School resource officers are vital
For anyone who voted for Amendment 1 on Jan. 29, little did they know that one of the casualties would be the elimination of the school resource officers in all the middle and high schools. Fiscal restraints have prompted the sheriff not to fund his portion of the deputies' salaries.
As a matter of courtesy, a letter was sent to Dr. Wayne Alexander, superintendent of Hernando County Schools, stating that the sheriff may no longer fund his portion of the program. In other words, the decision of maintaining the current program, including the salaries, was literally dropped in the lap of the School Board.
It should be obvious that everyone is suffering from budget cuts, not just the Sheriff's Office. This is a matter of urgency, a responsibility that all parties' concerned need to engage in before something tragic takes place at one of our schools. A lack of resource officers at our schools is irresponsible, regardless of the cost.
This is the direct result of the heavy-handed legislators, as well as the governor, who supported and promoted the whopping $240 annual savings on property taxes. That's $20 a month at the expense of the safety of our children. The funding for the political advertisements came from their vault of special-interest groups, which once again bankrolled another scam on the voters in Florida. The state legislators knew all too well they were in a win-win situation.
During the week of Feb. 4-8, there were four school shootings that occurred in various parts of the country. We live in a "copycat society," leaving us all vulnerable to harm. Unfortunately, the connection the resource officers make in our public schools has become a vital part of daily school life.
The school resource officers are not just figureheads on a school campus. They are role models for many of the students; they coordinate extracurricular activities and provide logistical support when necessary. Many of the problems in the past, especially on our campus, are alleviated due to the keen awareness of our resource officers. As one of the students at Hernando High School stated recently at a joint School Advisory Council meeting in the cafeteria, "I know of several boys on our campus who are afraid of Officer Pope, because they know he'll arrest them should they commit a crime on campus."
Therefore, I urge, as a community, to consider finding a way to ensure the safety of our children on all school campuses in Hernando County. This is the responsibility of the County Commission, the Sheriff's Office and the School Board, to ensure the safety of our children on all campuses. It is a vital program that must remain intact for the betterment of all concerned.
By the way, let me know when you receive your $240 check in the mail. But don't hold your breath!
Walter Cermak, Spring Hill
Re: Harassment review widens | April 16 story
Cut some workers to cut our costs
Some county employees, including Human Resources director Barbara Dupre, have allegedly committed serious wrongdoings. Time and money are used to massage them.
Such employees should be terminated if only for not doing their paid work. All effort then could be applied to cost-cutting to balance the next budget and to conserve money.
County government has no money of its own. It is only the custodian of the money produced by citizens' sweat and toil.
James A. Willan, Brooksville
RV resort plan raises concerns
It was with a great deal of dismay that I read the results of the Planning and Zoning Commission's vote to approve the recreational vehicle resort for Hernando Beach. I have some major concerns that perhaps the commissioners can allay:
1. Have they done a traffic survey in this area?
2. What will the impact be on existing businesses in the area?
3. How will the county monitor the use of off-track vehicles in the nature preserve?
4. Have any of you served on an adopt-our-road committee? If this park comes to fruition, please feel free to join us as, I am certain we will need the extra help. This group picks up garbage on Shoal Line and Osowaw boulevards.
5. Whatever happened to government of the people, for the people, by the people? If the majority of people who spoke at the hearing were opposed to this issue, shouldn't their opinions be considered? Or were your minds already made up? Am I naive to think that our officials are there to serve the public and preserve the present quality of life in this area?
Hernando Beach South
A Tuesday letter to the editor, Endorsement less than it appears, misstated that Hernando County Commission candidate James Adkins "owns no real property in Hernando County.'' In fact, Adkins pays taxes on three properties, although state law exempts the ownership information from public records.