+ Sawgrass Villas development should not be allowed
This letter is regarding the Sawgrass Villas multi-family apartment project, in the L-section, with a scheduled community meeting 5:30 p.m. Aug. 8, at Indian Trails Middle School.
Our neighborhood does not need projects that are inconsistent with the existing residential golf-course homes. Multifamily projects strain our utility and water resources. The increased traffic will bring congestion and wear and tear to our roads.
In August 2004, I joined many other excited homeowners who were new to Palm Coast. We were part of a new development of homes within a golf-course community. Driving through our neighborhood, we enjoyed pristine yards and a scenic golf course. It was a little piece of heaven.
Within seven years, our world turned upside down. The golf course closed. Homeowners lost their jobs and homes. The ratio of homeowners decreased, and the number of rental properties increased. Eventually, many of the rental properties became eyesores. The neighborhood has experienced more crime. On our street alone, we have had one assault with a gun, one death by a gun and one death following a botched robbery. Our little piece of heaven is now a nightmare.
Getting back to where we were will not happen overnight, but it starts with building projects that are uniform with the established single-family homes.
+ Salaries are way too high for public officials
I believe that $100,000-plus salaries are way out of line, particularly in these difficult economic times. Of more importance to me is this: Who approved these salaries? And what was the job paying three, five, seven years ago? I voted for some of these people, and, to the best of my knowledge, none of the jobs was paying anything close to $100,000. I seem to recall a range of $40,000 to $60,000.
In Flagler County, very few, if any, should be making $100,000 to $190,000. Come on, already: $190,000 for a city manager, $140,000 for a grammar school principal? Who’s watching the hen house?
Editor’s Note: Most of the salaries in the $100,000 range are not elected officials, but are instead appointed members of staff (but approved by elected officials in the yearly budgets).
+ Don’t leave cash and jewelry in plain sight in unlocked car
In the July 28 edition of the Palm Coast Observer, there is an article in Cops Corner about a person who left her purse with $3,000 and jewelry on the front seat of her unlocked car overnight, and it was stolen. This is not the first time I have read this happening.
If you leave that kind of money in an unlocked car for everyone to see, you deserve to lose it. Where is people’s common sense?
+ Code enforcement more complicated than it seems
Regarding Mr. Albano’s letter where he offers a “simple arithmetic” answer to a more complicated equation: I would not consider the calculations he used as even being close to accurate. Allocating five minutes per property inspection is unrealistic, unless the code enforcer “flags” the job. Driving by the location would take more than five minutes, and the paperwork alone would account for more than five minutes.
What about the travel time from one inspection to another and associated paperwork? What about lunch for the code enforcer? What about driving to and from headquarters every day?
Mr. Albano says that 11 officers should be able to accomplish about 275,000 inspections per year. Do any of these code enforcers have vacation time? Do any of these workers get sick during the year? And there are more variables absent from the writer’s equation.
There is nothing simple about what is involved in manpower or time and budget considerations.
+ Kudos to city for suggestion to cut Enterprise Flagler
Editor’s Note: The following was also sent to the Palm Coast City Council.
We have much to be proud of in our city. I was so pleased with the news that the Palm Coast City Council, under the leadership of Mayor Jon Netts, took the first step to pulling the cork on Enterprise Flagler.
That organization has never seemed to get it. The leadership can not focus on who we are. As Merle Haggard sings, “I am what I am.” Well, we are what we are.
I am proud that the City Council has the chutzpah to move boldly. Our city will be fine as long as we keep our fiscal house in order, provide for the safety of our citizens, help those in real need and keep our assets in good shape.
Keep up the good work.
+ Candidates should attend all offered citizens academies
Recently my husband and I graduated from the Flagler County Sheriff’s Citizens Academy. I have attended and graduated from the Flagler County Citizens Academy with this past inaugural class. A few years ago, I attended and graduated from the Palm Coast Citizens Academy.
I suggest the people running for public office take the time to go through the citizens academies that are available to them.
It would be enlightening for all concerned if the prospective council member or commissioner would actually have been told what the departments in each branch of the governments are expected to do or, in some cases, not do. This might stop some of the unproductive city-vs.-county nonsense.
To go to all these academies takes five weeks for the city, eight for the county and 12 for the Sheriff’s Office.
It was definitely worth my time, and in September my husband and I will be doing the Palm Coast academy. I cannot wait to see what has changed in the past few years.