City Council should wait on big decisions
It is understandable that the City Council must meet in these days of the coronavirus lockdown in a virtual environment.
The city has arranged for public comment to be made at the appropriate places on the agenda. Of course, only those people who are familiar with virtual technology will be able to access this feature, and people without personal computers will also be left out.
I would like to make two observations:
The first is regarding decisions that should not be made with no physical audience: changes to the land use plan, any variances to the building code, or zoning changes. To make a change when so few of the public may be able to express their opinion looks like a backhanded way to make a change.
Some decisions can wait, and these are decisions involving obtaining loans or other financial obligations for which there is no funding.
We must, like families, agree to live within our means. It is sad but ironic that at a Jan. 21 council meeting, approval was given for multifamily housing, and at the same meeting, (yes, the very same meeting) council approved borrowing $20 million to upgrade capacity of the sewage treatment plant because of increased population.
And finally, any cost in excess of $1 million which is not vital or emergent should be postponed until there can be full live public participation.
I would suggest that the dollar amount be put on the publicly issued agenda so that the citizens can see what is being spent.
One item that has been brought up from time to time and lately by Jack Howell is the piggybacking. Items that the city is planning to buy are piggybacked on another contract by some other government agency. Let’s list the price of the piggyback item as compared to the item being locally sourced.
This would not only be a benefit to the taxpayers but would also give local business an idea of what their competitors by providing to the city at a lower price.
Editor’s note: Brady is running for Palm Coast mayor.
Consider behavioral health in funding
As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, state officials are soon going to need to come back to manage our state’s finite resources and choose priorities in order to maintain our state’s fiscal health.
As a leader of a large non-profit behavioral health provider, caring for 26,000+ Floridians, I want to make sure that funding for behavioral health services is protected and where warranted, enhanced during this unprecedented event.
Floridians have lost jobs! Lost jobs = loss of insurance coverage = increase in reliance on safety net services. Crises require expanded resources to enable the behavioral health system of care to provide services to meet the increased demand.
I don’t envy the task that is ahead for our lawmakers as they try to repair the damage done to Floridians as a result of this pandemic. I urge those in charge of making the hard decisions over the coming months to be aware that actions made with good intentions often have long-lasting, unforeseen, negative impact. Please do not neglect to take into consideration the needs of those most ill-equipped to help themselves. A healthy future for Florida is counting on you!
CEO, SMA Healthcare
Please consider covering your face
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that people wear cloth face coverings out in public, and some stores now require shoppers to wear them — not so much to protect you as to protect other people from you in case you are infected.
My husband and I cycle 5-10 miles, on trails and roads in Palm Coast. Today we passed no less than 30 people jogging, walking or cycling and none of them was wearing a mask. One jogger was breathing heavily as he ran past me within a couple of feet.
We did see two masks and a pair of disposable gloves on the ground. Disgusting!
Please remind the public to be considerate and wear their mask. It would also be nice if they wouldn’t litter, but that won’t kill us, unless we get infected cleaning up their mess.
Jill and Charles Bogert
Closing the parks isn’t in our best interest
I strongly agree with many of our Flagler citizens who think that our parks should have never been closed and need to be opened immediately.
Both the Flagler County Commission and Palm Coast City Council have been engaged in a long series of actions against the best interests of the people. Closing the parks, trails, etc., is just another poor use of the heavy boot of the government against us.
Being subject to something similar to “house arrest,” the last thing we need is to have our own government keep us away from recreation areas where we have some enjoyment of this forced limitations on our movements by walking, biking, jogging, or otherwise spending time alone or with our families. This would include golf courses.