Re: Brown lawn
Association tried to sort lawn issue
In these hard economic times, our deed restrictions staff works hard with numerous owners to assist them with their need to comply. Our entire board has addressed these issues on a case-to-case basis to enable compassionate resolve acceptable to both parties.
These resolutions come about through two-way communication and genuine cooperation between the homeowner and the board of directors. It has worked and worked well.
In Prudente's case, however, this dialogue was impossible as evidenced by his own comment, "I just ignored them."
Our procedures in all violations provide the homeowner with total ability to seek an alternate solution that both parties can live with. In this case, communication was only one-way and devoid of any effort on Prudente's part to work with us as the process unfolded. Quite often, by the time a violation reaches legal involvement, we have exhausted every conceivable effort to reach resolution. Such was the case in this situation.
Once the legal process begins, the only solutions are compliance or adjudication. The association does not send people to jail. It is the homeowner who ignores our efforts to help people in hard economic times and leaves us no other option.
This association did not jail him; his conduct forced the judge to impose that action. Also, this association, its dutiful staff and an attentive board will reach out to any and every hardship case that realizes that compromise is the centerpiece of all of our efforts. The door will always be open for all of our owners to walk through and find resolve in the face of conflict.
Robert B. Ryan, president, Beacon Woods Civic Association, Inc.
Board, judge did what they should
Thank you board members and thank you judge. A board member is elected to watch over one of our most expensive investments and for peace of mind. Judges are elected to enforce all rules and laws without exceptions. We expect that of them and we deserve that.
Beacon Woods, you did your job and I congratulate you for that. Judge, you did your job. As a board member I realize 75 percent of the time we are criticized for doing our volunteered job unless its in their favor.
Let's give board members credit for doing a job most of us are unwilling to get involved in. Board meetings can be shouting matches but when it comes to enforcing things most run with their tails between their legs. Are we not all complaining now about the economy being in shambles? If things were fixed before they got to this point, we wouldn't be in the mess we are today.
Ronald Jazwa, New Port Richey
He couldn't pay for lawn. Get it?
You know, a lot of people like to laugh at the antics of condo and homeowner associations and, in general, at some of the unusual and petty things that happen in Florida.
We have here a situation where a man, Joseph Prudente, has priorities which do not include an emerald green, lush lawn. He said (and I believe him) that he cannot afford to resod his lawn. He has mouths to feed and wants God or nature to provide the water to grow his lawn.
Aha! That's not good enough. Let's take him to court and force him to resod a lawn at hundreds of dollars in cost. Then, he can water it constantly (with high water bills he cannot afford) so that it will take. Then, his community can heave a collective sigh of relief that there is no blight on their development. Everyone else in the development cares enough to water two or three times a week though it is illegal, but it is for the common good, don't you know.
Then, there is the judge. Rather than look into the justice of the matter, he finds the man guilty of disobeying a court order. The judge is insulted and off to jail goes this man with no bail. Sounds a lot like debtors prison to me, doesn't it to you? I thought that was not legal.
As a member of a homeowners association, I know what a problem it is to get people to cooperate in keeping the development up to standard. It is a difficult and frustrating job in which everyone second-guesses you. However, this whole state of affairs with Prudente is ridiculous.
Perhaps he will appear on David Letterman or Jay Leno and then we can all see how ridiculous this looks to the rest of the world and how ultimately unfair it is to this poor man.
Lewis Corvene, Hudson
Was lawn such a big legal issue?
Please tell me that our judicial system has more important issues than dealing with homeowner associations' brown lawn problems.
Local and state water management people are telling us we are in a drought. People with lush green lawns are more than likely not following the water restriction laws. Add to the fact that these green lawn require chemicals which for the most part harm the environment.
Judge W. Lowell Bray needs to consider the bigger picture when dealing with these local , inconsequential issues. Although he did protect us from the grandfather who did not sod his yard.
Peter Schultz, Holiday
Man put family before lawn
It is the conscience of a person that is the healer. Joe Prudente of Beacon Woods is a registered nurse, a healer. He continues to heal. As a nurse he saved lives and as a nurse he extended a hand of caring to those who loved the lives that could not be saved.
