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Opinion
Ormond Beach Observer Tuesday, Mar. 17, 2020 3 weeks ago

2 letters: City should consider creating a tree board

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Also, resident weighs in on why residents in manufactured home communities need help.
by: Guest Writer

Dear Editor:

We moved to Ormond Beach from South Florida 15 years ago and chose Ormond Beach because of the existence of so many beautiful trees. Most people in Ormond Beach love their trees. After all, trees supply us with the clean air we need to breath, and shade us from the hot Florida sun. Trees will only become more important as we start to tackle climate change, as they also help reduce the risk of flooding.  We need our trees and we especially need our native trees. 

In order to help ensure that our trees are considered before we allow them to be removed on our city properties or undeveloped land, I feel it is important to have a tree board. We all benefit from having trees and as citizens of Ormond Beach, we should have a say in what we want to see on our public lands and how we want our city to look. A tree board could assist our parks, our median plantings and our urban forest. A tree board could help with the planting of more native landscape around our city. A tree board could help with the preservation and protection of old growth trees and help preserve our tree canopies. And a tree board could also evaluate the monetary value that our trees bring, which might even help in getting grants for our city properties.

I don’t believe anyone is saying the tree board would or should have oversight on homeowners land, but on our public lands that our taxes help pay for, I feel we have a need for more citizen input. Many cities do have a separate tree board. For example, DeLand, Daytona Beach, Orange City and Gainesville all have tree boards. Also, the city of Port Orange has an environmental board that covers trees.

I would strongly encourage our city officials to reconsider the possibility of establishing a tree board.  When a group of concerned nonpartisan citizens take the time to study, attend meetings and speak to their commissioner about trees, it is obvious that we need to do everything we can to preserve and protect the environment we live in.

Terry Mercer
Ormond Beach

We need to help seniors in manufactured home communities

Dear Editor:

I'm learning that many people in our communities are really in need of help, not just money, medically, but someone who can advise them on how they may be able to cut expenses so they can eat, stay in their homes and see doctors when necessary. 

Yes, folks are having to choose between doing any of the above, and probably more. 

For instance, there are very nice subdivisions with great manufactured homes, beautiful greens, nice people, either still working or retired (many from the military who fought to keep our country free in too many wars), who are unable to keep up with the rising monthly costs on the land their "paid-for homes as sitting." Some of these people are having to rent out their spare bedroom to make the monthly grounds rent.

Is that what they worked and fought for?

I don't think so. Not the American Dream we were all taught to work and fight for. Either our city, county, or state needs to see that those people do not end up on the street.

We lived in one of these nice communities in 1997, loved it and the people, but quickly realized we wanted, and could at that time, buy a very nice home nearby, including land and a big lake.

As time has gone by, many in the manufactured home parks have less money now, due to illnesses and age. Yes, we all bought and signed papers, knowing about the upgrade of land rent in the future, but no one knew what was going to happen to our health situation, cost of living changes, especially in medical terms and everyday lifestyle.

Please voice your concern about this ongoing problem to the city, county, and state if you care about our citizens, especially the seniors — remembering we all will be a senior someday, should we live so long. 

I would hope that the developers of the above places would have a heart, and at least check those who need to have lesser land fees or skip a year of payment for them for a short time, being helpful to those in need. That's the American way and we all should work hard to keep it in our lives.

Merri Churchill

Ormond Beach

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