The Legislature passed a very pro-voter election bill, which improves the process for the most important stakeholder, the voter. The bill (HB 7013) is headed to the governor's desk for his signature.
It limits the length of amendments put on the ballot by the Legislature, greatly expands early voting locations and provides flexibility in the duration of days and hours.
I'm most proud of the historic provision that for the first time will allow voters who forget to sign their absentee ballot certificate the opportunity to complete an affidavit and have the ballot tabulated. Under current law, the ballot is never tabulated and we had nearly 110 voters who this affected in the last election.
Also, we will now (at the voter's request) be able to email their sample ballot in lieu of sending via regular mail. Voters who move into Pasco and have not updated their address will no longer be required to complete a provisional ballot.
A hearty thanks to the Pasco County legislative delegation for its support of this good public policy.
Brian Corley, supervisor of elections, Dade City
Consolidated 911 good for city
Kudos to the New Port Richey City Council for its decision to join the county consolidated emergency communications project.
This consolidated call taking and dispatch center will prevent the loss of emergency calls to 911, improve response times of emergency agencies to calls for assistance and improve the safety of the responding emergency personnel. Additionally, signing on to this logical and efficient improvement to the provision of emergency services to the citizens and taxpayers will save the city money now and in the future.
It is hoped that this is the first step of a revitalized City Council to begin a serious discussion into the efficacy of maintaining its other municipal emergency services programs. As a longtime resident of New Port Richey, I have the highest regard for the men and women of the city's police and fire departments and praise their dedication and professionalism. However, the time has come and the opportunity is ripe for city leaders to begin an in-depth study of consolidating law enforcement and fire service operations with those of the county.
Only through the discovery provided by undertaking a serious and detailed study will the council be provided the information necessary to make an informed decision as to what is best for the citizens of New Port Richey.
C. Duncan Hitchcock, New Port Richey
Rejecting dredge may doom plans
The Army Corps of Engineers rejection of the Fillman Bayou channel dredging project comes as a big surprise in that the SunWest Harbourtowne development had hired a former high-ranking member of the corps to ride herd on the proposal.
Since the bigger channel was a major selling point for the development, it may also be dead. Pasco County still has land for a park minus boat ramps but since it has cut funding and staff for the parks it now has it may be hard pressed to do anything but keep the gate locked.
John Ennis, Hudson
U-turn signs make no sense
Facing north on U.S. 19 at the intersection of Camry Drive, cars making a left-hand turn onto Camry Drive are okay, but cars making U-turns into McDonald's are a no-no.
Coming out of Camry Drive, motorists can only turn right. Therefore when a car makes a U-turn, it could cause a serious collision. There are no-U-turn signs that are either not seen or ignored. I have reported this to police and the Department of Transportation and nothing has been done.
There also is a no-U-turn sign at that same intersection facing southbound traffic. This makes no sense because a driver cannot turn any other way besides right onto Camry Drive. This sign should be reversed for traffic going north, which would make three no-U-turn signs.
Rosalie Massimo, Holiday