What are your neighbors talking about?
Well done, Nick Klufas
Twenty-six years ago when I was City Council member Nick Klufas' age, I moved my very young family to Palm Coast.
At the time, I was capable of, and charged with employing over 100 people, writing business plans, managing a significant budget, handling clients and vendors, and keeping our company up on the technology of the time. I was also providing for my family of four.
I believe Nick, at his tender age, is every bit as capable as I was; however, he clearly has a capability I did not gain until many years later.
Nick remained civil, called for civility, and held his temper despite verbal bullying received at the City Council meeting. At his age, I would not have handled that situation in a constructive manner.
Well done, "young man," well done.
A ‘relatively small amount’ of money?
The question that comes to mind after reading about the Palm Coast City Council melee is why do the taxpayers need to pay anything for a radio show that "sells" fellow residents on Palm Coast? Has there been a threatened mass exodus of Palm Coast that I missed? The discussion of who really needed to host this show of endless self-PR serves no purpose other than to avoid the obvious question: Do these elected officials and their staff really think the residents are this oblivious?
This recent furor around a radio show that promotes Palm Coast to Palm Coast residents for $10,000 which Councilman Bob Cuff states, "to me is a relatively small amount of money," is worthy of our further investigation. His comment is indeed indicative of a "high roller" mentality that might play well in Palm Beach County. Mr. Cuff needs to check in with any resident of Palm Coast and see if $10,000 is within the definition of "small."
This does help me to understand why he voted a raise for the city manager who is paid more than the Florida chief justice or the governor. That $6,000 raise falls well below the "relatively small" definition.
Councilman Nick Klufas got away clean in this fracas, so far. But when you look deeper you might find him offering a "whispered comment" up on the dais that he just might have known would wind Nobile's clock! Haven't the good folks of Flagler had more than enough of our elected officials and staff whispering off the record?
Easier still, just ask Vince Liguori, the long time resident with a history of asking good questions. He will give it to you straight and tell what he observed.
But look again and see how the point of this furor is missed. Why did Mayor Milissa Holland not make sure to inform all the other council members of this offer or direct City Manager Landon to do so?
As mayor, you are the agent of the City Council. You act for the body at their directive, you sign off for them on items of record on their behalf, you lead the council meetings for a semblance of order. So why the lack of notice failing to build consensus, one of her most used words?
This is not Mayor Holland's first rodeo. She was a county commissioner for six years and knows how it felt when she was left out of the loop down at the big green dome. I will admit that six years is quite a while to be away from the council process, but those years away were filled with being paid as a lobbyist for government matters, where the same knowledge of protocol must have been employed.
So Mayor Holland needs to work harder to build a better environment with all the council members and remember that in their absence she voices their consensus.
This might seem very much out of place with me saying it, but if this keeps up, I will start to miss Mayor Jon Netts!
Thanks for sticking up for those at risk for suicide
You are doing important work calling attention to Flagler Cares’ search for communitywide involvement for suicide awareness and prevention initiative (“Suicide: A Flagler County Emergency,” published Feb. 15).
Those of us associated with the newly formed Atlantic Coast Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State (find us on Facebook) are particularly concerned about statements made by some faith-based organizations that being LGBTQ is “disgusting, unnatural and aberrant behavior.” These messages may be the religious beliefs of some, but certainly have no place in our public schools and other government-run programs. They do nothing but help tip the scales in a very wrong direction for those who contemplate suicide.
Let’s work together to preserve the mental health of those who need the most help. Let's keep our schools and community safe for LBGTQ people by keeping them free of faith-based bigotry.
Merrill Shapiro, president
Atlantic Coast Chapter
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Ford is right: Signs code is too restrictive
I read your article, “Ford: Sign code is too restrictive,” with great interest. Not only are current sign codes hurting businesses, but they hurt consumers too.
As a relative newcomer to Palm Coast, I have found it extremely difficult to find anything here. One must drive through each and every strip mall/plaza to figure out what is in them because the signs are not visible.
I have never lived in a city that went to such great lengths to “hide” their businesses. Businesses pay taxes and help keep property taxes low. They also provide important services for members of the community. I am not suggesting that we do away with all restrictions, but there has to be a middle ground.
