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  • | 4:00 a.m. August 18, 2011
  • Palm Coast Observer
  • Opinion
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+ Enough is enough; say goodbye to Enterprise Flagler
Dear Editor:
There comes a time in the course of local politics when a subject must be put to bed, discussion stops, the item is rejected and must just go away.

Enterprise Flagler is just such an item. Our elected officials and their staffs have wasted enough time on Enterprise Flagler. It is a vestigial organ. Let it wither and die.

It cannot organize itself. It cannot lead. It cannot produce.

The CEO of Enterprise Flagler has just declared that the outfit does not create jobs. Earlier this year, the public was told, “Give us $7 million, and we will produce thousands of jobs.” No wonder these guys fail.

Resurrecting the same incompetents under a new title is a typical political smoke screen to avoid demise.

Our county and cities have built a wonderful community. They are working hard to keep things running smoothly during these difficult times without raising our taxes. Good times will come. We are holding our own, and we do not need to waste scarce tax dollars on nonproductive efforts like Enterprise Flagler.

Skipper Hanzel
Palm Coast

+ If you sue the state about funding, you hurt the taxpayer
Dear Editor:
Well, School Board member Colleen Conklin, I see that you’re still going to sue the state over school funding. Why not? You’ve already given teachers and everybody else that votes a raise in the middle of a depression.

You probably figure it’s better to get the money from the state than from the locals who can vote you out of office, although I do believe the state takes money from us to pay off people who sue them.

Did you ever give any consideration to really cutting spending? Since the 1970s, spending on education has more than doubled.

You said you didn’t know what adequate school funding was (which should hamper you in your lawsuit), but you would think that any funding you get is inadequate.

You said students aren’t widgets in a factory. That’s true. If you make a bad widget, you can’t say that if you had more money you could make better widgets. You have to go back into the widget-making process and not blame it on everybody else. Widget factories aren’t shielded from competition, and the foremen don’t have tenure.

All the money the state has or ever will have comes from the taxpayer (me). If you luck out and win your lawsuit, the money will come from me. I don’t want to give you the money you are taking from me already.

People over 65 should not have to pay school taxes.

Douglas R. Glover
Palm Coast

+ Freeze all public employees’ salaries until 2013; renegotiate
Dear Editor:
Palm Coast residents should insist that we have a town hall meeting with all the officials and their high-salaried employees to explain to us why they are entitled to six-figure salaries.

Our unemployment rate is one of the highest in the country, and the economy is at a standstill. To keep our county and cities from total disaster, why not freeze all salaries, increases and benefits until Jan. 1, 2013?

Negotiate new and existing employee contracts by reducing their salaries 25%. There are many unemployed local residents more than willing to accept the position and salaries offered.

All new county and city opening salaries shall be approved by a five-member volunteer board with experience in employment negotiations. Freeze all current salaries, increases and all benefits.

Do you think our county and city managers, directors, school superintendent and department heads have the gumption to do what private sector executives have had to do to keep their companies operating?

Walter Albano
Palm Coast

+ Go out to bid; any savings is better than none
Dear Editor:
On Dec. 31, our nearly $8 million per year contract with Waste Pro will expire. Moving forward, we have three choices: Renew the contract for another five years, renegotiate the contract, or go out for bid and get competitive pricing for our lucrative business.

Henry Ford said, “Competition is the keen cutting edge of business, always shaving away at costs.”

In this case, even just a shave is a lot of money. Every 25 cents the monthly fee is reduced would save us approximately $100,000. In my mind, that’s worth the effort. Go out to bid!

Jason DeLorenzo
Palm Coast

Editor’s Note: Jason DeLorenzo is running for Palm Coast City Council in November.

+ Recycling in Palm Coast not worth the trouble
Dear Editor:
Recycling in Palm Coast: Is it a joke?

In the four years I have lived here, I have seen three different fliers out that tell you what is and isn’t recycled this year.

I have seen garbage truck workers empty recycle bins into the garbage. I have seen the recycle truck drive by, just passing by recycle bins. I have even witnessed a recycle worker taking recyclables and putting them into a resident’s garbage can. If you place garbage into the recycle bins, the driver will take them out and just throw them onto the ground — I have witnessed that on several occasions.

Have you ever seen trash and other debris blown out of the trucks as they are moving down the street? I have.

Recyclables? What plastic is considered “contaminated”? Don’t they make decking boards and picnic tables and many other products from “contaminated” plastic? Why should any plastic go the landfills?

It seems Palm Coast is more concerned with the cheapest price instead of the best service for the residents of Palm Coast when it comes to handing out the contract for trash/recycle disposal.

As for my recyclables: My aluminum goes to the animal shelter, along with newspapers that will be accepted as donations. I would offer my other recyclables to others, but I don’t know of anyone accepting them. So because of the conditions with our recycle pick up, I just trash all the rest. Until we have a better trash service, recycling in Palm Coast is a joke.

David Palmes
Palm Coast

Editor’s Note: Dianne Torino, risk and contract manager for the city of Palm Coast, handles the solid waste contract with Waste Pro USA Inc. She monitors Waste Pro and meets with the company monthly to discuss any concerns or trends.

She said that because of a concern a few years ago, Waste Pro employees are instructed to consider any recycling bin contaminated if it has any garbage mixed in. For example, if a pizza box has cheese and leftovers in it, the employees might take the box out and leave it with the garbage, but in other cases, they might need to consider the full bin as garbage.

In addition, some plastics are not recyclable. Any plastic jug that has a 1 through 7 in a recycle symble on it can be recycled. But, Torino said, “If someone throws an old PVC chair into the bin, it can’t be recycled. It’s limited to the food containers, shampoo bottles, things like that, that have a 1 to 7 on them.”

Torino added that recycling is purely voluntary in Palm Coast. Currently, about 55% of the residents choose to participate.

“It’s not a prefect program, but right now it is a good program,” she said. “We’d like to enhance it, and we continue to work toward that on a regular basis.”

Residents with concerns or questions can call Torino directly at 986-2339.


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