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Opinion

  • Qualifying for the City Council hasn’t yet begun, but as of now, it appears election season in Dunnellon is well underway, at least for one seat.

    Vice Mayor Walter Green got a jump start, drawing the ire of Mayor Nathan Whitt. Both first-time councilmen, the two have agreed to disagree a lot about the “state” of the city. Green believes the city is in trying financial times. Whitt, however, believes the city is great.

  • Happy belated 125th to Dunnellon, as this past Thursday the city formally recognized its quasquicentennial.

    If you missed the party, you missed out on a lot of fun, a lot of laughs and a lot of fellowship among the young, old and the still young at heart.

  • I hope everyone had a great time at last weekend’s Boomtown Festival. We truly appreciate our Dunnellon Chamber of Commerce, all of the volunteers, vendors, bands, the Junior Princess, Princess and Senior Queen of the Rainbow contestants and families, and the folks from Six Gun Territory and Kirby Farms for making it such a huge success and helping bring back the “boom” in Boomtown.

  • Once again, a years-long legal battle about the fate of Rainbow River Ranch remains in limbo after the 5th District Court of Appeals overturned Circuit Court Judge Lisa Herndon’s legal ruling approving the settlement.

    That three-member panel ordered Judge Herndon to take further steps to ensure that the deal protects the “public interest,” not necessarily granting the Rainbow River Conservation and numerous individual interveners what it really wanted: an evidentiary hearing.

  • It’s no surprise, or shock, the city has millions of dollars worth of debt liability; most municipalities or county governments nationwide have debt. What is disconcerting about the city’s situation is its lack of reserves.
    Officials have long known of myriad issues regarding city finances and have done little, if anything, to address the situation. The cat, shall we say, is now out of the bag.

  • I hope everyone in Dunnellon, Rainbow Springs, and the greater Dunnellon area is having a great 2016 so far. I am so proud of our city and the progress we have made and are making.

    However, I am alarmed at some of the falsehoods and out-of-context statements that have been made or misrepresented lately and I must address a few issues I feel are extremely important to set the record straight on.

    Refund definition

  • This is to enlighten the Dunnellon residents as to why a group of Dunnellon voters are pursuing the recall of Councilwoman Penny Fleeger and the stumbling blocks the group has encountered.
    After walking the streets of Dunnellon, collecting signatures for the recall, I find it hard to fathom that the voters who put Councilwoman Fleeger in office believe her comments and statements she made to the Riverland News last week.

  • As most of us already know, Dunnellon is a great place to live, work and play. It is a community of caring people surrounded by beautiful rivers and parks. It has quality businesses and restaurants and supportive schools and churches.
    However, the city of Dunnellon is in terrible financial shape and faces fiscal disaster. The city struggles to fund current operations, does not fund reserves for capital replacement needs, and has large debt obligations.

  • I don’t want to alarm the children, but Mrs. Claus will not be active this year. She won’t be decorating her house, baking delicious cookies or buying tons of gifts for all. In a manner of speaking, Mrs. Claus has retired, leaving her only daughter who has no Christmas spirit whatsoever to take over. Whatever shall we do?

  • I was 3 years old when “Star Wars” took the cinematic universe by storm. I really cannot recall how exactly I got hooked, since it would be another 5 years before I actually had the chance to see the movie.
    I can recall I had plenty of the action figures, and I wish I still had them: enclosed, in a glass case, with a sign stating: “Break only in case of a financial crisis.” OK, the case likely would have been cracked open to pay for college.

  • More often than not, when we, or the public, disagree with city leaders we aren’t shy about voicing our disapproval, or shock.
    This doesn’t happen to be one of those times because the city-sponsored “Light Up Dunnellon” was truly magical this year. Maybe it’s because folks have longed for a sense of community, or it is because the efforts of the community could be sensed. Either way, we’re not going to overthink it.
    There are a lot of folks who deserve credit for making “Light Up Dunnellon” possible as well as successful.

  • This past Wednesday, I was thinking of three very special men. I am related to all three. My dad, Robert, served in the U.S. Navy; my brother, Kevin, was a lance corporal in the U. S. Marines; and my brother, William, a
    major in the U.S. Army.
    All three fought in very different wars. As a nation, we have become desensitized to war.
    For example, if you were to ask the average man on the street how often he thinks of the war during the day, my guess would be he would answer “very little.”

  • In the past year alone, we have witnessed a number of outbursts from Mayor Nathan Whitt. His most recent verbal tirade went above reproach, when the first-term mayor accused Councilmen Chuck Dillon and Walter Green of threatening city employees.
    The two council members have made it no secret they have spent time speaking with city employees, gauging needs of their respective departments, but the morale in general within the city. Both councilmen have spent their share of time speaking with citizens and business owners.

  • Dunnellon, football and playoffs were synonymous throughout the late 1970s and into the mid-1980s, as the Tigers were lead by Hall of Fame coach Richard Kennedy.
    The late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, the program fell on hard times. Playoffs often an afterthought until Perry Brown took charge of the program and turned it around. He guided the Tigers to two playoff appearances in 2002 and 2003, where Dunnellon made a magical run to the final four in 2003.

  • News travels fast, but it comes as no surprise the city’s initial choice as public safety director tendered his resignation last Friday to pursue a new opportunity with the city of Inverness.
    Sadly, the loss of Chief Joe Campfield will sting. He is well-respected, well-liked and his knowledge of the area is irreplaceable.
    Councilwoman Penny Fleeger chided the public regarding the backlash about Campfield’s appointment as public safety director, overseeing both the police and fire departments.

  • My beloved Kansas City Royals are back in the World Series, playing the Mets. It’s going to be a long week of sleepless nights, I can assure you of that.
    For the most part, the Royals ran roughshod over their competition throughout the regular season. September was ugly but that is in the past. Of course playoff baseball is intense, evident of my lack of fingernails from playoff series against Houston and Toronto.

  • I saw them hoisting the Gatorade bucket, but there was no way to get a clear shot of the picture: too many players and too many coaches were in the way.
    Actually, there was one way I could capture the picture but that would require running onto the playing field. The problem was is there was a football game taking place on the field.
    Dunnellon quarterback Kobie Jones was executing the most exciting play in football — the kneel down — to seal the victory against South Sumter and bring back another district championship to Dunnellon.