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Palm Coast Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015 4 years ago

LETTERS: Don't diminish beauty of Palm Coast; also: Unexpected benefits of the Charter discussion?

Residents have their say.

Beware the temptation to reduce natural beauty of Palm Coast

Dear Editor:

It was encouraging, over the past few weeks, to see a number of residents express acute concern over discussions in City Hall to whittle away at landscape codes.

Any diminution of landscape barriers would lead to diminution of the natural beauty that distinguishes this city from Everywhere, Florida, and thus is a dent in the city’s “holy grail.”

Palm Coast has always been identified and set apart for its closeness to natural beauty. It’s incredible how a few developers (plazas, of course) can have such sway. I guess there is an irresistible temptation, on the part of officials, to want to hob-nob with “wealth” (at least the local rendition) and preside over big real estate deals, despite future consequences.

And future consequences there are: for lessening the beauty of this city would also lessen property values across the board.

That’s the long-term effect (short-term is a little boost in tax income, when a new store is allowed to do what it likes). It’s incredible how many stores are empty around here (take a look at the gas station carved into Pine Lakes Parkway, or maybe Roma Court, or maybe Town Center) and realize how little value is placed, too often, on the value of God-given aesthetics.

So many of our politicians and government leaders like to tout their religious beliefs, while violating them in the reverence for mammon.

Michael H. Brown
Palm Coast

We don't want the City Council to get involved in day-to-day operations

Dear Editor:

What is all the noise about? The noise is coming from Steve Nobile, a City Council member who claims to have many resident requests to review the Charter. There are 75,000 residents in Palm Coast; if he has many, it is the few vocal ones who do not like Palm Coast.

The main reason Nobile wants a review is so that in his own words, he wants to be involved with “day-to-day operations.” Wrong, wrong on any front. You can imagine having council members involved with the day-to-day operations.

If you really don’t like Palm Coast, I suggest you move to greener grass.

He doesn’t like our city manager and wants to strip him of his responsibilities. Council members need to lead, not manage operations. I was a supervisor or manager in my previous work, and every decision I made did not sit well with a few, but that comes with leadership.

If you really don’t like Palm Coast, I suggest you move to greener grass. The county has a lot of grass; I’m sure you can find something there to complain about. Too bad we have to wait until 2018 election to express our desire.

Robert Branin
Palm Coast

Playing music is good for adults, too

Dear Editor:

What a wonderful story about our high school music programs and the benefits and rewards of studying music!

Your readers should know that the benefits you mention for the students also apply to adults. The mental and physical activity of playing music and being in a band is good for all of us.

Are you readers aware that a fine community band exists right here in Palm Coast? The Palm Coast Community Band is made up of about 40 adults and students who love to play. We rehearse every Thursday evening in the Flagler Palm Coast High School band room. We welcome new members to join us in a friendly, no audition, concert band that performs locally.

Douglas Messner
Flagler Beach

Yacht Club is not central enough of a location for a senior center

Note: This letter was also sent to City Manager Jim Landon.

Dear Editor:

I read in the papers that the city is contemplating the purchase of the Palm Coast Yacht Club and converting it to a nature center and a senior center.

Depending on the size of the building and the size of the portion of the building to be operated as a senior center and how the senior portion of the building would be equipped presents a question if this is workable.

Another factor to consider is the senior population. According to the 2010 census 23% of Palm Coast's population were 65 or older. That's in excess of 17,000 seniors. Has the city polled the senior population to see how many seniors would avail themselves of the center, plus their frequency of use, per week, to determine whether the Yacht Club building would be adequate?

Another factor to consider is the location of the Yacht Club. It's a great location for those seniors living in the northeast quadrant of the city, a mediocre location for seniors in some other parts of the city and a lousy location for those living in the southern parts of the city.

Also, with regard to the Yacht Club location, has the city considered what if any traffic increase it will bring to Florida Park Drive, further angering those residents?

What this city needs is a single-use dedicated senior center more centrally located to serve all the seniors of the city.

While Mayor Jon Netts allegedly commented that he is not in favor of a single-use building, may I ask if the new City Hall, which he favored, is a single-use building or is it multipurpose? Are the tennis courts and golf course in which the city pours our tax dollars single-use operations? If so, why can't we have a single-use senior center?

