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Opinion
Palm Coast Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017 1 year ago

Another fiasco, and who is paying the price? The seniors

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The decision to spend $8 million on the Community Center shows the City Council isn't listening to the 'forgotten people.'

The following letter was submitted by Denise Calderwood. To send your letters, email [email protected].

Dear Editor:

The newly elected City Council members appear to be heading down the same path as the past councils: approving costly projects without doing the research or asking their constituents — we, the people — about what their true needs are.

Apparently they didn't listen to President Donald Trump’s inauguration speech: "We, the forgotten people, are going to take back our communities and take action.”

Where are the conservatives? Apparently, Councilman Steve Nobile is the only one, as he’s the only one to question the cost of $7,830,036 on one renovation. Yes, the Palm Coast Community Center is old and in need of renovation, but at what cost?

We are going to give an out-of-town construction company, AJAX, the massive bid. Hopefully, the city staff will ensure that local subcontractors will be used for the project.

And did the citizens really know about this issue? I, for one, am an advocate for more facilities to be built or acquired for community purposes, but I found out about the workshop the evening before, and, by the next week, the vote was taken to spend the money. So which council member had time to speak to their constituents? I listened to a couple of hundred people at the local home show, and they were surprised to hear that the deal was already done.

The facility will be closed for at least a year. City staff said the community groups who use the facility had arrangements made for them to find other space, but the space is a small room located on the Frieda Zamba pool complex that can accommodate only 25 people, and it is not even comfortable. However, we have a nice golf course and clubhouse, a nice private tennis complex, a rowing club, a bridge club, and a nice outdoor venue for the arts, but we don't have a senior center — because providing for those services is a county function.

Our current Senior Services has a waiting list for Meals on Wheels. How long can these seniors wait?

The 2015 city of Palm Coast survey says citizens would pay more for a senior center and for senior services; but the city squandered opportunities with the Palm Coast Yacht Club and the former ITT building. Mayor Jon Netts, you should be ashamed of yourself for letting this happen under your watch because you were present for it all!

Something crazy is going on here in Palm Coast and Flagler County. Haven't we had enough ethics complaints validated that demonstrate this? But yet we, the forgotten ones, are letting the city and county manager get away with spending vast amounts of our money on certain projects because it benefits a select few.

I am writing this for Senior Matters, a program under Family Matters of Flagler, a not-for-profit organization, with offices located at 703 E. Moody Blvd., Bunnell. Call 263-3053 to get involved.

Denise Calderwood

Palm Coast

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