This Florida City Keeps a "Difficult People" List- Is This Discriminatory?
A city in Florida keeps the equivalent of Santa's "naughty list" for residents who act out of line towards city officials. The "difficult people" list, as they call it, was a well-kept secret from the residents and media until it was mentioned at a recent city council meeting.
This article discusses the "difficult people" list of Palm Coast, Florida, and speculates whether keeping such a list is discriminatory or acceptable.
The "Difficult List" of Palm Coast
Have you ever worked in customer service and had a customer do something completely wild? I'm sure you've told your coworkers all about it after. This is pretty much what the Palm Coast city council did, except that they allegedly wrote down the names and addresses of those difficult people for future reference.
The list was a complete secret from those outside the council, especially the residents who were on it. However, it came out in a recent city council meeting that this list existed. Since then, Palm Coast employees have been defending their reasoning for keeping such a list.
Spokesperson Brittany Kershaw commented on this.
“The list is there to protect city staff. They have a lot of interactions with the public."
It was supposedly only used as a reference for when city employees would have to deal with a difficult residence. When people are added as "difficult people," they are obviously not informed, and there's no way for them to get removed. The council will sometimes remove their name after a year, but sometimes they are never removed.
It seems like it could be a scarlet letter for life.
Brittany Kershaw further defended the list, insinuating that it is used for protection for city employees.
“There have been some very dangerous instances where members of the community have attacked city staff, thrown a spear at city staff, chased them with a hammer."
One Resident Found Out Her Address Was "Difficult"
Gretchen Theodorakis, a resident of Palm Coast, supposedly has her address on the list, but not her name specifically. News sources have reported that she was completely baffled to find out her address was listed on this secret "difficult list."
“I had no knowledge of it, I had not heard anything. The only thing I could think of was I had a relative living with me and he was having some mental breakdown issues, again not at all typical of what he would do."
The Flagler County Sherriff's Office even commented on this crazy reveal. They assured the public that they have nothing to do with the list.
"Being “disgruntled” with the city is not a crime without a corresponding criminal act or threat to commit a criminal act.”
Will keeping a "difficult people" list create discrimination?
Obviously, keeping a list of "difficult" residents or residences has the potential to create issues. It can color interactions before they happen by giving the city employee a negative view of the person or place beforehand.
The question is, though, will it create negative experiences or discrimination? What do you think? Is keeping a "difficult list" discriminatory or acceptable?