County seeks residents' input
During the past four years Pasco County has invested significant time and energy changing the way we do business to ensure efficiency, accountability and transparency during these difficult times. We share a vision to become Florida's premier county for balanced economic growth, environmental sustainability and first-class customer service.
The Board of County Commissioners developed a strategic plan in 2009, based on significant citizen input, that is focused on jobs and economic development, financial sustainability, growth management, customer service, transportation and environmental protection. As this strategic planning cycle comes to a close, we need your input on how we are doing in addressing those objectives.
We are committed to achieving our common vision for Pasco County and to bring opportunities home. During the next several months, we will begin preparing for our next four-year strategic planning cycle. In order to set our goals, we need your input on the issues most important to our community. We need you to become informed and get involved and let your voices be heard through our online survey, stakeholder meetings and focus groups.
Over the past two weeks, the National Research Center Inc., on behalf of Pasco County, has mailed more than 1,200 surveys to citizens. The National Citizen Survey includes a series of questions on service areas and quality of service delivered. If you received a survey, we urge you to complete it and return it.
Additionally, we have launched an online survey to allow all residents the opportunity to express their opinions. The online survey contains the same questions as the National Citizen Survey, plus a few additional questions. The online survey can be accessed on the county Web page or by visiting bringingopportunitieshome.com.
We also are asking citizens and business owners to attend one of three meetings: 7 p.m. March 22 at the Land O'Lakes Community Center; 7 p.m. March 27 at the Historic Court House, Dade City; and 7 p.m. March 29 at West Pasco Government Center, New Port Richey.
These meetings will discuss the survey results and trends revealed by your answers. For information, see bringingopportunitieshome.com or like us on Facebook at "Bringing Opportunities Home to Pasco County" to follow our updates.
It is vital that our citizens are heard as we move through the current planning and budget process. Your feedback will directly impact decisions that must be made regarding the future growth and development of Pasco County, as well as services that can be provided in this economic climate.
The survey results and feedback from public meetings will be compiled into a draft report that will be presented to the Board of County Commissioners in May. The final results will also be posted to the website above, on Facebook and also at pascocountyfl.net.
Pasco County values citizen input, and I appreciate your time and effort to share your ideas and views with us. If you are unable to attend one of the community meetings or take the survey, please visit our website, click on the customer comment card and submit your feedback there. You can also follow our progress on our government TV channel. Our Pasco 360 program will keep you updated on meetings, focus groups and the survey results through the planning and budget process.
As always, we look forward to hearing from you as we strive to keep bringing opportunities home to Pasco County.
John J. Gallagher, county administrator, New Port Richey
Keep politics out of pension fund
Gov. Rick Scott should stop the deception about the Florida Retirement System pension fund.
Florida's pension fund is one of the best in the country. But the governor wants to trick public employees and the people of Florida into believing the fund is in trouble. Why? To give billion dollar contracts to his buddies running out-of-state for-profit companies. Shouldn't our governor and legislative leaders work hard to keep those taxpayer revenues in Florida?
Last year, the governor used the pension fund as an excuse to reach into the pockets of public employees and take 3 percent from their salaries to give to his big-business buddies. This year, it as an excuse to privatize thousands of state prison jobs.
Florida's retirement system was just fine until the governor started cooking the books and misleading Floridians. Now, he and Senate President Mike Haridopolos are twisting the arms of Republican senators to support a privatization that has nothing to do with the FRS pension fund.
It's time to stop the schemes of taking money out of the pockets of public employees and putting it into the bank accounts of out-of-state for-profit corporations. It's not fair. It's not right.
Kenny Blankenship, Land O'Lakes
Ticket puts crimp in food budget | Feb. 9 letter
No free pass for senior drivers
What does this senior citizen want? A free pass on breaking the law? If you can't obey it, you pay it. If you can't see the red light, or respond correctly, my bet is you should no longer hold a license.
Yes, let's look into more road tests for seniors. And yes, I am a senior citizen.
Susan Anderson, Holiday