Healers heal and Joe Prudente continues to heal. As he sat in jail for the crime of caring for his family before caring for a lawn in a drought, strangers came together and became a family, if only for an afternoon. Young and old, rich and poor, a family of strangers came together.
From a jail cell, Joe Prudente healed hearts and restored hope for strangers. The healer, from a jail cell, continued to heal a community. Thank you, Joe Prudente.
Peno Hardesty, New Port Richey
Grass seed would have cost less
I sympathize with Joe Prudente's financial position, but let's look at a very simple solution for this brown lawn. I don't know the cost of cheap seed, but if I were facing all these obstacles, I would have at least bought a box of seed, spread it where needed, water every day by hand (to save water) and attempted to appease the association and judge.
I bed the outcome would have been different and probably for under $50.
Bob Clark, Port Richey
County makes us pay for Aloha deal | Oct. 12 letter
Aloha deal good for customers
The letter writer complains that Pasco County leaders spent more than fair market value to purchase Aloha Utilities and solve the problem of substandard water that has plagued customers for over a decade.
Fair market value is the price a willing buyer and a willing seller agree upon. Aloha asked $135-million, the Florida Government Utilities Authority and Aloha negotiated and agreed to $90.5-million. Customers (represented by the Committee for Better Water Now) from all Aloha service areas participated in the negotiations and unanimously supported the FGUA agreement and purchase price.
The writer complains about a $30 a month and 5 percent annual increase that is expected to result from the purchase. He needs to be reminded Aloha already has approval to raise the rates and more increases from Aloha were going to be applied for and granted by the Public Service Commission. The rates under the new FGUA ownership will, in the long term, prove to be less than we would pay if Aloha continued to own the company.
Our county commissioners and Sen. Mike Fasano should be commended for actually listening to their constituents and supporting them in making this agreement finally come to fruition. Years of trying to get the PSC to hold Aloha accountable simply did not work.
Thanks to the many customers who participated in developing a solution to the problem rather than just sitting back and complaining. Good water is finally going to be a reality!
William F. Humphrey, Trinity
Aloha truck had Red Sox logos
Twice this year I have seen an Aloha Utilities service truck displaying Boston Red Sox logos. I saw it at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 12 on Kinsmere Drive in Trinity. It was truck number 23. The truck had a large Bosox logo on the tailgate and a Bosox license plate on the front bumper.
I do not think it is appropriate for a legal monopoly utility truck to display the logo of a team that is not only from out of state but logos from a team that Aloha customers for the most part are rooting against in the national sports stage.
I have no choice but to use Aloha Utilities, I do not believe my fees should be used to support the enemy. I have called Aloha twice to complain but have yet to hear a response.
Jay Mcgathey, Trinity
Fasano tried to solve water issue
The shadowy organization that spent $42,000 for a negative mailing on Sen. Mike Fasano should have donated the money to Aloha Utilities to use for water quality improvements.
I previously owned a beautiful home in Trinity and at times we noticed a very pungent odor. For the first time in my life I had a garden tub, but after filling it up with the pungent water, I didn't care to go in. The smell was equivalent to an outhouse.
My husband and I literally were on our hands and knees trying to figure out where the biting, malodorous odor was emanating from. Talking to the builder and neighbors, we realized the smell was coming from our water. The woman across the street from me was pregnant and she would become nauseous from the smell. Many calls were made to Aloha to no avail.
Fasano was the only elected official to work with the public in trying to alleviate the problems. Guess that's the real reason behind the mailing. Shame on everyone involved with the negative mailing.
Maureen Shore, Hudson
It's time to fully fund education | Oct. 13 letter
Politicians out of touch on schools
Thank you for a honest picture of a teacher and your feelings. Our representatives are so far out of touch with what a teacher does that it is shameful that they get to decide the budget at all.
Putting them in as observers in classrooms would educate them but disrupt the normal flow of the average school day. Why not videotape the morning portion of kindergarten, first and second grade classrooms? Then distribute them to the news media and all the representatives. If the public actually saw what goes on, I believe education would be served better.
Christina Ennist, New Port Richey