewing where the gaps are I will work with the administrator to plan for expansion and funding.  It all comes down to the priorities.  When you look at the strategic plan for the county; there are clear goals and objectives for infrastructure.  It will come down to appropriating the resources to meet the goals and objectives. To remain at the current or lower tax rate to accomplish the goals and objectives I would suggest reviewing all department’s budgets and ask for cuts in every department. Captial projects are funded over time so as long as the budget includes capital projects and they are funded the county can achieve their goals.

How do you plan to increase county commission trust and transparency if elected? I am not aware of the county commission not having trust and transparency.  The business meetings and workshops are very informative.  As a commissioner I will need to be on top of issues and do my research and fact gathering.  Since I have worked in government before I will know how to work with the administrator to get the information I need.  I believe that an open and honest relationship with the administrator will lead to my success in making the right decisions for the citizens of Flagler County.  By virtue of being a public government the county must make information available to the citizens.  I use the website and the quarterly newsletter to learn about what is happening in the County.  I encourage all citizens to be involved and contact the commissioners when they need to.

How do you feel about the current level of intragoverental cooperation? When I served on the Flagler Beach Commission we had quarterly intragovernental meetings.  Those meetings stopped during Craig Coffey’s time as administrator.  I believe they are very important meetings and I would like to see them happen again.  The Mayors meet and the Administrators/Managers meet on a regular basis.  It is up to them to bring back information from their meetings.  As for cooperation, I do not see a problem with cooperation.  I feel open communication regarless of which governmeent is involved should always be the standard.

What are your thoughts on the law suits currently being brought against the county regarding the development near ormond beach and the carver center? I would not like to comment on any law suits at this time.  If there are currently shade meetings taking place they are not open to the public so my level of involvement is not at a level where I can discuss them.  I may be involved in any of these law suits and cannot discuss them.  However, any law suit is a huge disruption to the work at hand.  There are major insurance claims associated with many law suits. When outside counsel is appointed by the insurance company there are hours and hours spent preparing for litigation/mediation.  It is not in the best interest of our citizens to have any law suits. The expense to the county is often times very costly.  I would search for resolution through mediation.  I would also look for the source of the mistake or bad advise that lead to the law suit.

School resource officers; it has been mentioned that the county may discuss if they will continue to help pay the schools SRD bill with the sheriff, thoughts? I am in support of SROs and the county’s support of the expense. I have no problem looking at the overall expense and trying to find a way to share the expense with all of the county municipalities/governments that utilize the SROs to share the cost. I would ask the Sheriff his opinion and I would ask that he provide guidance as to how other counties are covering the expense. I would not have given the administrator the go ahead to contact the school district until I had all the facts.


Kim Carney is currently completing signatures to spot on the ballot. If you would like to contact her or learn more about her platform visit her website here.


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.

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