100. Palmer Wilson appointed to SE Volusia Advertising Authority by two county chairs

 

New Smyrna Beach resident and retired Maryland cop Palmer Wilson of the SE Volusia Advertising AuthorityFrank BrunoJason DavisHeadline Surfer photos by Henry Frederick / Palmer Wilson is shown here outside the Brannon Center in New Smyrna Beach during a 2010 charity event. He was first appointed to the SE Volusia Advertising Authority last summer by then-County Chair Frank Bruno, at left inset, and re-appointed Thursday by County Chair Jason Davis. 

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- Palmer Wilson has been appointed and re-appointed to the board of the Southeast Volusia Advertising Authority by two consecutive county chairs, sandwiched between the 2012 general elections.

Though the county chairmanship is non-partisan, Wilson, a registered Republican, was tabbed by the Democrat Bruno and again by Republican Davis.

Wilson, a fiscal conservative, was an outspoken critic of the ad authority supplementing the budget of the Southeast Volusia Chamber of Commerce, convincing his colleagues earlier this year to cut the ad authority's funding to the chamber from the $42,000 sought to a mere $10,000.

Last year, the chamber got $38,000. For half a decade, at least, the chamber had been getting significant money from the ad authority by having it's members represented on the ad authority. Among the more recent chamber members were Nicole Carni and George Richford of the Dolphinview Restaurant.

Carni was fired two years ago amid scandal over her bloated salary and Richford was forced to resign after he voted against Carni's firing. It was later discovered that he was appointed to the ad authority even as he received $50,000 in CRA grants from the city of New Smyrna Beach, putting himself in a position to take care of friends who earlier helped him.

When the Merchants of Flagler Avenue sought $26,160 from the ad authority last year through their leader, Adelle Alletti-Hodson, a close friend of Carni and Richford, it was Wilson, who balked at giving any money and was backed by the county. The merchants ended up with nothing.

Wilson's previous go-around with government was as a 2009 candidate for a seat on the New Smyrna Beach City Commission. He finished a respectable second in a three-way primary, but incumbent Jack Grasty won re-election outright in the primary with more than 50 percent of of the vote.

Finishing a distant third behind Grasty and Wilson was Steve Sather, who nearly two decades earlier pleaded no contest to trying to buy a large quantity of cocaine from an undercover police officer.

Adjudication of guilt was withheld against Sather because sentencing guidelines were not as strict then. Last fall, Sather, longtime friend of Mayor Adam Barringer, was appointed to the Planning Board by the City Commission, including a "yes" vote from Grasty. who while running as a candidate three years earlier, said, "Sather's record speaks for itself."

Palmer Wilson at a recent New Smyrna Beach City Commission meetingJack GrastySteve SatherPamer Wilson is shown at far right at a New Smyrna Beach City Commission in 2009, when he finished second in a three-way race for commissioner behind incumbent Jack Grasty, at far left, and last-place finisher Steve Sather, now a member of the city's Planning Board.

Wilson was critical of the unanimous appointment by the Barringer-ledcommission, describing the mayor and Grasty as "hypocrites" for the Sather appointment with the rest of the unanimous votes coming from Commissioner Judy Reiker and then-Commissioners Jim Hathaway and Lynne Plaskett.

While running for the commission seat three years ago, Wilson had suggested the city reorganize its police command staff by dumping four of five command positions and keeping patrol positions that were targeted for elimination. The city did eventually eliminate the four commanders, but never reinstated the five patrol positions nor gave Wilson credit. Despite championing this position, the police unions voted for Grasty, who voted to approve the reduction in patrol of first responder staffing that is the subject of concern today by many citizens.

Wilson was also a big proponent of hiring SEV Ad Director Tim Hamby, after frontrunner Michelle Coates, a part-time county marketing employee, withdrew from consideration. Hamby has been given rave reviews by community and county officials for his work since his hiring last October. Despite outside pressure, Wilson never changed his vote or support for Hamby and eventually won over the rest of the board.

Wilson was also a big proponent of hiring SEV Ad Director Tim Hamby, after frontrunner Michelle Coates, a part-time county marketing employee, withdrew from consideration. Hamby has been given rave reviews by community and county officials for his work since his hiring last October.

Hamby credits Wilson who he describes as an invaluable asset to the authority, which collects bed taxes from overnight hotel and condo-rental stays.

"A lot of people originally considered him to be a contrarian," Hamby said, "but my feeling is we need the type of scrutiny that Palmer brings on this board."

"A lot of people originally considered him to be a contrarian," Hamby said, "but my feeling is we need the type of scrutiny that Palmer brings on this board."

At a Glance:

Palmer WilsonNewsmaker No. 100: Palmer Wilson
Age: 70
Career: Retired as lieutenant with the Montgomery (Md) police force in 1994, after 25 years of service; ran for New Smyrna Beach City Commission in 2009, finishing second in three-way race. Re-appointed to the Southeast Volusia Advertising Authority last Thursday by County Chair Jason Davis with unanimous council approval.
Residence: Has lived in New Smyrna Beach with his wife, Diane, since 2004.
Hobbies: Avid boater.
 
Award-Winning Headline Surfer Publisher Henry FrederickCountdown of the Top 100 Newsmakers:
Award-winning Headline Surfer Editor/Publisher Henry Frederick is counting down his ranking of the Top 100 Newsmakers throughout Volusia County, excluding himself, of course, as part of the fifth anniversary celebration of the 24/7 Internet newspaper launched April 7, 2008. 
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Palmer Wilson100. Palmer Wilson appointed to SE Volusia Advertising Authority by two county chairs
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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.