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Pasco County must do more to keep businesses open

County must help businesses thrive

Is Pasco County anti-business? With county tax revenues dropping as a result of the great recession, one would think that county officials would do everything possible to keep people employed.

The business corridor along U.S. 19 in Pasco County is littered with closed buildings and shops that once housed businesses holding their own in a down economy. Those that do remain open see a dwindling customer base heading into the traditionally slow summer season. Add to that the impending loss of tourist tax revenue due to the impact of the BP oil spill and we can only hope that the U.S. 19 corridor doesn't become a ghost town. The more businesses that close, the more blighted our commercial thoroughfares will appear.

The county Code Enforcement Division has a job to do, but the taxpayers of Pasco County elect the officials who decide the land use codes and how they are enforced. In these tough economic times, does it make sense to threaten to shut down businesses that keep owners and employees from joining the ranks of the unemployed and possibly homeless? The result may be even fewer businesses for the Code Enforcement Division to crack down on, leading to more loss of tax revenue and possibly leading to layoffs of county personnel.

Enforcing land use ordinances as written and voted upon by county officials is certainly important, but sometimes ordinances are flawed or need to be adjusted. Our great country was founded on free enterprise, yet local municipalities hassle taxpaying, licensed businesses over nuances in wording of local ordinances.

Some of the businesses I frequent along U.S. 19 have had visits from Code Enforcement similar to that of Patricia Quintanilla's Dog-On-It enclosed hot dog stand.

One business used to host monthly open market sales, which were a great place to shop for bargains. I asked what happened to the sales and was told that a Code Enforcement representative stopped and initiated a complaint. Not an outside complaint, mind you, but from within the division. The store said it had to get a permit and insurance to hold the sales, limited to just a few per year, because its C-2 commercial zoning states it can only sell merchandise inside. Drive along U.S. 19 on any given day and count the number of businesses with goods for sale outdoors. Probably too many to enforce, so why create red tape for some but not all?

While the intent might be to keep our commercial ways and neighborhoods free of unsightly properties, closed businesses will simply add to the urban blight.

Connie L. Brown, New Port Richey

Note to GOP: Focus on people

I was not born a Republican. No one raised me to worship a party but I learned through life experience that it was the party that represented the basic ideals that were as much a part of my social identity as human reason.

As a former public school teacher I have learned something even more important about my ideals and those reflected by the Republican Party — they are suppose to stand for the principles of more freedom, individual responsibility and courage. That's right, courage.

I do not support Gov. Crist's bid for the U.S. Senate, but I do appreciate Sen. Mike Fasano's courage to stand by his friend and think independently and with reason.

I suggest GOP committeeman Bill Bunting and chairman Randy Maggard take notes on the following: Most people have little idea who you are or what you do, and more importantly they don't care. What they do care about is their children's future, education, health care and our state's uncertain economic future. Focus on that. People will respond to those topics when men and women of substance step forward to tackle them. But when fringe zealots throw mud in the press because a person like Fasano has chosen a position at odds with some prefabricated version of their republicanism, those of us who have chosen a reasonable social identity will cast those attempts in the same place this newspaper will go when readers are finished with it — in the garbage.

Patricia Rague, Port Richey

GOP leaders disgrace party

Mike Fasano is being dissed by Bill Bunting and Randy Maggard?

Real Republicans should rally around this man. He is closer to the true concept of the GOP than these megalomaniacs, Bunting and Maggard, who have an iron grip on the Republican Party in Pasco County.

Attending a monthly meeting of the Pasco County Republican Executive Committee would cause one to wonder if they had accidentally stumbled into an NRA meeting. The good people in Pasco County who are registered as Republicans would cringe if they attended a monthly session of this farcical representation of the Republican Party.

Bunting and his toady chairman, Maggard, have simply created a bastion for their power plays and allegiance to the gun lobby. If you are a registered Republican, attend one of the monthly gatherings and see if you feel like you are a respected member of the Republican Party or a recruit for the NRA.

Bunting has worn out his version of republicanism and manifests his roots in the Queens County, N.Y., Democratic Party with his Tammany Hall tactics. His ego-driven, nasty version of leadership is ready for the garbage dump.

Sen. Mike Fasano has done more things positive for the GOP than this retread refugee of the New York City system of Democratic tough guy politics can ever hope to achieve.

Do the party a favor, Bill and Randy, run for NRA leadership in Pasco County and leave the Republican Party to those of us who are mainstream Republicans. You are both a disgrace to the party that Fasano has served so well.

Robert B. Ryan, Bayonet Point

Water notice raises eyebrows

Was wondering if anyone besides myself is concerned with this notice from FGUA regarding the fact that our drinking water does indeed exceed the maximal contaminant levels of haloacetic acid that may over time lead to increased risk of cancer.

Apparently, this violation has been occurring for over a year and we are just being notified now? Of even greater concern is the fact that one must wonder if these levels have been exceedingly high prior to that time — when the water company was Aloha. Would not the new company, FGUA, have known about this when it purchased Aloha and could have sent the notice earlier? Has this been under investigation by anyone? Is anyone watching out for those of us who have been victim to this water supply for the last several decades? Are any of our government agencies regulating these people? Has there been any increased incidence of cancers in the area serviced by Aloha and this new FGUA ?

It is all very strange that a company would send out a notice such as this one. Finally, the plan of correction is even more bizarre. There will be an "increased flushing" program. What pray tell is that? Show me the literature that explains what that means and how it reduces the haloacetic acid levels to the safe range in our drinking water.

All I know is that my water bill is higher than ever and now I must buy all my water in a bottle to feel safe about using it. Not to mention that now I don't even sleep well wondering what I may have done to myself and family by drinking the water I thought was safe all these years.

Di Kirk, Trinity

Pasco County must do more to keep businesses open 05/27/10 [Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 6:28pm]
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