Let me decide to use my seat belt
Seat belts should be my choice to use or not to use. Don't force me to use them just because someone is feeling guilty of not teaching their child to use seat belts.
When I see young children riding in the open back of pick-up trucks with no means of protection, tell me again why I have to use my seat belt. Are all school buses using seat belts? If not, then why do I have to use mine?
Frank Whatmore, New Port Richey
Deputies target minor infractions
I recently read the article that pointed out many of the dangerous traffic areas in our county. Yet, instead of policing these areas, our deputies are assigned to stalk and ticket people for extremely minor infractions.
Take the area at the end of Town Center Road where there is no traffic beyond the Rosewood development, just a dead end. Why waste the manpower ticketing people for rolling stops coming out of Rosewood?
Have you noticed the packs of deputies on Trouble Creek Road at the end of the month? Why Trouble Creek? Easy, its speed limit is so low that people driving a safe speed are still easy tickets.
I know Sheriff Bob White's budget needs refurbishing, but compromising the public's safety for easy tickets is not the way to go about it.
Jack Kader, New Port Richey
Don't lose sight of public safety goal
The June 16 letter from the retired police officer was absolutely right. Law enforcement personnel in this area, including judges, have lost sight of their primary objective, which is public safety.
Enforcement of the traffic code would help prevent crashes and save injury and lives. If police would ticket traffic code offenders, and the courts would impose meaningful and serious penalties for flagrant or repeated violations, many bad drivers would be off the road instead of out there killing people.
When law enforcement has to investigate a crash, they are investigating one of their failures.
I haven't used the word "accident.'' An accident, by definition, is "a sudden, unforeseeable, catastrophic event." When you see some idiot exceeding the speed limit, making sudden, frequent lane changes and otherwise driving like a mad-man, his crash is not unforeseeable. It is inevitable.
A.J. D'Amario, Hudson
Politics at play in Ray Gadd sacking
Republican state committeeman Bill Bunting must think we are pretty stupid if we think superintendent Heather Fiorentino sacked Ray Gadd so she could gain independence. It was to remove the remaining Democrats and supporters of John Long, the same way the only Democrat on the County Commission, Michael Cox, was removed from an important committee to marginalize his influence. This was behind-the-scenes political moves to make sure Pasco remained pure Republican. Was this Fiorentino's idea? I doubt that very much as her determined silence indicates otherwise.
Now Bunting thinks School Board member Joanne Hurley's motion to rescind the two positions vacated by Fiorentino is a back-door attempt to use the board to control who gets these positions, which are obviously stated for Republicans.
As for back-door politics, many will remember Bunting's back-door move during the 2004 superintendent's election when he attempted to limit the vote to Republicans only.
Bunting claims the superintendent needs independence. This is indeed the best reason superintendent should be an appointed position and not elected post as the back-door efforts by Bunting during the election and Fiorentino's back-door efforts to purge supporters of John Long is evidence she has absolutely no independence and is a captive agent of the Republican dirty-tricks crowd.
Art Hayhoe, Wesley Chapel
Fiorentino doing job elected to do
The school superintendent's duties include the power to hire and fire. Heather Fiorentino was elected to do just that. It is not our job to micromanage.
Ray Gadd has done a fine job in his position during his long tenure. Times have changed. We must move on. School construction will be slowing down and with the addition of virtual schools we must adjust our direction.
With the economy in its present condition, growth in Pasco County has slowed down and budget cuts are inevitable. It seems that this is one department that needs adjustment.
Len Trubia, New Port Richey
I place my trust with Fiorentino
Why the concern for just one employee by the School Board? This year there was a reduction to funding, but next year there will be even more cuts needed to balance the budget.
The responsibility to fill staff positions is set by law and given to the superintendent of schools. The School Board sets the budget and approves the types of positions, but not who shall fill them. This is a check-and-balance system to protect the interest of the people. We the voters can elect those whom we feel can best represent us in the elected positions. The leadership style of Heather Fiorentino has been approved by the voters many times as a state legislator and now as the superintendent of schools.
The issue was raised as to placing on the ballot if we should have an appointed vs. an elected superintendent. We had that option and it was defeated by the people. As a voter, I want my right to elect maintained. Any elected official that wants to spend taxpayer dollars on this issue should be voted out of office.
The key people in this are both knowledgeable professionals. I served with Ray Gadd on the Planning Commission and I saw firsthand how knowledgeable and amicable he is. The economy more than any other reason has cost him and the others their contract renewals.
Heather Fiorentino is a good friend of mine. I know she learned most of her leadership skills from her father, a career U.S. Army officer. Thus honor, duty to complete the mission and protect your troops comes before the often-heard political duck-and-cover explanations. As for me, I will place my trust with the person I know and voted for, Heather Fiorentino.
Hugh Townsend, New Port Richey