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Letters: When did restaurant tips become mandatory?

Tip for meal not discretionary?

I am an English visitor to the United States and live here for six months every year. The other night I went to a restaurant locally and after the meal I was presented with a bill which had an 18 percent tip added to the total of $43.46. The tip was $7.82 and the tax was $3.04, which brings the total to $54.32.

I only had $49 in cash which I gave to the waiter as I thought that would be okay as I have always thought tipping was discretionary and my choice as to what I left. But, the waiter returned after a minute or so and said the $49 in cash was not enough and I would have to pay the $54.32 with a debit card, which I very reluctantly did.

On reading the receipt in detail, I saw that it did say an 18 percent to 20 percent gratuity is suggested, but they had deleted the total bill, plus tax by pen and written in the total including tip.

Could you please tell me if they were right in demanding the 18 percent tip? I think this amount is too high and should be shown the menu as an added cost to whatever you spend.

As regular U.S. visitor, I have always thought your products were well priced, but if this is the start of a new price addition, I will have second thoughts bout coming over again.

Bob Hall, New Port Richey

School spending contradictory?

I am so over reading about the Pasco School Board and its money needs. Teachers are now giving up pay increases which is commendable in these times and I see the land to the north of State Road 52 at Hicks Road being cleared for a new high school. As I understand it, the market value of this 36 acres is $1.5-million and $8-million of your tax dollars was used to purchase that site.

Several more adjoining properties were purchased for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Additionally, we are spending money to put in a new road on the site and tens of millions more for the school building.

An official has indicated that the new school is not even needed and that if we simply redistrict we could solve our problems. According to the Times the number of students in Pasco County is not growing.

I would like to know why the School Board feels the need to build another high school practically on top of Hudson High. Too many school employees have already lost their jobs and I am sure more are going to in the near future. How are we going to staff this new school when we can't even afford to keep the staff we currently have on payroll?

I do not understand the logic and/or reasoning. We can't spend money we don't have to build a school we don't need especially at the expense of current employees.

Charles Poppelreiter, Hudson

Editor's note: School district capital spending is separate from the general revenue budget used for personnel costs.

Fasano listens to all sides of issues

Our television screens remind us of the controversy going on with the governor of Illinois and the pay-to-play scandal. It is important that those of us here in Florida be reminded of our own state Sen. Mike Fasano, from the earliest days in the Florida House to the present, Sen. Fasano has never joined the pay-to-play game.

Indeed Sen. Fasano has been up front on introducing bills and supporting the rights of victims throughout Florida without consideration for his own personal political gain. Some of the legislation introduced was not popular at the time and Sen. Fasano has never turned a deaf ear to anyone nor is any issue too small for his consideration.

I have disagreed politically with Sen. Fasano more times than I have agreed with him. However, when victims' rights are concerned we have always agreed. When victims need someone to notice an injustice Sen. Fasano has always been there. We are fortunate to have a senator who even though he might disagree never condescends and never refuses to hear an opposing viewpoint.

Peno Hardesty, New Port Richey

Letters: When did restaurant tips become mandatory? 12/20/08 [Last modified: Friday, December 26, 2008 10:13am]
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