In response to numerous Letters to the Editor voicing concerns on Ocala/Marion County’s continued growth, multiple Ocala and Dunnellon residents wrote in and shared their thoughts and concerns on the topic:
“I moved from South Florida to Ocala because the traffic was horrible, people were rude, and there was such a disconnect and disrespect for wildlife and nature. Ocala had everything I wanted. I moved here like everyone else to enjoy a slower and more natural way of life in the country. Please stop the rampant growth. We don’t want it. I see construction everywhere. More endangered animals are being displaced. People are coming in bringing their big city ways and attitudes. All growth is not positive. Ocala is perfect being small,” says Ocala resident Janis Keller.
“I have lived in Ocala/Dunnellon for 30-plus years. When I moved here, it was a quaint little town with just enough of everything you’d need. Sweet little mom-and-pop restaurants, small businesses. Charm and beauty. Fresh air, beautiful farms, horses, cattle. Country roads. Clean rivers, plentiful clear springs. Wildlife and the most satisfying, friendly, happy people. Now we have ridiculous traffic, more car washes, and convenience store gas stations. Ripped up farmlands and everything green that lives. Rude and hateful Yankees complaining about the fact that there’s not enough growth and nothing to do. Build more, build more, bring more people. Rip up everything so the people that move here have somewhere to live, only to hear them say how much they hate it here. Put a toll road through the middle of Marion County even though people don’t want it. They don’t care, it’s all about the dead presidents (money) in their pockets. And those who are all for the destruction of our once beautiful county: go home, we don’t want you to change the way we want to live. Go back to the city and leave us alone,” says DiAnna Bennis, Dunnellon resident.
“We all ultimately want the same thing: Old Florida. I was born in Old Florida and left for most of my adult life. Yes, we have growing pains and this will continue. If this is important to y’all reading this – get involved. Attend the hearings in your area and get to know your politicians. You have no right to complain if you aren’t getting involved. Remember, all the people moving to Florida only want the same things you want,” says Dunnellon resident Diane White.
“Ocala for the past 20 years or so was known as slow Ocala. You couldn’t find a good job anywhere. I have seen the city turn down the Yankees baseball stadium that would have brought decent paying jobs for the young people and tax revenues for the city of Ocala, but no, old folks bark and bark and the city rejects these projects. It’s time for Ocala to grow and develop into the city it was intended to. We are in the future now and not the past,” says Noel Tulley, Ocala resident.
Would you like to share your thoughts with us? Share them in a comment or by writing a Letter to the Editor.