County smoking policy makes Flagler a national joke
The worst disregard of Flagler County taxpayer's rights by our elected officials was reported in The Observer last month. There has not been one opinion written about it in your paper. Doesn't anyone see what they are doing, and have done, to our county? Doesn't anyone care?
We pay people to promote Flagler County. Has that money been wasted? We are now a national joke. This weekend the national TV stations reported that the Flagler County Commissioners voted to test, and not hire, any new county employees who participate in the legal use of nicotine in their own homes. They said it adds to health care costs. What's next? Caffeine, alcohol, cookies? Are they using their nicotine testers at all the project apartments they brought to our county? They were surprised by the extra Medicaid health care costs our county had to pay.
The national stations also reported that the county commissioners exempted themselves from this regulation. That is much like when the president gave an Obamacare waiver to Congress and all federal employees. The taxpayers will now have to pick up any extra Obamacare expenses for them, and they all get to keep their Cadillac plans.
The Flagler County promoters will have a hard time overcoming this. This publicity showed the nation that our county government does not represent the wishes of the average taxpayer. It only approves its own agenda and ideology, at the taxpayers’ expense. We need new candidates to run for county government who will do what the majority wants, and not do what they don't want. We need leadership with common sense. Maybe then, people will be encouraged to move to Flagler County.
Ag museum from city to county — what about airport?
I've read with interest that Mr. Coffey and the County Commission would like to actively support the Florida Agricultural Museum. They have laid out an interlocal agreement wherein the city of Palm Coast would de-annex the museum property.
Mr. Coffey's logic is that the museum activities are rural in nature and should reasonably fall under the county's jurisdiction. I wonder if he realizes that three major tracts to the west of the museum are incorporated into Palm Coast and will eventually be urbanized.
If the museum property is de-annexed, their water and sewer rates will go up. The county could very easily support the growth and visibility of the Ag Museum even if it stays within the city's boundaries.
In spite of it all, I would favorably consider their proposal if, in return, they would allow the airport property to be annexed into the city. Using their own rationale, the airport property is clearly in the middle of the city of Palm Coast, and the city provides the urban services. They would retain ownership of the property and would continue to run the facility. Also, their water and sewer rates would be lowered. Such a counterproposal makes so much sense that they are sure not to agree with it.
A modest alternative to 50% for an ‘F’
Why not 25% to stay home and do nothing? That would 1) eliminate disruptive students in class, 2) reduce class sizes and save fines assessed for being over the mandated class size.
We elected you, the School Board and expect you to do what is best for our students. You have failed miserably. Before the bond issue last spring, you bombarded us with mentions of school closings, cutting teachers, support staff and services. Well, we used our common sense and voted no, and the sky has not fallen. You cannot continuously cry wolf and not get stuck.
This 50% for doing nothing is not acceptable, nor will it be forgotten. It appears that the 50% for the F also skews the FCAT scores, since more students will fail but with a higher grade percentage. You must think we, the citizens, are stupid and can't figure these things out. But I am here to tell you that our teachers taught us well, and we can.
I submit to you, board members, you deserve to be immediately recalled, and the superintendent and principal immediately terminated for incompetence. We put our trust in all of you and you failed miserably. You taught them there are no consequences for avoiding responsibility for their actions of not doing the work. You took our tax dollars for your incompetence. Now it's time to return it since you have not done what you were hired to do.
A cautionary tale: Do unto others …
Recently, I had some guests from out of town come to Palm Coast to look at the possibility of moving to our wonderful community. They had been here several times before and enjoyed boating and the beaches and the many activities that this town has to offer.
While they were here, enjoying a boat ride down the Intracoastal Waterway, they stopped at the Palm Coast Marina to fuel up their boat and buy a few snacks for the afternoon. They were also in the market for a used boat and were notified that it was at the marina. Taking a quick walk down the dock to where the boat was moored, they were confronted by a very unfriendly man who proceeded to tell them they were not allowed there and to leave now. It did not seem that this person was a marina employee, but maybe had a boat there.
Could he not have been a bit kinder or at least asked nicely where they were going and directed them accordingly? After that episode, they were thinking that maybe they are making a mistake of buying a home here. They are hoping that this person was just in a bad mood that day.
Perhaps we could all use this as a lesson and try to be kinder to all those we come in contact with. We could greet and nod or even say a pleasant comment — it would really make a better impression on all, visitors, as well as residents.
Smile and love your neighbor. You never know who they may be.
Thanks to the young family who bought our dinner
To the young man, his wife and beautiful children who were dining at Ruby Tuesday restaurant Sept. 1.
What a surprise when we were told you treated us, complete strangers, to dinner as you thought we reminded you of your parents. Thank you for that compliment. As we didn't know your name or telephone number, we couldn't thank you in person. What you did made us feel very special. We hope someday we may meet in person and thank you personally, as there are not many as thoughtful as you. God bless you and your family and keep you happy and healthy for years to come.
Bob and Ruth Upton
Policy dumbs down students
Why do we continue dumbing down our students? I read the article about Matanzas High School giving students a grade of 50% when they do not turn in assignments. This is so wrong on so many levels. How can they put a grade on nothing?
I can see giving a grade on an incomplete assignment. But an assignment not turned in should get no credit — nothing, zero, zip. Why should a student get any reward for not doing an assignment?
Dr. Chris Pryor, principal at Matanzas High School, said he thinks giving them half credit is an attempt to give them some hope and possibility for redemption. That makes no sense to me. I only see this as teaching the students that even if they do nothing they will be rewarded. It sends a message to just sit back and you will receive half of a perfect score of 100%.
Good work should be rewarded, not laziness. Unfortunately, we have many people in the United States who already sit back and don’t work and expect to receive compensation from the government to live. Rewarding nothing with something is so wrong. School should be a learning place where students are taught to strive to be the best they can be and then are rewarded for a job well done. I know not every student can be an A student, but every student should be encouraged to be the best they can be. No student should be taught that doing nothing is acceptable. As a parent, I would never support this policy.
Be careful driving at State Road 100 and Belle Terre
I am writing to alert the drivers along State Road 100 near Belle Terre of drivers in that area that are causing a real hazard to others. Twice in the last week I have seen a car cut through the median, from 100 eastbound to 100 westbound. I am presuming this is in an effort to evade the light at the intersection of 100 and Belle Terre.
This practice is extremely dangerous to other drivers and pedestrians. It should go without saying that this practice is also illegal. The second vehicle I saw do this nearly hit me broadside as I was westbound on 100 preparing to turn into the Coastal Center.
If I could have obtained a license plate number in either of these cases I wouldn't have hesitated to call it in. However, the speed of the vehicles involved and the direction of travel prohibited that from happening. Although, now I am alerting other drivers out there, so we all will be watching.