Here's what your neighbors are talking about today.
What's your opinion on local issues? Send letters to [email protected]. Letters are edited for clarity and length. Personal attacks are not allowed. Please provide documentation for facts that were not already reported in the Palm Coast Observer.
Extreme candidates abound in Flagler
Why, with a county population of over 115,000, do we have such difficulty attracting quality candidates for public office – candidates who are not ultra-partisan, who are not extremists, who don’t have questionable pasts, who value public service more than their own self-servicing causes?
We are saddled with at least five characters in city and county public office who are problematic for various reasons, with some running for re-election.
Victor Barbosa, who will vacate his City Council seat to run for County Commission, was weak on credentials to begin with, and has displayed his self-serving interests and a lack of decorum in council meetings. And very importantly, Barbosa has a Costa Rica criminal mystery that is clearly in dire need of further understanding.
Then there’s Joe Mullins, the consummate divisive politician whose bad behavior and demeanor has advanced unwelcome controversy during his time as a Flagler County commissioner. He’s a multi-millionaire landlord and radio entertainer with a questionable past that includes, among other things, a business fraud and civil racketeering allegation. Now he’s making a run at re-election.
Janet McDonald, a School Board member, is a champion of wild and crazy conspiracy theories who makes a mockery out of fact-based learning. It’s frightening that she has been tasked with the educational needs of our school kids, having regularly thrown science and rational thinking to the wind. Her views should instantly label her as a danger to student education.
Jill Woolbright, vying for another School Board term, and in a similar extremist category as Janet McDonald, has been on a recent book banning mission interjecting her cultural bias and political leanings into what books she thinks students should be allowed to read. In a drama queen move, she actually filed a criminal complaint to get the book removed. The sheriff seemed none too pleased with her performance.
City Councilman Ed Danko, we will, unfortunately, have to contend with for a few more years. Ed Danko is well known as the king of ultra-partisanship, a divisive and obstreperous presence at council meetings, and the guy who actually offered bus tickets to leave town for those who had differing political leanings. He’s also a former local mayoral campaign adviser who embarrassingly got caught on video shamelessly lying in an attempt to mislead voters.
To deal with this unfortunate and embarrassing political circus in our community, we need to acknowledge our past local election mistakes and look hopefully for much better quality candidates to emerge. We need, deserve and should expect so much better in next year’s election and beyond.
Thanks to hard work from Waste Pro
I agree with the letter by Charles Dean in regard to Waste Pro doing well with our trash service. They cannot help it if no one wants to work. People are happy getting unemployment!
I see the guys on the trucks hustling in extreme heat and all. I, personally, thanked those guys working, especially during the pandemic. When most of us were not working and forced to stay home, they were out there working.
Teachers should stick with the three R’s
The true meaning of "equity" is fairness or justice in the way people are treated.
In his previous letter, Mike Cocchiola was upset because "All Boys Aren’t Blue” has been or will be banned from school libraries. We did not have such issues when I started school in 1939. Homosexuals were in the closet, smut was under ground and teachers taught the three R’s. Teachers didn't indoctrinate, changing gender was impossible (still is), and last, but far from least, there were no teachers unions!
The school board is responsible for making sure the students can read; what type of book they read is the parents’ responsibility; sex education should also be left in the parents’ bailiwick.
Douglas R. Glover
An update on safety on Cimmaron Drive
Thanks to those who help make our part of Palm Coast a safer place to thrive. Residents, drivers, the City Council and the mayor have started a process that should soon result in some major improvements for safety.
It all started with an old man with who enjoys riding on his bicycle to all of the amazing locations in Palm Coast, but, to get there, he had to exit his neighborhood using Cimmaron Drive. The safety issues were driving him crazy, so he discussed these concerns repeatedly for three years with his wife and children. His kids finally said, “Why don’t you stop complaining and start doing something about it!” So, he did.
The old man started the Safety on Cimmaron movement by talking to neighbors, which led to a few folks who worked to tackle the safety problems a few years prior. They shared great ideas on how to proceed with getting something done on Cimmaron.
On Nov. 9, 2020, a phone call was made to the city of Palm Coast to get information on a traffic count for Cimmaron. There was not a current traffic count on record; therefore, the city agreed to schedule one to be completed within 60 days. Four people offered their help the minute they heard about the requested traffic count. When the traffic count came in it shocked everyone: 3,200 vehicles were using this 1.2-mile road with 800 resident homes in five different communities, with 40 side streets all using Cimmaron entering and exiting on that day. These numbers are before the construction of the new houses that are popping up in those empty lots.
Word traveled fast, and the Cimmaron Safety Movement was up and running, with support from walkers, runners, bikers, cyclists and concerned parents.
Now was the time to make their cases for safety known to the mayor and City Council. To date, over 25 three-minute public presentations have been made. A prime topic is the scene of school children waiting along the narrow Cimmaron before daylight every school day. Many have been brushed by vehicles. Residents who live on Cimmaron have had as many as six mailboxes damaged, replaced or repaired in a year’s time. We are thankful to see neighbors caring about neighbors and taking action for change.
With continued significant public concern and interest, a resident-signed petition was submitted to the city of Palm Coast for a sidewalk or bike path on Cimmaron with over half of the 800 residents’ signatures by November 2021. The board of directors from one of the communities sent a letter of support, which added another 157 resident property owners in support. There were 37 volunteers who conducted house calls and visits.
The city of Palm Coast has installed safety and speed signs. Police presence has also been increased to improve safety. They conducted a Cimmaron neighborhood meeting to share safety strategies and to hear concerns in an open discussion. Over 100 residents attended. The mayor, as well as a lot of other city personnel, were present.
Through the year, the Palm Coast Observer published updates and articles on Safety on Cimmaron to keep everyone informed.
The old man on the bicycle is excited to see the positive changes and is thankful for all of the support and action that is taking place for Safety on Cimmaron.
We still have a way to go!
Where is Safety on Cimmaron? The City Council approved the budget in September with a feasibility study for collector streets, and Cimmaron is part of that study. The city will seek a consultant to negotiate the scope and fee which City Council will then have to approve. Timeline expectations are three months for approval, five months for the study completion, which would be June 2022.
Conclusion: It is just a matter of time before a fatal accident happens on Cimmaron or any of the other connector streets in our community. Cimmaron is the only one with only one entrance and exit for over 800 households (five communities). Residents using Cimmaron have no other outlet or connector to use. The support for Safety on Cimmaron has been substantial. Let’s keep the momentum up and help these tax paying and voting residents safe.
If there are other streets with the same show of support and concern, they should be a part of the future plan. Cimmaron is definitely a great place to start, for safety’s sake. The whole Safety on Cimmaron Movement is for the people and by the people.
Editor’s Note: Al Krier is a member of a resident group called Safety on Cimmaron Committee.