Here's what your neighbors are talking about.
DeSantis isn’t protecting Florida
Let me begin by saying that I do not have any children nor am I an educator. I am a concerned citizen who wishes to take exception to the recent comments by Gov. Ron DeSantis with respect to re-opening schools, allowing attendance at professional sporting events and raising capacity for Florida’s entertainment parks.
Mr. DeSantis asks us to believe him when he says that it is safe to do all these things. I wonder where he is getting his information from because, when I review the data, he has given us no reason to believe him.
Mr. DeSantis was quick to re-open Florida following the COVID-19 lockdown orders he issued. Phase 1 of the re-opening commenced on May 18. Mr. DeSantis assured us at that time that it was safe to take these actions. During the 103 days since the re-opening order (through Aug. 28) there have been an additional 570,000 cases of the virus and 9,037 deaths recorded.
I do not know what Mr. DeSantis’ yardstick for safety is. By any objective assessment, the results we have witnessed can only lead one to believe that his actions have done more harm to Floridians than good.
He now asks us to trust him once again. He notes that children are not likely to carry and/or pass on the virus, even though we have seen and heard of thousands of children being tested positive as they return to school in other jurisdictions. He threatens to withhold education funding if the districts do not comply.
He says it is safe to attend sporting events. It does not seem to matter to Mr. DeSantis that many institutions have reported unacceptable levels of positive cases as student return to college campuses.
Mr. DeSantis has to stop placing the people of Florida, both children and adults, at risk. Mr. DeSantis is not to be trusted or believed. It is as simple as that.
Create a national suicide hotline
September is Suicide Prevention Month, and it's important that we are there for each other and take steps to prevent suicide. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's theme for the month is to #KeepGoing, by taking simple actions to safeguard our mental health and save lives.
From learning the warning signs for suicide and what to do if you are worried someone is struggling, to bringing education programs to your community, we can all learn new ways to help each other save lives.
One action I'm taking is to urge my public officials to prioritize suicide prevention and mental health. When someone is in acute crisis, it's hard for them to think clearly, and even reaching out for help can be a struggle. For this reason, it is vital that Congress pass the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act (H.R.4194/S.2661) to make a three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline a reality. This legislation will provide the funding and resources needed by crisis centers across the country that support those struggling with their mental health and thoughts of suicide.
My own 16-year-old daughter Cady Hous died by suicide in 2014. It's imperative that we continue to fight this horrific cause of death.
In this time of uncertainty, we all need to find new ways to connect and support each other.
New Smyrna Beach
County Commission failures
So the County Commission has lost its court battle: The boat storage warehouse goes back through the process to do it right. I wonder why they didn't decide to do it right the first time? Perhaps we should ask the chairman at the time, Donald O'Brien?
Next, the Matt Dunn fake embezzlement charge. Matt was the director of tourism for Flagler County. He increased the amount of revenue generated by the Tourism Department by $1 million. He led a very successful sports event campaign that made Flagler County a popular destination for clubs across the country.
Donald O'Brien was approached by staff with the claim that Matt was guilty of embezzlement. The current director was part of that group but yet no one was held accountable for bringing this allegation that was found to be false.
If you're going to bring such a serious allegation, I would think Donald O'Brien and County Administrator Jerry Cameron would ensure that there was some solid evidence. FDLE found no wrongdoing, but yet this individual lost his job and his reputation, and not a single individual who brought forth the information was held accountable. I wonder what kind of legal bill we can expect from this?
The other legal battle we have to look forward to is that of Captain's BBQ — another blunder of the commission with Donald O'Brien as chairman. The 2018 lease agreement was voted on in November 2018, and it was completed properly. The vote to reconsider the lease was not performed correctly, hence the legal battle. I believe Flagler County will lose this challenge as well.
We also have potential legal entanglements with the Sears building as well.
I have grown tired of our county commissioners not doing their due diligence and keeping us from extended legal battles. Had they done their homework, all these issues could have been avoided. Perhaps they relied too much on Donald O'Brien and Jerry Cameron?
We have some serious challenges ahead for Flagler County and the decisions of the past two years have made those decisions even harder. This commission and Jerry Cameron have placed us in a precarious position. Do you trust their judgment in the next court battle?
Editor’s Note: Anderson is a candidate for County Commission, challenging incumbent Donald O’Brien.