Sunday, June 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Candidates not recommended by Tampa Bay Times respond

Frank Grey Pasco County Court Judge

My experience is what voters are looking for in a county judge.

Experience: Most matters considered in county court involve areas of law in which I have over 26 years of experience, including 12 as a Supreme Court certified mediator.

Proper demeanor: For 18 years I've been chosen as special magistrate to the county's Value Adjustment Board; conducting hearings judiciously, fairly, respectfully, weighing evidence and consistently applying the law.

Leadership, community service: A lifelong Pasco resident, I've been president of the West Pasco Bar and New Port Richey Rotary, served on boards of local nonprofit organizations, and been a regular church parishioner for 50 plus years. I've donated many hours of legal services to the elderly and others in need — including the widow of a war casualty.

Endorsements: Police Benevolent Association and County Commissioner Ann Hildebrand. For many others, please visit frankgrey4judge.com. I ask for your vote on Aug. 14.

Donald Stephenson Pasco School Board, District 2

The omission of my opponent's shortcomings indicate the writer's own personal bias. The recommendation stated that Mrs. Hurley "refused to rubber stamp administrative recommendations" and yet she possesses a shocking 100 percent "yea'' voting record. Somehow that was irrelevant. Also omitted, the fact that Mrs. Hurley has taken thousands of dollars from special interests - teachers unions, PACs and entities that do business with the board. And it is ironic that the Times would criticize my platform's focus on fiscal issues when Joanne Hurley has no platform whatsoever.

Calling me "contradictory" because I oppose IB but advocate for magnet schools is akin to saying "you can't like ice cream unless you like every flavor." I was extremely clear that I wanted to see Pasco add additional magnet options. This face was omitted deliberately. The dishonest nature of this recommendation is glaring. Visit stephenson4pasco.com to get the real story.

Heather Fiorentino School Superintendent, Republican

The children of Pasco County have benefitted from Heather Fiorentino's leadership. Pasco's graduation rate has skyrocketed since 2000, improving over 20 percentage points to 88.5 percent. Pasco has earned an outstanding grade of A or B each year Heather Fiorentino has been superintendent and was ranked as the top performing school district in the Tampa Bay area. Two recent, independent studies have issued glowing findings of the district's performance and Heather Fiorentino's leadership.

Heather Fiorentino has served the people of Pasco during difficult times, facing unprecedented financial shortfalls and increased federal and state expectations. Pasco's students continue to shine, which is a testament to her skillful leadership. Their success should be the primary factor in determining who should lead Pasco's school system.

It is surprising that you would recommend a double-dipper with no education experience over an educator who has a proven track record of securing positive outcomes for children.

Comments

Monday’s letters: College instructors need classes in active shooter training

Active shooter perceptions disproven | June 21We need active shooter trainingThe only guns that I had seen before coming to the United States of America were in glass cases in museums. When I came to America to get a Ph.D. in English at the Unive...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18