Bilirakis loses leadership post over flood vote story, Feb. 21
An example of D.C. dysfunction
Recently I attended a town hall meeting at the New Port Richey City Hall sponsored by U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis concerning the devastating effects the Biggert-Waters bill has had on waterfront and nonwaterfront property owners.
Congressman Bilirakis seemed genuinely concerned over the consequences of the act and equally determined to seek a solution to the problem. He expressed an openness to explore all avenues that would "make whole" those whose lives have been thrown into turmoil. That included looking at all plans, Republican or Democrat.
According to the Tampa Bay Times article, he voted his conscience and supported the Democrat-sponsored bill that would have provided relief for a significant period of time.
Unfortunately, this did not sit well with the Republican leadership, who promptly relieved him of his duties with the majority whip team.
This is a prime example of why Washington politics is so dysfunctional. Here is a good man who dared to have an independent thought that would benefit his constituency and he's punished by his own party.
Personally, I don't want any of my senators or representatives to be chastised by their party leadership for attempting to find viable remedies from any side of the aisle.
Strong-arm politics can destroy constructive thinking. No wonder we have such a train wreck running this country.
Patrick and Debbie Garrigan, Tarpon Springs
A change of heart with donation
I am a homeowner in Safety Harbor. I am responding to the Feb. 26 article, Incumbent Safety Harbor mayor has raised the most campaign funds.
I feel compelled to defend my withdrawal of a $500 donation to the Nancy Besore campaign, which she quoted in the article as "sleazy."
I made a good-faith donation to the campaign, and when the event I intended it to fund was canceled, it raised a red flag to me. A candidate has a responsibility to run a well-planned, smart, thoughtful campaign.
After careful consideration, I redirected my contribution to another candidate.
This election is critically important, as we are at the crossroads to lose our town as we know it. We used to hear Safety Harbor had the feel of "Old Florida." I am deeply saddened as I witness the ongoing elimination of our majestic oaks in the name of progress. If we continue on the path we are on, we will lose the charm and character of our town.
I am supporting the mayoral leadership that will balance thoughtful, responsible growth with careful preservation of our small-town atmosphere and quaint character.
Steve Steinberg, Safety Harbor
Three Lokey Motors dealerships, 27758 U.S. 19 N.
Why does dealer block the road?
When he has cars to send to an auto auction or elsewhere, he stages them on a lot behind the Rooms To Go store next to his dealership.
Then the large auto-hauler trucks block one lane of Evans Road to load the autos. This gets pretty noisy at the different hours of the day, night and early morning for the residents of Belle Haven Motor Home Park along Evans Road.
With all of the room that Lokey's has with three dealerships and a road in front, why does Lokey's have to block a lane of Evans Road a block away?
Tony Bonati, Clearwater