Re: Spring Hill fire referendum
Commissioner gives her side
A letter writer is absolutely correct: We do have problems on our Spring Hill Fire Rescue Board of Commissioners and if you would watch the government channel 622 you would find all our problems are caused by two commissioners, who continually cause havoc with insulting remarks, unfounded accusations and just plain hissy fits when they can't get their own way.
I am at fault as well because I do react when attacked. I am attacked mainly because I am a woman and because I do not always agree with them. I have been accused of being the third vote. Well, if you have five persons on the board at any given time, one person will be the third vote.
I vote for the good of the taxpayer and the district. I do not want our taxpayers to pay more property taxes. If we go to the county it will affect our middle-and lower-income families They are the ones who will see the increases.
I am not against Hernando County. They are wonderful men and women who, like Spring Hill, serve you. They, like us, are professional, trained, caring and considerate men and women who continually put their lives on the line for you and me. You are told Spring Hill gets paid more in salary than elsewhere. Check and you will see after five years a captain gets paid elsewhere as much as our fire chief.
I am sure all boards throughout the U.S. have problems from time to time, ours is no different. But rest assured, we at Spring Hill care about you.
The flier that went out is factual and there is nothing wrong in making comparisons between Spring Hill and Hernando. I am asking voters not to listen to anyone, but before you vote, ask questions, make phone calls and read the comparisons in the flier. Be informed.
Sherry Adler, Spring Hill fire commissioner, Spring Hill
A 'yes' vote will bring assessment
You are asked to vote "yes" or "no" by the taxing authority for the Spring Hill Fire District. We taxpayers paid for a flier to be printed which assures us that if we vote "yes,'' the fire district cannot raise your tax rate of 2.5 mills. But what they don't tell you is that by state law they can apply special assessments to our businesses and our private homes.
It has already been determined that the special fire district cannot satisfy all of its obligations and future plans with the 2.5-mill levy. Isn't it reasonable to assume that a special assessment is on its way if you vote yes?
Please vote ''no'' and let the county start to plan the future of fire fighting in Hernando County.
Nick Morana, Spring Hill
This fire victim backs Spring Hill
Parking my vehicle at the supermarket on a Sunday, I was approached by the chairman of the Spring Hill Fire District, John Pasquali, who offered a pamphlet that explained the "pros and cons" of the fire district vote.
I told the fire commissioner of the editorials and opinion letters lambasting the commission for divisions within the board.
Spring Hill firefighters and emergency technicians are the pick of the crop as first responders and the high rating of the department that presents lower costs per household to homeowners should be reason enough to vote to continue contracts to protect homes and life in Spring Hill.
In my opinion, most people give a thumbs up supporting the Spring Hill Fire District where I now live, after fire destroyed all of my belongings in Brooksville.
I have a stake in this issue based on my recent fire experience. I rushed to change my voting precinct before the deadlines so I could mark my ballot to join the thousands in my new community.
Deron Mikal, Spring Hill
Driver must take responsibility
I want to thank the grand jury members who took responsibility and indicted Brittany Miles for murder. I only ask that the prosecution, jurors and judge perform to the same high level of taking responsibility in convicting her.
I can now understand how Miles lived life the way she did, alcohol, drugs and not taking responsibility for anything. Her mother is a deputy sheriff herself but it could have been anybody's kid. Does a mother understand that her daughter is not a kid, but an adult charged with attempted murder and murder?
Does the mother understand that her daughter attempted to kill a Pasco deputy, a female officer just as she is?
The daughter and mother both are not taking responsibility for what happened. Our public officials are left to take responsibility and I hope that they can do it.
Let this case send a message to those who abuse alcohol and drugs that we citizens are fed up and that you will end up in prison for the rest of your life.
T. Williams Simmons, Spring Hill
Library giving us money's worth
As a former member of the Hernando Library Committee, I checked to see if we were getting our money's worth and here are the facts:
Folks young and old borrowed 666,059 materials and 11,298 digital audio books were downloaded/circulated. Reference librarians answered 283,981 reference questions, and libraries issued just less than 8,000 new library cards.
There are more than 93,000 card-holders, who made 465,471 visits. Volunteer hours include 5,000 at libraries and 9,284 at Friends of the Library. There were 4,369,793 Internet Web page views.
It is a pleasure to see not only us older folks but students and programs for adults, young adults and juveniles. We have a great library system and it is apparent the folks in Hernando know it and use it.
Arthur R. Croci, Spring Hill
Teacher was in no-win situation
I grew up in Brooksville in the days when educators were respected and supported: by students, by parents, by the community and certainly by their school administrators and the board.
How unfortunate that Central High art teacher Sandra Hancock was placed in such a dangerous situation where this could occur in the first place. Then, not even one of the students sought another adult nearby to intervene, but, by God, someone manages to get it all on his/her cell phone.
I know the last thing a teacher of her obvious dignity wanted was to have it broadcast nationwide but I think all Americans need to see how even a small minority of demanding, violent, and unchecked children in our classrooms can put a 22-year veteran in a no-win situation of having to physically defend against an assault from an angry boy-man much larger than herself.
Do we need teacher unions? You bet! Now, more than ever and shame on the Hernando County School Board if it doesn't reinstate this educator immediately. I'll apologize in advance, but, great uppercut there. And, by the way, she was a terrific looking 64-year old on the Today Show. I wish her the best.
Grace Davidson Thomas, Winter Garden
Civil service deserves respect
Isn't it nice that the Sheriff's Office, the Property Appraiser's Office and the Clerk of the Court can submit a budget less than last year. It makes one think that we are experiencing a time of real savings. However, the savings are for the most part a result of the 3 percent contribution to the state of Florida pension fund by the public employees. It is simple: they put in more, the agency puts in less. Ergo, we have savings.
I am not saying that a contribution to the pension fund is or is not called for. Few states have a non-contributory pension plan these days. However, I recall that the state of New York, which was my employer, did not change the plan for established employees. Instead, new employees hired after a specific date went into another tier and were made to contribute to their pensions. It was fair because the older employees accepted employment under one set of rules and the new employees under another set of rules. It may be argued that the times we live in require drastic measures. However, let us not forget that the civil servants took a 3 percent cut in pay.
When times are good and employment plentiful, many people do not choose civil service. It is not sexy, not exciting, does not pay enough, promotion is limited. However, when jobs are scarce, the same people who would not work for civil service look around and complain the civil servants have it too good.
Then there is the myth that civil servants sit around all day, do no work and collect paychecks as some sort of welfare system. I worked very hard for the state of New York and was promoted several times for my efforts. My salary was less than that in private industry for the same work but I was satisfied to remain where I was for my own reasons and, to tell the truth, the promise of a pension when I retired. I had worked many years in private industry and when I was done, there was no pension or other retirement benefits. My wife worked all her life in private industry and never earned a pension. When you are retired, the pension, which is not exactly a fortune, looks very good.
How do people think that the business of government gets done? Is it by smoke and mirrors? Does the work just get done by itself whether it is in motor vehicle, the tax collector's, the court clerk's or sheriffs' offices? People go to work every day and work hard to make our system of government run properly.
Ignorance is the biggest reason for people's prejudice against civil service. In many foreign countries, it is the top of the career ladder rather than being held in such disrespect as it is here.
Let us rejoice in the budget savings and the possibility that we can go through the budget process without bloodshed as in past years. However, let's not forgot how we are getting there.
Lewis Corvene, Hudson