Bring TIA lobbyist fees down to earth | Oct. 8, editorial
TIA deserves fair share of funds
In response to this editorial, the fact is we need to be realistic as well as reasonable.
Tampa International Airport is vitally important to the Tampa Bay region. Tourists, businesses and residents depend on the airport to provide access to destinations, transporting cargo and thousands of local high-paying jobs.
TIA's master plan calls for improvements to long-term parking, decongesting curbsides and enhancements to the main terminal. In an ideal world we would not need to ask or beg for needed state funds to improve this essential economic engine. However, other regions will be competing for these same funds. Orlando, Miami and Jacksonville all have professionals vying for increased state funding. Tampa needs and deserves its fair share from Tallahassee.
Competing for funding within the state requires a combined effort from airport staff, local business groups, elected officials and professionals. TIA and its supporters must educate decisionmakers in Tallahassee of the vital role TIA plays in the bay area, its need for improvements and the great return on investment. If we want to succeed we will need to level the advocacy playing field because there will be many other worthy projects competing for these limited dollars.
As a successful small business owner for over 30 years and a former Florida Senate Budget Committee chairman, I have always demonstrated good and prudent stewardship of both private and public funds.
Victor Crist, secretary/treasurer, Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, Tampa
Time to get government up, running Oct. 8, commentary
Why wasn't harm foreseen?
I did a double take when I saw that Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., had authored an op-ed column headlined: "Time to get government up, running." Isn't this the same Ross, I wondered, who had helped to cause the shutdown of the federal government in the first place?
Ross seems to have realized only now that the shutdown would harm our local economy, impacting federal workers, farmers, university researchers, as well as cancer patients and kids in Head Start. What a shame he was unable to anticipate these consequences beforehand.
Perhaps all the time he spends voting "more than 40 times to repeal Obamacare" would be better spent educating himself about the needs of his district.
Elizabeth Strom, Tampa
Threat to security, stability
The carefully orchestrated shutdown of our government callously robs the American people of essential services our taxes have paid for, and endangers America's stability and security. At stake is not just health care, it is our constitutional system of representative government.
The cynical politicians in smoke-filled rooms who engineered this disgraceful shutdown have misjudged the America people. The shutdown may backfire, resulting in lost Republican votes. They can shut down the government, but they cannot shut down the voting process.
The attack by a small minority on a valid law creates a dangerous precedent. They might decide next to attack other laws — Social Security, Medicare, equal rights, civil rights, homeland security.
House Speaker John Boehner, a man of integrity, should act honorably and promptly allow a floor vote on the budget.
Bob Anderson, Largo
The choice is theirs
Message to members of Congress: You need to love your country more than you hate our president.
Janet Graber, St. Petersburg
Imagine a house catches fire. However, when the fire truck arrives, a couple of firefighters stand in front of the hydrant and refuse to let anyone use it unless they first negotiate a deal on how much the fire station spends on meals.
Or imagine a pilot on approach to landing and the co-pilot announces that he won't help land the plane unless his demands are met on how much the airline spends on snack food.
In both cases, Americans would find such conduct reprehensible and demand their immediate dismissal. So why are Americans not demanding the same when Republicans in Congress commit similar types of actions?
Whatever you think of the Affordable Care Act, remember that if these Republicans worked in any other profession, their reckless behavior would be grounds for immediate firing and possible criminal charges. It is time we hold Congress to the same expectations as we hold other working Americans.
Lee Kasner, Tampa
Will of the majority
House Speaker John Boehner needs to remember that he is speaker of the House, not speaker of the Republican Party. His job is leadership, and he is failing at it. When the House has sufficient votes to pass a bill there is no justification for not bringing it to a vote.
Passing a clean continuing resolution is the will of the people, the Senate, the House and the president. Boehner cannot be called a leader when he continues to obstruct the will of the majority.
Guy Hancock, Largo
Senate panel to look at 'stand your ground' law revisions | Oct. 8
Follow and watch
I take exception to the remarks of Senate Minority Leader Chris Smith. Regarding neighborhood watch volunteers, he said: "We shouldn't follow people, begin altercations and then end those altercations by taking a life."
First, as a onetime watch volunteer, it is essential that we "follow" people or vehicles we recognize as not being residents of the community. Note I said follow, not pursue or apprehend. We follow at a discreet distance to see if they go openly to a home they wish to visit. If they do, there's no harm done.
However, I have followed several vehicles that simply cruised the park and then left, obviously up to no good and aware they were being observed.
The alternative to discreetly following would be to alert the police. If you do that the three or four times a night that you see strangers, you'll soon alienate the local police force who will stop responding to such calls.
Alfred J. D'Amario, Hudson