Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Candidates respond to Times' endorsements of opponents

Candidate replies

Editor's note: Candidates not recommended by the Tampa Bay Times are given an opportunity to respond.

Mike Graves Public Defender, 5th Judicial Circuit

In the recent review of the public defender candidates, the Tampa Bay Times concluded that I am the most qualified candidate.

As I am the most qualified, State Attorney Brad King has endorsed me, and Public Defender Skip Babb has endorsed me. They have about 50 years of combined experience in the very criminal justice system where the newly elected public defender will operate.

However, the Times gave its lukewarm endorsement to my opponent who served for a short time months as an assistant public defender in another judicial circuit.

The sole basis of the endorsement surrounds my bar discipline history wherein I accepted my discipline for not responding to bar correspondence in a timely fashion. No complaints from the incarcerated former clients were ultimately found to have any actual merit.

It is unfortunate that the editors chose to emphasize the bar matter over my clearly superior qualifications.

Mark Caskie Hernando Elections Supervisor, Republican

Thanks for the opportunity to respond and for recognizing my budget and leadership experience as assets.

I have managed a budget and staff nearly three times that the Supervisor's Office. You did mischaracterize our discussion of change. We discussed whether I would bring a whole new staff and I said I had no plans to replace everyone. I will evaluate the current staff and personnel structure to determine if efficiencies can be made to the largest expense line in the budget. Operating two offices will also be looked at.

Changes are needed at the state level so that expenses can be reduced at the local level. I will be the catalyst for that change. I have experience testifying in Tallahassee.

I am a problem solver who interacts with the public on a daily basis. On Aug. 14, mark your ballot for Mark K. Caskie for Hernando's Supervisor of Elections.

William Kingeter Hernando School Board, District 2

Regarding your recommendation of Matt Foreman over me, I am absolutely taken aback. Apparently, you and I were on different wavelengths during the interview.

We discussed the fact that Mr. Foreman already holds two jobs — one as the attorney for the Clerk of the Courts, and one with the Hogan law firm in addition to his School Board appointment by a very unpopular governor. We discussed a lack of any positive action by Foreman.

Your recommendation of him defies credibility.

Gus Guadagnino Hernando School Board, District 4

You stated, "Guadagnino's idea that a percentage of students grades should be based on parental participation is unworkable. " I ask, how do you know this unworkable? Where has my plan been tried and failed?

You stated my opponent's "kind of thinking" gives him the edge because he wants to trim overhead by limiting after school activities. The last thing we need to do, is take away from our students and add more scheduling burden on the backs of their working parents. We need to do a better job on providing our students with a well-rounded education.

We need to trim administration cost and operational expenses and use those dollars inside the classroom. We must look at construction, energy, health insurance, maintenance, purchasing and transportation for more effective and efficient ways of doing business.

On Aug. 14, vote for a proven leader. Vote for Gus Guadagnino.

God bless America.


Wednesday’s letters: Let the teachers decide on guns

Trump touts arming staff as key in plan for school security | March 12It’s the teacher’s call on weaponsPlease, let’s try an alternate view about guns in the classroom. First, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the preponderance of letters about guns ...
Published: 03/20/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Published: 03/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Published: 03/19/18

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18

Friday’s letters: Put young people to work rebuilding infrastructure

Smart way to pay for infrastructure | March 13, commentaryMake rebuilding a youth project Raising gas taxes to pay for infrastructure may not be the best way to go. I suggest we re-invent the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) and draft high...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Thursday’s letters: An alternative for giving: Breadcoin

Panhandling paradox | March 11Innovation in giving: BreadcoinPanhandling is destructive to the donor, panhandler and our community — a guilt trip that erodes personal dignity, respect and self-worth, making the recipient more beholden and entitle...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/14/18
Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Daylight saving timeDaylight bill is bad for businessI encourage Gov. Rick Scott to veto the daylight saving time extension bill. It makes no sense. It puts Florida out of sync with the rest of the country. Commerce will be affected. The entire Easte...
Published: 03/13/18

Pasco Letter to the Editor for March 16

Re: Pasco to test roadside recycling | March 9 column Pasco County (and its residents) have financial incentives to recycle, but the participation rate is low. Clearly, Pasco County either needs to make recycling mandatory — by making residents r...
Published: 03/13/18