Just a day after Historic City News learned that the Supervisor of Elections in Flagler County, Kimberle Weeks, refused to attend a meeting with City of Palm Coast officials and threatened not to run their upcoming election, the state’s chief elections officer, Secretary of State Ken Detzner, sent her a letter, telling her that it is her responsibility to conduct the election in an accessible, fair, and efficient manner.
The tension between the County Supervisor of Elections and the City of Palm Coast has been brewing at least since the city’s 2011 referendum, changing elections from odd to even-numbered years. But, it was clear that Detzner was not playing games after he became aware of the quarreling; after City Attorney William Reischmann sent an e-mail asking Gary Holland to help. Holland is the assistant director of Florida’s Division of Elections.
“My understanding is that the Flagler County Attorney, the Palm Coast City Attorney, and the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections’ General Counsel have all provided you with opinions that should adequately address your concerns,” Detzner told Weeks in the letter. “Any issue about the propriety of the city’s actions in changing its election and qualifying dates is solely the City’s concern.”
At issue are the terms of an Interlocal agreement between the Supervisor and City to run their local elections — an agreement that the city feels is unusually hostile. The Supervisor presented the agreement to the city on March 17. Weeks told reporters that the city should have signed it at their regular meeting the following day. And anyhow, Weeks said in an email, the city shouldn’t be trying to negotiate with her over the agreement at all, and should instead simply sign it.
The city set a March 25 meeting to discuss the agreement with Weeks — but, she announced March 23, that she wouldn’t be attending — not to the city, but in an e-mail to the local press.
But Secretary Detzner got the last word, at least this time. “Your arrangements with the City of Palm Coast for conducting its elections should be the same for conducting other city elections in Flagler County held in conjunction with the 2014 primary and general elections,” Detzner wrote. “Through responsible leadership, I am confident that you will ensure the voters in Flagler County and the City of Palm Coast receive what they expect, need, and deserve without needless election disruption and confusion.”