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Ormond Beach Observer Monday, Aug. 3, 2020 1 year ago

4 letters: Ormond Beach should cancel fireworks show; a beachside hospital is still needed

Also, resident voices why he thinks Jeff Brower should be elected for County Council chair, and Sierra Club endorses Rob Bridger for mayor.
by: Guest Writer

We want Volusia back

Dear editor:

According to WESH 2 news, 1500 people a week are entering into Central Florida. Most of us living in Volusia County can attest to that seeing the absolute uncontrolled growth where every blade of grass is being covered by concrete. Granda Boulevard in Ormond Beach, for example, is getting to look more like Belt Parkway in Brooklyn, New York. I'm sure you are nodding your head in agreement. Why? Because those whom we entrusted (elected) to look after our best interests are not concerned. Sad!

We now have a person running for Volusia County Chair (Jeff Brower) whose interests are the same as ours. He is a dedicated, well-loved father, businessman, and a man that respects all folks believing in their God whatever their religious denominations are. And, as importantly, he wants to control growth to coincide with our drinking water demands. Meaning, he wants to ascertain we are able to drink water purified by natural aquifer methods and not processed, purified toilet water (see Miami News Times, March 12, 2018 article: "Florida Legislators OK Plan to Dump Sewage Into Drinking-Water Aquifers"). Not to mention the 100 gas pumps on LPGA, in one corner? The vernacular from the candidate who was in office and now running for chair is: Trust in leadership. Really, how did that work for us so far? We have one clear choice and one clear vote for chair: Jeff Brower. We want Volusia back and not ran by outside forces!

Chuck Collins

Ormond Beach

Editor's note: In his letter, Collins references a Miami News Times article about 2018 House Bill 1149, which was eventually vetoed by then-governor Rick Scott.

We still need a beachside hospital

Dear editor:

In the 1960s, a small beachside hospital opened on the corner of A1A and Seminole Ave. Over the next few decades, it would treat thousands of people and save countless lives. In time, it established a top-notch rehabilitation unit for those in need of physical therapy.

In the fall of 2016, when Hurricane Matthew crashed through our area, the hospital (then called Florida Memorial Hospital Beachside) incurred enough damage to be temporarily closed. Not long after, it was decided not to repair the facility. Despite appeals from the public and the Ormond Beach City Commission, the hospital operator — Adventhealth — closed its ears. Ultimately, a decision was made to raze the building and, in turn, the property was sold.

Today, in place of a vitally-needed hospital, there’s a large grassy field. (Rumor had it that the location was being targeted for commercial development.)

Even though Ormond Beach Mayor Bill Partington, and Zone 2 Commissioner Troy Kent, “lamented” the loss of our beachside hospital, there are no plans in the works to replace it. In fact, there is not one urgent care center on the beachside, let alone a clinic or hospital.

Once again, Ormond Beach City Commissioners have paid little attention to the wishes and needs of its citizenry. Despite the fact that beachside emergency services is one of our most basic needs, the City Commission has done nothing to promote it.

For those of us who live on the beachside, we know well that emergencies requiring ambulance services are handled from the mainland side of our city. This costs time, and in some instances can cost lives, simply because the closest hospital — Adventhealth Daytona Beach— is miles away on Williamson Boulevard, on the border of Ormond and Daytona.

We citizens need results — not rhetoric or empty promises, especially when it comes to our health. Emergency services are a necessity, and sometimes are a matter of survival.

Wake up, Ormond!

Cathy Wharton

Ormond Beach

Endorsement for Bridger

Dear editor:

The Sierra Club is pleased to announce its endorsement of Rob Bridger for mayor of Ormond Beach.
Founded in 1892, the Sierra Club is the nation’s oldest and largest environmental organization.
The Club vetted candidates based on their records and an extensive questionnaire and panel interview process. It found Mr. Bridger best-suited to serve as mayor of Ormond Beach and public steward of our environment.
A strong proponent of responsible development for the city, Mr. Bridger was “honored and humbled” by Club’s endorsement. “This is huge," he said. “The Sierra Club’s endorsement is not just about me and my campaign; its significance is the strong message their endorsement sends to the voters of Ormond Beach who are concerned about maintaining our natural environment and small city quality of life.”

Steve Wonderly

Vice-Chair of the Sierra Club Florida

Cancel the fireworks

Dear editor:

While listening to the July 28th Ormond Beach City Commission meeting, I heard the topic of the postponed July 4th fireworks come up. The fireworks show was originally postponed to Sept. 5, and was further postponed to a date yet decided, or possibly canceled for 2020 altogether. I have to admit, the fireworks shows I most enjoy are the ones after a NASCAR race at Daytona International Speedway and after a baseball game at The Jack.

My initial reaction to the cancelation and subsequent postponements was that it should just be scrapped until next year. Maybe add a little extra to the July 4th fireworks show in 2021. I was unsure if I was in the minority on this topic or not, so I did an online poll for Ormond Beach residents only. It's only been up for 12 hours but the results are crystal clear and confirmed my gut feeling; the fireworks shows should be canceled for 2020 (84% for cancelation). I also saw most comments on social media posts favor the side of canceling for 2020.

I understand wanting to do something for the folks of Ormond Beach, but the feedback in favor of cancelation is overwhelming. Not only is this the popular decision but would save Ormond Beach taxpayers over $50,000.

Joe Hannoush

Ormond Beach

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