County remains out of touch
The Hernando County Commission's failure to reinstitute impact fees reveals board members are far out of touch with young families with school-age children.
When faced with the choice of protecting the building industry or school system in Hernando County, the board chose the building industry. The builders argue that the added cost of the impact fees will hinder new home construction in Hernando County. Yet new home construction in Pasco County, which imposes impact fees, is far outpacing new home construction in Hernando County – something Hernando County builders conveniently failed to mention.
From 2011 to 2012, nine Hernando County schools saw their grade drop, 10 remained the same and only one improved. A year later, from 2012 to 2013, 14 Hernando County schools saw their grade drop, six stayed the same and only one improved. Is it a coincidence that the grade decline occurs after the suspension of impact fees? Good question and one that deserves an answer. Perhaps the builders and county and should fund their own independent studies and let the facts speak for themselves.
There is another way to settle this. If the builders are so confident that impact fees are hindering new home growth in Hernando County let them put their money where they mouth is. Let's keep the impact fee suspension in place until May 2015. If the county has less than a 75 percent increase in the number of new home permits we keep the impact fees suspended for another year. However, if the county has more than a 75 percent increase in the number of new home permits than each builder pays the full $7,000 impact fee to the county for each new home built in 2014.
You want to make Hernando County a destination for growth and new businesses? What family or business owner with school-age children would consider moving to a county with declining schools and no financial system of support? It is time to elect new leaders who represent all of the people of Hernando County and not just the special interests.
Joseph King, Spring Hill
No rush on judicial request March 19 article
Stop ignoring the school system
Developers get their way with the majority of the Hernando County Commission as they ignore the needs and wishes of the judicial and school systems.
Perhaps the Hernando School Board and our judges should hire the contractors and the Hernando Builders Association as their lobbyists?
Leon G. Atkinson, Istachatta
Too many district staffers?
After reading your first story about Hernando School Superintendent Lori Romano's staff reorganization, I realized, of the 18 positions to be added, only four were are described: two secretaries; communications/public relations, and a teacher support specialist to help with professional development.
Then I read that the Hernando School Board approved the plan and the number of new positions grew 24, and that one of the new positions would be "investigator." And while all 24 positions won't be funded until there is money available, 19 of those positions have not been described. None are evidently necessary.
District level positions are not teaching staff. In manufacturing, they would be middle management or supervision, both indirect labor and overhead. In any organization they are the bureaucrats. Many will be experts in their field and justifiable. But all are unnecessary, as the school district is getting along without them for the foreseeable future.
While bureaucrats are expendable, job security demands that they develop a clientele or numbers of people that use their service. That will require that they gain the attention of the teachers, the only clientele available in a school district. They will do this by having meetings, individually or in groups, and likely introduce forms that will need to be completed by the teachers. This is a distraction from the teachers' job of educating.
My favorite foreman was a physically large man with white hair that seldom smiled. But he stood out on the factory floor intimidating the various bureaucrats that would otherwise come around competing for our attention. It sounds to me that, rather than the 24 new district level employees, the teachers really need my old foreman.
Dennis Purdy, Brooksville
Advocate for bus rider benches
If bus riders want benches and shelters at bus stops they should advocate for them. Bus riders should show up at the county commissioners' next meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 25 at the County Government Center at 20 North Main St., Brooksville.
And, not just bus riders but people who feel mass transit is needed. If we don't voice are issues how will the board know what we, as riders, need?
David Philipsen, Weeki Wachee