This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Santa was busy this weekend in Putnam, Flagler and St. Johns counties arriving by car, sleigh and even parachute in the case of Flagler Beach. More events coming this weekend including the Advent Concert at noon Wednesday at St. James United Methodist Church in Palatka, the lighted boat parade in St. Augustine Saturday and the Putnam County Historical Society tea with Mrs. Flagler also Saturday.
Several commission meetings are this week. Tonight the St. Augustine City Commission at 5 p.m. holds the first reading of an ordinance attempting to regulate those short-term rentals increasingly popping up in residential neighborhoods around the city. A citizens’ committee spent a month putting together recommendations and the commission has added some input. Registration, annual inspection, intensity of use, parking, solid waste and penalties are among items covered. If it passes, the ordinance goes to a second reading, public hearing and final action on Jan. 13.
On Thursday Palatka City Commission holds its only meeting of the month. Three city workers are to be honored. They were in the right place at the right time and helped save a local resident with a medical issue.
A former 17-year-old student at Flagler Palm Coast High School was in court last week in a case revolving around her allegedly making death threats and using racist language against a black teacher. The student, who is white, messaged another student about the teacher while the two were in class. Circuit Judge Chris France heard the case and will release a ruling in the near future. The accused student withdrew from the school after the incident last year and is scheduled to graduate this month after finishing classes on line.
On Thursday of last week Palatka Vice Mayor Mary Lawson Brown was given the John Landis award by the Florida League of Cities at a meeting in Lake Butler. She was recognized for 35 years of service as an elected official. The Landis Award recognizes elected officials for their “unselfish commitment to municipal leadership and governance.” Mary Lawson Brown has been a city commissioner 35 years but reportedly will not seek re-election in 2020.
The Grinch is doing community service in Flagler County after the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office caught him trying to steal Christmas. On Tuesday from 4-6 p.m. he’ll be at the Flagler Humane Society in Palm Coast. If you bring in dog or cat food or cleaning supplies as a donation you can get a free holiday picture with the Grinch and McGruff the Crime Fighting Dog. You’ll also get a chance to meet the Flagler K-9 Unit. And you can get a friend for free. Pet adoption fees at the society are being waived the Santa Paws Food Drive and Adoption Event.