+ Thanks for recent Youth Reality Show coverage
Thanks for the coverage of our annual Youth Reality Show at the African American Cultural Center.
The cast gets more poised and professional each year. Those young people are learning a great deal about history while teaching us old folks!
I heard someone say that in the old West there actually were black cowboys riding along with the white cowboys. They learned that from the children you pictured in a skit on that subject. Hooray for Palm Coast and our local newspaper, the Palm Coast Observer.
+ Wealthy benefit from stormwater fee deal
Fitzgerald: “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.”
Hemingway: “Yes, they have more money.”
They hire representatives to make preposterous statements, such as this: “There really is no benefit (to landowners of undeveloped land).”
Only the wealthy landowner would argue that an increase in the value of the undeveloped land is independent of the economic growth of the local economy. Meanwhile, they argue, the burden of growing the local economy should be borne by the existing businesses and residents; their own burden should be discounted 98%.
Wealthy landowners make money in a different way from you and me. Most of us trade our time and talent for income. Landowners make money by investing in assets that appreciate, which they then sell and earn a capital gain. The land owned by Palm Coast Holdings and other large landowners will be sold for a higher price than its acquisition price. Some of the capital gain they will “earn” is the “benefit” they get from the stormwater system in Palm Coast.
Mayor Netts is right that the vacant lands benefit from the stormwater system because the land is more valuable than it would be without a vibrant community, and Palm Coast needs a successful stormwater system to grow.
Let’s not accept the “smoke and mirrors” arguments of large landowners, and shift the cost of maintaining Palm Coast’s stormwater system to the residential and commercial interests already established here.
Albert R. Tetrault
+ Palm Coast now ‘ripoff city’ with home-buying help
I wholeheartedly agree with Lynn Tobin’s letter, which appeared Feb. 24, in the Palm Coast Observer.
When I read the article about the Neighborhood Stabilization Program that recently appeared in your paper, I was wondering why a person who could afford to live in several places, including a tropical island, be it St. Croix, or any other place like that, would need $20,000 or $30,000 to buy a home here in Palm Coast.
He probably found on the Internet places like Palm Coast that are gullible enough to go along with this crap. My husband and I are on Social Security. Who is helping us? No one, and no one will. We are considered wealthy because we have an income (ha ha).
Palm Coast needs to wake up and smell the coffee. It is becoming “ripoff city.” Our housing prices are at the bottom of the well, but our taxes did not come down. However, you are giving away our money to strangers who do not need any help. How many other properties does this person own, or will own when the dust settles?
+ Do you remember when …
The average age for Palm Coast residents is 55, so many of you will read this with a smile on your face. Remember when …
It took three minutes for the TV to warm up? A quarter was a decent allowance? You reached into a muddy gutter for a penny? You got your windshield cleaned, oil checked and gas pumped all for free?
Laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels inside the box? It was considered a privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant? They threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed — and they did it?
WHAT DOES WISCONSIN HAVE TO DO WITH PALM COAST?
+ City utility worker vs. Wall Street executive
I have been thinking about the events going on in Wisconsin as a casual observer until something that happened recently. I am your classic college-educated, middle-aged, middle-class citizen who has always kept an open mind when it comes to politics, until now. It seems there is an assault on our public employees. Here’s my story:
It is 6 p.m. Saturday, and I am expecting friends over for the night when I hear the toilet start to bubble. I look outside and sure enough my PEP Tank is overflowing. Great. Now what do I do? Panic won’t do me any good, so I think: the city.
I look for my water bill, and sure enough there is an after-hours emergency number on the front page. I call the number, and to my amazement I get a real person on the line, and I believe she is from the United States. She asks me a few questions about my problem, address, phone number, etc., and says someone will be out shortly.
I’m thinking, Sure, it’s Saturday evening, the weather’s great, and someone will be here shortly. I can only cross my fingers.
About a half hour later, a city truck pulls up in front of my house. I think to myself, My music is not too loud, so this can’t be code enforcement.
No, it’s a city utility truck. The city utility worker gets out of the truck and asks me “What seems to be the problem?”
I tell the utility worker the situation, and he determines the pump is bad and must be replaced. He goes to his truck, retrieves a new pump, installs the pump and tells me, “Have a good evening, sir.”
I start thinking to myself, What would a private, licensed plumber charge me to come to my house on a Saturday evening to work on my PEP Tank?
Then I thought about the time four years ago when my son started to choke on a piece of candy. My wife called 911, and five minutes later the paramedics were at my house and did not leave until they made sure my son was OK.
The time a fire started in the bathroom of my sister-in-law’s house, and the firefighters were able to contain the fire to that room only.
The time when I was building a house and the city electrical inspector caught a problem with my wiring, which prevented a potential disaster. I believe these men and women don’t make $100 million a year — oops, $100,000 a year — oops, $50,000 a year — probably not even close.
Our teachers that are college-educated and entrusted with educating our children for eight hours a day, plus all the extra time they put into the job, probably make less than $50,000 a year. Are they worth the little extra benefits they receive?
Well the politicians that get their benefits paid, the bankers, the Wall Street executives, the corporate managers say no. They call it “redistribution of wealth” and “we need tax cuts for job growth.”
To all those people that say “cut, cut, cut,” be careful for what you wish for. The $500 I pay in city taxes a year seems like a small price to pay for the services I receive. So tell me who’s worth the money they make, the Wall Street executive or the city utility worker. On one beautiful Saturday evening, my vote goes for the city utility worker.