LETTERS: In support of City Hall

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  • | 5:00 a.m. November 14, 2013
  • Palm Coast Observer
  • Opinion
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As long as taxes don’t increase, let’s build City Hall

Dear Editor:
My husband and I moved to this community 27 years ago and have seen it develop and grow into a city that can offer something for all age groups, young families, retirees, etc. If Palm Coast wants to continue to be one of the more desirable cities to live in the U.S., then Palm Coast should have a City Hall that can represent a stable and rooted community. The city should build its new home in Town Center as planned.

Our city government offices are located in a shopping center. This is not professional and not welcoming to a visitor or a prospective neighbor.

We were against the City Hall referendum in 2005. The reason we voted against it was back then was because the City Council wanted to build a monstrosity of a building and for us taxpayers to pay for it with more than $20 million in improvements.

The citizens of Palm Coast demand that our elected officials use our money wisely. I think their frugality is demonstrated by our tax rate. Palm Coast has one of the lowest tax rates of similarly sized cities in Florida — particularly when they're located close to the coast. Since we have to have a City Hall, don't you think it's logical that we stop paying rent and waste citizens' tax money? The City Council should build City Hall as long as it doesn't increase our taxes. They should build something reasonable and designed for our growing community.

Maria Eckley
Palm Coast

We need a more respectable City Hall

Dear Editor:
I’ve been a Palm Coast resident for 28 years and have seen the dramatic changes that have taken place over the years. There was a time when areas had gone into disarray but now are beautiful, with care being given to a lot of roadways that were once forgotten.

The city workers who devote their energy to making sure that we keep improving Palm Coast need a respectable City Hall to work in. I don't feel that a strip mall of storefronts is an image that reflects what they have accomplished throughout other parts of the city. I feel that a satisfactory design and cost can be accomplished that would reflect the current improvements that are being done all over Palm Coast.

With a common sense approach, not a Taj Mahal, but a sensible design on a plat of land more centrally located would greatly increase our city's worth as well as give us citizens something to be proud of.

I don't get that feeling now as I wheel around a parking lot trying to figure out if the deli or the pizza place is where I apply for a business license. The city workers deserve better than the current location, and the waste of money paying rent has come to pass. We need to invest in ourselves. It's time to support a new City Hall, not a landlord.

Greg Eckley
Palm Coast

Build City Hall; if not now, then when?

Dear Editor:
I want to add my voice to others in support of the building of City Hall in the Town Center. This is long overdue! As a small business doing business primarily outside of the county, we often have learning events, board/staff meetings and clients visit us here in Palm Coast. Some of our staff also live as far away as Dallas and Las Vegas. Seeing the Town Center live up to its vision and promise will be a huge boon to this community and a significant attraction not just to tourists but also to business travelers. Building the Palm Coast City Hall in the Town Center will contribute to the realization of that vision.

As one of the fastest growing cities in the country over the past decade or so, we should look to put our best foot forward when potential investors and new businesses consider investing in our community. A City Hall located in a shopping center certainly does not reflect the type of community that has a bold vision for its future. Nor does it reflect the sense of pride we should have in this wondrous community.

But probably the more compelling argument is to reduce paying rent for our city government headquarters. I would suspect that most of us agree that Palm Coast will be a city for the foreseeable future. If we agree on that fact, then no financial analysis could be used to justify renting versus owning over such a long horizon. And we all know that the cost of building a new City Hall will only be higher the longer we wait. So it makes sense financially and it adds value to our community.

If not now, when?

Howard M. Holley Sr.
Palm Coast

‘Numbers speak for themselves’: Build City Hall

Dear Editor:
I support the new City Hall project. Any businessperson looking at the amount of rent being spent versus the same opportunity to own would be crazy not to jump on this opportunity. The land is free and building costs are only going up. The current retail space being used now is very disorganized and somewhat embarrassing as we try to attract new businesses to relocate to our beautiful city.

Personal opinions aside, the numbers speak for themselves. Do what's right for our community and let's move forward with the project.

Scott Sowers
Palm Coast

Business is business: Build a City Hall

Dear Editor:
I want to add my voice to others in support of the building of City Hall in the Palm Coast Town Center. As a co-owner of a small business doing business in Flagler County since 1982, I feel it is imperative from an economic development aspect that the city of Palm Coast has an appropriate location and facility to conduct its business.

The logical place is Town Center. We have all heard the arguments in favor and against the location, as well as the financial impact; however, at this point, the city’s leadership has provided a logical and financially viable plan to accomplish the building of a City Hall with minimal impact to current and future taxpayers. This will spur positive externalities to the economic development efforts of Flagler County and the Town Center development and will contribute to the realization of the vision for our future growth.

Donald T. O’Brien Jr.
Palm Coast
Editor’s Note: Donald O’Brien is the father of Associate Editor Andrew O’Brien.

Stop wasting our money; let’s own our City Hall

Dear Editor:
As a new resident in Palm Coast, having come from up north, I read the local online blogs, and there are so many people who don’t hesitate to bash this city.

I did a bit of research and learned that the residents of Palm Coast have paid over a million dollars in rent to some out-of-town company for our “City Hall.”

I moved to Florida for a reason. Taxes up north are extremely high, and city services are low. Palm Coast is a beautiful place to live for a reasonable price and a low tax rate. We should do our best to keep it that way.

I don’t want a City Hall that looks like a dump, offers nothing to the community and only lines the pocket of the bank that owns it. I didn’t move here for the city to be renting instead of bringing a profit to our community. As a new resident, I refuse to throw my money away when it doesn’t even benefit the city I live in. If we want to see Palm Coast grow, then it is time to wisely invest our money and own our City Hall. A message to the City Council: Quit wasting our money and make Palm Coast a proud place to live.

Beatriz Abreu
Palm Coast



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