I understand that we all want to keep Palm Coast the beautiful city that it is. However, the landscaping around businesses hide the signs, making it hard for them to attract customers and making it hard for customers to find the services that they need.
Palm Coast residents must travel to Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, St. Augustine and Port Orange to shop in many major stores because the codes are so restrictive here that they will not locate here. We are losing taxes that these businesses would pay, along with the jobs they would provide. There has to be an acceptable compromise to our Stepford-like restrictions.
Follow engineering standards, not emotion, on traffic light
Shame on Sherriff Rick Staly and the Flagler County Board of County Commissioners for pushing the Florida Department of Transportation to put a traffic light at the intersection of U.S. 1 and Old Dixie Highway. That is exactly what we don’t need on U.S. 1: another unnecessary traffic light.
In recent years Palm Coast has gone traffic light happy on U.S. 1. With the exception of the light near a school facility (at times), these lights are expensive and unneeded. Then there is the traffic light at U.S. 1 and Plantation Bay, another choice based on emotion and not on engineering standards.
FDOT uses a code mandated by USDOT that is time tested to determine whether a traffic control device is warranted. These rules are set just so weak-kneed politicians don’t have to bow to temporary emotional outbursts and make bad choices.
Unfortunately some politicians still don’t get it. Adding traffic control devices where they are not warranted can be destructive to not only traffic flow but to safety itself. How many people are killed or injured because they think that traffic should be stopped in the opposite direction when they have a green light?
You can’t fix bad choices or carelessness with traffic signals. You are better off in making drivers use their judgment.
Sheriff Rick Staly got one thing right: He is not a traffic engineer. How would he feel if traffic engineers started telling him how he should be doing his job as Flagler County’s top cop?
Come on, folks! We have these rules in place for a reason. Had the County Commission asked the state DOT to review the intersection to see if it met the criteria, that would be reasonable. To just push for a traffic signal is not.
Who is against freedom of the press?
On the morning of March 1, approximately 20 local residents gathered on Florida Park Drive near the offices of the Palm Coast Observer to show support for the freedom of the press.
As people drove by, many beeped their horns and waved at us, letting us know that they also supported a free press, and we were encouraged by their smiles and enthusiasm.
There were a few, however, who reacted in a much different way: angry facial expressions and a thumbs down or other finger gesture.
Are there actually people in our community who are against a free press?
Choose between your pit bull and your children’s safety
I take exception to the two letters from readers in the March 2 Palm Coast Observer, the sob stories about pit bull/pit mixes being put to sleep. All readers that are interested in the real problem of pits, should click onto dogbite.org. They have the statistics of dog bites and fate bites from around the country, and 80%-92% of these bites are from the pit bull family.
Look at the little faces of infants and children killed by the family pet!
Please choose between your "mild-mannered” pit bull and having children in the house. Like humans, many can snap at a moment's notice. Choose between your beloved pet and your children's safety.
Community Center reconstruction was not the will of the people
I am a concerned citizen and wish to express my disappointment in our elected representatives. My chargrin is with the way the city is using money to pay for city projects without having input from the voters and taxpayers of Palm Coast.
To cite a couple of examples: the recently constructed City Hall in Town Center and now the Community Center.
When City Hall was placed on the ballot years ago, it was denied. The Community Center renovation was not placed on a recent ballot. We, the taxpayers, had no say in the need or validity of these expenditures.
Another example is the costly landscaping, irrigation system and I assume the relocation of utilities to accommodate the undertaking. While there may or may not be a valid logic for these projects in the minds of the city staff, it should be incumbent on our elected officials to ask questions and determine if the city taxpayers should have a vote.
There are more critical projects that should be funded: safe zones for school bus stops with adequate lighting; street lights in neighborhoods that are experiencing high volumes of burglarly, break-ins, vandalism and crime; and sidewalks in neighborhoods to alleviate residents and children from having to walk in the same lane as traffic.
The concern of the majority of most neighborhoods is that there is only one egress, and that can cause huge problems in the event evacuation is necessary. I hope this points out to all of you one citizen’s concern about government and taxation without representation.
O.W. "Buck" Troesch Jr.
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