Shortage of code enforcers shows
Due to budget cuts, the Hernando Commission had directed staff to cut personnel dollars devoted to the enforcement of home codes.
Every week, we drive on Northcliffe Boulevard, and there are dozens of empty houses with uncut grass and 3-foot-high weeds. Another has over-filled garbage cans in front of the garage door. One house has a partially dismantled car next to the garage. About 10 houses have cars parked on the lawn with "for sale'' signs. Drive along Spring Hill Drive and you will see many of the same violations.
The county should not have to work with a property management company to urge banks to take care of foreclosed properties. Several state courts have ruled that the mortgage holder on foreclosed homes is responsible for timely correction of these violations. County records already have the names of mortgage holders.
The county collects about $630,000 a year for Hernando's Environmentally Sensitive Lands fund to buy more given space for animals. How about spending some of this taxpayer money on sensitive foreclosed homes by hiring more enforcement people?
The county commissioners should redirect their priorities to prevent a continued downhill slide in the appearance of our real estate.
John L. Cannon, Spring Hill
Cut supervisors, not grass cutters
If the county is going to keep their employees, then use them. How long before the grass is mowed on the Suncoast Trail?
It seems like it is a month in between mowings. I have to mow every two weeks. Maybe you should have laid off the supervisor?
Dennis J. Herman, Brooksville
Try annual fee so folks can use park
My dogs and I along with my dog-loving friends are glad they built the dog park.
I have lived and paid taxes in Hernando County for 23 years. I don't go to Pine Island or use the children's parks. My taxes pay for these things too. I have never had children in school and pay for that too.
One dollar a day is too much to pay, for my friends and I, to go to the park daily, (that is 365 days, or $365 a year). I feel $1 a week, $52 a year, is plenty.
Maybe people should get a dog and see what unconditional love is like. They are not like children. They just ask for your love and a soft hand, and if you can take them to a dog park, and let them run and play with their dog friends for an hour a day, it will make both of you happy.
Some people go twice a day. So, please don't take the only joyful thing my dogs love to do.
Janet Mudge, Weeki Wachee
County goes outside to hire
As a tax-paying citizen and a small-business owner in the county, I find it quite insulting to read about County Administrator David Hamilton's plan to once again hire an outside engineering firm to evaluate our county's jail facility.
I realize that the first two evaluations were limited in scope. The county needs to know the exact condition of mechanical and electrical systems as well as the jail's structural condition. I know that the county did not select the two previous firms (which were from outside our county) to perform the last two inspections. Now our own county administrator is going outside the county for the third inspection service. Does our county government have on a set of blinders?
If we need any kind of professional services, we immediately look outside our county. Why not attempt to give work within the county boundaries first? I keep hearing about our county's high unemployment and shrinking tax base, but at the first opportunity for our government to invest in our county businesses, we immediately go outside the county. This process needs to stop! Firms, like mine, seem to be more than adequate when the county staff needs some free advice or assistance with specifications, or even with preliminary budgeting, but when it comes to larger projects for the county, we immediately look elsewhere.
Why do you give us the crumbs but the whole loaf of bread goes to outsiders? Does it not make more sense to work inside the county first? Would this not help our county's current economic shortfalls? I never considered myself any kind of economic expert, but if we spend our tax dollars on firms in Tampa and Orlando, then our tax dollars are supporting their economies, not ours.
Commissioners, before you approve this proposal, let's make sure that all local options have been exhausted. This recommendation by Mr. Hamilton gives the appearance that by living in Hernando County, we are backward and minimally capable of our professions. If our decision to live and work in Hernando County gives the impression of our lack of expertise, why do we pay Mr. McHugh to solicit firms to relocate to our county? There can't be that many more idiots willing to move into Hernando County and be ignored, demeaned and insulted.
R. Douglas Hall, Weeki Wachee