Thursday, April 26, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Democratic Party thinks superintendent should be an educator not politician

Avoid write-in ploys; appoint a school chief June 6 editorial

Educator should run school system

The Pasco Democratic Party has consistently refused to run political hacks for superintendent of schools. We do not feel that serving in the Legislature or running a non educational local or state office prepares one to be a school superintendent. It prepares one to play politics and to make political considerations the primary focus in decision making.

To be a superintendent, most school districts in the nation require an individual have a bachelor's degree in education or an academic field, a master's and doctoral degree in education, and experience as a teacher. Running a school system requires the proper educational preparation and experience. The education of our children and the impact that education has on the cultural and economic well being of Pasco County is too important to leave in the hands of politicians.

We will only run a candidate for school superintendent who has the requisite education and experience. We will only run a candidate who has demonstrated a commitment to students and learning.

In the last two superintendent elections, the Pasco Democratic Party fielded candidates who had prerequisite experience and education and a demonstrated commitment to student learning. These were not politicians retiring from Tallahassee, they were dedicated educators. But, the Republican Party prevailed, politics as usual prevailed and our children and county has paid the price.

I support the concept of a professional School Superintendent appointed and responsible to an elected Board of Education, as is the norm in most of the nation. I do not support the Pasco Democratic Party leading the initiative to have an appointed school superintendent. This needs to be a community-based initiative so that is not primarily a contest between the political parties. What is best for our children and community has the primary consideration.

A Republican has now filed as a write-in candidate for school superintendent closing the election to Republicans only. This is a move which I feel is motivated by political infighting for advantages by the Republican candidates. The result is more than 181,000 people have been denied a voice in who is running the Pasco school system. Any parent who is not a Republican will have no voice in who leads his or her children's schools. I feel the future of our children's education is in danger.

Lynn W. Lindeman, Hudson, Chairman, Pasco Democratic Party

Avoid write-in ploys; appoint a school chief June 6 editorial

Is there not one Democrat to run?

Well, here we go again and again and again on the questions of election versus selection of our schools superintendent and closed primaries. So I want to raise my hand in class today and explain to Professor C.T. Bowen (Pasco editor of editorials for the Times) exactly why I support both the election process and closed primaries.

There have been four referendums presented to Pasco voters in the past to have an appointed superintendent and each time the measure failed. I think that any position that oversees over a billion of taxpayer's dollars should be elected. To leave that choice to five school board members disenfranchises the entire electorate of Pasco.

As to the matter of closed primaries, the write-in loophole is a state law and one that is used just as readily by the Democrats to keep the primary pure. I know mentioning the word pure in regards to politics may be an oxymoron, but having Democrats vote in a Republican primary strikes the same oxymoron chord, in my view.

It is the Democratic leadership in Pasco that has failed their base by not fielding a candidate for the superintendent position and a bit disingenuous of them to cry foul play. Certainly as the party that professes to be champions of education and academia, it could find one qualified candidate among the 100,000 or so registered Democrats in Pasco to enter the race for superintendent.

Sandy Graves, Land O'Lakes

Lowering taxes should be the goal

What part of "no new taxes'' do these county commissioners not understand? It is time to clean house and get a real conservative group in these offices.

They should be lowering taxes even more by cutting pet projects, crony contracts, and making government lean. County employee jobs should be cut across the board and jobs open by retirement should not be filled. There should be a 30 percent reduction in Pasco County government, including commissioners, and the closing all new departments opened in the past 15 years.

Sports proposals/projects are private-sector areas of development, not government's business.

We need to move out of this mind set of continually thinking of more taxes first not less cost and no more useless services. Why are property owners the only chosen few to be burdened with saving government services?

Stuart Singer, New Port Richey

Friends of Pasco's idea needs friends

This began as a casual conversation suggesting, "What if, several groups/organizations each collected one item of their choosing from each of their members to supplement the needs of Sunrise of Pasco County?"

The Friends of Pasco put the idea to test by collecting baby shampoo and shampoo for the shelter. My expectation was to pick up one box of supplies. Much to my surprise, their luncheon contributions filled the front and back seat of my wife's SUV.

Four additional groups have agreed to participate and others are being contacted. In this way, no organization is asked to divert funds from their existing programs while their individual members can make a huge impact at very little cost per member.

Other organizations with an interest in joining this effort may contact Sunrise of Pasco at (352) 521-3358.

Thank you Friends of Pasco.

Robert F. Hatfield, Dade City


Friday’s letters: Why just single-member districts are a bad idea for Hillsborough

Murman’s bad idea on districts | April 20, editorialSingle-member districts’ flawYour editorial opposing single-member districts in Hillsborough County is totally correct. I have served as Miami-Dade county manager twice. The first time (1976-198...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: A surgeon responds to story about a needle being left in a baby’s heart

All Children’s surgeon left a needle in a baby’s heart | April 22My view as one of the surgeonsI am one of the physicians discussed (but not interviewed) in this article. Whatever the motive for such an article, I disagree with many of the claims...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/26/18

Wednesday’s letters: How we plan to improve foster care in Hillsborough

Improving foster care inHillsborough | April 19, editorialOur plans for helping kidsThis editorial poses many good questions. The Department of Children and Families’ peer review report is expected to be released soon. And while we welcome the an...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/25/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Published: 04/23/18

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18