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Opinion

  • There’s no denying city officials have done a poor job of wisely investing Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) funds into worthwhile projects on the list of master projects since the program’s inception years ago.
    There is a lot of bitter history behind it, and deservedly so.

  • “If we need to make cuts, we’ll make cuts.” — City Manager Eddie Esch at the July 9 City Council workshop.

    Folks are you ready for this? Not only will residents, in all likelihood, watch their water bills climb after Oct. 1, you’re also going to see your property tax bill make an uptick as well. But that’s not all, as the City Council will also approve the expenditure for a fire assessment fee study. Odd, we thought that
    study had already been completed.
    There are several reasons why you’re going to see water and tax bills
    increase.

  • Depending on your vantage point, there might have been plenty of elation regarding Judge Steven Rogers’ ruling against the city of Dunnellon and its yearlong stance of dinging residents
    outside of its service area with a 25-percent surcharge.
    “The Court finds, under the specific tasks in the present case, the application of the 25 percent surcharge to the Plaintiffs constitutes an inequitable application of Florida Statute 180.191,” Rogers wrote in his ruling, citing Mohme v. City of Cocoa (1976).

  • City officials would like us to believe placing a hotel behind Walgreens and Sonic is the best suited location for a sorely needed hotel, a facility aimed at being family friendly and affordable.
    Funny, I thought Dunnellon had more to offer high-end ecotourists than a family of five, who might spend a portion of their day tubing the river and visiting Rainbow Springs State Park.

  • The Dunnellon Area Chamber of Commerce has certainly been busy the past few months, especially after dealing with the barricade boondoggle, wrapping up the annual Boomtown Days Dunnellon Festival and moving into the homestretch of planning for Jazz Up Dunnellon.
    Now Chamber officials have one more decision on their plate to weigh and that’s whether to form a partnership with the Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership (CEP), or to go one step farther and allow the Chamber to be taken over, so to speak, and rebrand as the Dunnellon CEP?

  • For the second straight year, the eyes of NFL executives will be upon Dunnellon, or more precisely, one of Dunnellon’s own as Terrence Brooks hopes to be one of more than 200-plus collegiate players to hear his name called out at Radio City Music Hall.

  • As many of you know, I am a positive, forward-thinking person. I am an eternal optimist.
    However, with all due respect, I feel that I must immediately address the constant, petty, personal attacks by this paper, its editor and others.
    While some were throwing potential City Manager Eddie Esch under the bus, he was almost single-handedly saving Dunnellon from financial collapse.

  • There’s a strong feeling among many folks that one of the best ways to protect the Rainbow River is to limit how many people can be allowed on the river.
    It would certainly be a laudable goal, if it wasn’t such a misguided notion.
    Imagine a family of four showing up at the gates of KP Hole only to be told: “Sorry, we’ve reached our limit today. Please come again.”

  • Nathan Whitt is an eco-business owner first, and mayor second.
    Whitt should certainly have the best interest of the Rainbow Springs and Rainbow River at heart. After all, both are integral to his business.
    The first-term mayor is also a sitting board member with Rainbow River Conservation Inc., and the latest flare up from Burt Eno, the president of the environmental watchdog group should cause alarm.

  • Most of the talk about the local environment lately seems overwhelmingly bad: degraded local springs and rivers; habitat loss for endangered species; need for additional energy sources; potential lack of drinkable water, etc.
    Success in the face of these things seems impossible, especially when issues are described in terms we don’t readily understand: parts per million, milligrams per liter, cubic yards per hectare, etc. It’s no wonder people tune out,

  • This whole saga surrounding the sale of the city’s telecommunications venture to Florida Cable isn’t just bizarre; it’s like a reality television show. We never know what to expect next, because at every turn some new twist
    develops.
    Perhaps, if the City Council is tossing around ideas of developing new revenue streams it could consider making a pitch to cable networks for a reality-based televison show. If folks willingly tune into “Real Housewives,” they’d tune into Dunnellon City Council meetings on a regular basis.

  • There’s been a lot of scuttlebutt the past few weeks; folks lamenting the negative aura clouding the city. It’s tough to ignore that the City Council has a tough road to hoe.

  • The Dunnellon City Council wants to name a new full-time city manager.
    The problem, though, among elected officials about who to name to the top post and how best to go about it is at the center of debate.
    Mayor Nathan Whitt believes it’s a waste of time and money to post advertisements statewide seeking potential applicants who could come into right the sinking ship. He and other members of the Council have praised Eddie Esch, who’s served as interim city manager since Lisa Algiere’s abrupt departure more than eight months ago.