+ Show us what a lobbyist will accomplish for Flagler County
After reading “Lobby Talk” this morning, some questions come to mind.
If the city of Palm Coast already has a federal lobbyist, Flagler Beach has a federal lobbyist and Flagler County wants one, why not use the same lobbying firm?
What have their lobbyists accomplished for Bunnell, Flagler Beach and Palm Coast? If we are still the most depressed area in the state, it would seem the answer to that might be “not much.”
What would the county commissioners hope to accomplish by hiring their own lobbying firm? I was under the impression that earmarks had been banned. Have you thought about hiring a consultant here in Flagler County to write grants for you?
Why do we need a lobbyist anyway? I thought it was U.S Rep. John Mica’s job to represent us.
I think we’d like to see a list of goals and prices before you hire. I am assuming you will provide that to meet our sunshine law requirement? It’s our money.
+ Why pay for a lobbyist to get funding for projects we don’t want?
Why should our county tax dollars be spent to buy someone to convince Washington to spend our federal tax dollars? Our County Commission wants to spend $5,000 a month for a lobbyist, to get federal funds for pet projects. They lament that they didn’t receive funding for some projects, because they didn’t have a lobbyist. Most of us didn’t want some of those projects. Why should we be forced to pay, for the ability to pay, for something we don’t want?
It doesn’t matter which funds are used to pay for the lobbyist. Those funds could be used for something we really need, or to maintain what we already have. What is the difference between earmarks everyone hates, and lobbyists getting grants? Hasn’t anyone heard about the federal budget deficit, or the $15 trillion national debt we already owe?
+ Dress not ‘disgusting’; teachers are doing a great job
So today I was reading The Observer and came across a letter from a Mr. Bill Nelson and his comment about how he thought the teachers and employees of the year were dressed “disgusting” for their Dec. 1 photo.
I’m looking at that very same picture and nothing about it is disgusting. Do you wear a suit and a tie 24/7?
I say thank you to all the teachers and employees all around the world. I think you’re doing a wonderful job. And, for the record, I do not work for the school system.
SEEING RED: RED LIGHT CAMERAS
+ Fine of $158 for running a red light is not reasonable
After the typical manner of denial followed by a proper rage, I eventually succumbed to the reality that our vehicle ran a red light and we are responsible for the fine. The question I propose to the city of Palm Coast is exactly what do they determine as reasonable?
The $158 fine must be paid within 30 days of the issued date. It took about three days for the letter to arrive from Tempe, Ariz. We’re down to 27 days. However, the back of the fine reads in small print: “It is recommended that the affidavit or payment be received eight days prior to the due date specified on the front of this notice to be appropriately processed, or a uniform traffic citation will be issued at a higher cost.” 27 – 8 = 19 days
If you consider that the bill is going to be mailed, because you and your spouse are working late hours during this recession and not available to speak to a court clerk, then it would be prudent to expect the same three days of mail time for the bill to get to Ohio, where it will be processed. 19 – 3 = 16 days.
So, we have 16 days to put together $158. Ignoring the Christmas season because justice recognizes no such holiday, we have to consider that some of the residents of Palm Coast have spent their entire savings during six months of unemployment and two years of underemployment. We should also consider that other financial needs might have arrived, such as replacing two tires in a week.
Calling the phone number listed on the citation a recording politely explains that there are no extensions offered for any reason.
So for a lousy $19,000 a year, the city of Palm Coast is outsourcing citations for which you have just over two weeks to pay up. That is a period of within one paycheck for most of us. Forget Christmas — we might be talking rent.
We spend how many hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on sidewalks and magnolia trees? And it comes down to hassling people out of a fine in a two-week period for $19,000 a year.
Once again I ask, what exactly does the city of Palm Coast think is reasonable?
Thank you City Councilman Jason DeLorenzo for taking the unpopular, but rational, look at the issue.
+ Hit them where it hurts: Obey the law and don’t run red lights
Regarding red light cameras: When the light turns yellow, a fast decision must be made. Either you slam on the brakes, perhaps causing the person behind to hit you; or, you step on the gas and hope you make it over the line before it turns red.
We, the taxpayers, have two expenses: brakes and gas. But the city does not care about our expenses.
One sure way for the city and red light companies to stop making so much money off us is for us to obey the law. Stop at all yellow lights. Hit them where it hurts. When revenues come down, they may have second thoughts.
James L. Motta