Reader Comments Encouraged

But no bashing. Please read this.

Palm Coast, Florida – November 11, 2008 – Over the past few weeks, I’ve had to remove a few reader comments which, after closer review, were inappropriate. walks a difficult line, attempting to report both negative and positive news in a fair and balanced way. This approach allows the website to be the most useful without cutting off the sources of my information, which range all the way from the developers themselves to those angry enough to sue them.
I can review, but not edit reader comments before deciding to post them on the website. I’m often faced with great comments containing ideas, facts, and insight that my readers would appreciate, but which contain some inappropriate language or personal attacks. I have to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
Certainly some, probably more than a few, members of the real estate industry (developers, builders, agents, brokers, appraisers, mortgage originators, banks, Wall St bankers, politicians exerting control, etc.) were dishonest and/or unethical during the recent run-up in real estate prices. It is also true that some, probably more than a few, buyers wearing their "happy ears" rather than their thinking caps made unwise investment decisions.
There is pain on both sides of the aisle. Some developers and builders are going bankrupt, corporately and individually. I know of none who are better off today than they were three years ago. There are home owners and investors caught with properties they can no longer afford or dispose of. I have empathy for those on each side who are suffering, either because of the actions of others or because of their own bad judgment or lack of sound business planning. Emotions on both sides run high.  
I am a REALTOR®, a reporter, and a commentator, but I do not pick a side in this battle. The battle will be reported here but should be fought elsewhere.
For most of us, our battle is not with a villain but with our own inability to accept what has happened. I try to "tell it like it is." I encourage comments from readers. Your input adds much to the content on this website. I only ask that you review your comments to make sure they are truly constructive and informative before punching the send button.
Together, we can keep people informed and engaged in the process of moving forward, which is the ONLY direction in which we should be heading. Informed and levelheaded people make better decisions. had over 2,000 visits yesterday. Thank you for your input and continued support.
11 replies
  1. Lou M.
    Lou M. says:

    You are right Toby

    Toby, I hope you will stick with your policy and stay with factual reporting regarding the real estate market…

    In our economical system everybody has an opportunity to “game the system”.

    There is no difference between the famous President Reagan era “Welfare Queen” who collected welfare checks from more than one state, traveling to Milwaukee from Chicago in a white Cadillac to pick up the welfare check, or American Express turning into a bank so they can get cheap money from our Treasury.

    Developers would not have been able to create the current real estate surplus without supporting actors, such as owners of land at the Conservatory and other similar places.

    Mr. Ginn and others like him must not be blamed. The engineers of the system that was gamed should be blamed. Therefore the responsibility lies with the politicians establishing the system, in other words, our Congress.

  2. George Edward Chuddy
    George Edward Chuddy says:

    Forward thinking on Mantanzas and the other G.Cour

    Moving forward RE: Golf
    Since this Community started as water/canal themed and Golf themed Community, perhaps it is time to *readjust* things a little.
    Obviously a lot of avid Golfers purchased here because of ‘The Four Sisters’ Golf Courses.
    We have seen the start of the Palm Coast Open at the oldest sister, and home Golf Course for Nancy Lopez, and accomplishments at most/all of them.
    However, the present situations at Matanzas needs attention. It was the finest Golf Course in Florida; held the P.G.A. qualifying there, and now, completing the Circle was the Televised Golf Event at The Conservatory. That completed the circle. Whether it was viewed as BIG or Small is insignificant, the circle was completed. Now many counties can boast this achievement.
    We respectfully propose to ‘the Community’ that consideration be given to ‘Local Historic’ Acknolegdgement, with kiosks, to ‘The Four Sisters’. This would re-assure prospective buyers and help Realtors with listings in Mantanzas Community #1 that what they see is what they will get if they purchase in Matanzas; and that eventually, Matanzas will be restored to all its spendor again.
    Also, we ask ‘the Community’ what are there thoughts of perhaps trying to get ALL Golf Courses in the County to participate in say, a once a Month, or every two months, or quarterly, OPEN Play for any of the courses. This way, persons who are avid Golfers and don’t have access to one of the courses, but would like to play all the courses, have an opportunity to do so. Such as what Walt Disney offers – a Complete Park Pass.
    For the complete ‘Flagler County Golf Pass’ a small *fee* would be charged. 100 % of this small fee can be put into a *kitty* that could be used to *help* any of the courses that need it. Obviously, the first would be Matanzas, the second, to help those in The Conservatory maintain theirs, etc. and so on. Obviously , it would take a very long time, and once all Golf Courses are up and running, the *kitty* would be used to improve, highlight, promote them all even more. We ask that everyone put themselves in the position of a *prospective buyer*. Wouldn’t it be a positive forward moving step if the Buyers knew and saw that this was the County of say… * Eight Sisters" Golf Courses? – Wouldn’t that make it a Golfers Paradise?
    Toby, exactly how many G.C. are in Flagler County anyway?
    Let the Prospective Buyers see that this is a cooperative County.
    Anyone else have thoughts or suggestions on how to help Matanzas and The Conservatory? What’s the status of Grand Haven?
    Anyone working on making the ‘Battle Cry’ of Palm Coast for Matanzas? – letting the 10 communities that know that we may have to grab out lawnmowers and help them out as was done in Hilton Head?
    We also suggest for consideration that the Group that initiates this meet at the European Village, to help and patronize it.
    Thoughts, ideas, suggestions?
    George Edward Chuddy

