Call it not-so-Majestic Oaks | Story, Jan. 22
Tree destruction didn't have to happen
That is a perfect title for this article. How could a developer destroy over 400 trees and name his new subdivision Majestic Oaks? The only thing majestic about it is the profit going in their pockets.
I have been driving past this beautiful Clearwater horse farm for over 14 years; it was one of the first things that attracted me to this area when I purchased my home.
The day I drove by and saw this destruction, it brought tears to my eyes — here today, gone tomorrow. Matt Anderson of the city staff stated, "Unfortunately, to make this subdivision work, they had to remove trees." Then he went on to throw tree rating numbers around to somehow try to substantiate his poor decision to let this atrocity take place.
Mr. Anderson's decision has impacted more than he apparently knows and he should be replaced with someone who has the area's best interest in mind, not the developer's, whose only interest is their own pocket book.
Funny how Deeb Family Homes was not available for comment, as if it would matter now that they have made a war zone out of this once-beautiful area.
Shame on you, Mr. Anderson, and the city of Clearwater for letting this developer ruin our neighborhood!
Don Sutton, Clearwater
Pinellas likely to face $4M shortfall | story, Jan. 22
County must not lean on taxpayers
The article hints at the one solution elected officials have traditionally known how to resolve it with: Raise property taxes!
This kind of thinking needs to be changed. Just like the county, taxpayers don't have an unlimited source of revenue either.
At least one Pinellas County commissioner, Janet Long, got it right. We cannot continue to use county spending as an excuse to put the burden solely upon taxpayers.
Yes, costs continue to go up, and they affect all of us. But, as the rest of us learn to do more with less, the county also has a responsibility to strive to do the same. Closely review the budget and county spending to identify cost savings. Our county will only continue to improve and attract new businesses if we keep property taxes in check.
It would be nice for a change to read an article titled "Pinellas County to reduce property tax rate due to implementing efficiencies and reduced spending." All residents of Pinellas are counting on our county commissioners to find ways for the county to do more with less and we will all benefit.
Ken Gagliano, Clearwater
Headline hurt morale at school
"Tackling a regional problem, Pinellas moves to address shortage of good new teachers" would have been a much more appropriate headline for your Jan. 22 article instead of "Wanted: a crop of better teachers."
It wasn't understood unless you read the article, and that headline did not do much for morale at my school. Wish you'd show us more respect.
Virginia Oliva, Largo