Mortgage aid misspent | March 6
same old story
Here we go again. And again. And again. Another organization with access to taxpayer money abuses and misspends the money. How often have we seen it in the recent past: CareerSource, St. Petersburg Housing Authority, Pinellas Construction Licensing Board, Clearwater Parks and Recreation Department, area fire departments. And now the Florida Housing Finance Corp.
Those with the capacity of character to financially abuse taxpayer funds, be it with excessive salaries and bonuses, vacation and sick time, creating unnecessary positions, or outright pilfering, will do so. If any government agency or department, or any organization receiving government funding, insists that they need independence and autonomy to function effectively, heads up, the taxpayers are about to get handled. Without diligent oversight, monitoring and total transparency, taxpayer money will be misspent. Always follow the money.
To those who commit to provide oversight as board members, if your purpose is more to create an impressive resume or perhaps help your friends, please do us all a favor and find something else to do.
Dave Loeffert, Dunedin
There’s no shame
It has long been obvious that the Hardest Hit Fund wasn’t actually being used to help underwater homeowners in Florida pay their mortgages. Even their professed use of it to give first time homeowners down payment money was not true to its actual purpose. The Tampa Bay Times wrote articles, the federal government gave them limp taps on the wrist, but still the money flowed and was misspent as citizens lost their homes.
The federal system of regulation almost never tracks and gets to local miscreants in time. They regularly feel free to make off with the money. The lack of TARP mortgage fund regulations was the result of the Obama administration caving into banks, but misuse of Hardest Hit funds in Florida was perpetrated by the Tea Party government led by former Gov. Rick Scott. What does it take to stop this? Vote, vote, vote.
Jane Sellick, Palmetto
A silver lining in failed summit | Editorial, March 1
A better approach
As a negotiator, arbitrator and mediator, I believe our approach to North Korea’s nuclear weapons is headed in the wrong direction. North Korea will not give up their nuclear weapons, and why should they? The weapons are very important to them. Like the United States, Israel, Iran, Germany etc., North Korea says it will only use the weapons for defense. Who are we to dictate to another country what they can and or cannot have?
A better, more productive and sustainable approach would be to have a consortium of the United States, Japan, South Korea and China to “manage” the program with financial assistance, exchange of diplomats or liaisons, etc.
Ross P. Alander, Tampa
No guts, no glory
So the Democratic National Committee will not allow Fox News to host a Democratic presidential debate. Is that because the questions asked by Fox would reveal exactly what the Democrats don’t want us to know? Wayne Parlow, Ridge Manor