Tips to surviving Ironman story, Nov. 6
Take your event and go elsewhere
As a citizen of Pinellas County, I want you people at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship to know that your event is not welcome here. Why? Simply because none of your athletes or sponsors seem to care about anything but their own agenda and have absolutely no regard for the major inconvenience that your event is causing the people of this county.
I assure you that, other than those who stand to make a quick buck from your event (and they account for a very small percentage of the overall population), the overwhelming majority of the people who live, vote and spend money in this county couldn't care less about your event. What does the average Pinellas County citizen stand to gain? Nothing. What price do we pay? Hours of countywide traffic and all of the associated inconvenience.
I would venture to say that the total disruption caused by this event ends up being responsible for quite a bit of lost revenue for many local businesses — businesses here to serve their customers year round.
Once again, I call upon the county commissioners to put the needs and wishes of the citizens and merchants of Pinellas County above those who merely wish to use us, at great inconvenience, for one day's pleasure/profit. Please see to it that 2008 is the last year that the Ironman event is allowed to happen in this county.
Toby Brandenburgh, Palm Harbor
New tax system needed in future
Ever since the hours at the Countryside Library were shortened, I am no longer bothered by the constant drone of "tutors" right behind me, more than likely earning their keep in their home offices (which are the library tables to the right as you walk in).
I am also not sorry the computers have been shut down after one hour of use, and somehow I see more people reading newspapers and books — a good sign.
Next time up, we need to ensure that libraries, which are wonderful and precious resources, are used as libraries.
A recent letter to the editor bemoaned the loss of public library hours for students. Pardon me, students have libraries at their schools and quite good ones. What does the letter writer mean exactly? Again, Amendment 1 passed overwhelmingly. I did not vote for it because it did not go far enough. Next time, I will.
The referendum to pay more to the teachers was not on my list to vote for either, nor will I ever. Teachers I know and like love their profession. Teachers who do not like teaching need to find something else to do. It is too important a job and many are in it for the money and summers. Starting out at $37,500 plus benefits of $13,000 with an undergraduate degree in a non-income tax state is not chump change.
Police, firefighters and teachers all earn their keep, but the property owner is tired, really tired, of funding everything. Do away with property tax, eliminate tax exemptions across the board, then institute a sales tax.
Harriet P. Sherwood, Clearwater
Only 3 sites for early voting ...
It is outrageous to let the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Office conduct an election in a partisan way that favors the Republicans. Limiting access to only three sites in Pinellas County for early voting was undemocratic in every way and should have been stopped.
The elections office argues that early voting's impact on overall turnout can't justify the costs involved, but $250,000 for a countywide election is ludicrous. How much of the taxpayers' money has the county blown by bailing out the county Property Appraiser's Office and other fiascos?
Karen Weibel Burton, Dunedin
… Was absolutely unconscionable
Mail-in voting is great, but how many times have we had elections in Florida where the votes were "lost"?
Florida has had so many problems with voting since 2000, I think it was unconscionable for Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark to only provide three early voting sites throughout the county.
It isn't the 42-cent stamp for mail-in voting that bothers me. I just want to be sure that my vote counts.
Darlene Kobsa, Palm Harbor