Also: readers discuss traffic light at Granada Pointe and term limits for 2020
It would take a very long letter to begin to list achievements of our city leaders, who have worked tirelessly to make our city the best place to live, work and play. Our oceanfront park, neighborhood pocket parks, our sports complex, the Environmental Discovery Center, our trails and riverwalks, are just a few of the things that we enjoy, thanks to their dedication to our city and our citizens.
Nobody is perfect. Years ago they didn't know the difference between a magnificent work of art and a sign. At the cost of $18,000, a citizen hotel owner hired an artist who risked his life to create a Macaw on the drab wall of an oceanfront motel. Despite petitions of our citizens, our leaders had this Ormond Beach treasure painted over. Then there is the dangerous situation that was created on West Granada, to beautify our city. There is nothing beautiful about the yellow painted curbs marked up by those that have damaged their vehicles hitting them. Fortunately no one has been killed yet by parking there and getting out of their car on the driver's side into oncoming traffic. The worst decision our city leaders made was to continue putting fluoride in our drinking water. Our citizens must make the choice to buy non fluoridated water in plastic bottles that pollute the environment, or risk the health of their families and pets and drink tap water.
There is no dispute that fluoride causes dental fluorosis on the developing teeth. The severity of dental fluorosis depends on how much and how long children under 8 years of age ingest fluoride. There is no disputing the warnings on products containing fluoride. There is also no dispute that fluoride is good for your teeth and helps to reduce cavities. Limiting the the amount of sugar which stays on the teeth that children ingest will reduce cavities, too.
There are no warnings on our drinking water which research shows has many risk factors. Is it because there is such a small amount of fluoride put into our water? Can we be sure of the amount?
Since Ed Kolaska brought it up, I too was disappointed with the OB Life. Many residents were at one meeting to discuss the quality of our water. My entire table was against adding fluoride to their water. When someone at another table brought it up at the meeting, it was immediately dismissed and there was no discussion! Our common-sense commissioner, Troy Kent, has worked to inform his constituents about fluoride in our drinking water. But when it came to the long awaited vote taken at the commission meeting, constituents were not informed of that meeting.
The city of Ormond Beach could stop putting fluoride in our water and use the money saved for dental health education. Coupons for tooth brushes, floss and toothpaste containing fluoride could be included in our water bills.
Barbara Waite Sandberg
Granada Pointe traffic light not a public benefit
Ormond Beach residents have recently suffered a rash of traffic accidents on West Granada Boulevard in the vicinity of the newly activated traffic signal at the new Wawa. It should be noted that neither FDOT or professional traffic studies warranted the light as necessary. The traffic light was purchased by developer Paul Holub at a reported cost of $450,000. The light was cited as one of the 'public benefits' the city received from Mr. Holub as a rationale for granting him a number of waivers and exceptions from long-standing development rules in his development of 23 acres on both sides of S.R. 40. It has been reported that Wawa has a business model policy of highly recommending construction of their gas station-convenience stores be on parcels located at traffic signal intersections. Also note that was no such intersection there, prior, and the developer created a make-shift one at Tomoka Ave.
Meanwhile we still do not have a traffic light at the Hull Road-U.S. 1 intersection, where thousands of kids and families enter and exit the city's recreation fields every day. A traffic signal at that location would also benefit Ormond Lakes residents slightly north, who exit their subdivision onto northbound U.S. 1 and then make a u-turn in order to drive south into the city.
Regarding the safety issues raised by the new Wawa traffic light, it should be noted that initially an electronic message sign was deployed to warn motorists driving east on Granada, rounding a sharp curve just before the intersection. Now that warning is gone, and countless out-of-town residents will be approaching the now-signaled intersection for the first time.
The problem for westbound Granada traffic heading west is the need for drivers to focus on the light above their eyes, go or stop, before facing a line of stopped cars immediately west. This causes rear-end collisions as have been recently witnessed. Coming east, right-lane traffic must slow to turn onto Tomoka Ave. or to access the WaWa, another potential area at risk for rear-end collisions.
Important to note is that gas stations are special exceptions, in part because as a drive-through they exponentially increase traffic. This allowance was granted by the commission. The car wash (another special exception), in essence another drive-through, has not yet begun operation, and yet this area is already a highly congested "bottleneck."
Against the protests and pleadings of many in the Ormond Beach community, the Granada Pointe traffic signal and commercial development was created to address the needs of special and moneyed interests, not the people.
Put term limits on the 2020 ballot
There has been renewed talks about placing a possible one-cent sales tax hike on the 2020 ballot for Volusia voters by some Volusia County elected officials. The half-cent sales tax increase question failed county-wide during the May mail-in ballot special Election 55%-45%. And failed by an even wider margin 57%-43% in the city of Ormond Beach. I want to thank the Ormond Beach City Commissioners for making a statement against reviving the sales tax increase question for 2020 at the recent City Commission meeting and for listening to the loud and clear voices of 6,272 residents that voted against higher taxes. I also want to thank Councilwoman Heather Post for also publicly expressing backing the will of the voters and voicing her opposition to higher taxes.
Another question on that same May special election ballot Ormond Beach voted favorability by an overwhelming margin of 62%-38% was the Term Limits question. However, term limits will not be implemented due to being contingent on extended terms passing. That one was rejected by voters 66%-34%. I am hopeful the Ormond Beach City Commission will once again listen to the loud and clear voice of 6,726 (454 more than voted against higher taxes) residents and place the term limits question on the 2020 ballot so that the voters wishes will be adhered to.