Re: Want to wield budget ax? April 19 story
County not likely to listen to public
I see where the new Hernando County administrator, David Hamilton, wants to hold public meetings to find out what the public is thinking about the 2009 budget and other things, so he can go back and tell the commissioners.
I know he is new, but someone should tell him not to waste our tax money on these meetings. The commissioners know, or should know, what the public is thinking. They hear it at every board meeting time and again. They are just not interested, or don't want to hear what we think; they prove it at every board meeting, that is, unless you're a land developer.
Tell Hamilton to stay around a few weeks and he'll see what I am talking about. Tell him to save the money he's about to waste on these meetings and put it into the 2009 budget.
Vincent Gonzalez, Brooksville
Re: Want to wield budget ax? April 19 story
Follow Pasco lead on patrol cruisers
I have to really laugh at county administrator David Hamilton's request for taxpayers to make suggestions for axing waste in our budget. Wake up and smell the gas fumes!
Right above that announcement was an article on Pasco County's sheriff doing away with the practice of police cars being taken home by deputies. He figures it would save around $50,000 a year. My opinion is that it would be twice that in Hernando since the cars are often used for more than police work.
When I see a man and a lady and two kids get out of a police cruiser and go into Lowe's, I wonder if they stole it? If they can't afford a car of their own, take THE Bus!
The Pasco sheriff is right on. This way we can be sure that none of our vehicles will end up plowed into a truck in the middle of the night, costing taxpayers, or maybe in the future, the life of one of us.
There's a suggestion Mr. Hamilton. Now, tell me why not? And don't give the bull about a faster response time in an emergency! I called for a car one night as a neighbor's alarm went off and the car took 38 minutes to respond. If there was a burglar, he would have been in Atlanta by the time the deputy arrived. But our sheriff will stand up for these deputies and he won't take their cars, He's their good buddy, their daddy who protects them from all us evil residents.
And don't bother telling me if I like Pasco so much go live there. It's on my agenda and I am considering that, or Citrus County.
Joann Bowman, Spring Hill
Re: HR director resigns and County worker faces arrest, April 25 and April 26 stories
HR chief got nice break in her firing
As a former Human Resources professional, I've been enraptured following these two stories. It appears that:
• No one defined whose responsibility it was to ensure that policies and procedures were followed consistently within the county, or the excessive overtime issue would have been caught much sooner by audit or review, and investigated and justified by documentation since it fell outside of a "reasonable" parameter — excessive to one employee. Perhaps, "consistent application of all policy and practices within the organization" was left off Barbara Dupre's job description.
• I'm amazed and dismayed by the generosity of Hernando County, in a time of financial crisis, to pay such a generous severance to a terminated employee. Florida is a right-to-work state, which means anyone can be terminated, with or without cause, for any reason, or no reason, at any time. Ms. Dupre is not in any federally protected group, being a white female under 40 years of age. She has no basis for any litigation in Florida. Her performance deficiencies have been documented in the newspaper (if not in her file) for: 1. January suspension for cause (improper candidate petition card infraction); 2. Repeated the same infraction on her e-mail after her return to work; 3. Mismanaged a racial discrimination investigation; and 4. Found to have policy and practice deficiencies in her administration.
She should have been terminated for cause with only unused vacation time due her.
The county definitely needs a knowledgeable and professional HR person; can I offer my services?
Fran Hay, Spring Hill
Re: For taste's sake, take a culinary leap, please | April 23 column
Local restaurants getting forced out
Kudos to Dan Dewitt for his excellent column relating to the plight of the independent restaurant. As an operator of a small restaurant, I have for years marveled at the popularity of the many cookie-cutter chains that dot our landscape.
As more and more chain restaurants open in Hernando County, the pieces of the pie are getting smaller and the little guy, who can't fall back on corporate headquarters during the lean months, is forced out of business. This phenomenon is inevitable as corporations continue to gobble up the competition, and before you can say mis en place, there will be only Wal-Mart and Outback to chose from.
That being the case, I believe I will fire up the barbecue. By the way, you are all invited.
Las Brisas Restaurant
Re: Buttoned-down board should dress to a code
April 24 Jeff Webb column
Uniform plan uniformly bogus
Thank you. I am a disgruntled student who attends Springstead High School. I say disgruntled because of the recent decision to require uniforms. All I've been hearing from teachers and in other articles are reasons why uniforms would be good for us. I completely agree with Webb that the School Board should spend more time improving schools than worrying about what people who attend them wear.
I had no idea that what you wear had any impact on your academic achievements. Its my belief that if you perform poorly that's a testament to your own stupidity in not taking the time to prepare for the material you were studying, not because the person sitting next to you was wearing a shirt with something graphic on it.
I, too, believe the teachers are just taking the lazy way out.
Not everyone has the monetary excess to get uniforms; some people can barely make enough to get by. The School Board does not look at the little man. They believe we all can go out and afford uniforms; in reality, half of us cannot.
This is completely bogus. I am thankful for someone to finally stand up for the students, since apparently no one else cares about our opinions on things that directly impact our lives.
Peter Sill, Spring Hill
Re: Visit to hospital enough to make anyone sicker
April 17 guest column
Longing for good old nursing days
In Darcy Maness' column, she expressed her dismay at the state of nursing care today.
I, too, long for the good, old days: back when the emergency room was really for emergencies, and someone with the stomach flu went to their private physician for relief.
Back when a person would never swear like a sailor in a public setting such as a hospital surrounded by people quite possibly suffering from real emergencies.
Back when someone didn't "forget" to pay their bill when leaving an establishment. Back when the common thought wasn't: "It's all about me, me, me.''
Yes, Darcy, apparently those days are gone.
Sue Ann Wolff,
New Port Richey