Here's what your neighbors are talking about.
My view on the county's deal with Captain's BBQ
I like Captain's BBQ; anybody who reads my social media posts would know that. I have also read and heard many of the objections to Captain's and their lease at Bings Landing. The latest letter to the editor of the Palm Coast Observer by the Hammock Community Association needs to be addressed.
One of the first claims from the June 9 letter was that Captain's rent is far below market value. I remember the old bait shack, and to say it was barely solvent is being very generous. Without a crystal ball, a rental rate of 5% of sales is normal. The amount of rent is in line with the obstacles they had to overcome at the location.
The next was that the lease was "financially bad.” The new lease was the best financially because Captain's was assuming preventive maintenance and upkeep costs. With the existing lease, the county is responsible for the repairs. Captain's was also donating the building to the county on the day of occupancy.
They also said the new restaurant would overwhelm the park, reduce the public's ability to use the park and would require more land to be used for parking. The park is 14.75 acres or 642,510 square feet. The new restaurant's total footprint was 5,200 square feet, or 1%.
The next subject is the biggest myth that was stated in the letter. It was said that the new restaurant "would require a huge outlay of taxpayer money.” Now that's just patently false. The fact is, not only is Captain's paying for the entire cost of design, architectural drawings, land preparation and construction, they were also gifting the building to the taxpayers of Flagler County!
They also talked about pavilion rentals being affected. Well, I did my own investigating, and in 2019 there were 34 rentals of the south pavilion, 18 rentals of the north pavilion and eight rentals of the gazebo.
Their final statement was that Captain's BBQ should pay fair market rent, utilities and taxes, so it doesn't have an unfair competitive advantage over other businesses. The popularity of Captain's BBQ has nothing to do with their location or proximity to the water. If that was the case, the previous bait shop wouldn't have been barely solvent. A business success, which is what we were hoping for when we granted the lease, is exactly what we got.
I support the Hammock Community Association in many of their other issues with the decisions by this County Commission, including the boat storage warehouse and the Beachwalk project that is not a PUD and shouldn't have been granted that status.
I have been vocal in my support, but in this, from doing my homework, I must disagree. The County Commission revoked a legally binding lease in an improper manner. They didn't follow the rules in other matters, and they didn't follow the rules when they rescinded the previous commission’s lawful ruling. The 2018 lease agreement should stand. This commission has the power to fix it, and we should insist on it.
Editor’s Note: Anderson is a candidate for County Commission.
Also in letters to the editor ...
Fireworks were great in L-section
I would just like to say the city was looking great Saturday night. Fireworks were everywhere! Here in the L-section we had a great display over the Matanzas lake! We all got together, yet far apart. We lit up the sky over the lake, a good hour of great fireworks.
Santore in Bunnell, Macy’s in New York had nothing on us. It was simply beautiful!
After being homebound for many weeks, we all got into the real spirit of what the Fourth really is: independence, freedom from the crown! In these trying times, Americans of all faiths come together to celebrate, and thank the founding fathers for their vision of a great America!
Editor’s Note: Fireworks are illegal in the Palm Coast city limits.
Barbosa is not the right candidate
I want to speak directly to the parents of Flagler County. Whether you believe it or not, my child was bullied by a teacher in the fall of 2019, and nothing became of it. I have addressed the School Board multiple times seeking their efforts to ensure this never happens again, but I see nothing but inaction.
In fact, I have endured some incredibly passive aggressive tactics by a member of the board, Dr. Maria Barbosa, who applauded this teacher’s actions by awarding a coveted “gold-star” while we sat in the audience, horrified. It was the ultimate “thumbing of the nose” to my son and my family.
Dr. Barbosa has said on multiple occasions that she has felt “bullied” by members of the Flagler County community for her actions. Sorry, Dr. Barbosa, it’s not the same thing. Kids are bullied about things they can’t control. You have simply been called out for being disparaging.
Parents, is this the role model you want to elect to control our schools? Yes, I will not argue that Dr. Barbosa is passionate about our schools, but what happens when it’s your child that is bullied? Will members of the School Board seek to protect your child or reward the perpetrator of the bullying? You have a duty this August to put the right candidate in the District 5 seat. Choose wisely.