County considers water agency's future | Sept. 14, story
Abolish this agency and special tax
We have been paying taxes for the Pinellas Park Water Management District for 32 years. It didn't take that long to build the interstate system or send a man to the moon. It is time to abolish this special taxing district and place the responsibility for maintenance on the Pinellas County utilities so that all county taxpayers can share in the cost of maintaining this system.
Those of us who have been paying this "special" tax for 32 years have also been obligated to pay the county taxes that are needed to maintain the rest of the county stormwater drainage system. The work is done, and it's time to end this "special" taxing district.
Anne Lindberg wrote in her article on Sept. 14 that county commissioners want to hire an independent engineer to study drainage improvements the district has made and determine who benefits from them. That sounds like a waste of taxpayer money to me. Perhaps we should be more careful about who we vote for for county commissioner.
The article also mentioned that the district did not want to accept the state agency's recommendation that it be abolished. Of course they don't want to be abolished, as the job of executive director would be abolished. The article also mentioned that Pinellas Park did not want it abolished. That is the city's decision but should not apply to the residents of Lealman, Kenneth City and St. Petersburg who are currently paying this tax.
When this special taxing district was voted for in 1976, it was never intended by the voters to be a "never ending tax." The job is done. Abolish the tax and move maintenance under the county.
Pete Morrison, St. Petersburg
Banning median use
Take back medians
The St. Petersburg City Council is to be congratulated on seeking an ordinance prohibiting the use of street medians for begging, fundraising, selling newspapers, political campaigning, handing out religious tracts, etc.
The increasing abuse of what should be highway safety structures needs to be curtailed.
Tom Ziebold, St. Petersburg
Indian Rocks Beach taxes to rise | Sept. 21, story
Burned at the beach
This article in the Neighborhood Times was excellent, as it fairly depicts recent actions by the Indian Rocks Beach City Commission.
Despite the fact that Florida is in a recession, other communities are cutting expenses, and citizens clamored for a tax reduction, Indian Rocks Beach chose to raise taxes 36.1 percent from last year's rate.
Commissioners, with the exception of Daniel Torres, are out of step with reality. Their only answer in these tough times is to tax and spend. No one is seriously concerned about significant cost-cutting.
The citizens lost out again.
Victor Wood, Indian Rocks Beach
Proposed parking ban poses problem | Sept. 16, story
Sand ebbs anyway
So Treasure Island could lose beach nourishment funds if the proposed parking only for residents goes into effect. I say, "Good."
They renourish the beach and for a couple of months, it looks good, but then Mother Nature takes it back and we are back where we started. I have watched this for 25 years. The tide stops at the same point every time; it does not keep coming.
Johnny Watters, Treasure Island
No excuse now
What a wonderful offer Pinellas County has made to St. Petersburg — to provide curbside recycling to everyone while reducing our city's carbon emissions and extending the life of our landfill. All for free. And our city is balking at this great proposal? That makes no sense.
Our family has recycled since 1969. When we moved to Tampa, we were delighted to discover that, rather than taking our recyclables to a center, as we had done in Virginia, we could merely trundle them out to the curb. After moving to St. Petersburg a few years ago, we were astonished that such a renaissance town did not offer curbside recycling. We were forced to get back into our car again and waste gas to haul everything to a recycling center. When a new center opened downtown last year, it meant that we could reduce our carbon footprint and just walk our recyclables a few blocks to Demens Landing. A good start, but not as good as total curbside recycling.
We live in a large building. While it does recycle clear glass, plastic and newsprint, it does not recycle colored glass, cardboard, paper or aluminum. It is disheartening to see the hundreds of cans that are thrown away there each day. Aluminum cans are one of the few recyclables that are actually worth something. Recycling aluminum uses 95 percent less energy than making new aluminum.
That St. Petersburg is hesitant to take part in such a great energy- saving measure is astonishing and disappointing. There simply is no excuse for passing up this fine offer.
Faith Andrews Bedford, St. Petersburg
I just wanted to share something that I thought I would never see in my lifetime. I walk every morning at Sawgrass Lake Park. I watched every day as an alligator I call Mamma built her nest. She guarded that nest for months. I talked to her every day.
I had the pleasure of watching her have her babies. I was so scared I would miss it. I told her the day before Labor Day that she was late and it was time for her to have them. Well, much to my surprise, the next morning on my walk, there she was taking eggs out of her nest one at a time and rolling them in her mouth very gently, cracking them.
I stood in amazement. What a wonderful sight to behold! I saw 13 babies born. Now I talk to the babies. How wonderful is Mother Nature.
Jane Borden, St. Petersburg