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Opinion

  • It’s a debate likely to continue for the coming months as City Council debates, not just the future of the Dunnellon Police Department, but the Dunnellon Fire Department as well.
    “Privilege” or “Responsibility?”
    Simply put, it’s Council’s responsibility to find necessary and proper ways to continue funding both departments if they can. It’s a privilege for them to serve as the voice for citizens.

  • I can remember as a kid growing up in Dunnellon what it was like when the fire alarm sounded. It was an ominous sign, and everyone dropped what they were doing at that moment. It was a call to arms and everyone came together to do what needed to be done. Red Hayes, the neat old guy who lived across the street, was the fire chief, and as kids we knew to stay out of the way.

  • The shocking and abrupt resignation of Joanne Black has rightfully sent shockwaves throughout the city. Black, an 18-year employee with the agency and chief for the past 5 1/2 years, was well-respected within the community, not just within the city limits.
    Black was not under investigation through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, nor through the Florida Police Benevolent Association, a union which represents police officers statewide.

  • With more than half a million visitors to the greater Dunnellon area on a yearly basis, it’s no secret Dunnellon needs more rooms and more beds to entice visitors from around the world to stay here and boost the local economy.
    However, the city of Dunnellon should not sacrifice taxpayer dollars, present or future, to lure a hotel to the city. There are enough warning signs to indicate HDG might be 100 percent committed, despite its plans to construct a $5.7 million, three story, 72-room facility, to Dunnellon.

  • It’s almost Boomtown Days and the excitement continues to build. There is more to do, more to see, more to play and more to eat than ever this year. According to Sharon McMahon and Candy Craig, Boomtown committee members, this year’s event will be bigger than many in the past and might even be the biggest one in years.
    “We are so excited with the vendors and crafters who have signed up for Boomtown 2015,” McMahon said. “It has been amazing this year. We’ve had to shut off more food vendors and the craft and business vendor locations are almost full. This will be a spectacular Boomtown!”

  • Editor’s Note: Since the City Council has now adopted goals for City Manager Eddie Esch, the Riverland News will evaluate those goals during the course of the next few months. This is a continuation in a series of editorials.

    Mayor Nathan Whitt had a litany of goals for City Manager Eddie Esch.
    However, several of the first-term mayor’s objectives have left us puzzled and scratching our heads, not because they don’t make sense, but because they don’t make sense for the city to even dip its toes, or hands, into the water.

  • Editor’s Note: Since the City Council has now adopted goals for City Manager Eddie Esch, the Riverland News will evaluate those goals during the course of the next few months. Today marks the first in a series of those editorials.

    The City Council has a gauntlet of goals for City Manager Eddie Esch to navigate when it comes to securing funding regarding expanding or developing city parks, or figuring out the dilemma to solving the best solution to developing a connection from Blue Run Park into the city.

  • With a newly signed contract with the Marion County Chamber of Economic Partnership (CEP), the city is coughing up $5,000 for the third straight year to partner with the privately-operated organization.
    One cannot deny the impact CEP has had in Marion County, specifically the Ocala area in the past two years. It has made a lot of positive waves. CEP has helped lure national and international businesses. Employment opportunities will come in droves. That’s fantastic.

  • The debate about implementing a fire assessment fee citywide is going to do more than create a debate firestorm among the City Council, it is likely to trigger a hot topic in homes and businesses.
    Two questions come to mind:
    Does the city need its own fire service?
    Are city residents and business owners willing to foot the bill?
    What we do know is to find out the cost of a yearly assessment the Council will need to spend $12,000 on a study to discover how much more they can further burden residents and business owners.
    Yet, no one is publicly willing to ask is it worth it?

  • With the New Year in full swing, we believe it’s a pivotal time the Dunnellon City Council take the opportunity to establish a list of attainable goals for the year. In years past, the Council has been nonchalant about establishing a list of critical priorities. With the recent addition of two new council members in past two months, we urge the Council, if you will, to consider a list of New Year’s resolutions.

  • For the first time in 35 years,
    Dunnellon can proudly boast it is home to a state championship football field. While the level of competition could be considered vastly different since the Dunnellon High School football team captured the last of its back-to-back state crowns, the Pee Wee Tigers’ accomplishments cannot be overlooked, nor diminished.

  • The City Council and City Manager Eddie Esch have lauded their new Economic Development Incentive Program as well as the recently adopted developer’s agreement with Nature Coast Eco Friends LLC, the company aiming to build a three-story, 70-room hotel behind Walgreen’s and abutting the railroad tracks.

  • In just a few weeks, Marion County voters will decide what the future of public education looks like in our community. They will vote on a millage increase impacting property owners countywide.
    I hope you will join me and vote “yes.” Let me explain why.

  • We all do it sometime or another. We know better, but we do it anyway. I know better than to read the Letters to the Editor in the Riverland News, but I did it anyway. Of course the anti-everything naysayers were there.
    Writing a response is easy enough. The naysayers write in virtually the same thing in every paper I read. I already know what they are going to say, so I already know what my response will be. It’s just a matter of picking up any copy of the newspaper.