Decision shows city's allegiance
The Clearwater City Council passed on an opportunity to reduce costs, improve services and increase the return from taxes paid when they rejected integrating the City of Clearwater police with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
The council made its allegiance obvious. The council supports the municipal unions at all costs and in doing so consistently sells out the best interests of the taxpayers.
The Pinellas County sheriff provided visibility that the Clearwater council has lavished city employees with wages and benefits that greatly exceed those of Pinellas County employees. Compared to the average person in peer positions, the contrast is even more appalling.
Just imagine the overall savings potential from integrating all overlapping Pinellas County and Clearwater services into a common organization.
Our City Council would rather ignore the obvious savings, maintain the status quo and eliminate libraries, city pools and other quality of life services.
The sad state of Florida today is because the majority of elected officials sell out the best interests of the people to fill their own pockets directly and indirectly.
One thing is clear: Mayor Frank Hibbard does not want to change this and no one on the City Council will challenge the status quo. Hibbard had previously stated a desire to run for Bill Young's congressional seat. I hope his actions on this issue become his undoing when the electorate evaluates who Frank Hibbard really represents.
William Barrett, Clearwater
Tarpon needs a resident attorney
I was pleased to learn that the Tarpon Springs city commissioners are taking responsibility for reviewing the arrangement whereby a private law firm in Dunedin provides legal services to the city government of Tarpon Springs.
For 10 years, I have watched relations between the people of Tarpon and their city government grow increasingly litigious. There is no motivation for the private attorneys to mediate disputes or make policies less problem prone. Defending a lawsuit and complicating a policy bring in more revenue for their firm than trying for a reasonable and fair compromise.
Abandoning this ill-advised arrangement should save us money and make Tarpon Springs easier to do business with. It is time for Tarpon Springs to have a city attorney who resides in Tarpon and has an interest in improving the city, rather than viewing it as a cash cow.
Jean C. Jester, Tarpon Springs
Patient has kind words for doctor
I am tired of seeing all the bad doctors in the news. If we only read the news, there would not be any good medical people to be had in Florida.
Dr. Tim Carlson takes total care of my health. He has been my doctor through all of the ups and downs for the past five years. I can honestly say on several occasions he has saved my life.
Please print this for all of the doomsayers out there who can only find fault with our healthcare system. I have nothing but good things to say about my healthcare and the wonderful man who handles it for me.
Amy D. Anderson, Clearwater
Local restaurants deserve praise
Recently the Sam Seltzer restaurant on U.S. 19 in Clearwater closed. It is a shame that no one ever complimented all those restaurants that consented to accept the Sam Seltzer gift cards the restaurant sold knowing full well it was closing. I say kudos to those restaurants that came forward to accept the gift cards. They are to be commended for their courtesy.
Kathleen Pelligrino, Dunedin