Also in Letters to the Editor: City will lose a good thing with Green Lion's departure.
Council should have prepared earlier to trim back budget
As our City Council moves to adopt this upcoming year’s budget and millage rate, it has become much more apparent how crucial it is to remain fiscally conservative in every decision we make throughout the entire year.
Due to high inflation, the buying power of every consumer is diminished with every visit to the gas station or grocery store. Just like our costs have increased at home, the costs to operate our local government and provide government services have dramatically increased as well.
It was obvious several months ago when the city’s budget approval process began that our costs were not decreasing any time in the near future.
I have attended nearly all budget workshops and City Council meetings for quite some time. There was not enough dialogue between the City Council and city staff early on in the process regarding what specific items could be cut from the budget or how the items and projects approved in the budget could be achieved at a lower cost.
Opportunities for innovation, cost savings, and increased efficiencies should have been discussed throughout the lengthy budget process but this did not happen. It was possible to provide tax relief and ensure delivery of needed services and infrastructure, but this opportunity was missed.
Moving forward, it’s necessary that we connect our Strategic Action Plan goals with specific line items in our budget, ensuring the utilization of taxpayer dollars are directly furthering our goals of providing excellent government services, preserving our quality of life, and securing safe and stable infrastructure for our future.
Taxpayer dollars must be directly connected to these important priorities, and we must always be focused on ways to keep our costs low while maintaining our levels of service. With hard work and proactive planning and engagement, this is feasible.
At a moment when our citizens are yearning for clarity and transparency, it’s incumbent upon our leaders to communicate with the community about — and involve the community with — these vital decisions. These funds are, after all, taxpayer dollars, and we must not lose sight of this reality.
Theresa Carli Pontieri
Editor's note: Pontieri is a candidate for Palm Coast City Council, District 2.
City will lose a good thing with Green Lion's departure
I see that in 2022, no one is bidding to replace the Green Lion restaurant at Palm Harbor Golf Course.
As in 2017, when no one wanted to step into the fray of what might be a failure, the Green Lion entered the fray and became a notable and successful venue for the residents.
Fast forward to 2021, the city staff negotiated a sensible new arrangement with the restaurant and then the politicians stepped in to mess it up.
Only one member of the council was around in 2017 to know how much of a risk the restaurant took to start that venture. However, that didn't stop the council from getting greedy and finally halting the negotiations.
Whose best interests is the council serving by throwing out a successful restaurant that the residents support and enjoy? Certainly not the taxpaying residents who are now without another bidder.