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Pasco School Board should consider other options before tax increase

District backs tax increase July 21 article

Schools must cut high-paying jobs

Before the voters give the okay to the proposed increased property tax, I hope they ask for a business/management consultant to come into the district and evaluate it. On the website, the district lists the people and positions they hold and a job description. I counted 17 employees who work on "researching grants," schools with multiple vice principals and one with four vice principals.

School Board member Kathryn Starkey hosted a town hall meeting during which she emphasized that the district could increase the school tax without voter approval. It was apparent she supported a tax increase then, but running for office can change the inclination.

Until they stop spending money on what they think they will have next year, this crisis will continue over and over. One cannot continue to spend on projected money. But they do and want a bailout every time they don't have enough. They eliminate lower-wage employees, they eliminate part-time employees and threaten the teachers to arouse anger and concern. Meanwhile, these high-paid positions need seriously to be overhauled.

Christina Ennist, New Port Richey

Deputy finds pot plant July 22 article

Tax money could be better spent

What's next? Arresting children who sell lemonade without a permit? For the past 25 years and three sheriffs, it's still nickel-and-dime arrests.

It wasn't too long ago the sheriff complained the county lacks funds for personnel. Now the taxpayers will foot the bill for a judge and everybody else in the criminal court involved with the case. All the deputy needed to do was uproot the plant and break it in half. A pot plant that size is useless.

Or the state of Florida could have decriminalized marijuana like other states. The problem is our elected lawmakers refuse to have real reform in the criminal justice system. They are happy with the money it produces and the political careers. But resources are tight. Florida is getting poor results and a greater burden on the taxpayer.

William Oehlecker, New Port Richey

Pasco can't afford sheriff's requests

I am absolutely sick and tired of the mortgage-the-future-for-today mentality of our elected officials and government. While our families have to tighten belts and make cuts to make ends meet, we have elected public servants stomping their feet for more money. No case could be a better example than Sheriff Bob White.

Our county is in a precarious position, facing a $2.7 billion decline in taxable value. Yet Sheriff White insists not only that his department be the only department/office to ignore the Pasco County commission's request for budget cuts, but also that he should get an increase. And if he does not get what he wants from the county commissioners, he will run to the state and appeal to his friends.

Sheriff White wants 28 more deputies and more administrative positions. It seems to me that our sheriff does not care about Pasco County, only what his wants and needs are. By giving him everything he wants, other agencies would have to suffer. The sheriff was quoted by his spokesperson as saying that he "thinks his requests can be granted without raising taxes." Sure, by taking from other agencies.

In other statements, the sheriff believes that Pasco should sell the old jail, which he believes is worth $10 million, and use that money to bolster his budget further. Who is going to buy an empty jail for $10 million and what happens in the future when we need more jail space? Just add on to the new jail or build another new jail? Again, our future is being mortgaged to give Sheriff White what he wants today.

We cannot afford his demands, ego or selfishness.

Christopher Cooley, Hudson

Give Floridians a say on drilling

I read Rep. Ron Schultz's reason for voting against putting a proposition on the November ballot to ban oil drilling off our coast as "frugal pragmatism." Since he's already being paid by our tax money, I fail to see where he's saved us any money by not doing his job.

It was not a waste of money to call the legislators back to session to address this issue and allow the people of Florida to decide. For legislators to decide that they alone know what's best for all Floridians is reason enough to sweep this house clean!

By the way, what was Rep. Rob Schenck's and Rep. John Legg's excuse for voting against the people of Florida?

Arnie Gundersen, Spring Hill

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Pasco School Board should consider other options before tax increase 07/24/10 [Last modified: Saturday, July 24, 2010 9:52am]
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