Spring Hill, please lower flags
I had a lot of driving to do in the past week, so I was all over Hernando County. I had noticed almost every home had their American flag hanging at half-staff in memory of the Fort Hood tragedy (as well as the deaths overseas).
There have been many tragic national events that initiate a flag to be lowered to half-staff but, I have to say, I am appalled at Spring Hill. I have yet to see any of the three flags, including our American flag, fly at half-staff. I think it is an insult to our country, but especially to all those men and women from Fort Hood to Afghanistan and everywhere in between who give their lives so I can get in my car and safely drive around Hernando County, or anywhere, and not have to worry about the events overseas.
I feel safe in my home, I feel safe at the store, and I love to be able to go anywhere I want without fear of danger because our troops dedicate their lives, their families, and so much more to fight for America, our freedom, and our safety. The people in Spring Hill who handle the flag (let alone the nonworking waterfall), are disgraceful to the United States.
Next time you go anywhere, think of the soldiers overseas offering up their lives so you can go to Walmart without fear!
Liz Casner, Spring Hill
County needs to enforce its codes
This entire ordeal regarding Hernando County Code Enforcement has been unfortunate and an aggravating period for what is basically a decent community.
The primary means of protecting a neighborhood's integrity are either by deed restrictions or code enforcement.
Day after day we watch the quality of life decline. We marvel at the years of neglect. We observe in astonishment the refusal to recognize a growing number of constituents whose desire is to have the laws of Hernando County executed. Laws that reflect the wishes of the people. Laws that are developed for public safety, protection of property, and contributions to neighborhood livability.
It's not that complicated. It becomes complicated when confusion, indecisiveness, and lack of proactivity is the rule of thumb. The existing code violations around the county are much older than the recent economic downturn.
When things are tight, you don't shut down. Work with what you have, develop ideas, and the ability to measure priorities and department effectiveness. Basic rules of success.
Stephen DeGrotto, Spring Hill
Impact fees pay for our future
Do not lower impact fees. Leave them alone.
The Nov. 8 St. Petersburg Times reported: "The Fault for Defaults, People bought homes they couldn't afford. Politicians approved homes that didn't need to be built. Investors drove up prices on homes no one would live in. All guilty."
The business section reported unemployment in St. Lucie County is because they "became addicted to construction jobs." In Indian River County, "construction and real estate are no longer enough horsepower." In Flagler County, they admit "we put all our eggs in one basket — housing." Also a story reported the "Next crash could be commercial real estate."
We have a glut of foreclosed properties right here in Hernando. Properties that no one is buying even at bargain basement prices. What kind of thinking is it that makes one believe that if we build more homes, even at the impact fee reduced rate, that people will be buying them? And what of the glut of foreclosed properties we already have?
We need manufacturing jobs, not just doors and windows. We'll run out of building space eventually, but other things will be required for the future; technology, solar power, biofuel, etc.
We need the impact fees to keep pace with the eventual return of growth. Either that or the homeowner of today is going to get stuck with the bill of the new arrivals of the future.
John Stansbury, Brooksville
Elections head knows her job
Hernando County is fortunate to have a supervisor of elections as experienced and as capable as Annie Williams. For nearly three decades she has worked effectively and efficiently to accurately record the votes of our citizens. She is easily one of the most experienced supervisors of elections in the state of Florida.
It is unbelievably arrogant of Commissioner Jeff Stabins to think he can presume to advise Mrs. Williams on how to do her job. An easier target for him would be to try to remove one of Sheriff Richard Nugent's toys from his budget.
Steven Zeledon II, Ridge Manor
Cat died for lack of quick, free help
Something isn't right when you have nowhere to bring a hurt animal after 5 p.m. My mother, Bonnie Garofalo, and I were on our way home and we saw a cat lying in the road. It was severely injured. I picked him up and brought him into the car to take him to Animal Emergency on Deltona Boulevard in Spring Hill.
We told the woman at the desk we found the cat in the road and it was obviously hit by a car. The woman said, "All right, you just need to fill out this paperwork and the office visit is $69." My mother and I were shocked. We walked out.
When we got home, we waited outside in the car while my brother looked online for the telephone number for Animal Control. The first number we called, a man said it was the wrong number. We tried another number and it was disconnected. My mother called 911.
The woman asked for our address and told us that an officer would be out soon and that he would contact the after-hours Animal Control. The officer arrived and waited about 30 to 40 minutes at the house for Animal Control to come. By the time they got there, the cat had already died.
Is this right? People try to help a hurt animal and they are charged for it? If a hurt animal comes in and obviously will not make it much longer, they should take the animal and put it to sleep so its suffering can come to an end. What kind of person says, "All right, we'll help this animal get better or end its suffering if you pay us $69!"
Something isn't right here. Humans are supposed to be compassionate.
Erika Butters, Spring Hill
Forbid them from animals forever
Regarding the Nov. 5 article concerning the rescue of nearly 200 animals at Our Animal Haus, I was sickened once again to read of another so-called animal shelter where the animals needed to be seized and many euthanized due to deplorable conditions. Cats that were surviving by having to eat their own feces? Horrendous!
What bothered me the most was that Judge Kurt Hitzemann ruled that the owners are forbidden to acquire any more animals for three years. Why are these people going to be allowed to own any animals at all? In three years they will just begin collecting all over again. They definitely fall into the category of animal hoarders.
From what I understand from recent and frequent media coverage, animal hoarding is a mental illness and without professional help and counseling, these offenders will continue to hoard animals.
I would implore Judge Hitzemann to reconsider his ruling and to forbid these people from ever owning or sheltering animals ever again.
Kimberly Innes, Spring Hill
Impact fee cut good for county | Nov. 8 letter
What's the logic of new homes?
Logicians call "the fallacy of composition" the belief that what is true of a part is true of the whole. Many economic policies involve the fallacy of composition as politicians come to the aid of a group, industry or special interest, representing the benefits to them as if they were net benefits to society, rather than robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Hernando County has thousands of homes sitting vacant. There is simply too much supply and too little demand.
Impact fees are taxes levied against people who build new homes to offset the cost of new roads and new schools. Roads and schools are not built immediately and material costs today may not be the same when schools and roads will need to be built.
Jeff West of the builder's association seems to be saying that lowering the impact fees 50 percent is of no issue for the future of Hernando County. He also seems to be saying that Hernando County government can deliver services to residents today for 50 percent less.
If we lower impact fees today, we will be paying higher sales tax and property taxes in the future to offset the shortfall in the county treasury.
It will not be the last time we hear business asking for a reduction in taxes. The entire business community has been hard hit by the recession; not all are asking us to throw fiscal responsibility to the wind.
Joe Pratl, Spring Hill