Gift to developers will hurt schools
Our county commission is all set to reduce the impact fees on new home construction in the county. This brilliant move will give developers a gift of over $6,000, but that's not all. When our commissioners decided to give this gift, they did not consider what effect this would have on our schools. If the commission goes ahead with its plan as proposed, the Pasco schools will lose $4.5 million.
Gifting developers is bad enough, but taking dollars from our schools is unfair. When questioned about the fees, the commission said that they wanted to jump-start the economy. With so many empty homes in Pasco, I am not sure adding more to the inventory will jump-start anything.
If the school district does not get the full impact fees, it will have to dip into the general fund that pays for operations and salaries. As it is now, that fund faces a $60 million shortfall next year, which our superintendent said means "we will be laying off people."
Now here is our problem: Where are our priorities? Do they lie with the developers or with our young people?
The commission will not be having a final vote for two weeks so we have time to let our commissioners know where we stand.
Call, write, e-mail or attend the meetings. Let Pasco stand with our youth, not our developers.
Joan Shapiro, Hudson
Developers aren't forced to build
The builders of new homes in Pasco do not need relief from impact fees, they need an education in how to run their businesses.
No one has the builders in an armlock forcing them to build in Pasco. I suggest they rethink their business model like the rest of their counterparts have.
This is not a test or a "try-it-and-see," this is real money schools will not get when they already have a deficit.
Mrs. Ann Hildebrand's comment about a "shot in the dark" is ridiculous. If she doesn't know what the results will be, get off the commission.
I find it incredulous that every time a budget item comes before the board, it seems no one has an answer, even with a staff of hundreds employed by Pasco County.
Dana Goodwin, Hudson
Better schools, not more homes
Our county commissioners can't be Simon Legree, can they?
After removing impact fees for developers that pay for infrastructure, libraries and public safety, which in all probability will need to be paid by taxpayers, they are at it again. The commissioners are poised to take money that supports our children's schools and give it to developers to encourage home building.
Look around. We do not need more homes for sale in Pasco County, but we do need better schools. Stop twirling your mustache and support our children, not developers.
Lynn W. Lindeman, Hudson
Stop dithering on sports complex
About three years ago one of our county commissioners came up with the bright idea that we needed a sports complex in Pasco County. We would have soccer and softball tournaments on the weekends and our residents would use it during the week. It was going to be in Wesley Chapel, then it was going to be off Trinity Boulevard. The neighbors objected, and it was going to be on Starkey Ranch. Then someone came up with a larger tract of land and a new plan.
Sportsplex USA of California was to run it. Pasco County was going to take Mitchell Park away from the adult softball players and dump $400,000 into the concession stand and other changes.
The commissioners inquired, studied and vetted the proposals. They took too much time and Sportplex USA jumped ship. I'd like to know how much of our money was thrown away for their time and the studies made.
Finally, Jack Mariano decided it wouldn't generate hotel nights and Pat Mulieri said they were dithering. Dither: to act nervously or indecisively.
Please county commissioners, don't dither with my money. Make it work for me.
Thomas Karcher, New Port Richey