State retiree loophole costs Florida $300M a year
Feb. 23, story
Bosses benefit, but not employees
At first I was confused; then I started scratching my head. Now I'm just upset.
How many regular employees of Pasco County were never told they could leave for 30 days and go back into their same job and collect the same paycheck and retirement? I can think of a few.
If Commissioners Ann Hildebrand and Pat Mulieri and Circuit Court Clerk Jed Pittman were in their job at retirement why didn't they retire? At age 70 it makes me wonder why Hildebrand is even up for running again. She keeps saying she is going to retire; well, you're collecting for it already, so do it.
I think what gets me the most is that they knew it was a loophole and jumped right in. If it were a regular Joe like you or me we would be penalized by paying taxes. So what makes them more special than us?
Vote this November and get the old deadwood out of office and put in new blood that will think for the people and not their own pockets.
New Port Richey
Cross Bar Ranch a good purchase
Pasco County's purchase of Cross Bar Ranch, if it can find the funding, will be taxpayer money well-spent. The 12,500-acre ranch is a haven for protected wildlife and passive recreation in the heart of this fast-growing county. If Pasco is able to acquire this land, it should protect it by law from ever being developed.
I urge all voters to contact their state representatives to support increased funding for Florida Forever, the state program that buys conservation lands and protects them from development. There is still much precious natural habitat remaining in our state that could be purchased and protected if this program had more money.
Thanks to the St. Petersburg Times for your continuing coverage of this and other environmental issues.
Liz Drayer, Clearwater
Keep parade for kids who compete | Feb. 25, letter
An explanation brings an apology
I recently wrote a letter on the Special Olympics. I am witting now to apologize to the head of the Pasco Special Olympics, Val Lundin.
She and I recently had a talk about what I wrote and she brought to light a very good reason for why the opening ceremonies were conducted as they were. Due to lack of full information presented to me on the day of the Special Olympics by others, I was not aware of the main reason.
I would like to give my utmost praise to Val Lundin for always thinking of the kids first as this opening ceremony change was due to the weather and fear the kids wouldn't be able to fulfill their day of activities.
I would like to make a full public apology to Coach Lundin and wish her and the athletes good luck at state games on Saturday.
Jamie Van Beek, Holiday
Politicians failed on traffic issues | Feb. 27, letter
Group leaders' sole focus is guns
It would seem Beacon Woods, at the hands of Ann Bunting, has suffered the same fate as the Pasco Republican Party. The old saying is that radicals never build their own organization, they simply take over someone's else's and then restructure it with like-minded friends to prevent change. This is the unfortunate history of the Pasco Republican Party and now the Beacon Woods association.
Bill Bunting has turned the Pasco Republican Party into the state's premier gun-rights organization and Ann Bunting, as the head of the Spirit of '76 Republican Club, similarly took over the Beacon Woods association. For some reason it has taken folks at Beacon Woods a long time to realize what has gone down. For those who don't yet understand, it's gun rights and only gun rights that interest the Buntings.
Ann Bunting's support of Wal-Mart and her disdain for the Safety Now Group shouldn't surprise anyone, but apparently it did. Supporting big business means more monetary support for Republican candidates and more emphasis on gun rights. Since it remains easier in Florida to get a gun that a pack of cigarettes, we can only hope the upcoming election will bring out more candidates for Safety Now than for gun rights.
Art Hayhoe, Wesley Chapel