Also in letters: Captain's BBQ deal at Bings Landing needs to be revisited.
How affordable housing can and should work
I read with dismay the letter in the Dec. 13 issue referring to the proposed affordable housing project as “Holland’s Ghettos.” Aside from the highly racist implications of that, there was a lot of information in there that just doesn’t apply to what is being proposed.
It is true, as the author of that letter suggested, that many subsidized housing projects in the inner cities are havens for crime and drug problems. But even there, the schools aren’t failing because of the housing; the communities are failing and prone to crime because the schools don’t provide even minimally adequate education and there are no jobs available even if you have an education. Drugs and prostitution become the only means of survival under these conditions of extreme and inescapable poverty.
What is being proposed here, however, as I understand it, is similar to what we have in the area where I live primarily, in North Carolina. The affordable housing there is in the middle of normal residential areas. It is well-kept, and the tenants are screened to prevent tenants prone to the type of activities the author seems to fear. The children attend the same local schools as the rest of the population. We have the same drug problems there as everywhere else, but there is no indication that drug use or trafficking, or other crime, is any more prevalent in the affordable housing sector than in the community at large.
The best way to keep people poor is to keep them stored away somewhere with no opportunity to escape poverty. Getting people to a place where there are real education and employment opportunities gives them a chance to actually cost us less money in welfare and incarceration costs, and other social services, and to become the same productive citizens we’d like to think ourselves to be. Having also built and owned affordable housing, I found very few of my tenants to be less than upstanding people who just needed a chance, especially for their kids, at a better opportunity to improve their lot. It really does work, especially if there are adequate child care and transportation services to give people the ability to get to work and move around to the places they need to get to, along with easy access to shopping and medical care.
I truly hope we’re not going to let fear keep us from doing our small part to help make some people’s lives better. We all grow richer in many ways when the “least of our brothers” gets a chance to join us.
Palm Coast and North Carolina
Start over and get the Captain's deal right
Captain's BBQ at Bings Landing is a success, because it is what it is: quaint, old Florida, rustic, casual, walk in, pick out your beverage, walk to the counter and place your order, pick up your food at the window and enjoy it with friends, on the deck overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, nestled under the trees, enjoying the atmosphere and surrounding of the setting, watching the boats, marine life, birds sunset and scenery. The experience.
It's not about the food. Missing any one of those components, it all changes.
The people like it that way. Changing the view, the building, the environment, the trees, or any one of the elements makes it something different. Also to be considered is the fact that there is virtually no overhead or operating costs. Which allows them to profit substantially on their investment.
That is why the proposed plan to move the restaurant and change the entire setting is a huge mistake, and will certainly end up in failure of the entire venture.
If the principals of this restaurant feel they have outgrown the existing building and setting, and it is restricting their growth, it is incumbent upon them to find more suitable commercial property to expand their operation. It is not the county, the county taxpayers, the voters and residents' responsibility to upgrade their lease and further their low operational costs in order to further their profit margins.
Also, the fact that one of principals is now on the Flagler County Planning Board and owns other expensive commercial real estate further muddies the water of why this all happened.
Craig Coffey and Adam Mengel campaigned at the Planning Board meeting Nov. 13, for this venture and Coffey bragged he had spoken to Goodman a million times. However, no one in the community was made aware of the true venture, and A1A Pride was given a misrepresented perspective of what was included. This is why there is outcry and uprising from the citizens.
It is now incumbent upon the county commissioners to go back to the beginning, follow proper procedure, on this project and get rid of Craig Coffey who has gotten them into this mess, among other shenanigans he has pulled over the years.
City Council should set goals that really matter
Once again, the City Council didn’t fail to dazzle me with its obfuscatory euphemisms in its rendition of goals. I think the council underestimates the residents of Palm Coast in that many of us swooped right beyond the high school diploma and aspired to higher education, thereby imbuing us with the ability, hopefully, to recognize the total meaninglessness of this list of goals vis-a-vis our very real needs in the community, both past, present and continuing.
There are many I could list that should rank long before new development, but my pet gripe is swale rehab and maintenance. This neglect seems to be citywide, yet was not listed as a goal even though we are now paying increased taxes on our utility bills for just such a service.
How about the City Council engage in evaluating for visioning purposes the viability of implementing a maintenance program to develop a comprehensive policy to address our deteriorating swales! (Yep, all words gleaned from the City Council goals report.)
Roundabouts are a waste of money
I see they are going ahead with the stupid roundabouts on U.S. 1 (and beyond).
These are probably going to cause a lot of extra accidents, and the public as far as I've heard, did not want these to happen.
This is Florida, for heaven's sake, and we get drivers from all over the world who drive like they do "back home"!
What a classical waste of our money. Again.