Don’t be manipulated by Trustafarians in Village vote
I support the Village of Crystal River and have voted yes. The primary driver being my support is the creation of new jobs in Carbondale. The Village will create 50-plus construction jobs in the near term and 150-plus full-time jobs at full buildout.
Given the census data collected in 2000, the town has a population of 5196. Fifty construction jobs plus 150 full-time jobs adds up to 200 total jobs representing almost 4 percent of the total population of the entire town. If any state or national leader had an opportunity to potentially employ 4 percent of the population with one decision, there would be no debate. There would be no vote. Leaders would do whatever was required to make it happen.
Why are jobs important to our town? Jobs are important because Carbondale and its citizens are suffering. Just in the last two weeks, at least three local properties have gone into foreclosure, two residential and one commercial. I know these people. They are good people, honest people, hardworking people. They simply cannot find decent paying jobs and/or their business is losing money. This is not blip on the screen. It’s reality.
The town of Carbondale is also suffering. I know this from attending countless trustee meetings and from my work on two different town boards. The needs of the community continue to grow. However, the town’s primary revenue stream, sales tax revenue, is weak. In the last few months I have seen citizens present amazing ideas for new amenities such as an outdoor amphitheater, an expanded/improved swimming pool, a new community garden, even a new outdoor bike track. However, there is no money to pursue these ideas. Are we broke? Absolutely not. Do we have room in the budget to expand the offerings for new services and community amenities? We do not.
Folks opposing the project have criticized almost every aspect of the Village, even the creation of jobs because the jobs in a new development are not the “right” kind of jobs for Carbondale. That is a load of crap. Criticizing and dictating the type of jobs a business creates is simply tired rhetoric spewing from folks with an unhealthy sense of entitlement. In a depressed job market, like we have in Carbondale, any new job is a gift.
Folks opposing the project would have you believe all is rosy in Carbondale. They would have you believe the local business community is healthy, the downtown core is thriving, and the town is financially secure enough to main, improve, and expand our municipal infrastructure as well as expand our community services; another large and deep load of crap. I own a local business on Main Street. I am in the trenches every day. Local businesses are not thriving; we are barely surviving.
If you believe all is rosy in Carbondale, one of three things is likely true: You are either a Trustafarian with no concept of reality, you have smoked way too much medicinal cannabis, or you have become so accustomed to suffering that you believe there is no other way to exist. I promise; there is a different path. Prosperity is possible in Carbondale regardless of your inheritance. However, it will not drift your way like a leaf in the wind, you have to reach out and grab it.
The town desperately needs new jobs and increased sales tax revenues. The Village of Crystal River provides both. We have a very tangible opportunity to create a more economically sustainable town. It is right in front of you. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Grab it and don’t let go. Vote yes to the Village at Crystal River.
Frank McSwain Jr.
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