Tuesday, January 16, 2018
News Roundup

Hernando sheriff's aide makes end run to get her road fixed

Remember Catie Blue, the Sheriff's Office assistant budget director, who sent an email blasting the County Commission for paying excessive salaries and "over the moon" benefits such as days off on national holidays? Well, this is my synopsis of three emails she recently sent to Commissioner Jim Adkins, asking to get her road fixed.

Yes, the wording is mine. But though Blue now says she'd be okay if emergency vehicles are routed around the narrow dirt lane in front of her house, she really did tell Adkins it is "in desperate need of repair." And she really did thank him for "trying to hold the line on millage rates!"

Hey Jim,

One hypocrite to another, can you get a crew out here to fix my road?

Kidding, of course. Not about the road, just about that hypocrite thing. I mean let those tax-and-spenders complain about that email I sent a couple of months ago. Let 'em say that if there's bloat anywhere in the county government, it's here in the administration of the Sheriff's Office and that half my job sometimes seems to be juggling numbers to keep it as bloated as possible. Let 'em point out my salary is one of the higher ones around — $73,000, plus benefits.

You, of all people, know that's not the issue. After all, you get your commission salary plus those nice retirement checks as a former Brooksville fire chief. And you don't let that stop you and your buddy, Commissioner Wayne Dukes, with his solid-gold federal retirement deal, from standing up against tax increases. The one this year that people said was just a Band-Aid on a budget that's hemorrhaging? I'm with you. I don't see why it can't hemorrhage a little more.

See, you and I know something those whiners don't know. Government should be like business. And what's the main idea of investing in business? Putting as little as you can into it and getting as much as you can out of it. DUH! It's like, just because we're public workers we're supposed to stop thinking like capitalists.

That's why I know you won't have a problem with what I'm asking. Or what I'm asking you to ask the county. Because calling the staffer in charge is for goody-goodies who actually believe in government.

I live on Shaw Road, out by the Croom Tract of the Withlacoochee State Forest. I knew when I moved here I wouldn't get all the stuff city folks get and, honestly, I'm fine with my well and septic. But no decent road? C'mon! We need to at least make sure patrol cars and ambulances can get through. Somebody might have a heart attack out here.

But that Brian Malmberg guy who runs Transportation Services has the nerve to say the county never agreed to maintain this little 15-foot-wide right-of-way. He says the part of the road I'm talking about isn't even on that right-of-way. And he said that if he agreed to take care of all the little substandard lanes in the county, it would cost millions.

But you know what really burned me? He said my neighbors and I could get together and pay to fix the road ourselves. Pay for a basic public service? I mean, what is this county coming to?

I know you'll see things my way. And thanks for hearing me out, and thanks for doing what you can to shrink government.

Catie

Follow Dan DeWitt at [email protected]

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