County should sue CCA over jail
If Corrections Corporation of America allowed the Hernando jail to be in this mess to begin with, why isn't the county filing a lawsuit against CCA? Instead, they take away the purchasing director's job and blame the county for a contract that states CCA is responsible for maintaining the jail.
It is the duty of the county administrator and commissioners to the taxpayers of Hernando County to oversee any problems that occur during their administration.
I worked in Sumter Correctional during the restructuring of state prisons in the late 1990s, and the inmates did 90 percent of the work. If the state uses inmates for maintaining its institutions, why can't the counties in the state do the same? Instead of inmates lying around all day complaining of the living conditions, put them to work to maintain the jail.
I did volunteer in the jail for several years and all I saw when I was there was the inmates playing sports in the rec yard and inmates lounging and lying in their bunks, complaining about conditions in the jail. The inmates are in there because they committed crimes against the county and the taxpayers. Part of their rehabilitation always should be maintaining the jail and living conditions and save us a lot of tax dollars.
Gary Mercer, Spring Hill
Don't cut services for veterans
I was extremely disappointed to learn that the Hernando County Commissioners are considering major budget cuts in veteran services and perhaps even eliminating the program. This would be a tragic disservice to our veterans and their dependents.
In these challenging and sometimes disturbing economic times, I realize that you must tighten the county budget and consider eliminating nonessential or marginal programs and duplicating services. That goes with the territory.
However, you must not forget that the citizens and government of a nation that sends its sons and daughters to defend its homeland and fight its wars have a moral obligation to respect them for their service and assist with the burdens they bear. Without their courage and sacrifice, we would not enjoy the freedom that, unfortunately, too many Americans take for granted.
Instead of considering cuts in veteran services, in all good conscience, the commissioners should be considering a budget that is adequate to meet the needs of our county's veterans, families and survivors.
Joseph H. Pistorius, colonel, U.S. Army (retired), Spring Hill
Shun businesses that skip on taxes
It was so nice to see the multitudes of local businesses — that we support with our patronage — which have not paid their tangible taxes this year. The county is struggling to meet its budget requirements and has had to lay off people it could no longer afford. We, the people, continue in these hard times to support these businesses with our few remaining after-tax dollars and they can't meet their obligation to pay their taxes?
Seems to me like it's time for us, the tax-strapped citizens of Hernando County, to boycott these deadbeats and maybe even protest outside their business places to let them know that we won't trade with them until they pay their share of the tax burden of Hernando County like the rest of us.
Ed McDougall Sr., Brooksville
County is failing to enforce codes
The first and most obvious function of code enforcement is to be the front line in the battle to control blight. Code enforcement is the imaginary line that represents the fence between gated communities and the rest of the world.
Without conformity to community standards, economic development is stagnant or non-existent. The growing problem in Hernando County is the unwillingness to enforce codes over statutory responsibilities and to provide the services that lay down the foundation for quality of life and makes our community a safe and respectful place to live.
Florida law allows county governments to utilize other county employees for code enforcement such as law enforcement, animal control, fire safety officers and volunteers from the community.
The reason we have elections is to have a county fathers who will execute the law, not become part of the problem.
Stephen DeGrotto, Spring Hill
Brown-Waite cheats voters
The 11th hour maneuver by U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite and Sheriff Richard Nugent prevented other qualified Republicans from running for the seat. This action was dirty politics at its worst.
The representative seat belongs to the people and Brown-Waite has no right to dispose of it. A man of character would not have agreed to participate in such dirty politics.
If Nugent is elected, for the rest of his life he should be wondering "would I have been elected if other qualified Republicans had been given the opportunity to run?"
Anthony R. Palmieri, Spring Hill
Trash, recycling dates confusing
I just got my latest Waste Management bill for three months for $30.69 here in Spring Hill's mandatory trash/recycle pickup zone.
Twice weekly trash is $27.24 for approximately 13 weeks or 26 pickups, which is about $1.05 per pickup. I think that is a real bargain. Just think of the gas I would use driving the 10-mile round trip to the transfer station or the recycling bins.
The $3.45 donation for recycling, if you don't use that feature, doesn't really impact the cost since they only show up every other week now and I have already forgotten which week they come. Can't trust the neighbors either, as half of them can't get it right and leave the bin sitting at the curb for a week at a time.
We've returned to the past. Before having curbside pickup, getting rid of simple trash was the hardest thing to do here in Hernando. No wonder people routinely litter or dump their yard waste in the few vacant lots remaining.
With two cars in the tidy garage, we never had room for the paper bin to keep it inside and dry, so we moved it around daily. And, we're not about to rinse out all the cans and plastic outdoors to keep the vermin and odors away for two weeks.
So we have fallen back on our old ways of putting everything back into the normal half- to two-thirds empty trash bag twice a week. Now the bag is full again and the new county dump will be, too, in half the time it should be.
The litmus test of good or bad elected government leadership is now bright red for bad. If there was a color for just plain stupid, it would be that color, too.
Next elections we will make all the highly paid commissioners wait two hours to ride THE Bus out of their position and into the real world of unemployment without any end in sight. Maybe they can hang out at the new dump and dive for aluminum cans to survive.
Doug Adams, Spring Hill