OPINION: Results of a political swamp: Town Center, City Hall, Plantation Bay water utility — and now the old hospital purchase
We have our own political swamp in Flagler County
Remember when Town Center was established in 2003 and it was supposed to be the hub for new commercial and retail development in Palm Coast? But then The Home Depot, Lowe's, Belk, Kohl's, Hobby Lobby, etc., all built elsewhere.
And have you forgotten about the county's purchase of the 28-year-old, broken down Plantation Bay water plant? The one that was so bad the water was undrinkable and it was in violation of EPA rules? They bought that gem from their old friend Mr. Mori Hosseini, who managed to raise the price by half a million dollars in the month before the sale.
Now, we have the latest fiasco with the old hospital. Who didn't see this coming? Remember when our elected officials decided to buy it for $1.23 million? It was an abandoned hospital that had been vacant for over 10 years. Mold and asbestos anyone? They then spent $5 million to renovate only a portion of the building. The non-renovated portion of the building was torn down without getting the proper state permits. The building was owned, in part by Mr. Michael Chiumento and the "deal" was negotiated by Mr. Craig Coffey. Make of that what you will.
Who needs the swamp in D.C. when we have our very own?
City Council meeting times disenfranchise working class
In the May 10 edition, the Palm Coast Observer had an article that applications are open for Steven Nobile's City Council seat. Out of interest, I went to the website and read that "Applicants must be available to attend regular City Council meetings on the first Tuesday at 6 p.m. and the third Tuesday at 9 a.m. of each month. They also must be available for City Council workshops on the second and the last Tuesdays of each month at 9 a.m."
Does the City Council understand that the majority of their constituents are of working age and unable to attend a meeting during the week at 9 a.m.? This requirement hampers and disenfranchises those who may want to be actively engaged and participate in City Council activities. Meetings should be held outside normal working hours so the majority of city residents can attend meetings and run for council positions, not just those who may be retired or do not work.
Trips to Puerto Rico are election year ploys at taxpayer expense
It was heartwarming to see Sen. Bill Nelson on a tour of the damage to Puerto Rico. I think Gov. Rick Scott has done it also. It would have been more heartwarming to see them with a hammer in their hands or helping to unload a plane load of supplies.
I wonder who paid for their plane trips and helicopter rides? I wonder if their hotels had power and A/C for them and their entourages. I thought the taxpayers of florida paid their salaries? Could it be that there is an election coming up and that this would be a good photo op? They could have just turned on the evening news and saved us all a bunch.
Guess what? My nearby neighbors still have tarps on their roofs and porches gone from back-to-back hurricanes. The governor has helped a lot here as in Puerto Rico. What we don't need is politicians taking "fact-finding missions" to try to gain an advantage over their opponent at taxpayer expense!
Why not continue the existing sidewalk on Whiteview to U.S. 1 without eliminating lanes?
What exactly is the safety issue on Whiteview Parkway? Everything I have read states that City Manager Jim Landon said it is a serious safety issue, there have been deaths, and it's a matter of time before it happens again. Well, that can be said of any road. I can only recall a motorcycle fatality in the area in question. How many deaths have there been?
I submit that the four-lane section of Whiteview is a safety feature. Constant traffic from White Mill, Woodbury and Rolling Sands enters and exits Whiteview all hours of the day. Having four lanes allows vehicles to enter and exit safely while allowing through traffic to continue without slowing down or stopping. You also have two very active churches next to each other on Whiteview with a constant flow of traffic weekdays and weekends. One lane will create congestion and safety issues.
As a comparison, Pine Lakes Parkway at one point crosses Palm Coast Parkway. From that point, Palm Coast Parkway continues to U.S. 1 with four lanes, a median in the middle, and no sidewalks, just like the four-lane section of Whiteview. Why is this not a safety issue also?
Traffic 101 states to add lanes to ease congestion and increase safely. Do not eliminate lanes to create congestion and unsafe conditions.
Here is a thought: Why not continue the existing sidewalk on Whiteview to U.S. 1 without eliminating lanes? There is plenty of room.
If a sidewalk is built, what is anyone going to do when they get to U.S. 1? You turn around and go back. You have to be crazy to ride a bike on that road; it is a racetrack with constant police chases.
There is no safety issue. I think someone came up with the bright idea to continue the sidewalk by eliminating lanes.
In the end, what the people want will fall on deaf ears. The council will do whatever they want to do, just like they did with the no vote for a new City Hall.