Tarpon may hold line on tax rate | story, Sept. 11
Hold the outrage, do the research
If the readers outraged by the high tax rate in Tarpon Springs did more research like the volunteer Budget Advisory Committee, they would not be so outraged.
The tax rate for Tarpon Springs is the same as last year and the year before. Other cities lack full service such as police and fire departments or have a larger industrial tax base that can bring in more revenue at a lower rate.
While property values have risen, the additional revenue raised in Tarpon Springs has been used to limit the drain on reserves, which are kept for emergencies like hurricanes.
One reader suggests eliminating the Tarpon Police Department. The Budget Advisory Committee has looked at that option and rejected it. In general, people prefer local control of the Police Department and are willing to pay for it.
The salary increase this year is designed to keep Tarpon Springs in the competitive middle compared to other cities. It should also be noted that the increase counters the inflation of the last several years in order to somewhat restore previous purchasing power.
Martin Peters, chairman, Tarpon Springs Budget Advisory Committee
Tarpon Springs residents upset with taxes, city manager's hike | Reader Reaction, Sept. 18.
City manager deserves his raise
Mark LeCouris is without question the best city manager Tarpon Springs has had in many years. Recent letters of condemnation in the Tampa Bay Times fail to realize that City Manager LeCouris did not create the bedroom community called Tarpon Springs.
The foundation for an industrial community would have to have been laid many years ago to reap its benefits today. The citizens of Tarpon clearly do not want the ecological damage and the traffic that comes with large industrial or retail-based taxpayers — case in point, the rejection of a Walmart superstore that would have greatly added to the Tarpon Springs tax revenue.
I also take issue with the complaints about Manager LeCouris' salary. Tarpon Springs is an $87 million corporation. He is the CEO of that corporation and he has done an outstanding job in that position.
Instead of complaining about his compensation, the citizens of Tarpon Springs should have a discussion about increasing his salary to reflect his level of responsibility. Check the private sector and see what they are paying for CEOs.
Lastly, the same letters state that the Tarpon Springs Police Department should be eliminated. Do these people live in Tarpon Springs? I do. I was born in Tarpon and have lived here in retirement over the last 20 years. I, for one, not only think we have the best Police Department in Florida, I will also fight to keep it. This is not just my sentiment, it is the view of the majority of Tarpon Springs residents.
George A. Mandalou, Tarpon Springs
Tarpon may hold line on tax rate | story, Sept. 11
A vote against that pay increase
When I read this morning's paper, it upset me to know that LeCouris is in for a pay raise. This has to be a joke.
I feel that the residents of Tarpon should vote on this matter and other things that our money is being spent on. I myself would like nothing better to do than sit behind a desk pushing a pen when you feel like it and to take someone else's money.
I want LeCouris to know that not everyone was born with a silver spoon in their mouth. You have people that live in Tarpon who are struggling in order to pay their bills and taxes.
I feel that it's time for someone else to step up and take charge of our city and for them to think of us, not themselves. It should also be put to a vote to let the Sheriff's Office come in to take over — not only the Police Department but also the probation office.
Charlene Martinez, Tarpon Springs
Dunedin to boost bicycling story, Sept. 18
Unsafe shortcuts need attention
The residents of Dunedin welcome the attention the city is considering with expanded bike trails and the need to interconnect the recreational and beach access for everyone.
For too long, the residents living on or near the proposed bike trail phases have seen no improvements to any trails for biking, jogging and walking. Our area at present is an unsafe traffic shortcut for nonresidents to use as a cut-through for access to the beach or to the County Road 1 and Belcher Road corridors.
Let's hope special consideration also will be given to all of the city residents who will be using or living near the trail. Stop the unsafe and inconsiderate driving speeds on our local roads. I personally think 30 mph and 25 mph speeds will greatly help discourage the nonresident from their unsafe speeding along the beautiful trails, the Dunedin Fine Art Center and recreational complexes.
Alan G. Smith, Dunedin
Free beach parking likely to disappear | story, Sept. 15
$40 fee doesn't guarantee spot
What they don't bother to mention is that this $40 parking permit does not guarantee you a spot.
I have worked on Clearwater Beach for a year and many of my co-workers pay for this permit. During the busy season and some weekends, they have to find free parking spots or find a ride to be dropped off, even though they pay the monthly $40.
It seems to me they are trying to avoid this issue at all costs, but they don't want to face the realities of the situation.
Kayla Raines, Clearwater