Budget projection wrong for workers
The budget presented by superintendent Heather Fiorentino at Tuesday's board workshop indicated a shortfall of approximately $16-million. This number was based on maintaining wages at the current level (neither step increases nor increases in the overall salary schedule) and maintaining board-paid benefits for employees. It included projected increases in operating costs such as utilities and fuel.
The cost for funding step increases is approximately $6-million. By not including this amount in the projected budget, the superintendent is presuming that our pay will not be increased. By not including this amount in the budget, the superintendent is asking the School Board to balance a budget which does not allow for pay increases, so that when the board does its duty and makes cuts there will still be no money in the budget to fund pay increases. Negotiations in this area will be moot.
By not including this amount in the budget, the superintendent is hiding from the board, the public and us that the lion's share of the shortfall burden is already falling on the employees.
Patrick Connolly, Zephyrhills
Editor's note: The letter included the names of 12 additional faculty and staff members of Land O'Lakes High School.
Memorials don't belong on roads
Roadside memorials have to stop. Don't get me wrong, I have the utmost sympathy for anyone who has lost a friend or family member. However, I don't like riding down the streets of Pasco County seeing makeshift crosses and roadside memorials.
What is the purpose of this? Is it a reminder to others who pass by that this is where a loved one was killed in a vehicle crash? Or, is it a reminder that someone failed to operate a motor vehicle correctly, which resulted in someone's death?
I passed by one today on the corner of Alico Pass and River Crossing Boulevard. Someone had placed wreaths, crosses, flowers and other miscellaneous items, such as a jug of iced tea where a single vehicle motorcycle crashed a couple of weeks ago. How do I know when it happened? Someone had decided that it would be okay to paint messages on the utility pole and also wrote a plethora of messages on a free-standing utility box. If that wasn't bad enough, someone then painted messages on the curbing that runs alongside the corner.
If you feel that this is your right to paint messages on county, private and public property, you should at least know how to spell.
The county code enforcement people will pull down signs for yard sales, campaign signs and anything else they see fit. Why are these makeshift memorials allowed to be constantly displayed and even refreshed?
I'm sorry for anyone's loss but, if you want to put flowers, wreaths and crosses, please do it at the cemetery or make a memorial at your home. These do not belong on the roads where other people are going to slow down to see and/or read, causing another traffic hazard. You do not have the right to mark property that is not your own.
New Port Richey
Let's all review driver's handbook | May 22, letter
Speed limits are there for a reason
I hope most people don't believe everything they read in the paper. A letter writer opined that speed limits are, by the way, a bit of a suggestion and one can beat a speeding ticket when doing over the posted limit, based on road conditions. Huh?
According to him, if it's a bright sunny day, it's pedal to the metal and Katy bar the door. He must have studied the driver's handbook that says it's okay to park your truck on the deadliest highway in Florida, U.S. 19, to move a mattress as long as you engage your flashers.
Some drivers believe that it's legal to go 60 mph in a 45-mph zone as long as they are passing another vehicle. Here's another misconception. A 15 mph school zone is a 15 mph zone 24 hours a day unless a sign says when children are present or when flashing. Also going 4 mph over the posted speed limit probably won't earn you a speeding ticket, but you could get one for disobeying a speed limit sign.
A review of the driver's handbook and some common sense would help a lot of drivers. If you go 4 or 5 mph over the limit, come over in the middle lane with me. We'll meet the speeders at the next red light.
New Port Richey