Fire departments should be just one
I have lived in Spring Hill for 27 years, and I have kept abreast of the pros and cons of our Spring Hill Fire District. Through the years we have had good and not-so-good fire commissioners and officers. But one thing stands out in my mind: We have a highly efficient and dedicated group of firefighters, EMTs and paramedics. This will never change.
Now we are asked to vote for independence. Do they deserve it? I don't think so.
Those supporting a "yes" vote (for independence) tell us that under independence we will maintain local oversight. This is not true. Under independence, if you are dissatisfied with your local fire board, you have to go to Tallahassee to complain. Charlie Crist has bigger fish to fry than to be concerned with our Fire District.
They also tell us that the 911 center should be independent of the county's 911 dispatch center. Under consolidated dispatch, the Spring Hill Fire District will save an excess of $400,000 per year. This is not chump change.
Living in Spring Hill, in many cases, you are paying more for your fire tax than the people living in Hernando County. The services and the quality are the same no matter where you live. No matter which fire district you live in, the training and the certification are the same. The medical director who oversees training is the same, the state criteria is the same.
There is just too much money in the coffers of the Spring Hill Fire District. Take a look at the $1.5-million fire station refurbished on Spring Hill Drive and Whitewood Avenue. This is only one example of why Spring Hill Fire needs more money than any other fire district in Hernando County.
Those of you who come from major cities in New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, etc., think back. We had only one fire department and we never had any problems.
We need local control. Thank God Hernando County now has a no-frills administrator. Allow County Administrator David Hamilton to be your local oversight. He has already proven himself by putting an end to the shenanigans in the Human Resources Department, cleaned up Emergency Management and called the Department of Public Works chief on the carpet. Give Mr. Hamilton a chance to consolidate the fire department in Hernando County.
Vote "no" on the Spring Hill Fire Rescue District Referendum.
Nick Morana, Spring Hill
Frontier park no hotbed of crime
In 1971, my father, Robert, purchased 20 acres in Brooksville when it was little more than a smudge on a map. The land was surveyed and developed accordingly. He built a KOA Campground with the first 10 acres and eventually a mobile home park on the remaining land.
Last week, the residents of Frontier Campground lost their battle with RaceTrac Corp. Commissioners Rose Rocco, David Russell and Jeff Stabins decided it would be a fine idea to build a gas station next to our densely populated, mostly elderly community.
We pleaded with them regarding issues of noise, unmanageable traffic, groundwater contamination, excessive lighting and others. Every time our residents hear a station patron's thumping stereo system at 2 in the morning, we will remember these commissioners fondly.
We put money into this property each and every year to assure that our residents are proud to be owners here. Our swimming pool is immaculate and the clubhouse is active almost nightly in the winter. But when RaceTrac attorney Mark Bentley used the words drugs and shootings in the same sentence to describe our property, it was all I could do to remain seated.
If he had bothered to investigate further, he would have learned that both shootings were self-inflicted, not gang or drug-related. One was an elderly man who sadly chose suicide over a nursing home fancied by his children. As for drugs or any other illicit activities, we are aggressive in removing these elements as soon as they are identified. After 37 years in this area, you'd think we deserve a little more respect.
Steven L. McGlashen, Hudson
Every sign stolen is cash for Obama
I would just like to send a letter of thanks, on behalf of Barack Obama, to the law-abiding patriots in our community, who call themselves Republicans, for the campaign contribution that Obama just received from me.
My and my neighbors' Obama lawn signs keep getting stolen by McCain supporters who are upset at the Democrat's substantial lead in the polls. Every time this happens, I either go up to the local Democrat headquarters or go online, to barackobama.com, and purchase more signs. The local Democrats rarely have these signs in stock as they are so popular. I usually spend far more than the $5 the signs cost, and this, in turn, perpetuates the massive financial lead that Obama has over Republican rival John McCain.
I mind that there are those in this country who are intolerant of others' political beliefs. Barack Obama's fundraising manager, on the other hand, doesn't. He/she wants you to keep on stealing so we keep on buying.
Kirsten Krienes, Spring Hill