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Motorcyclists must always drive defensively

Traffic accident victim sues New Port Richey | July 19 article

Motorcyclists must be on alert

I have been riding motorcycles since 1962. I have been in a few accidents, with one leaving me in a full body cast for more than six months. I feel for the person that lost a lower leg due to a cycle accident. But that is just what it was — an accident.

Any person riding a motorcycle knows not to trust another car in or by an intersection. The rider should have expected the worst and been ready in case the other driver pulled out, just like they did. Everyone knows how drivers speed through a red light. Defensive driving is the key to survivability when you are on the highway in a car or on a motorcycle.

That short stretch of road going south on Grand Boulevard before Main Street tells me that this person was not going the speed limit. The other interesting thing is that this individual was familiar with the area and knew about the turning lane. Like everyone else, go ahead and sue for damages because of your own negligence. I would like to be on the jury for this case.

The attorney said that if it wasn't for this intersection his client would still have his leg. That is debatable; he might have fallen off his cycle a block farther south and lost his whole leg. We have signs on cars telling them to look out for motorcycles so now we need signs telling motorcycles to watch out for cars.

Wesley Hawkins, Spring Hill

Permit process is sluggish, unjust

I find it quite unbelievable that Mary Jane Stanley resigned as chief executive officer of the Pasco Economic Development Council based on her comments to a local magazine about how hard it is for new businesses or developments to secure timely county permitting.

My experience with the county over the last five to six years has been the complete opposite of Ms. Stanley's comments, but just proves that the permitting process in Pasco County is irreparably compromised.

If by chance a concerned citizen, abutting neighbor or environmental guardian becomes very inquisitive and accesses public records concerning a project and finds incriminating evidence or violations of county codes, and further documents those findings with primary evidence, some action might be taken.

In my experience this action occurs well after the fact. The violation has already occurred. The work has been completed and is now irreversible. This has happened even when a violation is reported and the work is ongoing, yet there is no response from the county for days or weeks on end. Occasionally, the county/developer fesses up to its error, applies for an after-the-fact permit, is marginally fined and that's the end of it!

The County Commission is well aware of these idiosyncrasies. It is my belief they don't want to upset the applecart. They are too busy with their own agendas. They are more interested in creating headlines — T. Rowe Price, sports parks, creating new terminology or titles to raise revenues affecting the taxpayer, and prostituting the county to big companies with financial incentives which will add more burden to the county's citizens in the long run.

My advice to the commission and administration is simple. Please reread the Urban Land Institute study. Consider the recommendations it made, and act as quickly as possible to incorporate those recommendations. It's time for more than paying lip service in acknowledging the ULI findings. It's time to clean the county of all the cronyism and quasi-lobbyist behaviors that seem to preside there.

It's time to stop the redundancy and ineffectiveness of selecting the same influential business people to be on special committees and boards year after year without being productive. It's time for a change, and it needs to be a big one. More than a generation has passed during the current administration's tenure, and too many alliances and allegiances have been forged. This has hurt the county's credibility and the respect of its citizens.

The citizens of Pasco County deserve and expect a government that is accountable and responsible to its populace and treats its citizens fairly and equitably without bias or discrimination. Regrettably, some of those folks who are supposed to uphold these values and virtues have forgotten that.

Charles J. Amaral, New Port Richey

Motorcyclists must always drive defensively 07/20/09 [Last modified: Monday, July 20, 2009 5:33pm]
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