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Hard decisions need to be made on Hernando budget

Make unpopular, needed decisions

I have been working very hard on two budgets, one for my church and one for my school. The rector and the principal both have enormous responsibilities to their communities. They must make the decisions no one else is willing to make. Their decisions affect the lives of the community, which is made up of faithful followers, parents, and children. Over the last three months cuts were made in expenses and payroll, placing a greater burden on those who were spared layoffs. Yet, the sacrifices that were made were necessary if we were to continue to serve the community and provide an education to children deserving of a quality education.

Most private institutions subscribe to the same financially responsible actions as well. The key objective is to live within your means without sacrificing the services you provide. The bottom line is that you can't juggle the numbers to satisfy your audience. Sooner or later the hens come home to roost, and then you will have to explain your past decisions.

Here in Hernando County we still have a multimillion-dollar budget gap as reported recently in the St. Petersburg Times. What are the commissioners waiting for? It will be three years before Hernando's economy turns around. The hard decisions need to be made.

One county commissioner continues to think only of the 2010 elections. We don't have until 2010. Attacking the reserves for the additional millions is not the answer. The base year to cut back to is not 2006; it should be 2004. Most home values have declined to values prior to 2004. If you have declining demand for services, then you must cut expenses accordingly.

We need commissioners willing to make unpopular decisions, and then the people of Hernando will be served and not one's political needs.

Vito J. Delgorio Sr., Spring Hill

Nature Coast needs new leader

Damage control to fix a school's reputation is one thing. To hire a new principal to help make that happen shouldn't be to bring back what was part of the problem.

You have three candidates who were part of that problem now being considered to run Nature Coast? Start from scratch. New blood, as in a new set of eyes and ideas, is needed.

Give Nature Coast the second chance it deserves to rebuild itself and its reputation for having the possibility of a top Hernando County High school. The three ex-assistant principals from Nature Coast won't help that school; they will only hinder it.

Sarah Jamieson, Spring Hill

Schools need just the basic courses

I noticed the many letters to the editor concerning the state of education in Hernando County. In particular, the lower school grades and fewer students graduating. Many changes in education by School Board members, administrators and so-called educators have been made in the past. Much money has been spent on progressive (fancy and expensive) schools. Yet there has been little or no improvement in students' education.

The reason for that is simple enough and so is the solution: Teach the 3 R's, plus history, government, economics and the natural, physical and technical sciences. If students want to do cheerleading or sports, let them do it on weekends on their own time. Musical instruction, driver's education, culinary classes, art, etc. — there are businesses that will be happy to provide those classes. Schools should not be everything to all students. They must simply concentrate on basic education.

Paul Capral, Spring Hill

Banks must care for homes taken

It seems we have all forgotten that these foreclosed homes we see rotting away, empty, bug-infested, mildew-prone, transient occupied and doing damage to our neighborhoods and community and yes, people and families, are the property of the banks and lenders.

Why would we even dare to spend our money to maintain them when — and that is a significant when —they write off the loss, can short sell, and can add another new mortgage on the property to those that have the money.

Since this is bank and lender-owned, they, like you and I, must maintain their property, not the county or government. They need to make sure it is not rotting away, bug-infested and a health or safety hazard. Now all that too is a writeoff on the ledger. It's called the cost of doing business, assigned risk, business loss.

That my friends ensures the tax rolls are not impacted as well by keeping the homes' market value in decent shape and costs us the taxpayers nothing.

Robert Melaccio Sr., Spring Hill

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Hard decisions need to be made on Hernando budget 07/15/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 15, 2009 5:10pm]
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