Friday, August 17, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Hernando Letters to the Editor for June 15

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 county’s 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 Republic’s history with the county is one of exceedingly poor performance, not just this year’s, 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. I’m 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.

I’m 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


Thursday’s letters: Cigars are bad for your health

Tobacco rules don’t suit premium cigars | Editorial, Aug. 13Xyxyx xyxy xyxy xyxy xyxy xyxxxThe argument made in this editorial to exempt the premium cigar industry from FDA scrutiny is, in essence: They are not cheap, they are not fruit-flavored,...
Published: 08/13/18
Updated: 08/15/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Aug. 17

Re: County authorizes takeover of SunWest Park | Aug. 10‘A poor idea from the startWith no fanfare whatsoever, we now have a new park that no one I know ever seems to use or even know where it is. If it is bringing hordes of tourists to our cou...
Published: 08/13/18

Tuesday’s letters: Habitat should help the poor, not hurt them

Habitat lender choice blasted | Aug. 12Help, don’t hurt, poorAs a Habitat for Humanity admirer, donor and volunteer, I was disappointed to read how Habitat for Humanity’s Hillsborough County affiliate reportedly stumbled in delivering its mission...
Published: 08/10/18
Updated: 08/13/18

Monday’s letters: A gun or a vote: danger is relative

‘I went off the deep end’ | Aug. 10A gun or a vote: danger is relativeAt the demonstrable risk of having someone lose his fragile temper, grab his guns, storm out his door and speed to my home to shoot me for saying so (and why NOT, Florida Legis...
Published: 08/10/18

Sunday’s letters: July’s letter of the month is ‘Time for more civil debate.’

July letter of the monthTime for more civil debate"Politics" is an activity which involves power and control, arriving at decisions based on differing interests. Normally, leaders weigh the needs of the individual with the abilities of the country. C...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/10/18

Saturday’s letters: A team effort made USF preeminent

USF and preeminenceA team effort vaulted USF The University of South Florida’s designation as a preeminent state research university is a prestigious accomplishment and a tribute to the hard work of faculty, staff and students and USF System Presiden...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/10/18

Friday’s letters: Don’t let pollution be our legacy

Algae blooms amid cuts | Aug. 8Brown can’t be the new greenThis headline should have said "Republicans continue to pave their way across Florida, pollute the water supply and destroy animals and their habitat." The Republicans have controlled Tal...
Published: 08/07/18
Updated: 08/09/18

Wednesday’s letters: Girl’s drowning death is one of two tragedies

Mother: Dead girl now ‘pure’ | Aug. 7Two tragediesThis is another tragedy of a parent who became overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for an autistic child. But an equally bad sequence of events is likely to happen in the days and months t...
Published: 08/06/18
Updated: 08/07/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for Aug. 10

Jacqueline Road being misusedI have issued complaints to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, traffic division and also a letter to the sheriff and have had very little positive response.We have an issue on Jacqueline Road with speeding vehicles and...
Published: 08/06/18

Monday’s letters: Enough with praise for Pier sculpture

Aerial art to billow at Pier | Aug. 3Pier art: boon or boondoggle?Well, finally! The Janet Echelman sculpture project has been approved. The dust has settled and now, at the cost of $2.8 million an over-priced, glorified flag will be flapping ove...
Published: 08/03/18