+ Palm Coast should not close the Frieda Zamba pool
Closing pools has a negative impact on the community. A heated pool is a necessity and asset to Palm Coast. The pool is presently under-utilized, with virtually no programs offered by this facility.
Although this is not a competition pool, the year-round sanctioned U.S. Swimming competitive program and the Masters swim team will be left with no place to train in Flagler County if this pool is closed.
This will put many athletes at a severe disadvantage. These teams comprise many hardworking, dedicated athletes who are residents of our community.
About a decade ago, a fierce movement was made to get this facility heated. This was an undertaking that represented years of work. What a shame to have their efforts go to waste.
When the weather is extremely cold, it is simple. Keep the pool closed. But do not close the facility for six months out of the year to the community. This action does not benefit the health, welfare and safety of the residents of our community.
Karen M. Cruz
+ Cut administrators, not teachers, when seeking to save money
I can think of no more important profession than teaching. These folks hold the future of our society and country in their hands. Some are of the opinion that the curriculum for a teaching degree is a snap. I didn’t find it to be so.
Walk a mile in their shoes. Teachers prepare lessons, grade exams, prepare the classroom, deal with individual differences in student abilities, provide proper discipline, communicate with parents and often spend their own money for classroom supplies because there are no funds in the budget.
In other departments of the system, there are those who hold well-paid positions. If conserving finances is a goal in these austere times (as it should be), it may be well to examine the finance/administrative area from top to bottom — the people who don’t teach or have little, if any, contact with students. If you find a plethora of noncritical workers here, or if an area is found to be top-heavy in people and/or payroll, financial means may become available for re-allocation to the teaching staff.
Ask yourself this: When you were in school, do you remember who the superintendent or fiscal control officer was?
+ We have to spend money to make money in this economy
Please. Do we want another inexperienced in-house official to bring industrial, technological, agricultural and medical and resort businesses to Flagler County?
Why not contact a qualified real estate company in lieu of a county and or city official? Our county and city governments need to help financially and offer large tax incentives to a top company interested in moving to our county.
We need to stop using in-house groups to save money. It takes money to make money, and you do not send a child on an adult’s mission.
Please let us stop all these groups’ requests. One or all of you officials need to have the guts to insist we go for broke and get the ball rolling. We need well paying jobs now; no more promises. Remember, after November election day, some of you officials may be out of work, too.
+ Keep Palm Coast elections in off years; vote no on amendment
When you go to vote for mayor Sept. 13, you will find a referendum on a change in the City Charter to make the local elections coincide with the federal and state elections. The argument for this is that it will save money.
I am all in favor of reduced government size and cost, but is this savings worth the loss? Do we want our local city government decided by people running for president or governor?
The people who wrote the City Charter decided wisely to make the city elections on “off years” just to avoid those problems.
I spoke with a representative of the supervisor of elections who argued that more people will turn out.
Exactly my point.
Most of the people who turn out to vote for president or governor or congress are not familiar with local issues and the local candidates.
In the long run, “off year” elections will bring us better government, which in turn will result of savings greater than the cost of the election.
Charles E. Kane
WHY THE ENDORSEMENT?
+ Netts has been in office far too long for Palm Coast
Regarding your endorsement of John Netts for Palm Coast mayor: Does anyone realize that if Netts is re-elected, he will serve another five years, bringing the total to 15 years on the council?
Is that good for any city?
I can think of several good reasons why it is time for some new blood on the council:
• The Centex fiasco at the marina and Palm Coast resort.
• Acres and acres of empty lots in Town Center and elsewhere that must be maintained.
• An attempt to build a new City Hall without permission of the voters.
In light of the low voter turnout, I guess nobody minds.
Editor’s Note: In our Sept. 1 issue, we give our reasoning for endorsing Netts, and we stand by that decision. We also agree with Charles Ericksen Jr. on many points, and we articulated them in that same editorial.
On our Facebook page, several readers were upset that we decided to endorse any candidate at all, saying it was not the newspaper’s job to do so. Some readers said the act of endorsing ruined our credibility.
At the Palm Coast Observer, we believe in the tradition of presenting the facts in our news stories and allowing the readers to decide for themselves whether the actions of politicians are proper.
Since Feb. 4, 2010, The Observer has written story after story about the actions of the Palm Coast City Council and other elected boards, and in each story, we have done our best to stay neutral. Generally, we have succeeded.
However, Page 6 is our opinion page. On Page 6, we print letters to the editor and sometimes guest editorials and columns.
We also believe it is worthwhile to explain why we believe certain candidates would be best for public office.
As a newspaper, our mission is not only to describe and record what goes on in the community but also to help build it.
We do that by shining the light on government and keeping residents informed of what is happening in their community. Giving voters well-reasoned arguments for why some candidates are better than others — when it is confined to the opinion page — also helps build a community.
Of course, residents are free to disagree. But we hope that by writing about the facts, the debate on the merits of the candidates will center not around rumors or misunderstandings but around the facts.