3 letters: Former mayor responds to letter by past commissioner, residents question airport finances

Also, one resident wonders what happened to a local church bell.

  • Ormond Beach Observer
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Boyle's opposition resulted in Avalon Park

Dear Editor:

I write in response to the “Ormond taxpayers paying for growth” letter submitted by Jeff Boyle.

It was my great honor to serve Ormond Beach residents as a city commissioner from 1999-2002 and as your mayor from 2002-2010. During that time, then-Commissioner Jeff Boyle routinely attempted to stifle growth rather than manage and guide it. This posture too often resulted in growth occurring without appropriate input from Ormond Beach, and without the expected concurrent financial benefits.

Boyle refused to coordinate with Daytona Beach and Consolidated Tomoka Land Company, the owner of 3,000 acres west of Ormond Beach, leading them to annex the land into Daytona Beach. The 3,000 acres will become Avalon Park, leaving Ormond Beach residents with the negative (traffic and other infrastructure) impacts while Daytona Beach reaps the increased tax base.

Commissioner Boyle’s short-sightedness did not stop there. His refusal to work with our hospital resulted in them building in Daytona Beach. Fortunately Boyle’s opposition to Ormond Crossings was overcome and now Ormond Crossings’ Security First is one of Ormond Beach’s premier employers. While Boyle may not need a well paying job or care if our future generations have adequate local career opportunities, Ormond Beach’s community leaders realized the key to our future economic vitality is supporting economic development creating jobs that don’t revolve solely around lower paying tourism and service industry jobs. Ormond Beach leaders worked hard to maintain the vision for Ormond Crossings in spite of Boyle’s opposition.

The above items are just the ones Boyle opposed related to preparing for inevitable growth and financing our community. He also opposed many quality of life issues. He opposed funding for preparing fields for Pop Warner football, he opposed beautification of Granada Blvd. and other Ormond Beach roads, he opposed funding to renovate Rockefeller Park and necessary funding to allow enhancing and expanding our Nova and Airport sports facilities.

Boyle opposed many community enhancements. Therefore, he earned the right to oppose the funding for them. But while it is true that Ormond Beach will receive negative impacts from growth around our borders without the financial benefits to pay for the amenities Ormond Beach residents have come to expect and appreciate, Boyle has no right to place the blame for extraterritorial growth impacts on Ormond Beach without concurrent funding on others. Boyle is the responsible party.

Fred Costello

Moravian Falls, North Carolina

Where oh where is the bell?

Dear Editor:

On March 6, the Daytona Beach News Journal published an article, part of which follows: “A bronze bell cast in 1834 in Paul Revere’s Massachusetts foundry is coming home — capping a nearly two century, cross country odyssey that saw it hauled by oxcart to churches in Ohio before languishing for decades in a California garage. Police in Canton, Massachusetts, plan to ceremonially escort the truck carrying the bell to the Paul Revere Heritage Site.”

At 56 N. Beach St., until recently, sat the Ormond Beach Union Church. This site was historic for the settlers of the New Britain colony in 1888 and the original church of the settlement. It no longer holds the original church nor the one that superseded it in 1960. Both were demolished in the name of progress.

Also on this lot, bolted on a massive concrete slab, sat the original 715-pound colony bell, manufactured by Buckeye Bell Foundry in 1888. It rang for the first time on December 23, 1888, and every Sunday thereafter.

The churches are gone and so, too, apparently is the bell. Where oh where has Ormond history gone and where oh where is the bell?

Alice Howell

Ormond Beach

Airport is not self-sustaining

Dear Editor,

The data outlined below was taken from the city’s financial balance sheet, reporting in the Ormond Beach Observer, and public information requests:

  • $621,000 current airport debt owed to the city’s general fund.
  • $65,000 additional debt projected for the current fiscal year ending Sept. 30.
  • $57,000 contract to land use consultant for River Bend Golf Course property.
  • $45,000 second environmental assessment cost for impacts from 600-foot runway extension.
  • $271,000 property taxes due on River Bend Golf Course, leased to a for-profit enterprise.
  • $239,000 legal billings to date from local law firm to challenge River Bend property tax.
  • $73,000 legal billings to date from Tallahassee law firm to challenge property tax.
  • $60,000 city share, match for FAA and FDOT grants to build a 600-foot runway extension.

Note that FAA written guidelines require municipal airports to be “as self-sustaining as possible.” The airport itemized red ink cannot qualify as economically “self-sustaining.”

The city’s Leisure Services department pays the airport fund $65,000 a year to rent airport land beneath city ballfields on airport property.

How can the city attorney and the City Commission account for the enormous legal fees in the likely losing challenge to the golf course property tax bill? Why did the city close River Bend golf course (and its $100,000 annual revenue) while continuing to subsidize a municipal airport for the benefit of a few business and aircraft owners? What quantified economic benefits offset exponentially growing airport costs and taxpayer burdens?

In 2004, loud public protests led to a 5-0 city commission vote against a proposed runway extension. Somehow this strong, long-standing public mandate against expanding the Ormond Beach Municipal Airport has been ignored.

Ken and Julie Sipes

Ormond Beach



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