Thank you for making this a great place to live
The other week I had the opportunity to meet Jason Giraulo, city of Palm Coast digital communications coordinator. Jason has a job similar to mine and it was nice to meet the person behind all of these great posts, photos and information provided online. I’ve heard many positive things about him, too. After introducing myself, I told him how I thought he was doing a great job. He looked surprised and questioned, “You really think so?”
In that moment it dawned on me that he probably doesn’t hear that too often from the public. Not only him, but all of those other city and county employees and leaders who work hard to make great things happen around us every day. Things we often take for granted.
Recently, I wanted to get clarification on some financial statements that have been flying around recently and emailed the city finance department just asking for some clarification. Christopher Quinn, finance director, responded to me in less than a day with supporting documents and an invitation to meet if I had further questions. I know he must have an extremely busy job, but he took the time to respond far quicker than I had anticipated. And that has always been the case with all of the departments and council members I have had to contact either for personal or work-related items.
It’s easy to complain and simply focus on the negative. I know I’ve done my share of that. It gets very easy sometimes to just focus on what we think is “wrong” when the truth is that we have a wonderful community with a ton of positives.
Due to my wife’s profession and assisting her at times, I get to interact with a lot of people checking out our community and moving here. They always say the same thing, “This is such a pretty place.” Rarely has anyone ever been disappointed in their choice to move here. Family who have come to visit love it here. And what’s not to love?
There are so many to thank and too often they get overlooked, in my opinion. All of the city and county employees who have worked through extremely challenging economic times, and have done a great job. The city employees who keep their chins up while they have had to deal with a less than adequate working environment in their temporary space. Our leadership who have tackled tough decisions through those same challenges while planning for the future.
Thank you to the local business leaders, such as Ky and Lisa Ekinci who push challenges aside and truly make lemonade from those economic lemons, the support they give other local businesses and entrepreneurs, and for stepping up to provide valuable services and opportunities. Office Divvy, for example, has been a leader in providing internship opportunities and have a great group of young people. To all of those business owners who faced a huge challenge with European Village, stuck it out, invested more, rolled up their sleeves, and brought it back to life.
Let’s not forget our newer local news people either. The Observer for stepping in and keeping us informed. Some of you may remember that just a few years ago we basically had no local news. Great job to this group for all you do, and the awards you've received are truly well deserved.
This past June marked 10 years since we’ve moved to Palm Coast and Flagler County, and through all of the roller coaster of this past decade, I am so thankful to live here. This is a great place to live and raise a family with so many wonderful people and groups. So thank you to all who work, and have worked, so hard to make our community the great place it is.
Brad M. West
What is there for the seniors to do in Palm Coast?
Palm Coast does not have senior community center of activities for seniors to go to. St Johns County has nine; we have none.
The seniors of Palm Coast need a place to gather to make friends, have lunch, learn about health related issues, Medicare, so many other different issues, plan day trips.
I went to The River House in St Augustine recently. How lovely! Their daily calendar was filled with activities from mahjong to bingo, coffee break time, writing classes, tech help, pole walkers club, drama club, chorus, prescription assistance — I could go on and on.
So what happened to Palm Coast? Surely we could afford one. With so many empty buildings, offices, the county could do something for the many seniors. Do we have to move to St. Johns County?
I belong to a club, People’s Friendship Club. We meet every Thursday at The Watson Real Estate Office. We have about 75 members, ladies and gents. Last week, Watson (who has been so kind for the last year letting us use one of their meeting rooms for free of charge) informed us that they have merged with a new business and now need this room, so we are also looking for a place to regroup.
Our founders, Annette and Charlie, have been doing a lot of phone calling, visiting places, sending applications out. Our club does not have a membership fee. It really is a friendship club open to anyone who does not want to be lonely. So with us and the other seniors who do not have a place to gather, who will help us?
Volunteering is harder to arrange than it should be
I moved to Palm Coast last November, ready to start my life anew with new opportunities, especially volunteering.
What a disappointment. You won’t believe my bad luck. First, I volunteered with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office’s Citizen Observer Patrol. It took forever for them to respond, and when they finally did, I was rejected because I demanded to be trained, and they were too busy. I tried to appeal to Sheriff Jim Manfre, but he ignored my requests.
Next, I tried with the Flagler County Volunteer Services. My wife and I both tried and sent in our material, which they lost twice. We went through the supposed training, only to be called and told we needed to take the training. We refused and got another application in the mail to fill out.
Third, I tried with a local charter school, Palm Harbor Academy. Because I am a retired teacher and school principal, I thought it would be easy. I was invited to a men’s group and asked to wait until after testing was done. I am still waiting.
Fourth, I tried with the United Way of Volusia and Flagler Counties. I sent in my resume, etc., to be on the Board of Directors of both United Way and the Early Learning Coalition. (As a side note, they also lost my application materials.) I event went so far as to meet with the executive directors of both to express my interest, and I have been ignored. I guess I do not have enough money or am not influential or political enough.
Last, I tried the Palm Coast Volunteer Fire Department. After about four months, I was finally given the chance to volunteer.
Volunteering should be easy for anyone, but I thought with my excellent education and experiences, it would be even easier, and organizations would enjoy having me. If my experience is any example, then a new approach needs to happen.
Thumbs up for the new sports writer
I thoroughly enjoyed the sports column in the July 23 edition of the Palm Coast Observer. I think Joey LoMonaco is doing an excellent job as your sports writer. His "From dawn to dusk" was full of enthusiasm and good humor. I was tired just reading it.
Then I followed over to the "Out of the game, onto the diamond," a father who has grown into a man and become truly someone his sons can be proud to call, “Dad.” Kudos to Raul Hernandez for sticking with it, and blessed is Raul Hernandez that he found that someone that gave him a goal and a strong desire. The team he coaches is an example of his hard work ethics.
I also was pleasantly surprised that the article was well written without any grammar issues or spelling mistakes. I applaud Joey LoMonaco and hope he keeps up the good work!