Sunday, February 18, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Leaders accept responsibility

It can be a natural instinct to run for cover when something embarrassing happens or criticism erupts. But the better course for public servants is to step up, take the heat and accept responsibility rather than retreat into a defensive posture. Three Tampa Bay area leaders have done that in the past week under vastly different circumstances. Their decisions or explanations may not appease their critics, but their frankness is refreshing.

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Tracy Sheenan: When the judge was arrested for driving under the influence after bar hopping in Ybor City, she did not make any excuses or hide behind a lawyer. She apologized and acknowledged her behavior sullied her profession. She sought no special treatment before her arrest or at the jail. "It was a horrible, poor choice on my part to get behind the wheel," Sheenan said. "Unfortunately, it's a very poor reflection on the judiciary and that's what is most regrettable."

Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri: When an inmate suffered life-threatening injuries Saturday at the hand of another inmate in a transport van, Gualtieri relatively quickly disclosed significant details about what happened, including the role of the van driver, who is an employee of a private vendor. The sheriff also recently began posting all completed internal affairs reports online.

Tampa Bay Rays president Matt Silverman: After a charity he helps lead, Start Right, Now, came under fire for sometimes suing former clients — among them troubled or homeless teenagers — for large sums of money, Silverman wrote a column in the Tampa Bay Times to tell the public the group is changing its policies. "Community support and involvement are essential to the success of Starting Right, Now, and the discussion and input generated by these news stories has been valuable," Silverman wrote.

Everything always doesn't go as smoothly as expected. Here are three examples of how to accept responsibility and build public trust rather than hide behind excuses and make bad situations worse.

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Editorial: Trumpís rising deficits and misplaced priorities

Editorial: Trumpís rising deficits and misplaced priorities

Itís not popular in Washington or virtually anywhere else these days to express concern about the rising federal deficit. Congressional Republicans who used to be deficit hawks first voted to cut taxes by $1.5 trillion over the next decade, then rais...
Published: 02/17/18
Editorial: Buckhorn should not appeal verdict in firefighterís case

Editorial: Buckhorn should not appeal verdict in firefighterís case

The city of Tampa should have taken Tanja Vidovic seriously from the start when the Tampa firefighter complained about her treatment in the workplace. Now that a jury and judge have spoken, itís time for City Hall to cut its losses, learn from its mi...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Editorial: CareerSource troubles mount as public trust drops

Editorial: CareerSource troubles mount as public trust drops

The dark cloud enveloping Tampa Bayís job placement centers keeps growing. There are accusations of forged documents, evidence of nepotism and concerns about grossly inflated performance numbers that could be tied to receiving more public money and b...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Editorials: Prayers and platitudes after shootings arenít enough

Editorials: Prayers and platitudes after shootings arenít enough

Even before the victims of another mass shooting at another public school were identified, Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, state legislators and members of Congress rushed to South Florida or to social media to offer their thoughts and p...
Published: 02/15/18
Editorial: DCF review should get to the bottom of Hillsborough foster care issues

Editorial: DCF review should get to the bottom of Hillsborough foster care issues

The Florida Department of Children and Families is right to call for a timely and "comprehensive" review of Hillsborough Countyís foster care system. Though the probe is a reaction to a recent case involving a child who was left unattended, the revie...
Published: 02/14/18

A Washington Post editorial: Modernize 911 calling before it becomes an emergency

This Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the first 911 emergency call placed in the United States. Since then, uncounted lives have been saved and people helped. It has been a great accomplishment of government.But even as an estimated 240 million 9...
Published: 02/13/18
Updated: 02/14/18
Editorial: Scott, Cabinet cannot be trusted on felonsí voting rights

Editorial: Scott, Cabinet cannot be trusted on felonsí voting rights

Gov. Rick Scott always has been grudging and imperious about restoring the voting rights of felons, requiring them to wait for years before begging the governor and Cabinet to be recognized again as citizens. That arrogance is on full display in a le...
Published: 02/13/18
Another voice: ĎDreamersí donít know whom to trust on immigration

Another voice: ĎDreamersí donít know whom to trust on immigration

Immigrants brought into this country illegally as children by their parents may be wondering whom to trust. The political theater being played out in Washington hasnít settled the status of either the "Dreamers" or the estimated 11 million other undo...
Published: 02/13/18
Editorial: Promising Tampa stadium site for Rays

Editorial: Promising Tampa stadium site for Rays

While it came as little surprise, the Tampa Bay Raysí selection of an Ybor City site near Tampaís Channel District as the best spot for a new stadium is an important milestone in the effort to keep Major League Baseball. Now comes the hard work of de...
Published: 02/09/18
Editorial: Senate should reject Houseís attack on public schools

Editorial: Senate should reject Houseís attack on public schools

After pummeling public education so soundly last year, itís little surprise Republican state legislators are mounting another attack on public schools, teachers and local districts. The mammoth education bill passed by the House last week is loaded w...
Published: 02/08/18
Updated: 02/13/18