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Editor, The Beacon:

Your July 22 Beacon article about ECHO and Volusia Forever is spot-on, and I wholeheartedly agree we should renew them for the best interests of our community. 

I formerly served on the Volusia Forever Advisory Council and definitely believe these provide the optimal means possible for preserving our unique environmental habitats and supporting cultural, historic and outdoor recreation facilities.

Among many other worthy entities, on behalf of the board of directors, our historic Athens Theatre has been a grateful beneficiary of the ECHO program, which has helped us remain a viable entity through the coronavirus shutdown, while also implementing prudent measures on our own to stay solvent.

Given the current economic and fiscal challenges facing our community, it would be tempting to jettison these critical programs. 

Let’s hope we can all keep the long-term view and vote to renew them for another 20 years. We can’t afford not to.

In the meantime, by all means, let’s get the grassroots efforts going so folks can make an informed decision on Nov. 3.

Tom Fleishel



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