Hernando needs fresh solutions
When it comes to Hernando County's economic problems, its administrative and economic development leaders have been thinking in the past, with old money and old ideas, none of which have been able to lead us out of our economic quagmire.
A new county administrator will have to lead the charge with new business ideas, creative directions, and use money from new sources in order to stimulate the local economy. A more robust financial condition should then follow. The new county administrator will have to be creative, practical and show the community that there are better choices than standing still, or even going backwards with layoffs, furloughs, firings and fewer government services.
One creative idea is for a handful of local banks to form a consortium, where they can bundle the thousands of foreclosed homes in Hernando County (5,700 in 2010 alone) and make them available anew to the prior owners, under newer rules and more favorable payment conditions. The banks, which are carrying the financial burden now of paying the property taxes on the homes, and/or of having to sell the foreclosed homes at substantial losses, could lighten or shift the financial burden while stimulating the local economy.
The banks could require the former owners, as a condition to reoccupy, to begin paying the property taxes only, but to delay any mortgage payments until the former or new owners regained employment and better paying stability.
The construction industry would rebound with demands for new single-family units and repair of newly occupied homes. The ripple effect on small businesses and on increasing employment would be immediately felt.
We would experience rising employment and rising revenues; plus the property values would also begin to increase as well. Then we could repay any interim financing, reduce property taxes and begin to see a county government budget surplus and increased government services.
It helps the banker, the former homeowner, the construction worker, real estate brokers and small businesses; and even stabilizes or increases local government employment and services while also increasing revenues once again.
Brian P. Moore, Spring Hill
Hauler's laziness is unacceptable
Friday is recycle day in my mandatory service area. I had my recycle bins out and mistakenly had some Styrofoam in the paper bin. This Styrofoam is not recyclable.
So instead of putting the Styrofoam back into a bin, what do they do? They throw the Styrofoam on the ground where it could blow all over the neighborhood. Completely unacceptable, and I have to pay for this kind of service.
I realize that the hauler, Republic, is working out some kinks, but this is beyond kinks. It is just plain laziness and the who-gives-a-rat's-behind attitude of the crew.
Paul Settle, Spring Hill
Timber Pines has earned reputation
I have been reading the reactions to Dan DeWitt's column about gated communities. The people in Timber Pines seem real upset about what he wrote.
The impression you give is the one people react to. I don't know anyone in Timber Pines, but two things have given me reason to feel that they are self-centered and do not like to be inconvenienced. There is no plausible reason for a stoplight at the rear entrance to Timber Pines other than the fact that it's not convenient to wait to enter Deltona Boulevard. I can think of many more places that need a stoplight, but they made enough noise and touted all the charitable things they had done, and got the light. I thought charity was done to help others not to be used as a bargaining chip.
When the Walmart on U.S. 19 relocated further south and the Kmart on U.S. 19 closed, Timber Pines was inconvenienced again. Instead of crossing U.S. 19 at the light and driving right into the parking lot of Walmart, they had to — heaven forbid — drive on U.S. 19. And, to go to Kmart they have to drive to Hudson. I know they were upset by these closings because of the number of letters they wrote about it.
This is the impression your gated community has given. As the old saying goes, you made the bed now you have to sleep in it.
Harry White, Spring Hill
Lack of hydrants is troubling
I am a concerned citizen living in Spring Hill on Elgin Boulevard. Since the road has been upgraded there is an absence of fire hydrants. We've never had fire hydrants on this road since I've lived here. When you upgrade a road, don't you usually add fire hydrants?
From Spring Hill Drive to Mariner Boulevard, there are 12 hydrants. From Deltona Boulevard to Landover Boulevard, there are two hydrants. I cannot get answers as to why there are no hydrants on Elgin.
The original plans show no fire hydrants. Curbs and sod are listed, but no hydrants. I spoke to Hernando commissioners and they didn't want to hear anything about Elgin Boulevard. The staff told me to call the fire department, which I did. I was told by the fire chief that the department is not responsible for placing hydrants. It's the county's job. Round and round I go and still no answers.
Commissioner Jeff Stabins is the only commissioner who has come out to look. I want all commissioners to visit and assess this problem. I also want all candidates running for commissioner to visit and assess this problem. They want the job, but they don't want to do the work.
This needs to be addressed and fixed.
Steve Langone, Spring Hill