Monday, June 18, 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


Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for June 15

Opinion: Commissioners arrogant and incompetentMy wife and I live in Hernando County. As such, we are represented by a Board of County Commissioners where all the members manifest two common traits. Those traits are arrogance and incompetence.The arr...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18