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Palm Coast Thursday, Sep. 22, 2011 7 years ago

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 9.22.2011

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+ Don’t allow dogging dining
Dear Editor:
Dogs must be banned from restaurants and beaches simply because owners are just lazy. They simply don’t bother with the cleaning issue, just like smokers who throw their cigarette butts anywhere. No regard for cleanliness.

Animals relieving themselves time to time with no warning is the reality of life. I’ve witnessed this issue on sidewalks and beaches.

The problem is always the same, and all the time owners don’t clean after their “friends.” No excuses!

Dallas Prentice
Palm Coast

+ Bridge at Old Kings and I-95 unsafe
Dear Editor:
I am a homeowner in Palm Coast and frequently use the Interstate-95/Old Kings Road bridge. This bridge is too narrow for comfort and has no margin for error.

My wife recently was crossing the bridge, and the oncoming car was over the mid-line. The oncoming driver recognized his mistake and, at the last second, made the correction.

This was nearly a disaster; the cars could easily spill over onto I-95. The bridge is blind on both sides, and you can’t see who is coming until you are on the bridge. I have recently noticed bicycles on the bridge. This is going to cause a serious problem soon. There is no room for a bike and two cars.

This needs to be seriously reviewed and fixed. That bridge is too narrow and does not have adequate room for pedestrians or bikes.

Ralph Grams
Palm Coast

+ We need woman candidates
Dear Editor:
I thank my loyal supporters and will continue to stay involved in local government. I’m sorry that a woman has not entered the race for Palm Coast City Council, as I know that we have many talented women here that would make a difference.

I support Dennis Cross in his efforts to win a seat on the council, and also Bill McGuire. I thank them for their involvement. 

I agree that we have a great city and, in time, it will grow again. I’m sorry that the two-party system has been driven underground and would like to see us change the City Charter from a nonpartisan voting city to a partisan one.

Keep in mind that we are a new city and still learning as we go forward. It’s up to the residents to keep the local government honest, and we must stay involved and vote when we have the opportunity. If we fail to do this, we will lose our freedoms.

I thank God for the opportunity to serve my church, country and family. I thank Charles Ericksen, a neighbor and friend, for a race well conducted, and I wish him success.

Joe Cunnane
Palm Coast

+ EDC sings same old tune
Dear Editor:
Why did Enterprise Flagler finally spend its way out of business after 11 years of continued taxpayer funding? The answer could well be that the members became far to cavalier in their attitude, and like so many other subgroups currently feeding at the taxpayer trough in Flagler County, they thought this ride would never end.

That probably would have been the case, had it not been for one savvy Palm Coast official who recognized that there was a problem here.

From the group’s own admission during its final hours, the members needed a plan that would have streamlined the agency’s board, made its operations more transparent, and beefed up its effectiveness. So what are they telling us with that statement? Possibly the fact that they had been operating for 11 years without these in place?

It now appears from the figures that Enterprise Flagler may have spent well in excess of $3 million of our tax money during those years, all done with little to no accountability. The results of this expense, they claim, produced 1,465 jobs. Please feel free to do the math.

Unfortunately, this is not over yet. The Flagler County Board of County Commissioners intends to resurrect a clone. This resurrection will come be complete with a new name and maybe even a few new faces, etc., but be assured, if it does arrive, it will be business as usual, just another entity continuing to spend your money on pie-in-the-sky dreams.

If this group is indeed restructured as planned, the county will expect all the local municipalities who wish to participate to kick in their tax money, the funding required to help float this new and improved model. This is now being referred to in government circles as “pay to play.”

Flagler Beach presently has City Commissioner Jane Mealy as its representative to this board, and it appears is joining in.

One might ask: Who made that decision for our city so quickly, and was the current financial collapse of the big E even considered before embracing any new model?

Don’t be so quick to act when spending residents’ money.

Remember the old adage: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

Why not just stay away from all these win-win schemes, as they often end up costing more than the benefits received?

Arthur Woosley
Flagler Beach

DOUBLE CROSSED?
+ Chamber policy unfair to candidates
Dear Editor:
Only 10% of our voters turned out for the primary. As a candidate for the District 3 City Council seat, I decided to extend extra effort to make voters aware of who the candidates are and the local issues prior to the Nov. 8 general election. Our city deserves a respectable voter turnout.

The Creekside Festival is being held Oct. 8 to Oct. 9, at Princess Place. I submitted an application and fee to the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce & Affiliates Sept. 16 for a 10-by-10-foot space to meet the voters and distribute literature.

I received a phone call later that day from Doug Baxter, chamber president, saying my application was being returned. He said political parties (Democrat, Republican, tea party) could have a space, but candidates could not. He said I could participate at one of these three tents.

But the city election is nonpartisan, and I cannot represent myself as a party candidate. The city clerk notified all candidates in July that House Bill 1355, passed May 19, changed election laws. The bill states: “Nonpartisan Candidates: Makes campaigning based upon party affiliation a violation of Florida Statue Chapter 106.”

The chamber staff members have a right to support my opponent for the District 3 seat. They do not have a right to deny me an equal opportunity to meet voters and listen to their concerns. Any independent or nonpartisan candidate has the same political right as any party to appear at this public event. I think the voters will agree.

Dennis Cross
City Council candidate

Editor’s Note: Doug Baxter, chamber president, responded:

“Since 2008, the chamber has limited booth space at the annual Creekside Festival to nonprofit organizations, arts-and-crafts vendors and those serving food. The decision was made to stop accepting applications from political candidates to maintain the integrity of the Creekside Festival as a family-friendly, arts-and-crafts festival, not a stop on the campaign trail …

“The local Republican, Democrat and tea party clubs, as nonprofits, have purchased booth space and will join us this year. Political candidates, like other Flagler County residents, are certainly welcome to attend the festival, but we will no longer rent space to them. This policy is not meant to ‘shut out’ candidates or deny them the right to meet voters. It is simply a matter of not wanting Creekside to turn into a campaign venue.

“We agree that voter turnout in Flagler County is an issue. That is why the chamber teamed up with the Young Professionals Group of Flagler County and launched Flagler Votes, a nonpartisan public information campaign to encourage voter turnout …

Baxter said the chamber board was scheduled to meet Wednesday, Sept. 21, to discuss the issue.

Check www.PalmCoast Observer.com for the update.

 

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