In response to previous letters from residents that discussed the pros and cons of living in Ocala/Marion County, several more residents wrote in to voice their thoughts on the topic.
“I’m impressed with the work of the Chamber of Commerce – they promote and organize a constant series of public events. I would like to see development with character and design, not just a roadside strip mall. There is a lack of public sport activity centers in southwest Ocala. Some accessible public pickleball courts and colorful playgrounds along SW 200 would be a great addition,” says Ocala resident John Bourland.
“I also live in the Ocala/Marion County area, specifically Silver Springs. In my opinion, Silver Springs has gone the farthest downhill. Homelessness is at an all-time high. I see it everyday. I also used to be homeless, and there is nothing but meth in this town. It is very shameful. When I first moved here in the early 2000’s, there used to be a putt-putt golf course, a water park, and an entertaining plaza called Six Gun which is now pretty much deserted with no stores worth shopping at. I have been trying to leave for so long but this place seems to be a black hole, and whether it’s finances, the county, the justice system, or what have you, you cannot leave this place. It is such a shame. And I think the meth epidemic is the reason people don’t want to build here or entertain here,” says Keith Tucker III, Silver Springs resident.
“I’m new to the area and love it. Traffic may be bad, the lights are long, homeless people are everywhere, and State Road 200 is a nightmare like the last 10 laps of Daytona, but the people are nice and the weather is good. I love the country, and there is great cycling and lots to do outdoors,” says Ocala resident Michael Chase.
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