Cut city services, merge staff, save
Have the politicians in Clearwater not heard the outcry from the taxpaying public? The public is demanding a cut in staffing and services, not an increase in taxes by raising millage rates.
Millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent to pretty up the permanently deserted Cleveland Street, support an out-of-the-way Harborview Center, and pander to large hotel builders on the beach. It's no wonder that the comments about the beach communities forming their own city are getting louder and more frequent every day.
Our message to city leaders: Many thousands of Americans have lost their jobs and cut back their spending. Get with the program! Tell your city manager to do his job, cut staff, merge services and deal with a slow economy.
Clearwater taxpayers are tired of always hearing about tax increases. We are tired of having our wallets picked.
Robert Ihrie, Clearwater
City spent money unwisely for years
When we moved here in 1965, Clearwater really did sparkle. How beautiful it was, with all the stores and shops decorated for Christmas and many tourists and local folks busy shopping.
Now I am ashamed to say it has turned into a sorry looking city — many stores closed, and those crazy-looking sculptures (so-called art) on Cleveland Street are eyesores. The cement balls in the center are ridiculous and someone is sure to be killed when they run into them.
It seems to me that our tax dollars have not been spent wisely: the fountain in the roundabout that had to be taken down, the meandering Beach Walk that will probably be covered with sand in the first hurricane, and talk about a marina at Coachman Park.
Please use our money for the firemen, police and teachers.
Betty Hughes, Clearwater
Decision on code board misguided
Having been a resident of Tarpon Springs for the past 12 years, I am familiar with our city government, the politics and the politicians. I am the chairman of our Code Enforcement Board, serving in this volunteer position for six years. My term expires this November.
It is my understanding that all city boards are composed of individuals appointed by our elected commissioners based on qualifications and interests submitted via a formal application process. All appointments are fully volunteer, both voting members as well as alternates.
My experience and understanding over the years with the Code Enforcement Board as well as other city-appointed boards has been that non-voting alternates participate and contribute in the same significant manner as voting members. Traditionally, when an opening arises to replace a full member's term, an alternate is appointed to fill the position.
Most recently, our Planning and Zoning Board, through the city commissioners, went through an appointment process that was very unfair, as well as seemingly biased. An opening arose to replace a full member. An alternate on the board, Tod Eckhouse was ready, willing and most able to fulfill this position and accept the challenges based on his professional background and expertise in real estate and development. For several years, Mr. Eckhouse has regularly attended commission meetings and been involved in civic affairs. This, along with his professional background, would make him a perfect fit for the Planning & Zoning Board.
I, along with many others, question why two applications were submitted and accepted one day prior to the City Commission meeting when this appointment issue was on the agenda. Even though the two newly appointed individuals have lived in Tarpon for a long time, it is always good to have new blood and input, especially from someone of Mr. Eckhouse's caliber.
This action in regard to Mr. Eckhouse's appointment sends a definite message to all of Tarpon's new citizens that you commissioners don't care about their input or thought. It destroys any professionalism that this board had.
I would strongly recommend that this board review its decision and appoint Tod Eckhouse to the Planning and Zoning Board as a full member. If the commission is a true representative of all the residents of Tarpon Springs, then this is the only recourse you have.
John M. Stott, Tarpon Springs