Saturday, December 16, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Letters: Hernando County schools need impact fee investment

County Commission needs to think about students

U.S. Census data places Florida 48th in the nation in per-pupil spending. That's attention-getting and makes me wonder whether the Hernando County commissioners were aware of Florida's track record on education funding when it voted 4-1 against reinstating education impact fees.

More importantly, are they fully aware of where Hernando County stands in Florida's education bread line? We're currently ranked 50th of 67 school districts. The state's median level of funding is $9,051 per student. Hernando schools receive $541 less than that. Florida Dept. of Education data here confirms our funding at $8,510 per student.

In the most recent school year we were $15 million below the median, and we've been underfunded for too many years. While it's true that the education impact fee revenue can only be applied to bricks and mortar, it's money that cannot build anything if it's never collected.

I wonder if the commissioners are aware of how many families have kids in our schools and expect local officials to earnestly represent them. We have 21,725 K-12 students and 2,977 school district employees educating them under austere budgetary restraints.

When our first home in Hernando County was built we understood the logic of the education impact fee and paid it. Why should anyone else be treated differently? I don't think anyone should be exempt, even if a handful of home builders insist that the sky is falling.

Honestly, before I moved here it never dawned on me to claim that it's best to spare newcomers (like me) the impact fee and pass my added expense along to the rest of the community. I wish I thought of it, but it never occurred to me that anyone would be dumb enough to believe that makes any sense.

I believe that high-quality education is the primary anchor for any community. A quality school system with a stellar reputation raises everyone's home values. I believe that corporations considering relocating their headquarters and employees look for places that represent economic opportunity; communities with well-educated work forces; communities where their employees will be glad to raise their children. Good schools create that enduring bond.

If commissioners want to see an economic catalyst, I encourage them to vote for education and invest in Hernando schools. Hernando should look west to Lake County and follow its example. In October they voted unanimously to reinstate education impact fees gradually, starting at $2,500 and eventually bringing it to $10,000. It's time for Hernando Commissioners to stop the cronyism and serve the greater good.

Gregg Laskoski, Spring Hill

Fluoride issue had fair hearing

Admittedly, the fluoride debate is contentious. With scientist hurling pejoratives at each other it can become difficult to see through the jargon. I was very pleased and proud to see two things in all of this. First, that the people of Hernando County researched the topic and came to a reasoned and logical conclusion; we do not want to take the risk in fluoridating the water. Thankfully the board agreed.

Next, the commissioners understood the personal liberty implications of forced medication and stood tall to protect the freedom of choice for the citizens. I disagree with the contention that the pro fluoride group was not given a fair hearing. We all heard Dr. Johnny Johnson's presentation loud and clear which informed us that fluoride makes the sun shine and the flowers grow. No wonder the commissioners had heard enough.

Anthony Connor, Spring Hill


Monday’s letters: Tax plan bad for the country

Trump, GOP make good on tax cuts Dec. 14Tax plan is bad for the countryUnless senators such as Susan Collins, R-Maine, and our own Marco Rubio develop some backbone, the Republican tax bill could well pass.The bill would inflict harm on the people wh...
Published: 12/15/17
Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Justice official parries attacks | Dec. 14Rule of law at stake in inquiryConservative media outlets and a number of Republicans in both chambers of Congress have launched an all-out assault on special counsel Robert Mueller and his team in an eff...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Saturday’s letters: Project silent on rising sea levels

Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Friday’s letters: Put yourself in a business owner’s shoes

GOP plan favors owners | Dec. 11Perils of small business ownersI wonder if the author of this article has even a clue about owning a business. Businessmen — especially small business owners — risk it all. They risk their savings, their car, their...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17

Thursday’s letters: Trump’s values hardly admirable

Finally, a president who cares | Dec. 13, letterTrump’s values hardly admirableThe letter writer is happy to have someone in the White House who "truly cares about our country’s business" and is "unafraid … of mentioning God and religious values....
Published: 12/13/17

Wednesday’s letters: Proposal would restore Florida Forever funding

Florida ForeverPlan boosts land protectionMost of us thought funding for land conservation in Florida would be restored when we voted the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1) into law in 2014. It passed easily, with 75 percent of voter...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Pasco letters to the editor for Dec. 15

Re: Helping Others Fulfills our purpose here on Earth | Nov. 17 guest columnThe good doctor acknowledges a CreatorThank you for publishing Dr. Rao Musunuru’s guest column. As Congressman Gus Bilirakis said in the Congressional Record, this good d...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/13/17