Saturday, April 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Hernando letters to the editor: Sheriff seeks public's support

Sheriff seeks public's support

Residents and visitors contact the Hernando County Sheriff's Office several hundred times a day. They are usually looking for help. We love providing that help. Today, I am asking for your help.

The Hernando County Commission will be meeting on Tuesday, March 28. The commission is scheduled to discuss two items of great importance to citizens of Hernando County: the Hernando County Sheriff's Office current budget needs and their plan to once again seek to impose a municipal services taxing unit on property taxpayers.

The commission voted last year to reduce my requested budget. They removed the 4 percent increase I requested. I was going to use this increase for a new K-9 handler position, a sexual predator and offender tracking detective, an additional animal enforcement officer, and a mental health worker, among a few other things. It also included money to cover small raises for employees. The commission refused to fund any of these items.

The commission did approve raises for all other county employees, including firefighters.

This forced me to appeal the commission's decision to the governor's office. There is still no date set for a Tallahassee hearing regarding this budget dispute.

The governor's office did ask us to compare our staffing to five similar counties in the state of Florida. We learned that the Hernando County Sheriff's Office is short by an average of 140 deputies. This is after adjusting for population. The shortage is even worse when we are compared to all law enforcement agencies within Florida.

My office has made at least three written attempts to fix this problem since September. None of the suggestions would have increased taxes. There has been no official response from the commission. However, the county has now suddenly announced it plans to once again consider an unnecessary taxing plan that will increase administrative costs and put more burden on Hernando County property owners. The continued effort to impose a municipal services taxing unit and the ongoing budget struggles of your Sheriff's Office should concern every citizen of Hernando County. That's where you come in.

Please attend the County Commission meeting scheduled for March 28 at the Hernando County Government Center in Brooksville. While the agenda has not been finalized at the time of this writing, the MSTU discussion has been advertised for 9:30 a.m.

If you are unable to attend, please contact your county commissioners to voice your support for the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

Several commissioners have said publicly that they support law enforcement. It is now time for them to prove it. I need your help to hold them accountable.

Al Nienhuis, Hernando County sheriff

One suggestion for traffic problem

I have a suggestion for the people who are worried about the lack of traffic signals to the new malls: Don't shop there until the county fixes it.

There, problem solved.

Jan Kalnbach, Brooksville


Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18