For sheriff, cuts aren't so simple
I see it is still open season on the sheriff. The last election saw the people of Pasco demand more deputies on the road to keep us safe. The budgets have been cut. Rather than cut staff, Sheriff Bob White thought outside of the box and sought a law enforcement grant from the federal stimulus package to increase staff. This will give the people of Pasco additional deputies as well as more people employed in the county to stimulate the local economy. This grant is good for three years and in that time we can hope to see an improvement in the local economy.
We are going into the hurricane season with the Florida National Guard being told it has a 4,000-member call up for deployment overseas. Crime will increase as the economy decreases, and that is a historical given. We are warned by the federal government of domestic as well as international terrorists looking to do harm to our country. Why would anyone not want to see more law enforcement officers hired to protect the people of Pasco?
The serious points having been made, I do find humor in that the lone Democrat on the County Commission is upset that Sheriff White has applied to participate it the economic stimulus package that President Barack Obama, the leader of Democratic Commissioner Michael Cox's very own party, has made available to law enforcement.
It is very easy for anyone to tell the sheriff, "Cut your budget." But Bob White has to face the deputies he would have to cut, while remembering what it was like to be a young Florida Highway Patrol officer all those years ago and needing the job. He would then also have to face the victims and next of kin of those injured by the rise in crime that could be attributed to the loss of road deputies. Government has many ways to cut costs, but please do not do it with the safety of the people.
Hugh Townsend, New Port Richey
Republicans will defeat themselves
Florida Rep. William Snyder, Republican Chair of the Criminal and Civil Justice Council, blocked the Second Chance Act from moving forward in the state Legislature, although it had strong legislative backing.
This bill would have given inmates convicted of their crimes at age 14-15 a second chance at freedom if they met several strict criteria. The Legislature should have been permitted to vote up or down on this issue. A specific case mentioned was that of Ken Cooper, who has served nine years of a life without parole sentence for assisting an adult in several armed holdups when he was 14. He did not have a gun during the crimes, the adult did.
Rep. Snyder, a former police officer, obviously has a personal bias and demonstrated it. I am a law-and-order conservative Republican, but I think the arrogance of the Republicans in the legislature is going to lead to a Democrat taking over on the state level, just as it did on a national level. This Legislature needs a good house cleaning
James McLeod, New Port Richey
Thanks to kids for work downtown
I would like to thank the New Port Richey Parks and Recreation Department Youth Advisory Board and especially the wonderful young people who came out April 25 and worked so hard to spruce up the downtown area.
They did an excellent job on the landscaping in front of our shop and many other downtown sites. The real pleasure was in meeting these hard-working kids who were there for no other reason than to make a positive impact to their surroundings. Thanks, kids.
Jim Julian, New Port Richey
Water rate hike was reported
I wonder if some people only read the opinion page when they want to complain. Otherwise, in the case of those former Aloha customers complaining about the higher water rates, they would have known that the rates were going up. They would have read that it would be true even if Aloha still owned the utility. They would have read that Aloha already had approval to raise the rates approximately 130 percent. The Florida Governmental Utility Authority's increase is significantly lower than that.
Aloha's rates had been kept low not because the company was benevolent but because of the constant vigilance of the Citizens for Better Water and because of Sen. Mike Fasano. They blocked an increase at every turn for years. The members of that committee traveled to Tallahassee on their own time and their own dime to counter every rate increase request from Aloha. So, I do indeed thank Wayne Forehand and Sen. Fasano —sincerely not sarcastically — for keeping our rates down while we were receiving inferior water.
Donna Vaurio, Trinity