Don't let builders off the hook
Here we go again. A logical solution to a future problem is being rejected again by the Hernando Builders Association and the real estate lobby. Raising impact fees from zero to fund educational infrastructure is considered by these groups as a hindrance to selling homes.
A few years ago, their argument to lower impact fees to zero, which the Republican-controlled County Commission supported, was to keep prices low to generate sales and more tax revenues for the county. The results were neither. Now that sales and permits are beginning to rise again as part of a national trend they still don't want to pay impact fees because it will hinder sales and put the burden on the buyer. Sound familiar?
Let's just see where the burden really is. If the School Board does not collect impact fees, necessary technology for students and implementation of educational programs can be affected. New school construction and preventive maintenance will be affected. The burden will fall on our children first, then the individual taxpayers of Hernando County with tax increases.
The bottom line is simple, there is no cost to the builders. All costs are passed on to the buyers of new homes. If people like myself want to live in Hernando and use our roads, schools, libraries and government facilities, we should be responsible to pay for that infrastructure and services when first building our home.
Vito J. Delgorio Sr., Spring Hill
Pritz' move needs reconsideration
The week before the winter holiday break, Hernando superintendent Dr. Lori Romano announced that Ken Pritz, assistant superintendent, would be moved to warehouse manager. Ken, a more than 30-year district employee, has held numerous leadership roles for our district, with distinction, for the past 20 years. He has moved many schools from "typical" to "exemplary," and helped our district achieve a grade of A. He is now the manager of the warehouse.
I know the School Board made the decision to hire Dr. Romano, and I will assume she has many good qualities. While I am not suggesting that the board revisit that decision, I am suggesting that the decision to move Ken be rethought. I am reminded of a quote from George Soros, "Once we realize that imperfect understanding is the human condition, there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes."
This shouldn't be how we treat our employees. Employees who have a proven track record, a leader who knows how to move schools, should be treated with respect. If this can happen to Ken Pritz, it can happen to anyone. Shouldn't we try to find ways to work together, to capitalize on the maturity, wisdom and historical knowledge of a proven, valued leader, before we decide that they have outlived their worth to the leadership of the organization?
Dr. Romano suggested that Ken may not have the heart for curriculum. You cannot move a high school from a perennial D to a B without a knowledge of and a heart for curriculum.
It is my hope that those who read this letter might use their voice to question how we treat our valued, dedicated and professional employees. Use your voice to share your opinions about Ken, and how we treat our employees, with your elected School Board representatives.
Joe Clifford, Dade City
Getting hosed by TV-ordered hose
Last spring, I ordered a garden hose for approximately $25 from a company advertising on television. The hose arrived, but the company withdrew $149 from my account.
I wrote them, I called them, but to no avail. The Better Business Bureau couldn't or wouldn't help me. The TV station said they weren't responsible. My last hope — I sent the hose back to the company for a refund, but received no acknowledgment nor refund. All I have is the box the hose arrived in and a $149 loss.
How can a scam like this continue to exist? And what good is the Better Business Bureau? Never again. I guess I trusted too much.
Dorothy Lind, Spring Hill
Best wishes to shelter director
The Humane Society of the Nature Coast will never be the same without Joanne Schoch. Eleven long years. Elected president in 2003 and, the next year, hired as the shelter's first executive director.
I was a volunteer back then when the shelter still had the three buildings with clothing and sales every Saturday. Joanne and I did not get along at that time, but we became good friends. I can only say that I think she has done a great job getting the shelter to where it is now.
I only hope that the $150,000 needed for the shelter's expansion starts coming so that Joanne's and everyone's dream comes through for the shelter.
I know that everyone who knows Joanne is wishing her the best in whatever she needs to do health wise. She will miss all her four-legged friends as well as her two-legged ones. Good luck, Joanne.
Nancy Eslick, Brooksville