Seceding from city makes sense
The Clearwater City Council voted recently to close the city's east-side recreation center in the subdivision of Morningside Estates. The fig leaf of "service" that the city provides has now been removed from Morningside. More than ever, it makes sense for the residents of Morningside to forget Clearwater and secede from the city.
With the council's sky-high taxes and drunken-sailor spending and planning, who could blame them: $15 million for an accident-causing roundabout, $25 million in corporate welfare for a stadium, tens of millions more for a beach walk that robbed citizens of their beach parking, $10 million for dubious downtown landscaping, and $11 million for a marina that benefits a handful of wealthy yacht owners.
Additionally, Clearwater also charges 16 percent taxes and franchise fees on all residents' electric bills. County residents pay zero.
In my view, secession makes sense for Morningside.
Bob Snow, Clearwater
First utility rate goof pales against latest | story, Oct. 3
Officials can fix utility problem
This is really a tough one. My first reaction is to let the citizens decide the course of action, but I reminded myself, the citizens elected the City Commission to take the best path when faced with a dilemma.
First and foremost is to identify and correct the problem, put checks and balances in place. Show the residents you found the problem, fixed the situation and have guidelines in place.
Once that is accomplished, the commission can seek resolution. Follow the path of placing a claim against the insurance carrier. If restitution can be made there, the problem is over.
Auditors and consultants have a fiscal responsibility for accuracy and correctness. They pay premiums to insure themselves in case of failure.
Always fall back on one of the Rotary's four guidelines to live by: "Is it fair to all concerned?"
Bill Coleman, Dunedin
Removing barrier to protect, serve | story, Oct. 4
Want police help? Learn English
Here's a novel idea. Rather than spend our taxpayers' dollars to train Pinellas deputies in conversational Spanish, why not require immigrants to actually learn our language if our law enforcement officers are to be expected to help them? After all, they'll never be able to assimilate into our culture if they can't speak our language.
Can you imagine Mexico training its "policia" in Mexico City, Juarez or Tijuana to speak English in order that they can better assist us "gringos"?
Bob Lindskog, Palm Harbor
Empire State Building pays tribute to China, Oct. 1
Honoring China's birthday is absurd
I know history is not being taught very well in our schools today, however, why would we allow the Empire State Building in New York to be lighted in the colors of Red China to celebrate the 60th anniversary of a revolution? What are we celebrating — the deaths of millions of people by Chairman Mao, or the cultural revolution that caused millions more to die, or the deaths of thousands of American soldiers in Korea at the hands of the troops China sent?
This is crazy and the people involved in the lighting display should be fired.
Terry E. Hobt, Tarpon Springs
Jeter's home field | photo and story, Oct. 5
Mansion houses Jeter's arrogance
While I support the right of any person to spend his money as he sees fit, I am appalled at Derek Jeter's decision to build a 30,000-square-foot monument to himself on Davis Islands.
Jeter fits the description, profiled in the book Affluenza, of someone for whom enough is never enough. While others may argue that a person should have a house as large as possible, others recognize the impacts such behemoths have on the environment and society as a whole.
Castles of this size (it seems ridiculous to consider this a mere house) consume greater amounts of limited resources to build, heat and cool; take up more space, leaving less room for others; and help drive the cost of real estate up to levels that are unaffordable for the majority of people with lesser means.
Obviously, nobody needs a home of this size. To build one anyway is pure hubris. It says, "Look at me, I'm so much better than you."
It says a lot about our society when teachers, police and nurses struggle to get by and athletes who make no real, meaningful contribution to society live like kings in walled-off palaces, isolated from those who help make those kingly existences possible.
Jason Ramage, Clearwater