Outraged over double-dipping
I was appalled when I read that yet another government worker is double-dipping. What is wrong with our state that it allows this to happen? In these horrible economic times, I am outraged that they are allowed by law to do this. How many citizens in Pasco make $100,000 a year and then get a lump sum of almost $200,000 plus additional retirement payment of almost an additional $3,000 a month?
Something is very wrong with a state that the laws allow this to happen. Why can't a law be written to stop this atrocity? I do not understand how anyone could vote for anyone who is double-dipping. This state needs every cent for schools, roads and so on and should not give millions and millions more to our retired, but working, state employees. We the people who pay their salaries and retirement do not get near that kind of money.
I am sure the state would have plenty of money so they need not tax eyeglasses if they were not paying these state employees retirements (double-dippers) while they still work. Maybe it is time for the citizens of Florida to protest.
What a sick state Florida is. I, like many, am held prisoner as it is impossible to sell your home and get out of this state to buy elsewhere. I sure let everyone I know up North to stay the heck out of this corrupt state.
Joy Timmons, Holiday
No employee is worth that much
Again we are faced with another abuse of the double-dipping schemes that were put in place by our misguided Legislature when government money coffers were overflowing. It is unacceptable to push the idea that a particular individual is so valuable to the organization that he cannot be replaced through effective personnel management. He is rehired and collects two paychecks. At this time when extensive budget reductions will be required at all levels of Florida government, this double-dipping is a gross manipulation of the taxpayers' dollars that needs to stop immediately.
The city of New Port Richey is in the process of throwing more taxpayer money into this abyss. It's planning to have the current city manager retire in May and then rehire him after a short time away from the office. The justification is based on the fact that he has done a good job and joined the Deferred Retirement Option Program in 2004. He did not join the system in his current position as city manager but as public works director, and that should disqualify him from coming back as the city manager.
The DROP system was supposed to provide time for a replacement to be hired, and trained to take the retiree's position. This system should not be abused by the individual nor the City Council and mayor by letting the person be rehired into an altogether different job than the one when he joined DROP.
The city's elected officials have been totally deficient in doing their job of planning for and hiring a new city manager. They knew way back in 2004 that this individual joined DROP and therefore should have been actively searching the job market for a fully qualified replacement. As a result of their failure, the Florida taxpayers will have to pay both a pension and a full- time salary. It's time they wake up, do their job, and stop double-dipping the taxpayers.
Dale Gottschalk, Hudson
Why were hiking trails disturbed?
Last year, the Southwest Florida Water Management District closed most of the hiking trails for some project. Last month they were reopened. I hiked these trails on a regular basis and continued when they re-opened.
What a shock. The once pristine, shaded trails were demolished. It looked like a tornado went through and leveled it. Trees knocked down, big stumps all over. Totally battered. A once delightful wilderness is gone.
I urge anyone who uses the trails and has not seen what has happened to go out and see for yourself. I am sure after you view the destruction it will compel you to some sort of action. It's a real shame that this happened and someone should answer for it.
Stoddard H. Mason, Hudson
Tried, but failed to find bargain
I've been reading lately about Carrabba's, Bonefish Grill and Outback struggling and changing their menus to attract customers. Last week, the Times ran a story about their changes and the neighborhood places that were still busy. The article mentioned Carmelita's and said two adults and two children ate there for under $30. I went there to check it out.
My significant other and I had two combination plates and two nonalcoholic margaritas. The bill was over $30. Two tacos are $5.33 and sides are $3.20 each.
The only way four people can eat there for under $30 is if you all order two tacos and drink water. Then you have to go to McDonald's. There's no place in Pasco County where four people can eat for under $30.
Thomas Karcher, New Port Richey