Remember those who insult flag | Oct. 8 letter
Flag flap is over, so let's move on
I have been a taxpayer and Spring Hill resident since 1974. I try to keep abreast of the political happenings in this county, and I watch the County Commission meetings and the meetings of the Spring Hill Fire District on our government channel.
The fire district meeting of Sept. 23 and the letter prompted this response. I applaud the letter writer for his patriotism and love of country. He should be commended for defending and honoring the American flag and what our pledge represents, but I wonder if that was his true purpose in presenting this issue after it was addressed and responded to by the remaining commissioners. They extended an apology which seemed heartfelt to me, yet several older gentlemen came to the podium to condemn them over and over again. Enough already. They made a mistake, seemed sorry for it and I am certain it will never happen again. I am sure at least two or three commissioners served this country and defended their flag, and honor it for what it represents.
It is quite clear the letter writer has a personal conflict with the chairman, and instead of focusing on the matters of the department and the lives and safety of our firefighters and community, we are carrying out a personal feud by berating the board. The same people get up and gripe about issues that are totally ridiculous. They should try to put some of their pent-up anger and hostility into constructive ideas to continue to allow Spring Hill to have the best district in Florida.
It is disheartening that our firefighters have to listen to the lack of support from a few but vocal community members who never acknowledge the positives (of which this department has many). It almost looks like one of the commissioners has plants in the audience to tear down the credibility of the other commissioners and make a mockery out of these meetings.
I would like to compliment Chief Rampino for his professionalism as well as all the firefighters and civilian staff for the great job they do for the people of Spring Hill. A positive comment is refreshing and they certainly deserve it.
Maryrose Lord Babino, Spring Hill
Builders don't deserve a subsidy
I urge the Hernando Commission to oppose the builders' self-serving proposal to suspend the impact fees to assist builders' profit margin and spur building in Hernando County. There is no need for additional housing stock at this time.
According to the Multiple Listing Service, there are approximately 4,900 residential units for sale in Hernando County as of today. This does not include properties for sale by owner.
Property Appraiser Alvin Mazourek has publicly stated that the average sales price of a home in Hernando County has dropped 41.5 percent in the past three years, putting significant pressure on the Hernando County budget, as the commission is well aware. And the sales in 2009 are indicating another down year.
Additionally, there are 26,649 residential units approved for development by the County Commission to date, including major projects like Hickory Hill and Sunrise.
By subsidizing the building of more housing stock we are merely increasing the supply and further depressing the value of real property here in Hernando County. The current real estate market crash was due to overbuilding and we do not need to increase the residential units.
Hernando County is facing significant budgetary challenges in 2010 and greater challenges in 2011. By suspending the impact fees, the commission would not properly allocate the infrastructure costs needed to support the development on the causers of said development but shift these costs to the existing taxpaying and voting citizens. Realistically speaking, an increase in millage rates or tax rates would be a consequence of suspending impact fees.
I appreciate that the building industry is facing hard times but there is no need to subsidize this particular industry. It is inequitable for those who have paid the impact fees for their new homes. It is also unrealistic to expect that the impact fee would impede the sale of a home; should that be the case the builder has the option to reduce their profit margin.
I am asking the commission to just say no to this self-serving request from the builders association.
Anne Kraus-Keenan, Spring Hill
This area doesn't need more houses
I read that the Hernando School Board has agreed to the proposed impact fee cuts. While the county surely needs to create jobs, I can't imagine this is the answer.
There are hundreds of vacant homes for sale; why do we need to build more right now? Also, all of us homeowners have paid impact fees in one way or another. Why should new homeowners be exempt, especially at a time when the county and schools need funds more than ever?
Instead of temporarily waiving the fees, why not just impose the fees, but instead of being paid up front, pay them over a five- or 10-year period on the homeowners' tax bills?
Cherie Pannizzo, Weeki Wachee
Let us design our own TV packages
It is high time for us to be able to pick and choose our television programming without having to buy large packages to watch our favorite 10 or 20 channels. When we go shopping we are not required to buy everything in one section when we desire one product, and it should be our choice to purchase only the channels that we want to view — in effect, creating our own package.
I have written my senators on this matter and hope that others will do the same. It is time that we stopped being squeezed by cable and satellite providers. Contact those that represent you to let your voices be heard. If we make enough noise, maybe some good will come from it.
Jim Cocca, Homosassa
Brown-Waite seems confused
U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite has been a real fighter on health care reform, but can we trust what she says about it? To review what she has to say let us take a look at her Web site.
In her response to the president's speech, she says, "I agree with my constituents, we need health care reform." As of yet I have not seen a single Republican plan. In a private e-mail response to questions concerning her commitment, she states, "Americans have become accustomed to a health care system that spares no expense even in the face of grim odds," as an argument against the health care rationing that she loudly decries as part of a public option.
Someone should inform Rep. Brown-Waite that the insurance companies have done far worse than ration — they have cheated nearly every client out of coverage that had already been paid, cut people off entirely when they needed the coverage the most, and handpicked the healthiest for coverage.
In a press release she demands that, "We need to keep our promise to our seniors and fix the system (Medicare) that we already have." Now I would not have understood what it was that needed fixing in Medicare if it hadn't been for her private e‑mail where she explained that the government-run program "underpay(s) physicians and hospitals the same way Medicare and Medicaid does."
She also calls on the president to "address medical malpractice reform," the proverbial cry of every good Republican blaming the trial lawyers for the high cost of malpractice insurance. This must have been a leftover from something she wrote in 2002 when the government put a $250,000 cap on your pain and suffering, when the true reason malpractice insurance rates were so high was the insurance companies lost their posterior on the stock market in 2001. And since they lost an even bigger bundle last year, we can expect more of the same next year.
She also called for buying insurance across state lines. Surely she realizes that she would have to expand the Constitution to do that since insurance regulation falls within the jurisdiction of the states.
She actually owes more allegiance to the insurance industry, which contributed $62,250 to her 2008 campaign, and the health care professionals, who contributed $42,791 to her 2008 campaign, than she does to the hardworking or unemployed of her district that can not afford any kind of insurance, public or private, and are dying due to lack of health care.
Dennis Purdy, Brooksville