Re: Facing red ink and criticism | March 4
Committees waste money
The County Commission has established (and appointed experienced citizens to) advisory standing committees to enable it to do the job. Maybe these voluntary citizens should replace the salaried commissioners to save money.
Such committees create an additional layer of government organization. Yet recently the commissioners adopted a plan for streamlining the organization. During this financial crunch, the board spares no expense to save money.
Commissioners and staff have alternative sources of advice available readily at little or no cost. Therefore, these committees, as well as staff to administer them, are a waste of money and other scarce resources. A steamroller is unnecessary to crack a peanut.
Alternative sources of advice include commissioners meeting periodically and informally with constituents. Staff could surf the Internet. Further, advice should be plentiful from administrator's county-financed doctoral studies in public administration. County libraries have stacks of advice.
Again, newspapers publish invaluable editorials, guest columns and readers' letters. Long live newspapers!
James A. Willan, Brooksville
Florida officials set example for California | March 4 guest column
Healthy dose of common sense
Kenric Ward's guest column reminds us of the beauty around us that is often unappreciated as we Floridians go about our daily lives, struggling to make ends met. Thank goodness those "surgery sands and lush landscapes" that he speaks of are here for us all to enjoy!
As long as those liberals and progressives don't go spoiling things by fighting off-shore drilling, over development, wetlands destruction, and by letting government provide a solution to our problems. The old mantra "government is the problem, not the solution" is definitely back. His California example of letting working people (unions) run everything as opposed to developers, investors, bankers, and mega-corporations, (as in, um, Florida) is certainly proof enough for me. And those House Republicans in Florida are doing a stellar job of cutting the frivolous stuff like education, Medicaid and social programs that help struggling families. We all know that stuff is just plain ol' socialism.
I'm sure Mr. Ward isn't swayed by those periodic articles in the Times detailing the waste and added expense to the taxpayers that privatization in this state has brought to taxpayers. A healthy dose of common sense is certainly in order, so we mustn't let a few facts get in the way.
Our GOP enclave of fiscal and social moderation is certainly here to stay. As long as all that wonderful development money keeps flowing in!
Laura Smith, Weeki Wachee
Why block taping of symphony?
I am an avid subscriber to the yearly concert series that the Hernando Symphony Orchestra provides to the public every year. In fact, my wife is first flutist in the orchestra. I do not subscribe because of that. I am extremely fond of the symphony. I love their music and I also love seeing and hearing them as they are just terrific.
Throughout the years, Rick Foti, who works for Hernando County, has always produced CDs by using his television/broadcasting department to tape either the dress rehearsals or an actual concert for each series. In this manner, anyone who wanted to purchase a CD of a particular concert, or even all concerts, can do so at a later date. The quality of these discs has always been excellent.
The taping was never a problem as the symphony always paid for any overtime expenses of county employees that arose from the taping sessions. In recent years, no more taping has occurred and therefore, no more discs were available. When I asked Mr. Foti at a concert (he performs in the percussion section of the symphony) why this has happened, he told me that the county government refuses to allow any overtime of its employees to do the taping.
Well, I think that this is absolutely ridiculous because the symphony has always, and is still, been willing and able to pay for the overtime and any other expenses that might arise in doing the taping and production of the concerts and the sales of the discs. The Hernando County Government is therefore now denying the public and the symphony a great and very enjoyable service in which patrons can revisit a concert at a later date after seeing it previously. This also allows for preservation of a great memory that cannot be re-created easily, if ever.
It has also hurt subscription sales of the symphony, and I am angry about this. After all, if the overtime cost is paid for by the symphony, then why is it being blocked by Hernando County? This is absurd and I respectfully ask that the Hernando County television/broadcasting department be allowed to do the video productions once again.
The public and the symphony perform a great public service and they deserve to be able to provide discs of their concerts once again, and do so using the county's department as was always done in the past.
Richard K. Palais Hernando Beach