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Ocala
Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Ocala residents share their thoughts on the city’s needs

Residents from across Ocala recently submitted letters to share their thoughts and concerns regarding the city that they call home.

“I am a new Ocala Floridian of 8 weeks, and I moved here for the small town vibe and location. We have all we need here, and we’re close enough to many big cities if we want to experience that. The only thing I’ve noticed is that many of the hotels are pretty rough – I stayed in a few last October when I visited. And one hotel I won’t name has reoccurring police visits. But all in all, we call this home now and like it here,” says Ocala resident Kim Edwards.

“I have been living in Ocala since 2005. Back then, Ocala was referred to as ‘Slocala.’ Now it’s time for Ocala to shine because this is the future and we need plenty of infrastructure development, such as our airports. Yes, we have two airports: in Dunellon and the Ocala International Airport which needs to have commercial flights. We need transportation and affordable apartments for the poor Ocalans who can’t afford these ridiculous rent prices that are being charged. We also need to update our mall, which needs more stores because the ones they have are outdated. The mall is definitely too small – it needs to be bigger,” says Noel Tulley, Ocala resident.

“I remember when you could drive down Pine Street on Sunday morning and know that you were in a southern town. I remember when you could drive down SR 200 and know that you were in a southern town. But drive down either of those roads today and you could be in any big city in the country. Ocala has lost its identity. Once lost, it can never be regained. Money talks,” says Ocala resident Don Goodman.

“I have lived in Ocala all my life and the influx of people moving here really annoys me. It’s too crowded, and looking at the way they drive, they must think they are in the city where they came from. They cut you off and pull out in front of you, and all you see now are vehicles driving recklessly with tags from different states. Ocala is horse and farm country with respect for older citizens. It’s ‘Slocala’ and I love it,” says William Washington, Ocala resident.

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