Elections chief's fiscal offer came a little late | Sept. 26 editorial
Corley is showing good leadership
I respectfully disagree with your assertion that Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley's decision to give up the building of a long-sought elections center is an ill-timed flip-flop. Supervisor Corley, who received approval to construct the center after years of lobbying by himself and his predecessor, had every right to move forward with the project. However, in a challenging economic time he selflessly stepped up to the plate and sacrificed the project for the greater good.
Just because the commissioners have already finalized their budget does not mean they can't go back and amend it. The county has the ability, as does the state, to adjust its budget based on revenue increases and decreases. Now that the county has a significant amount of unencumbered money at its disposal ($13 million), it can revisit a host of budget challenges it faced while crafting the county's budget.
I, and the many people who have mentioned their support of Supervisor Corley's decision to me, stand behind his decision. He showed leadership in a time of uncertainty. He had nothing to gain from giving up his long-sought elections center other than the good will of a county commission and the people it employs and serves. Making tough choices and living with the consequences is the mark of a good leader. Supervisor Corley's willingness to free up this significant amount of taxpayer money for uses other than his office has demonstrated that he is more than a good leader; he is an excellent one.
Anne Corona, New Port Richey
Park fees will be good for county
I congratulate the Pasco County Commission for approving needed resources for our parks and recreational facilities through the recent assessment.
Such action will protect important service jobs and provide critical dollars for upgrades and maintenance. I will pay the annual assessment and encourage all residents to do the same. Pasco County will be the better for it.
Dr. Marc J. Yacht, Hudson
Sheriff is right: Pay for deputies
Who can put a price on a life? Obviously, Pasco County commissioners think they can. I am not a big Sheriff Bob White fan by any means. But I am a fan of keeping my home and streets safe. And to do that, Bob White is right: We need more deputies out there.
In 12 hours, they see all kinds of different horrific happenings. Right there is enough stress alone for a sleepless night. Then back on the road again.
What is the magic number for commissioners to say, "Here let's hire more to relieve the pressures.'' Who do you pass the buck to so you can honestly sit back and sleep at night knowing you are safe?
Jamie VanBeek, Holiday
City's drug issues on display at park
If you decide you want to take your children to Sims Park in downtown New Port Richey, you'd better think again. The park is overrun by drugs. Teenagers are always smoking marijuana right by the children's play area.
Something vital is missing: New Port Richey Police. I think that's what they're supposed to be called. You can watch them drive on by, knowing very well what's going on at Sims Park.
Everyone is crying about city funds being cut I don't hear any one crying about the drug use. Downtown New Port Richey looks like the ghetto. Let's all do our part to rid this area of drugs. Call New Port Richey Police when you see drug activity. Make them (police) do their job. Your children are not safe at this park.
Joanne Arneson, New Port Richey
Think out-of-box on class size issue
In the Sept. 24 guest column, Rep. John Legg, R-Port Richey, still doesn't seem capable of thinking out of the box. Instead of increasing class size in a system that has produced lower scoring, maybe he needs to climb out of the political trash can and seek other ways to deal with class-size amendments.
Year-round school — 45 days in class and 15 out. Students would not suffer from summer amnesia and schools would be better utilized. It is better than building a school on every street corner. The stagnant thinking keeps our state from moving forward. I volunteered in three different grades during a two-year period of time. The lack of involvement from district and the school board and principals amazed me.
Legg does not think "student/teacher." He thinks Republican.
Christina Ennist, New Port Richey
Pricey potties take shape on I-75 | Sept. 26 article
State misspent on lavish rest areas
The questions raised in your article have been plaguing me for some time now. The lavish rest areas are apparently typical of the grandiose visions the Florida Department of Transportation has when approaching capital improvements.
As a retired DOT employee I saw $40 million go into a rat hole on I-4 when they built two Taj-Mahal weigh stations just west of Plant City. For several years I worked on I-4 as a weight inspector for the DOT. The two 800-square-foot weigh stations where I worked were adequate. In fact, from an efficiency standpoint they had the reputation of being the most productive in the state.
In 2009, construction was finished on two new and grand facilities about 4 miles down the road. Two 2,000-square-foot buildings were complete with kitchen, showers, separate rooms for officers and inspectors, and an office. A big part of the $40 million price tag went into acquiring land so that the inspection barn could be located next to the office building. A nice convenience for the officers using it.
The fact is, the whole facility could have been scaled down. The 800-square-foot building was adequate, the facility could have been built on half the land, and a big chunk of taxpayer money could have been saved. The kicker is: I was told productivity actually fell off when measured in terms of trucks cited for violations.
With the comfort and convenience and impressiveness of the new facility, you would be hard-pressed to find someone to say it was not an improvement over the old weigh station but the fact is too much taxpayer money was spent for something that really hasn't increase the number of violators cited.
Russell J. Watrous, Land O'Lakes
Bring integrity back to politics
I recently read an article which exemplifies the worst of politics. Col. Allen West, Republican candidate for Florida's Congressional District 22, is challenging Democrat incumbent Rep. Ron Klein. The opposition released Col. West's Social Security number in a mailer sent to thousands of voters. Their intent was to inflict personal harm upon Col. West and his family.
Sadly, however, Republicans are no better. The GOP establishment and its Florida operatives ran its own campaign of shame in our congressional primary. Critical issues affecting our freedoms and quality of life became irrelevant in their battle to win at all costs. Their choice of strategy was a vicious onslaught of vile, destructive ad hominem attacks, taken right out of the radical left's playbook.
That said, politicians will continue this egregious behavior as long as we allow it. We are learning that as we the people change, the caliber of people we choose to represent us will change as well. This will not happen overnight but it will happen. We demand it.
I had the great privilege to work as a volunteer for the Sager for Congress campaign. Jason Sager ran a campaign of such principled integrity that it will set the standard for those who come after him. His unwavering message showed us how understanding and restoring our Constitution and applying it correctly will fix what ails this country. Mr. Sager continues to teach the Constitution and those who hear him continue to be changed. And this is the true victory.
Pamela Johnson, Spring Hill