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Pasco County gives libraries short shrift

Library book due already? Sept. 9 article

Neglect stifles library system

You report that to counterbalance a $2.7-million budget cut, the Pasco County libraries have reduced loan periods to 14 days. This seems like fuzzy economics to me unless they expect people to make up the deficit in overdue fines. And then will those fines go to the general fund or to the libraries?

Since I live on the Hillsborough border and regularly use the New Tampa Library, I am more concerned that Pasco's neglect of library development over the last five years has led to a decision by Hillsborough County to charge a nonresident fee of $100 per household to the thousands of borrowers who have been crossing county lines to find convenient, effective library service.

I have been a homesteaded homeowner since 1995. This is the first year that my proposed taxes have increased. The increase is more a result of tax-reduction legislation and decreased property values than any other factors. My proposed county portion is going down $3.27 and the school portion is increasing $94.27. My family does not use the schools. The only benefit I can hope for from schools will occur when people want to buy my house because they want to send their children to our community schools.

I do use libraries. If Pasco County would adequately fund and build libraries, I would not object to an extra $100 in county taxes to pay for this service. As it is, $100 for library service in Hillsborough County will be money well spent.

Diane Solomon, Wesley Chapel

Policy change benefits library

Many of my peers and I wanted to complain about the Pasco Library system's change in policy shortening the checkout time for books from 28 days to 14 days.

When we were advised (not asked) about the policy change, we were told that it was to benefit patrons. We are not sure how driving to the library every 14 days as opposed to every 28 days benefits patrons who are often seniors or young adults with families with limited money for gasoline. We think the library needs to rethink its logic. Frankly, we felt the reason given to patrons was not the real reason and were offended by transparent insult to our intelligence.

Finally, why the drastic and arbitrary 14 days? What happened to something in between 28 and 14, something like 21? Maybe patrons would have been better able to deal with the change.

We do not think the library system is considering the needs of the patrons, only its own.

Donetta and Lowell Peiffer, Port Richey

Support for sheriff misplaced

Living in Pasco five years, having family in law enforcement in both Florida and the Northeast, I don't understand how Sheriff Bob White was elected eight years ago.

What was even more shocking is when I read the St. Petersburg Times recommendation of Bob White for sheriff in the Aug. 26 Republican primary.

As read: This sheriff has done a bad job for two terms, but deserves a third chance, he can do better! This was embarrassing for Bob White, your newspaper, and whoever read this recommendation.

What has kept Mr. White in office is his powerful political ties, and of course the people who either think they need him to keep their jobs, and the elderly who early vote and know his name, but wouldn't know him if he stood in front of them.

David Hayes, Trinity

Letter sought an explanation

My Aug. 28 letter was a simple information request to the J.W. Mitchell High School Booster Club, not a complaint as indicated in your article. It merely sought to clarify the booster club's present policy on political advertising.

Since several Pasco high schools accepted our campaign's advertisement, I was curious as to the timing of the advertisement being pulled minutes before print time. Politics perhaps? Given the budget constraints facing all Pasco County athletic programs this year, our campaign team made the decision to support and advertise in several county football programs.

Our campaign team fully researched the FHSAA broadcast policy and I believe readers deserve the unbiased truth without the district's political spin.

The FHSAA broadcast policy prohibits advertisements for: alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, harmful drugs, firearms, contraceptives, establishments that serve alcoholic beverages, exotic dance clubs, political issues, 900 telephone lines for personal and gambling services, parimutuels, the Florida Lottery and any other business product, service or ideal that is incompatible with the educational dignity and propriety of the FHSAA and its member schools.

It goes on to further clarify:

"While advertisements for political issues are prohibited by this policy, political candidates may be acceptable as sponsors provided no part of their political advertisements raise controversial political issues ."

It certainly is not controversial to inform the parents of Pasco County athletes that Steve Donaldson has a masters of education in educational leadership, is a 25-year U.S. Air Force officer (retired), is a teacher at Gulf High School and a husband, father and grandfather.

It seems the only controversial issue raised in our advertisement was to vote for Steve Donaldson on Nov. 4. Now, Pasco County readers can decide for themselves.

Steve Donaldson, New Port Richey

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Pasco County gives libraries short shrift 09/09/08 [Last modified: Monday, September 15, 2008 7:14pm]
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