Ed Blitz
Palm Coast

Yacht Club to become a nature center? What next?

Dear Editor:

Being as I'm a member of the unwashed masses, I am not privy to the goings on at the Yacht Club, but from what I read in the papers it seems the Yacht Club is being sold.

We poor folks always took pride in having a Yacht Club. Even though some of them weren't the nicest or brightest, they were people who were surviving Obama's depression: They owned yachts and belonged to a yacht club! These people were an inspiration to the children; if they could own yachts, then anybody could.

Now that they are selling the symbol of our wellbeing, is the end near? Are we doomed?

The City Council will more than likely buy the Yacht Club so they can construct a nature center! We are buying an overpriced 23-year-old building so we can construct a nature center!

I have three questions: 1. Who owns this building and gets the money? 2. Is anyone on the City Council a member or ever been a member of the Yacht Club? 3. Do you think the people in Palm Coast are so stupid they'll go along with this?

The answer to 3 is probably, “Yes.” We do have a City Hall, don't we?

I don't know the total number of parks, preserves, museums, complexes, places, walkways, golf courses, pools, tennis courts and horseshoe pits we have in this vicinity, and I don't think anyone else knows either, but we are going to have one more. I don't know how much it will cost, and I don't want some clown telling me the money came from the state or federal government because it didn't — it came from my pocket!

They can find millions of dollars for parks (we even have two dog parks) but they can't find any money to keep the Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club operating, which mainly benefits a group of senior citizens who paid for the place!

We elect these people; we deserve what we got. 

Douglas Glover
Palm Coast

Unintended benefits of the Charter review debate

Dear Editor:

As I followed along, and engaged in some dialogue with various people online and offline, with the most recent Charter review “debate,” I am left thinking there are quite a few unintended benefits that can come from this.

First is the residents’ awareness of the City Charter itself. Hopefully many residents do a simple Google search for “City of Palm Coast Charter” (or obtain a copy from the city), download the document, read it, make notes of what they would like to see changed, and suggest their recommendations to Mr. Nobile or the Council.

The document is only about 38 pages and almost half it is simply explaining the city boundaries. So it’s not a long or difficult read at all.

Secondly, I was particularly taken back by a few comments from various people claiming to “not be heard.” I can tell you that, in the 11 years living here, I have never had an issue receiving a response when I have reached out to any council member, including the mayor. In fact, I emailed a question to Mayor Jon Netts just the other day and received a phone call that same day. We had a very nice conversation.

“Not being heard” is a misperception. Adding anonymous comments on local news articles or clicking “like,” or “share,” or commenting on posts on social media sites without further action and then expecting that to “be heard” by the City Council is pretty absurd. The term for this is “slacktivism.”

By contrast, when it came to the recent Princess Place issue, over 1,000 county residents flocked to a new Facebook group established to raise awareness and discuss the issue. But they didn’t stop at Facebook: Many of them actually reached out to the commissioners. They took actual action, and in this case it was emails, phone calls, and it probably would have been physically

It is truly very easy to actually be heard if you put in the actual effort.

showing up at meetings.

The truth is that the city of Palm Coast is about 51 square miles and less than 100,000 people. This is not Washington, D.C. It is truly very easy to actually be heard if you put in the actual effort.

Mr. DeLorenzo’s statement regarding his sense of duty to “protect those that are silent” is extremely important because being silent is also expressing an opinion and must “be heard” as well. When a council member raises a motion and all others remain silent without seconding the motion, the other members have voiced their opinion by being silent. So when roughly 50-60 people speak up on a very public matter over the course of about six months and over 70,000 are silent on the matter (including those most active and vocal on city matters), is it truly reasonable to think that “many” really do want the matter addressed as it is being suggested?

There are positive outcomes to this debate. Palm Coasters should “crack open” the Charter and send their suggestions to Mr. Nobile. Or, better yet, show up and present them yourself. If all we hear going forward is the same “we want a Charter review because it’s been X number of years” without anyone bringing specifics or utilizing the other means to present ideas for changes they think are appropriate, then Mr. DeLorenzo being conflicted because it appears to be a “political ploy” has actually been validated hasn’t it? Only time will tell.

Brad M. West
Palm Coast

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