Re: Impact fees
Don't lower impact fees
The Hernando County commissioners just don't get it. With the exception of Diane Rowden, I cannot understand for the life of me the thought processes of the other four commissioners with respect to impact fees.
It's really very simple, commissioners. Lower impact fees means more money needed for infrastructure, possibly covered by an increase in sales taxes, property taxes or the issuance of bonds.
In addition, the sales value of our homes will go down by the amount the impact fees are reduced in order to stay competitive with homes sold at these reduced fees. This further means less property taxes collected by the county because of the reduced value of our homes.
The builders and the Realtors are the only groups pushing for lower impact fees. They say it will stimulate the economy.
They argue that it will afford the opportunity for more homes to be built, thus making more jobs available for residents of Hernando County. There is one problem with this argument, however, and that is that there is already a two-year inventory of available homes in the county. So, how does this concept provide jobs and stimulate the economy?
The only thing that lower impact fees stimulate are the hip pockets of the builders and Realtors. These associations are now upset because one commissioner has the guts to stand up against them and expose the truth. Kudos to Rowden!
Now back to my original concern on this issue. That pertains to the thought processes of the other four commissioners. Why are they receptive to such action?
These four commissioners agreed to delay a discussion on the fees until the builders could get their act together. They have agreed to allow an economist who lobbies for the builders to make a presentation at the board meeting. It certainly couldn't be that they are expecting payback for their support, could it?
Please, commissioners, don't lower impact fees!
John J. Davis, Brooksville
Williams should pay for her mistake
I red with interest the articles about the botched absentee ballots being mailed out. Supervisor of Elections Annie Williams states, "I have worked in elections for over 30 years and I have led this office since 2001." Well, I have to agree with Commissioner Jeff Stabins, who thinks Williams should pay for her mistake.
She has so much experience you would think she would know what the law reads. I believe she was the same woman who cost us more to mail out some other material because she didn't use the bulk rate. Well, the taxpayers paid for that. Don't people learn from mistakes and aren't people accountable for their mistakes?
I know she is human, but in these times she should have taken the time to proofread the ballot before sending them out. Now if someone sends in the first ballot and not the second, she says she will count them. I thought they would be illegal. How do you count an illegal ballot?
So, the votes of our boys fighting for this country might not count. This is a real shame. Ms. Williams, please don't make the taxpayers pay for your mistake again. We did it once before. That's enough.
Linda Mahoney, Spring Hill
Re: Policy targets false reports | July 20, story
Don't punish victim twice
Assistant State Attorney Don Barbee needs to familiarize himself with domestic violence issues. While occasional false reports may be filed, the main reason victims recant their sworn statements is that the abuser threatens to do serious harm to them and/or their children if they do not recant.
I suggest Mr. Barbee take a course in domestic violence rather than punishing the victim a second time.
Ann Reid, Spring Hill
Re: Former fire chief puts irony in running | July 18, Dan DeWitt column
Adkins has many more highlights
Dan Dewitt, thank you, for highlighting some of Jim Adkins' accomplishments. Unfortunately, so much was left out. I guess you ran out of space.
Jim started as a volunteer in the Brooksville Fire and Rescue department that had very little.
He was promoted after 12 years of service to fire chief, where he, as stated in your column, "helped bring professionalism to a neglected and underfunded department." By the way, he drove for many years a city-funded vehicle that wasn't reliable. For someone who is required to be available at all hours, a reliable vehicle that can carry fire and rescue equipment/supplies to an emergency is a necessity, especially if it's your family emergency.
By today's county standards of salary and benefits, Jim was a bargain, as his accomplishments and service over the 25 years far exceeded his salary and benefits.
It was ironic former city manager Jim Malcolm was mentioned. Wasn't he the one forced out due to a state law that prevented him from also serving on the School Board? Did DeWitt interview any of the other city managers?
Mr. Adkins, you have done so much good for the city and county. Thank you for your service. Your experience as a civil servant, manager, as well as a small-business owner in this county, is unmatched.
John Barrett, Brooksville