Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Just Listen to Some of the Discontent over Cecil

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Just Listen to Some of the Discontent over Cecil

Article excerpt

Byline: Ronald L. Littlepage

Mayor John Peyton insists that he's "listening" to the concerns of Westside residents upset about the possible return of a Navy master jet base to Cecil Field.

If he really were, this is what he would be hearing. Here's a sampling of numerous e-mails I received last week:

"My name is Terry Berry and my wife's name is Carole. We live in the Foxmeadow development in Middleburg. If you are not familiar with the area, it is 4 miles due south of Cecil Field. An extension of the center line of the runway goes through the middle of Foxmeadow.

"Although some of the original homes in Foxmeadow date back 25 years or so, many of the homes have been built since Cecil Field closed -- and they are not inexpensive homes . . .

"A little background: My wife and I built our retirement dream home in Foxmeadow in 2003 and moved in a few days before Christmas that year. We moved here from Southern California and we chose the area because it is rural and quiet. To us and many others it is almost a parklike setting.

"Now we are in danger of having our dream destroyed by politicians whose primary interest is in accruing political capital for themselves . . .

"At his town hall meeting, Mayor John Peyton and the others on the podium (when they realized their position could not stand on its own merits) tried to wrap themselves in the flag and imply that anyone who did not support their position was disloyal to the country, unpatriotic and, even worse, traitors to the troops.

"I am a retired Air Force officer. I flew combat missions over North Vietnam and spent more than 23 years in the Air Force . . . I am not unpatriotic. I am certainly not a traitor to the troops because I was one. And I obviously like airplanes. I just don't like them at low altitude and high power settings over my house."

Then there was this e-mail from Jim Kelly, a retired Navy air traffic controller, who lives near Cecil Field in the Bent Creek neighborhood:

"One Navy commander, retired, recently expressed his opinion that those of us who were duped into believing we were building next to a civilian airport 'should quit whining and move if we don't like the newest idea for Cecil. …

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