Hernando Letters to the Editor for June 15

Published June 11 2018
Updated June 12 2018

Opinion: Commissioners arrogant and incompetent

My wife and I live in Hernando County. As such, we are represented by a Board of County Commissioners where all the members manifest two common traits. Those traits are arrogance and incompetence.

The arrogance manifests itself in a singular way ... ignoring others, whether it is the Planning and Zoning Commission, or the citizens generally. Such was the case when the County Commission voted to allow the Cemex mining expansion.

In their effort to accommodate Cemex, current members changed the rules for amending the countyís comprehensive plan. Then they proceeded to ignore everybody but Cemex, and expand the mining operation.

Last year, they voted to add garbage collection costs to the property tax bill as fees. This means that everyone affected pays the same. It is not based on property valuation. They also signed a seven-year contract with Republic Services, through which Republic will decrease its labor costs and increase its charges. Nice deal for Republic.

This year they voted to fully implement the changes. They held a public hearing and ignored the public. Both the Republic and Cemex actions are steeped with arrogance.

But any entity signing a seven-year contract, such as the Republic deal, is guilty of incompetence. Most well-functioning businesses would avoid any contract exceeding three years. And what is worse is that Republicís history with the county is one of exceedingly poor performance, not just this yearís, but since they arrived here.

Finally, this group of commissioners now wants to move all of the Fire Municipal Service revenue from ad valorem to non-ad valorem. This means a flat fee for everybody. So the person with the $100,000 home pays exactly the same as the person with the $500,000 home. If home valuation is a good proxy for income and wealth, the little guys take it on the chin again.

There is a solution for Hernando County residents on the horizon. In November, we can start to clean house by voting out two of the current commissioners. And in 2020 ,we can complete the cleaning. It would be so refreshing to have representation that actually listens to the residents and serves more than corporate interests.

Paul J. Forestal, Spring Hill

Re: Survey calls out school district | June 1, story

Retiree finds school funding shocking

I read with trepidation your reporting about the survey of our Hernando County schools. Iím retired and have no children in our local schools, and as a retiree I never will. Being raised and educated in New York State (along with my children and grandchildren), there is a huge gap between the education and funding of those schools compared to Hernando County schools.

Iím shocked at the level of pay our teachers receive in Florida, compared to the teachers in New York State. How do we ever expect to retain our teachers or expect their loyalty when their pay is so substandard? I would suggest an immediate 10-15 percent pay raise to start the climb to financial fairness for them.

The gift of the teaching profession is so unique, being there is no giving up or giving in, just giving. The teacher studies to become proficient and passes that knowledge on to our children. The teacher looses nothing, but the students receive their knowledge. How special is that.

Quoting Poet William Butler Yeats, "Education is not the filling of the pot but the lighting of the fire."

We should be concerned with the lighting of the fire of our school administration and local school board. Their mission should be, teach me goodness, discipline and knowledge. Our children are calling.

Dennis Fischer, Spring Hill