Re: Extended hours for Clearwater Airpark
No transparency over new hours
I first heard of the airpark's planned expanded operating hours when I read a brief announcement in the St. Petersburg Times on May 7. I then wrote the mayor and City Council voicing my disagreement with any expanded operating hours.
Then on May 11 I read about second announcement that a meeting was to be held May 12 to discuss the plan. The following is a copy of a letter I sent to Mayor Frank Hibbard and the City Council in response to the meeting announcement.
Following up on my letter of May 7th — I appreciate that there will be a public meeting to discuss the extended hours of operation Thursday, May 12, at 6 p.m.
"What I don't appreciate is that notice of the meeting is given just the day before. Personally, I have to leave today for North Carolina on a business trip that has been planned for two weeks. Most local residents work or have personal commitments planned. We will try and get people to attend to make their feelings about the changes known.
"I suspect that all the aircraft operators that want the extension will be on hand to unanimously support the proposal.
"A couple of questions I'd like answered are: When was this meeting first scheduled and by whom and was there communication concerning the meeting to airpark users prior to today?
"The perception I have of this situation is, the city of Clearwater is about to pander to a very few politically connected individuals without any real concern for the very negative effect on the quality of life of many hundreds of Clearwater and even Dunedin residents.
"I sincerely hope that you and the council put the well-being of the majority of the city residents over improved convenience for a very few aircraft operators."
Where is the promised government transparency?
Derek Roberts, Clearwater
Re: Dunedin has $3.9 million surplus | story, May 11
How Dunedin got its big surplus
Is it an amazing story that a Florida city (Dunedin, where I lived for 26 years) has a $3.9 million surplus?
I would like to point out the wise decision by then-Mayor Tom Anderson that is the source of that abundant surplus. After a bitter struggle and taking a lot of abuse, Mayor Anderson cast the vote consolidating the Dunedin Police Department with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
It was estimated at the time that the decision would save the city $4 million per year. I have not heard of any trouble with Dunedin law enforcement and, in general, even the employees who opposed have fared well with the sheriff.
Consolidated law enforcement makes a lot of sense in many ways. Criminals don't stop at the city line and the consolidated service provides improved communications and administrative savings.
The city of Dunedin has Tom Anderson to thank for this bonanza.
The city of Clearwater should take a lesson and do the same thing.
What to do with the surplus? First, remember the story of Joseph — the seven good years followed by seven lean years. Retain most of the money, and then give bonuses to employees who have not received raises in several years.
Henry L. King, Clearwater
Re: Sheriff sets sights on sweepstakes cafes in Pinellas | story, May 7
We have a rogue sheriff in town
Sheriff Jim Coats has determined that he is judge, jury and executioner on establishments that are allowed by law, using the brute force of the state and its resources.
There is an ambiguity in the law, and last I remember, we are a nation of positive liberty, allowed to do whatever isn't specifically illegal.
Here Sheriff Coats is turning something legal into something illegal.
So when will he start arresting people for writing letters to the editor, alleging that we are inciting violence or some other trumped up charge? Who has tens of thousands of dollars to spend to defend themselves against a police state?
He is a rogue sheriff and the sooner he is out the freer we will be! Where are you Governor "Less Regulation" Scott?
Bob Tankel, Dunedin
Re: Workers picket to get paid | story, May 13
Gift card holders pay the price, too
That was a great story on Pssghetti's restaurant and their problems with owners.
You talked about the employees not getting paid, but I wonder if there is a story about all the people who have bought gift cards, me being one of them?
When the restaurant reopened a couple of weeks back, I went in there for dinner, only to find out the manager would not take my gift card. The card was a $100 gift card that someone had purchased for me.
I know it sounds trivial, but still, money is owed me and I am sure there are a lot of us out here. How about another story and more information on the outlook for that restaurant? Thanks for listening.
James Eveland, Clearwater