Don't forget about impact on schools
I read the article regarding the proposed Mitchell 54 West mixed-use development. I am curious as to why the subject of schools was not addressed; it seems that a discussion of where to educate the children likely to come from 800 housing units should be a priority.
Many Pasco schools are overcrowded. Some classrooms are overflowing with students and portable classrooms are common. The five schools closest to this proposed development are no exception. It only takes a three-mile drive east on SR 54 to see multiple housing developments in progress. While elementary schools are sometimes proposed as part of new subdivisions, there is rarely talk of middle and high schools. Additional elementary schools will eventually feed into the one local middle and high school in the Little Road/State Road 54 area. Redistricting these schools' attendance zones is a temporary fix at best, and at worst it just transfers the overcrowding so that all area schools are affected.
Even with portable classrooms, the infrastructure of these schools is not built to accommodate hundreds of extra kids. The cafeteria, the media center, the clinic, the computer labs, and the locker rooms and hallways are jammed with students. It is irresponsible to pursue monetary gain through development without a commitment to ensuring the continued quality of education in the surrounding neighborhoods.
While it doesn't surprise me that a corporation would not make education its top priority, it is my sincere hope that Pasco government officials will look out for the needs of our students. The school district builds schools as fast as it can afford them, but the onus is on developers to think of their neighborhood impact and on the county leadership to ensure that they do.
Beth Seletos, New Port Richey
What name will Wells be using?
I was wondering what Commissioner-elect Mike Wells' legal name was before the election. All the signs only had that name, no middle initial or Jr. at the end.
After the election, there was a picture of his father, the county property appraiser. His legal name is Mike Wells Sr. If that's his legal name isn't his son's legal name Mike Wells Jr.? It seems to me that may have confused some voters who vote on name recognition. That's Pasco County politics at its most devious.
It will be interesting to see what name is in front of Junior when he takes his District 4 seat on the commission. See what his name is in the paper. I'm bewildered. Let's get this straight.
Thomas Karcher, New Port Richey