- February 7, 2019
The March 21 letter written by Mike Cocchiola bemoans the tactics of our esteemed sheriff, Rick Staly, referring to him as a "cowboy" among other things.
Let's not overlook the fact that overall crime in Flagler County has dropped significantly under Staly's watch. His proactive approach to law enforcement catches many fugitives. Perhaps, Mr. Cocchiola, this is the reason the population at the jail is so high: more people being arrested = fuller jail, less crime being committed. Makes sense to me.
Then he goes all bleeding heart on us by describing the unfortunate souls who fall under the sheriff's jurisdiction and end up as a "guest" in the Green Roof Inn, as Staly refers to it. Let me assure you, as a man who committed a foolish act of theft by shoplifting nearly four years ago in my most desperate hour, I had to do my time at the GRI, and at no time was I treated unfairly or cruelly. I was given a diversion program for a first offender, which I completed successfully with the help of Flagler's Department of Corrections. My charges are dropped and record is clean.
Sheriff Staly once came into my old job, and I had the opportunity to sit and talk with him at length. I told him my story, and he had only encouraging words for me. At no time did he refer to me as a "dirt bag" or any other derogatory term. There are vile people committing vile acts that certainly deserve that label, and I'm glad I reside in a county policed by a sheriff who isn't afraid to call it like it is and keep our city safe.
I feel secure when I go to bed at night in Palm Coast, and I credit Sheriff Staly and his team of dedicated deputies for that secure feeling. Based on the left-leaning, liberal tone of Mr. Cocchiola's letter, perhaps he'd be more at home residing in San Francisco or Portland, where crime, especially petit theft, vagrancy, and aggressive panhandling are accepted as the norm of daily life.
William H. Powell III
Never thought I would see the day that I would agree with Mike Cocchiola about anything, but I am not too fond of the sheriff calling the jail "the Green Roof Inn,'' either; a better and more apt name would be "the house of pain and redemption.” I think being incarcerated should be such a feared and dreaded experience that it would cause people to walk the straight and narrow or cause them to go legit.
As to Rick Staly: Having a cowboy sheriff beats having a New York lawyer seven ways from Sunday.
Cocchiola seems to have missed the point on locking people up. doubling the jail population is a good thing; it means Staly has taken more bad people off the street. That's his job! Anti-gun people should want more people locked up being as they can't defend themselves and have to rely on "cowboys" to keep them from being harmed. Good luck with that.
Folks do not just fall under Staly’s jurisdictio; they commit crimes and get caught (sometimes) and get locked up and should be punished; note that I did not say “rehabilitated” because most of the time it doesn't work. A little fear goes a long way; respect and care don’t do diddly-squat. The liberals have taken the discipline out of schools; now it's the punishment out of prison; next it'll be the Marines eliminating boot camp!
Douglas R. Glover
So let me see if I understand this correctly:
Flagler County has the money to build more pickleball courts but doesn't have the money to find a solution for the homeless problem?
Flagler County has the money to buy the old Sears building, even though the county doesn't have a plan to use it. But they haven't got a place to house the Sheriff's Operations Center after the building they overpaid for and spent millions renovating turns out to be contaminated.
Flagler County has to come up with the money to fix the Plantation Bay water plant, which they overpaid for knowing it was disintegrating.
Flagler County is poised to ignore the wishes of its citizens and enter into an agreement with Captain’s BBQ that benefits the private business owners but not the taxpayers.
Where is the money coming from? The majority of our residents are retirees, on fixed incomes. Who is going to pay for all this mismanagement?
When your paper began in Palm Coast, you said it was a local paper, and the op-ed section should contain issues of local concern. The March 21 letter against President Trump was a national issue. If you allow these articles to continue, your paper will just become political campaign ad propaganda until the 2020 presidential election.
Many misinformed people want to overthrow our current government. I am not suggesting the recent writer is one of them, and her article about Trump was connected to a Palm Coast event, but it contained many exaggerated and one-sided comments against the president. I could rebut each of them with facts, but then I would be contributing to what you did not want your paper to become. (Did I cross that line already? Sorry.)
National issues affect us all, but those opinions are a better fit in the New York Times. Please adhere to your original policy, and keep your op-ed focused on our truly local issues.
Anyone who has traveled on Palm Coast Parkway or State Road 100 during the morning and evening rush period have discovered a traffic mess. It is not uncommon to be stuck at a traffic signal light for two or three light cycles. A five-minute trip becomes a 10-minute — or more — ordeal.
We need not pay some company to conduct a study. The answer is quite simple: There are too many cars. In my opinion, any other argument as to the cause of the traffic would be a specious argument.
These two roadways are the only west-to-east routes available for people living west of Belle Terre Parkway. Most shopping opportunities require west-to-east travel for outbound and east-to-west homebound on these roadways.
Both Palm Coast and Flagler County have staff devoted to economic development, and it seems to me that these staffs should be working to lure shopping opportunities to the west side of U.S. 1.
The selling point should be the already added housetops at the Grand Reserve, the 1,500 in the final stage of improvement at Matanzas Woods Parkway, with 3,000 more in the future, and the 240 in the final stage of approval at White Mill Drive.
In three years, there should about 2,000 more rooftops west of Belle Terre, and it does not make sense to have these residents added to the east-to-west traffic flow. Our community development people should be contacting companies like Costco, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. These retailers would be a significant draw away from the existing eastbound outflow of the current residents.
Another much more costly solution would be to development a new road or expand an existing east-west road between Palm Coast Parkway and 100. This road would need to run between U.S. 1 and Old Kings Road.
We cannot allow our elected representatives to ignore the traffic issues.