  3. George Meegan
    George Meegan says:

    Two cents adds up after a while

    The added opinions of the comments are just that. The big picture can’t be seen without a veiwpoint seen by all. Your decision to filter what others offer is your right. At least you read the submissions and respond, that is to your credit. There are many problems yet to come as things are not getting better. The problems of the golf courses will end up in the hands of the people of Palm Coast as they are given to us, just to get around paying the taxes on them. Then we can operate them with taxpayer monies and drop the green fees to the level of a non profit system. That will help increase the property values of all properies as they become a draw to new buyers. Just hope it happens before the Golf properties turn to weeds. The owners should be required to keep the properties up as a code requirement. If they don’t they begin the fine process that would be so high that they would have to sign over the properties. We have no choice, as our property values are dropping and will drop lower if these courses are turned to weeds. Perhaps some communities have such a code that we can put on our books. The owners may argue it is a taking, but we are suffering a taking of property rights by the lack of code to insure they keep the grounds in reasonable condition.

  4. Ginny
    Ginny says:



    I have come to rely on your impartial reporting of the real estate news. I check your site nearly every day for updates. And I especially appreciate the way you have worded this particular article. Indeed, there is enough blame to go around and no one should be pointing their finger at any other – as we are all in this. We need you, so please keep up the excellent work!

  5. George Edward Chuddy
    George Edward Chuddy says:

    ITT ICDC’s Covenants and Restrictions

    Is this what you mean:
    WHEREAS, the Company desires to further amend said Restrictive Covenants and Easements to provide for the preservaton of the values and amenities thus established or to be established in the PALM COAST COMMUNITY. *
    But, this has always perplexed us, The ‘Festival Park’ area has been demolished and derelict for almost a decade; it is perhaps the second most Heritage site we Palm Coasters have –
    ( for the new arrivals, Festival Park was the area of the 64′ Welcome Center Tower we once had. At adjoins the designated and recorded single family LOTS, with perpetual easements on each, of Country Club Lane, Cypress Court and Cambridge Court. There were Models Homee there, in the ‘Exhibit Area’ and surrounded by Beautiful Formal Gardens where the Spring Festivals were held, Fashion Shows, etc.)
    *Recorded in Official Record Book 119, Flagler County, Florida
    We hope this is helpful info. if this is what you meant.
    George Edward Chuddy

  6. interested observer
    interested observer says:

    Go Toby!

    You have our wholehearted support in your quest to walk the fine and challenging line between reporting the news/facts and keeping the information useful despite the human tendency to lay blame. The comments throughout are an interesting demonstration of personality and human values–there are always those who wish to be negative and thankfully, there are always those who wish to deal with a situation and even venture to be positive. Palm Coast is a most wonderful place and by coming together, with the help of folks like you, will thrive (again).
    Thank you, Toby.

  7. Mike Finnigan
    Mike Finnigan says:

    Matanzas Woods


    There are way to many rumors flying around about the Matanzas Woods Golf Club. I would like to talk with you on the phone. Is there anyway you could bring everyone, even the city officials up to speed on whats going on in the L Section with that place.?

    Thank You
    Mike Finnigan

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