Pittman defends work ethic
| May 25 article
Official's actions are shameful
I have known several of his former employees. They did not have extremely nice things to say about him. I happen to be watching Channel 10 News when they did their story on Pasco County Clerk of the Court Jed Pittman. I was not surprised.
In both the television story and newspaper article, he came off as arrogant and self-absorbed as his former employees described him.
Correct me if I am wrong: I believe the county commissioner positions he mentioned in the article are considered part-time ones.
This county is struggling. It cannot take care of its residents. We have programs for the young and elderly either having their budgets cut or being eliminated. We have many county departments and agencies laying off employees, leaving many of the employees and their children without income or health insurance.
Pittman is not different from a thief. He is stealing from the Pasco County residents and people who voted him into office. He should be ashamed of himself. I would like to see his position as the clerk of court terminated immediately!
N. E. Galvin, Spring Hill
Double-dipping hurts taxpayers
Am I supposed to feel sorry for Jed Pittman? Sounds like he's sitting fat and happy to me! I'm glad he's getting good back support now with his new $30,000 Chevy Suburban. Hey, can someone fix that flat tire on his motorized wheelchair?
It is very distressing reading about how taxpayers are being bilked by not only Pittman but others who are collecting pensions while still working. I think it is time for him to take his vacation, a permanent one. Double-dipping should only be done at the ice cream shop!
Linda Brusco, New Port Richey
No sympathy for clerk of the court
After reading Jed Pittman's interview with reporter Jamal Thalji, I am compelled to write my first letter to the editor. In a time when we are all faced with extra-long work hours just to stay above water, I cannot believe the audacity of this man, a public servant. He will not admit his inability to carry on his voter-given position in a professional manner; instead, he claims his staff "has to help me out here" and do his workload. How many people do you know that carry on their positions from their office van?
I am appalled at his cavalier attitude toward the questioning of his time spent in the office! He claims to be disabled due to pain in knees, etc. He is disabled due to his huge body weight. Has he heard of the many weight-loss clinics that will take care of this problem? Losing weight will also cure the diabetes. I myself had to have knee replacement surgery for excruciating pain due to many 14-hour days on my feet in retail. No one ever said "come in whenever you feel up to it" or maybe work from home by phone. I could either do the job or get out and try to collect disability.
Come on Jed, "never had a vacation in 12 years?" You are on a continual vacation with a $362,687 deferred compensation and another $6,242 a month on top of a salary and a $30,000 county-paid van just because you are a fat guy. Do the right thing and get out and let someone capable do the job we elected you to do on a full-time basis.
All Pasco County hard-working people, who also have painful joint problems, let's get behind getting Pittman out of his van. We can end his 32 years of suffering, and save us precious dollars of his salary. Pasco County cannot afford his work effort. I'm sure someone could fill this office and cut the salary at the same time.
M. Drako, Port Richey
Deputies, focus on serious crime
A deputy came to our door and told us our house on Boatyard Drive in Hudson has a dock that is in violation of code. The back corner of the dock is under water. We don't own any docks. A tenant must have built it.
As the deputy was leaving, I noticed he had a fairly new, if not brand-new, truck and a boat latched on the back. I later asked his superior why the Sheriff's Office has deputies with boats. I was told they have five boats and their purpose is to find boaters under the influence. I found the explanation unbelievable since the dock violation was found on a Sunday morning.
I believe money should be spent on arresting and or finding those who serve or sell alcohol to minors. I'm sure the DUI squad also could use additional resources to stop impaired driving. We are still losing loved ones, killed by impaired drivers. There are far too many impaired drivers, especially underage impaired drivers on our Pasco roads and highways.
How crazy is it that we are wasting our money for a Pasco County deputy looking for boat docks in disrepair? We have serious crimes and far too many people dying in Pasco.
I can't believe the sheriff's budget has money in it for boats, four-wheel-drive trucks to haul them with and money to pay deputies to look for boat docks in disrepair.
Beckie Brown, New Port Richey
Editor's note: The Pasco Sheriff's Office said its current fleet includes three patrol boats and a smaller, shallow water boat used in ponds and for body recoveries.
Many ways to cut schools' budget
Since Florida's Legislature and the governor have mandated budget cuts, all we hear now is where the cuts will be made.
The top-heavy district of the Pasco County School Board wrestles with cutting the budget and deciding what will get the ax. I understand there is a need to cut, but the cuts that are being looked at seem to be in the wrong areas.
Pasco County School Board members continue to look beyond their noses, when they should look in their own back yard of the district. They too should look at what they are requiring schools to do to pass the FCAT. This cost is astronomical.
There is paper waste. The cost of paper is outrageous, and requiring schools to micromanage every detail of every activity is a tremendous waste of money.
Having teachers and administrators meet as often as this district does not only wastes time and money away from the building, but also is wasting fuel as well. The technology installed at each school would allow for videoconferences and would cost much less.
There are many ways to save money, and the School Board needs to look deeper and come up with better ideas than they have.
Cutting the food budget would be the biggest wrong you could do. We have children in this country starving, and sometimes the only good meal these children get is from the school. Take a walk through a lunchroom and you will know who is hungry. Downsizing a lunch should never happen. If this occurs, the entire board should be replaced.
Rick Brown, New Port Richey
End tax breaks and make businesses pay fair share | May 21 guest column
Businesses suffer without tax break
I sure hope my friend who owns a restaurant and lounge on U.S. 19 sees this column.
I hope she has the time for this after paying her rent, taxes and insurance each month on her business. I hope she doesn't have to use her credit cards this time because those payments are strangling her business.
Another tax would close the doors for her for sure.
Bob Clark, Port Richey
Weak dollar helps boost tourism | May 19 letter
Sports tourism benefits county
As a member of the Pasco County Tourist Development Council and as a manager in the hotel industry for the last several years, I respectfully disagree with the letter writer's claim that sports-related tourism has not had a beneficial role in the improving tourism market in Pasco. While I am not an expert on how global factors affect the local economy, I am an expert on what activities and events are filling my hotel. Here in Port Richey, the activities are sports events and special events.
Over the last several years, our property, along with surrounding hotels in the area, has sold out numerous times due to large sporting events in the area. These include youth and adult tournaments. People come from all over the state and country to watch their children and other loved ones play in tournaments that many times last several days. These extended stays are vital to the success of the lodging industry in this region.
The Pasco TDC is made up of individuals who know what does and does not work regarding tourism in Pasco. We have seen firsthand that promoting sports has had and will continue to have a major impact on tourism in Pasco. We take a great deal of pride in the work we do and are very careful as to how we allocate funds for the largest return to benefit the county.
TDC chairman Jack Mariano continually makes the needs of Pasco County a priority. As a TDC member, I support his efforts 100 percent.
Gail J. Cushman,
Director of sales, Days Inn and Suites, Port Richey