Put our county leaders to the test
Our current county commissioners have information about the requisite skills needed for their positions. Therefore, they are best suited to create an entrance test for new candidates, just like private-sector employers require of potential upper-management workers.
Most private-sector jobs require:
• Physical exam with full disclosure of health-related issues.
• Spelling quiz accompanied by writing skills.
• Math competency.
• Knowledge of a second language.
• The ability to answer questions to determine their problem-solving abilities. (These new applicants have voiced dissatisfaction with Hernando County's current policies and procedures, so turn it around and have them write their own solutions for public review.)
• Driving record for the past five years.
• Typing and computer skills, including accounting programs and word-processing applications.
• Knowledge of legal terminology and constitutional rights.
• Proficiency in researching legislation.
• Competence in electronically finding public records and ordinances.
• Examine their knowledge of county departments.
Private-sector employees are there to support their employer in the company's economic development, which brings tremendous responsibilities and affects the lives of entire communities. Private-sector and county employees both earn their appointments through pre-existing knowledge of their job duties.
In all fairness, residents have a right to know more about our future political course and political candidates' backgrounds. The way to search for truth is by knowing the candidates we elect and learning how to look beyond their facade, including requiring full financial disclosure; a 10-year, verifiable work history; their last three years of IRS tax returns and a current photograph, all published on the front page of our county's newspapers. That will show us how good they are at managing their own money before we turn ours over to them to spend.
Cy and Gus Hollister, Brooksville
Protest lives lost through abortion
I have read with interest the passionate letters written by those who oppose and protest the war in Iraq. I have read references to the 4,000 troops whose lives have been lost as a result of the war. I have read references to "hard-earned taxpayer dollars" being spent on the war. I often have read notices in the Times of protests held at the corner of U.S. 19 and State Road 50.
My questions to these peacemakers are: How many of you are aware of the 4,000 innocent babies who lose their lives daily in the United States due to abortion? How many of you are aware of the $305-million of "hard-earned taxpayer dollars" which Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortions in the United States, received in 2006? How many of you are willing to protest weekly to save the lives of those who cannot speak for themselves?
I hope and pray that the eyes (and hearts) of all Americans are opened and we realize that peace begins in the womb. It is patriotic to believe in justice for all, both born and unborn Americans. We must respect all life, from conception to natural death.
Jeanne Whitely, Hernando Beach
Celebrate our libraries in April
Gov. Charlie Crist has proclaimed April as Library Appreciation Month in Florida. I appreciate the great coverage the Times provides our county libraries. Libraries in Hernando County are wonderful treasure troves of information and activities for all ages (tots, teens and adults). All of it free to everyone!
If you haven't visited lately, do it in April at one of the branches or the Web site, www.hcpl.lib.fl.us.
Janet Dunleavy, president
Hernando County Library Advisory Committee
Keep power lines out of back yards
May we vigorously suggest that Hernando County residents devote continuing attention to the Feb. 22 form letter mailed by Progress Energy Florida to affected Hernando County property owners? Though meetings were convened in Spring Hill on March 3-4, to the best of our knowledge, people did not receive a comprehensive report from Progress Energy regarding talking points, attendees, speakers, handouts, etc.
Progress Energy needs to prepare, in layman's terms, details regarding this bombshell issue, which is among the most important Hernando County has faced.
The letter we received read, "Progress Energy and the Community Partnership for Energy Planning have identified several potential corridors for those transmission lines and would like to hear from you. At least one proposed corridor could impact your property. The corridor may affect your property, even if you are a customer of another utility." Sounds like a done deal. It means, "So very sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Hernando County property owner, we're installing a power line in your back yard."
As far as we know, no one has discussed the severe drilling impact compatible with erecting 165-foot-tall single structures and H-frame structures 120 feet high on properties close by the drilling. It appears advisable to inquire of the Southwest Florida Water Management District the potential dangers of sinkholes presented by intense pole drilling.
As you may know, Progress Energy, based in Raleigh, N.C., sustains a Crystal River coal and nuclear power station. With two new nuclear reactors on the drawing board for adjacent Levy County, at an initial estimated cost of $17-billion, why can't these energy leaders devise the means to place their power lines far enough away from densely populated areas like Hernando County?
Our incumbent county commissioners and their opponents in the upcoming elections must take an early and clear-cut position on this power line proposal. My wife, Patty, and I, and our friends and neighbors, urge our community to say "no'' to more backyard power lines now and forever. E-mail, telephone or fax the commissioners.
Chuck Schlakman, Spring Hill