LETTERS: Matanzas Woods development could benefit residents

Also in Letters to the Editor: Public meetings are wrong place for prayer.

  • By
  • | 8:10 a.m. March 20, 2020
  • Palm Coast Observer
  • Opinion
  • Share

Matanzas Woods development could benefit residents

Dear Editor:

I’m not “Team A” or “Team B” when it comes to this particular development in Matanzas Woods, but I do want to see a middle ground where both sides work together for positive change.

Our area has been neglected for so long that I think people are reticent to trust this type of change, but a well-planned and truly collaborative development could go a long way to fixing some of the issues my neighbors and I have complained about for a very long time.

We’re the only neighborhood without any kind of dedicated green space. We drive six miles one way for bread and five miles for gas. We could all benefit from good, quality shopping opportunities.

The L-section has never received the same attention as other areas when city beautification projects come along. My neighbors and I have serious flooding every time it rains, let alone in a hurricane.

To be entirely negative about projects like this is not only unreasonable but also unrealistic. Projected population growth in this region of Northeast Florida is on target.I see this situation as an opportunity.

I’m in favor of some development when it is done responsibly. We should take advantage of this moment in time to keep the city and the builder/developer accountable but work with them closely, to build the kind of community we want.

Colleen McFarlane

Palm Coast


Who are your local Republican organizations?

Dear Editor: 

This is to clear up some understandable confusion many voters have about Republican organizations here in Flagler County.

The Flagler County Republican Executive Committee (FCREC) is a political organization operating under the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) and the Republican National Committee (RNC). We represent all Flagler Republicans to RPOF and RNC.

This Executive Committee is made up of elected precinct and state Republican committeewomen and committeemen. Committee members are elected to their Party Offices by Flagler’s 37,000 Republican voters on a precinct by precinct basis.

Our Flagler Executive Committee is the largest per-capita committee in Florida, and one of the most effective in winning elections here, statewide and federal.

We support all Republican general election partisan candidates local, state and national. Our major 2020 election objective is to double our 2016 Flagler Trump and full-slate Republican ticket margins — we are well on the way to full funding and organization for that. Website: http://www.flaglergop.com/

The Flagler County Republican Club, one of Florida’s oldest most effective and influential of club charters, is chartered by the Republican Party of Florida with the concurrence of the Flagler County Republican Executive Committee.

The club supports the Republican Party overall, provides voting-public access to Republican candidates during election cycles, raises funding for branding, Republican efforts and continuously highlights our Republican electeds.

The Flagler County Republican Club also serves really well as the political social entity thorough which many of its associates and members find their way into active roles in the party, and often in fulfilling their own political careers. Website: https://www.flaglergop.org/

Flagler’s Teenage Republicans (TARS) operate on a Republican charter not affiliated with the Flagler Republican Executive Committee.

A great gang of polite, professional politically motivated young women and men. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FlaglerTARs/

The outstanding Flagler Trump Club is the Flagler political entity most easily misunderstood with regards to Republican Party affiliation.

Flagler’s Trump Club is a high-energy, very effective, completely autonomous, non-Republican organization that operates as a federal political action committee in a Trump-only mode. Website: https://www.flagler4trump.club/

Joanne Updegrave

Chair, Flagler County Republican Executive Committee
Palm Coast


Public meetings are wrong place for prayer

Dear Editor:

This is a public appeal to Ed Danko, candidate for Palm Coast City Council, to join us in calling upon City Council members to spend the 15 minutes prior to each meeting and workshop on their knees in solemn private prayer.

Hopefully, Danko will agree that such prayers should begin with a recitation of the Gospel According to St. Matthew, Chapter 6, Verse 6, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

A public prayer, after all, will only seek to divide us into Christians, Jews, Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans and so on. Hopefully Danko wishes to unite our community, not divide us.

Danko may believe, as he states in his letter of March, that “our country was founded on religion,” but our U.S. Constitution does not mention God and calls, in the First Amendment, for separation of church and state.

Yes, as Danko says, “The Supreme Court has ruled that legislative bodies, such as our city councils, can begin meetings with a prayer.” That prayer cannot be offered by anyone on the government payroll (making the prayer “government speech”), but must be offered by rotating clergy or lay leaders of all denominations including Christians, Jews, Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans and even adherents of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

When prayers are offered, only the legislators may be asked to rise and bow their heads. Others in attendance may remain seated and not participate if they so wish.

Finally, Danko and his colleagues might do well to hear the words of President John Adams, ratified by the Senate of the United States, “... the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”

Merrill Shapiro

Palm Coast


Leave religion out of politics

Dear Editor:

Anyone who has read history knows that mixing religion and politics never works.

Our country was not founded on religion; it was founded on escaping religious persecution. And what of the First Amendment? Shall we ignore it completely in favor of politicians’ newfound interest in prayer?

Consider Torcaso v. Watkins (1961) and Engel v. Vitale (1962).

Let’s heed the lessons of history and keep prayer where it belongs, in our churches and our homes not in government meetings.

Edith Campins

Palm Coast



Your free article limit has been reached this month.
Subscribe now for unlimited digital access to our award-winning local news.