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Pasco County should fight mysterious trust's land grab

The invisible land grab | May 4 article

County should fight land grab

The problem with this current land grab is one that the county government allowed to take place and one that the county government can handle. It just takes some imaginative thinking.

The County Commission should call a meeting of the heads of every county department and advise them that together, they will make it impossible for this mysterious land trust to profit from the strips of land they have purchased.

You have to have a permit from the county to do almost anything beyond changing a light bulb. In order for the land trust to build the dog run or anything else they have threatened to do, they would need a permit. Regardless of what the current zoning might or might not allow, the county office that issues permits should refuse to do it. Simply use the reason that the structure (whatever) is not in the public interest. That will make the land useless as far as extorting money out of the local residents.

Regarding the strip that contains a street, if the land trust calls the Sheriff's Office to report trespassers, the sheriff simply shouldn't respond. Why? Because stopping traffic on that street is not in the public interest. The land trust can't install blockades because that would require a permit. The same is true of speed bumps, guard houses, etc.

The property appraiser should immediately reappraise the properties to reflect the value the trust has established by the prices they are asking. The trust shouldn't be able to fight or appeal that reassessment, because it is only what they, themselves said it is worth.

The tax collector should, as soon as the law allows, bill the trust for the taxes due based on the new assessment.

The way to cure the problem is to make this land totally useless and a financial liability to this mysterious trust. That can be done with a joint, cooperative effort by any and all of the county departments that might become involved.

There is another, perhaps simpler possibility. The U.S. Supreme Court has given local governments wide latitude in the use of eminent domain. The county could simply reacquire the various land parcels through that process, paying the trust no more than it paid the county for the land.

The problem originated in the county government even though all the proper rules and procedures were followed. Therefore, the people of Pasco County look to that same county government, in its entirety, to resolve the current problem and take whatever steps are necessary to see that it never happens again.

Alfred J. D'Amario, Hudson

Creativity lagging for town slogan | May 5 letter

One more idea for Port Richey slogan

Perhaps we could add this to the gentleman's list of proposed slogans for Port Richey.

Port Richey: The Senior Moment capital of Florida.

Bob Dodd, Dade City

Let's make it easier to recycle

Pasco County's choice of Jennifer Seney to fill the position of recycling coordinator is an outstanding example of the right person for the job. Congratulations, Jennifer.

Her's will be an unenviable task as she goes about overcoming the apathy of many residents as she establishes an agenda to promote recycling in both rural and urban areas. Two recent newspaper items pique my interest: the headline in supplement Recycle Pasco — the responsibility revolves around you and a letter to the editor lamenting the half-hearted attempts to participate in the blue bag program.

My wife and I share a modest manufactured home in a 55-and-older park in a rural area of Hudson. We moved from Norwalk, Conn., the first city in Connecticut to recycle. After moving here, everything that could not be composted was thrown in the garbage because of no recycle program.

Here's what we do: We participate in our church's programs to salvage newsprint for resale with the proceeds used to provide food for families down on their luck. We now collect newsprint from three other families. So can you.

Also, a 35- to 40-gallon, covered tote bag is the receptacle for all other recyclables. There is no need to separate various materials. Items are rinsed and the covered box protects against unwanted visitors. When the box is full we take it to the drop off bin behind the St. Petersburg Times building on U.S. 19, Port Richey.

There will probably be a number of comments about the cost of buying a tote or the price of gas, but how many times a week do you travel south on U.S. 19 on the way to shopping. Or, perhaps our county can be persuaded to supply totes at a modest price or for free and be stamped with "Property of Pasco County.''

Ted Nenninger, Hudson

Take a moment to thank educators

As we celebrate teacher appreciation week, I would like to recognize the hard work and tremendous efforts of our school employees. With more than 67,000 students, Pasco County is the 13th largest district in the state. Our dedicated team of educators work together to ensure our students reach their highest potential.

Every day, they work their hardest to equip our students with the skills needed for success. Pasco students succeed due to the diligent efforts of our talented staff. Our community is truly fortunate to have a team of such highly skilled professionals working with our children.

Too often, the work of educators is a thankless one, yet the positive impact they make on our community and in the lives of the students they serve is immeasurable. They are building a strong foundation for success, one child at a time. I'd like to remind everyone to take a moment this week to thank the educators in their lives and let them know their remarkable contributions are valued greatly.

Heather Fiorentino,

Superintendent,

Pasco school district

Pasco County should fight mysterious trust's land grab 05/08/08 [Last modified: Sunday, May 11, 2008 11:05am]
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