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Hernando County scandals reveal need for oversight

Scandals reveal need for oversight

Ho hum. Another scandal in Hernando County. This time it's the Purchasing Department head who failed to oversee the goings on at the county jail and this is going to cost us another bundle. This one can be added to the long list of misdeeds that have taken place.

Let's see, we've had the Hernando Beach Channel dredge project, the toxic contamination at the Public Works Department site, the forced resignation of the human resources director, the firing of the emergency management director (for improper behavior), the person who was working for both the county paving department and a paving company and being paid by both, the person who was taking kickbacks in the Public Works Department, the racial bias charges in the Utilities Department, the questionable uses of credit cards by various county employees, and who can forget the fiasco at Elgin Boulevard where 34 houses are being razed needlessly?

Commissioner Jim Adkins stated that the alleged problems with traffic had been solved by the installation of a traffic light, making the entire procedure unnecessary.

What all of this demonstrates is the total lack of oversight and control of the department heads by the commissioners.

And now I see that Michael McHugh wants to build a control tower to go with his brand spanking new building at the airport that houses his do-nothing department.

What does that tell you? I believe that the citizens and voters of this county can't wait for November elections.

Maybe if less time and money were spent on public relations and giving out awards to county employees and others, and more time and effort were directed toward bureaucratic oversight, we would be in much better shape.

William Kingeter, Spring Hill

Lime rock road should be paved

This will be our sixth summer living on the lime rock road that we call home in Hernando County. Six years of inhaling the dust that is made even worse by the inconsiderate drivers speeding up and down Lomita Wren Road.

When we first moved here, I needed my asthma inhaler only about once every two months. I now use it twice a day to control the wheezing brought about from breathing the ghostly dust that envelopes everything around us.

I think of all the materials and manpower that have gone into regrading the road every time it rains. Surely by now, it would have been far cheaper to have paved the road. Law enforcement patrols the area, but they appear to turn a blind eye to the speeders and those running the stop signs. Money collected for these offenses could easily have been used to pave our road many times over. Lomita Wren Road is used as a thoroughfare of sorts to get to all the smaller back roads located in Royal Highlands, Unit 5.

We have witnessed pets run over by hit-and-run drivers and left to die by the side of the road. It's only a matter of time before it's a child instead of just a pet. Our neighbors are developing various forms of cancers; maybe they would have gotten them with or without breathing the lime rock — who will ever know for sure?

We can't help but wonder if our road would have been paved years ago if a county commissioner lived on it. We watch the roads in Spring Hill repaved over and over, but there never seems to be enough funds left over for us — we who are stuck here because we are upside down in our mortgages — surrounded by foreclosures and short sales. So is Spring Hill, you say? Well, at least they are not having to inhale this godforsaken dust on a daily basis.

It's good to know that the taxes we pay are helping someone. When will the time come for the county to finally do something to help those of us trying to survive living on the lime rock roads of the Royal Highlands?

Joyce T. Livingston, Weeki Wachee

Smokers need to pay for their risks

I read, with interest, the proposed ban on tobacco use by employees of the city of Brooksville. I agree that tobacco use is detrimental to health and those who don't smoke should not have to be subjected to second-hand smoke while at work. I also agree with the council's decision not to subject their employees to the big brother syndrome in their personal lives.

Each employee has a health insurance policy that should reflect the employee's risk level for health-related issues. Like auto insurance, if you engage in risky behavior, you pay a higher premium. So it should be with health insurance, that if you smoke you pay a higher premium. Reduce the risk, lower the cost. That also will help lower the cost of health insurance to the city.

John P. Cemonuk, Spring Hill

Thank goodness for medical care

More than three weeks ago, my husband had to call 911 as it appeared I was having a stoke. They got me in the ambulance and we expected to go to local hospital, but the last I heard was, "She's going bad; we need Bayflight."

For more than two days I was on life support with very frightened family and friends. I am in rehab getting my strength back.

We must all take a look at the terrific medical services we have. I can't say enough thanks for all emergency folks who helped me pull through. We may complain about lack of county services, but I thank God for placing me in hands of people who cared to try to save me.

Mary L. Scarff, Weeki Wachee

Now is the time to enroll in pre-K

Parents, grandparents or anyone else who knows of any child who has not yet attended VPK (voluntary prekindergarten) and has turned 4 by Sept. 1, 2009, please enroll your child in the 2010 summer program.

Voluntary prekindergarten is a legislatively mandated program that will prepare your child for kindergarten. All children entering kindergarten will be tested within 30 days after school starts so it is very important that they are prepared. I have been in the child-care business for more than 20 years and know how important it is for children to get that head start to help them be successful.

The summer program runs for 300 hours. This also means you will have full-time care for your child during the summer for no cost at all to you. Please call the Early Learning Coalition of Pasco/Hernando for more information, (727) 569-1004.

Sherry Nettleton, Brooksville

Work for people, not just the party

Thanks Gov. Charlie Crist for being the people's governor, the one we voted for. Veto bad SB6, sign SB4 and yes, accept stimulus funds meant for us that have put a lot of people in Pasco County to work widening U.S. 41 — a much-needed project. U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite voted against the stimulus.

State Rep. Rob Schenk said yes for SB6 and we all lose, especially our children. They seem to be able to take money and work for the party, not for the people. We need help now. We all need to work together to get out of this. Solutions come from the bottom up, not top down.

Richard Stauffer, Aripeka

Keep military videos on cable

What does Bright House Networks have against the U.S. military? For quite some time now, we've had the pleasure of seeing military videos on Channel 615 — Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, etc. Now I understand that Bright House wants to take back control of Channel 615 for its own use.

Don't you think that Bright House has enough channels without taking 615, leaving us only one local channel (622)?

Please try to exert any influence you can to keep Channel 615 just the way it has been.

Nick Morana, Spring Hill

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Hernando County scandals reveal need for oversight 04/22/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 22, 2010 7:02pm]
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