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Hernando supervisor of elections has class: She erred, confessed



Re: Ballot blunder shakes faith in elections chief July 20 editorial

She has class: She erred, confessed

I guess this has been "Gang Up on Annie Williams Month." Let me give you the other side of the story.

I purchased a house lot in Spring Hill in 1968. I've kept abreast of Hernando County government pros and cons ever since. I would like to know which government officials, including constitutional officers, have not made mistakes that have cost the taxpayer money. None! But how many of them have stepped up and said, "It was a mistake and it's my fault"? Not many.

Supervisor of Elections Annie Williams was quick to put the blame for the botched ballots on herself. A polished politician could have said, "The ballot was correct when I saw it; someone sabotaged it," and the blame would have been passed to a subordinate or the printer.

Look into your own lives. How many of you have made mistakes that cost your employer money?

I'd like to confess my mistake: In the 1970s, I was chief of manager-employee relations in the civilian personnel office of the U.S. Army Natick Laboratories. One of my responsibilities was to discipline employees who broke the rules. A young intern in the food laboratory was reported making inappropriate remarks to a female employee. I called him in and counseled him and told him that any more complaints about his conduct would be reason for dismissal. Well, he continued with his suggestive remarks, so I wrote a letter dismissing him from a federal government job.

Here's where the mistake was made. I neglected to put the specific reasons for his dismissal in the letter. Why? Because a government record has a long life and I didn't want to ruin this young man's career by citing the reasons for dismissal in the letter.

Well, three months went by and I received a letter from the Civil Service Commission ordering the employee to be reinstated. I wrote back and said the employee will be reinstated after he collects three months' pay and that he should report to my office.

While sitting at my desk, I said, "Now, I'm going to fire you for all these reasons." I put several affidavits in front of him, all containing damaging testimony. He looked at them and said, "I quit." My mistake cost the U.S. government several thousand dollars.

Annie Williams is a classy lady; she took the blame for the ballot goof. She is honest and up-front. She knows every facet of her job and I feel that taxpayers want an honest person in her job who has the integrity to face mistakes in a classy manner.

Nick Morana, Spring Hill

Re: Ballot blunder shakes faith in elections chief July 20 editorial

One mistake will not shake faith

It's wonderful to realize there are critics who wait eight years and, of course, make a mountain out of a molehill to gain favor with their candidate running against Supervisor of Elections Annie Williams.

I'm glad to find out she is a human being who makes a mistake once in a while. Now I will definitely vote for her. From my view, she has done an outstanding job.

I have found most candidates running for office, from those running for the city through those running for Congress, promise everything and deliver nothing. The exceptions in Hernando County who are delivering are Supervisor of Elections Annie Williams and Tax Collector Juanita Sikes.

Now you can crawl back to where you came from. Justice will prevail.

Alfred "Tom" DeVault, Brooksville

Re: Former fire chief puts irony in running | July 17 Dan DeWitt column

Fire chief made wise decisions

I do want to commend your writer for printing the facts. I hope that everyone who has read the column about Jim Adkins' spending has seen through the garbage.

My concern this election, as with many others I have talked with, is who is going to cost us the least amount and still be efficient with the monies already being collected. DeWitt's column has set the ground for who I will be voting for. The purchases Mr. Adkins approved of show me great decisionmaking on his behalf. The compressor he purchased is still in use today, many years later, and is not only used by the city fire department, but also the county fire department. It is nice to know he can approve purchases on things that are built to last, and share with others as well.

In the 1980s, when the AIDS epidemic came to light, no one knew what was causing it; they just knew it had something to do with the interaction of bodily fluids. By Mr. Adkins purchasing a sterilization unit for all gear to be sterilized and cleaned, he was easing the minds of his employees and their families, not to mention the lives that possibly may have been saved by continuing to allow the firefighters to take gear home to be on call at a moment's notice. I know I will feel at ease with Mr. Adkins, having seen the light through this very dark article.

Tiffany Hoblit, Brooksville

Re: Former fire chief puts irony in running | July 17 Dan DeWitt column

Purchases tell of a smart leader

I want to thank Mr. DeWitt. I was undecided who to vote for in the District 5 County Commission race, but not anymore. When he was Brooksville fire chief, I think that it was great he had the persuasive power to convince the City Council they had to modernize their fire department. I imagine how inconvenient it was for them to go all the way out to Weeki Wachee to get compressed air. As it turns out, the fire department is still using the updated equipment he procured.

Thank you for bringing to our attention what an outstanding leader he is.

Lena Castel, Brooksville

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Hernando supervisor of elections has class: She erred, confessed 07/24/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 12:51pm]
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