+ We’ve had enough of the city-county bickering
As a 13-year resident of Palm Coast, I’ve had just about enough of the constant bickering between the city and Flagler County. It’s time that the people who we elected to positions on both entities either grow up, start managing for the good of all residents or we, the people, put them on their merry ways come next election.
That an editor of a local paper has to challenge these groups to find common ground is saddening. I hope we’ve embarrassed all of them.
What likely starts out as a well-intentioned, albeit ego-based, willingness to serve soon turns to pushing parochial interests, spending like there’s no tomorrow and intoxication with political power. They’re fighting over water rights, borders, taxation and rules ad nauseam; I don’t know how they get anything done.
For gosh sake — now they’re fighting over use of radios. I’m a 50-year ham radio guy; do I need to go over there and teach these nitwits how to work together?
Especially on the subject of revenues, I have coined the term “management by inertia.” They do everything they can to keep revenues from dropping so that they don’t have to manage anything. If they always get more next year, it’s easy. Some of the projects both groups have approved are downright sinful.
And, you can always bet that if it comes down to approving something the people don’t want vs. something that will bring in more tax revenues, the people will lose (can you spell Centex or Town Center?).
That’s why they’re now fighting over the tax revenue which we voted in only for a time — not forever. We have scads of empty commercial property all over town and they continue to approve still more. Why? Because the tax revenue flows whether the buildings are occupied or not. They say they can’t say no to developers. Make me mayor and I’ll show you otherwise.
Flagler County and Palm Coast is largely a retirement destination. We don’t want the place to look like Jacksonville! It’s time that all decisions start with understanding that premise. Growth is important but must be closely controlled to preserve the small-town feel and look of the entire county. This should be in their respective mission statements. Keeping tight budgets and getting along should be part of it, too.
+ New Waste Pro contract will lead to more recycling participation
I would like to express kudos to the Palm Coast City Council and Waste Pro for their development and approval of the new waste contract.
Great changes include the change that yard waste no longer has to be bundled, a major hassle for most of us who live in single-family homes and especially for the elderly. Almost everyone in Palm Coast has palm fronds and seedpods that regularly litter our yards, and everyone has struggled with bundling or containing these as well as other yard debris for pickup.
Hopefully, this will encourage Palm Coast property owners to keep their property free of overgrown trees and shrubbery since disposal of yard trash will be easier, producing less of a hazard during storm and fire season.
Also, the change that we will have doorstep household hazardous waste pickup is good. Now we can finally safely dispose of all those paint cans, oil cans and hazardous materials safely and easily by just contacting Waste Pro.
Hopefully, this will encourage residents to dispose of these materials safely and not just abandon them or put them in the household trash.
Also, the change in the recycling program will help. I always felt more people would recycle if it were easier (i.e. you do not have to sort) with roomier bins and if the customer benefited from the additional work instead of Waste Pro or the city. Better bins, no sorting and bar coding to credit each recycling customer with rewards should get many people recycling who previously had not — a plus for the customer and the environment.
+ Palm Coast needs stricter, more consistent code enforcement
My wife and I moved here from New York in 1999. The quality of life was much better then. One of the big problems now is no code enforcement.
On my street is a home that is foreclosed owned by a bank. The grass looks like it is close to 4 feet high. Why do we have a code enforcement department if they allow this to go on? I am told by others that this is all over Palm Coast.
Cars parking on grass is another eyesore. No enforcement.
Either enforce the codes or scrap the code enforcement department.
Palm Coast can never be like it use to be, but it could be better if the code enforcement were really done.
Allowing three warnings for violations is too much. I think I am correct about this.
+ Insight as to why Palm Coast no longer feels like home
As a native-born Floridian some 69 years ago, I have some insight as to why Palm Coast doesn’t have that “home town” feeling.
The reason my wife and I moved here was twofold: No. 1 was housing price. No. 2 was a small-town feel.
Our city fathers have turned this city over to developers so they can make money, and the city has dollar signs in their eyes in the form of taxes and permit fees. Sadly, we aren’t a small town any longer, and we have lost the very roots that started this small town called Palm Coast.
+ Flagler Beach replacement fire truck not needed
I was surprised to find out recently that three of our Flagler Beach city commissioners are now considering the purchase of yet another fire truck for our small city.
The request could well add $300,000 dollars to an already tight budget. Because there was no mention of this issue during our latest budget hearings, it should now wait for the next budget in order to be properly vetted.
Our chief stated that he needs yet another firefighting unit. Unfortunately, however, he failed to make a valid case, or to fully explain the need for such a purchase. At a recent commission meeting he said the 1996 engine used as a spare vehicle needed a few repairs.
Currently occupying our city fire station we have a 100-foot ladder truck, also a questionable purchase, which I will not even address here.
Besides this ladder truck, we have the 2005 front line pumper known as Engine 11. Add to this the spare engine mentioned above, the chief’s vehicle, and a quality Flagler County truck complete with paramedics.
In short, we have three adequate firefighting vehicles and a county truck in our city at this time, all capable of doing everything we need in this small town.
So I now ask that those three city commissioners do the correct thing for their constituents and withdraw their support of the fire chief’s request.
I believe that I talk for the majority of our residents in saying that this is definitely not the time to be placing additional debt on the backs of our taxpaying residents. We are already being double taxed because we are paying taxes for two fire departments as it is: county and city.
Kayla Stager Someone needs to do something with the elderly and their driver’s licenses. The lady who ran into the house on Belle Terre, the man who hit the guy on the motorcycle, now running into a Publix — something needs to be done! I understand accidents happen, but the older you get, the slower your reflexes and depth perception.
Tarena Bisulca I literally just walked out of the exit, made a right with my cart and two small children and heard the crash happen right behind my back. It was horrible! People were running out covered in blood, screaming, crying. It was the most traumatizing thing I’ve ever witnessed. If we were 10 seconds slower, we would’ve been right in the path.
Lillian Borges Hope everyone recovers soon, both physically and emotionally. To think I was there just about an hour before. Paid at that exact register. My guardian angel was with me.
Sharlene Haddad Eldredge Another reason why we need to check anyone over 70 for a driver’s license renewal test.
Gorg Gory 65-plus must pass stringent driving exam biannually, I say. It’s selfish for baby boomers to risk the safety of everyone just so they can “still have their freedom and mobility.”
Grow up. Be adult enough to know when enough us enough.
Palm Coast, work on some sort of public transportation for “our” elderly.
Brad Osoba Sadly, Publix will somehow be found at fault and will pay out to the injured, in turn driving up the cost of living in Palm Coast even further. This city can’t afford public transportation to begin with, but I’m sure they’ll push through some reactionary legislation, which in turn drives up cost and unemployment. Palm Coast continues to be the laughing stock of Florida, and since Florida is the laughing stock of the USA, that’s bad.
Tracy Kennington Hastings Poor Publix. First, an airplane flies into the one in DeLand; now a car drives into the one in Palm Coast. Enough already!
Dianne Strachan I don’t see anything wrong with the elderly driving. They just need to take an actual physical driving test each year. If they pass, they drive. If they don’t pass, they don’t drive. Simple as that. Not all elderly people are hazards on the road.
Jen McKeever Jacobs Crazy things like this happen too often in Palm Coast with elderly drivers.