Re: East Lake wary of coyotes' rise | story, March 15
Coyote packs should be culled
Expecting 1 million residents of Pinellas County to "learn to live with" coyotes rampaging in their neighborhoods and threatening humans, children, pets and other wildlife is a bit Pollyannaish. Certainly, our urban wildlife officer, Rick Stahl, doesn't live in these endangered areas when he said we have no choice.
Sure, coyotes are wily and cunning, but aren't we humans smarter than coyotes? What will it take for these reproducing and migrating families of coyotes to be trapped and relocated? Attacks by packs of coyote on our children or the disabled or elderly? Some action by our county commissioners? A new urban wildlife officer?
Case in point: protected alligators on Sanibel Island grew so large they attacked and killed humans. Solution: Hunt and eliminate those giant alligators.
Pinellas residents deserve protection from marauders.
Helene Shepard, Safety Harbor
Thanks to voters of Dunedin
I want to thank the voters for electing me to the Dunedin City Commission. I am gratified and humbled by your confidence and trust, and will do all within my power to represent you and your concerns on the commission over the next two years.
I want to thank all who helped with my campaign, from brochure design to sign-waving and poll-watching and everything else in between. I could not have done it without your invaluable advice and assistance. I particularly thank my opponent, Tony Scruton, who ran a clean and honest campaign, something for which I am especially grateful. He has contributed so much to our community, and I know that he will continue to be involved. We can all can be very thankful for this.
During my campaign, I promised to be your citizen commissioner, answering to no private interests. As a trained mediator in conflict resolution, I can, and so far as is humanly possible, will bring consensus to our commission. I also pledged to spend my commissioner's salary in Dunedin, and to be accountable to you for the spending of what is, essentially, your money. I am currently making arrangements to ensure that you will know how my Dunedin-generated salary is spent.
Since first discovering Dunedin, I have been dedicated to her continued well-being. This will never change. Even as we face tough budgetary times, I am devoted to preserving the core values of our community. This is essential if Dunedin is to continue to thrive. We can do this, but only as a team: the commission and the citizens working together for a solvent and even better future. I will need your help. Let me know of your concerns.
Webster defines "community" this way: "A body of persons having common rights, interests, and privileges; a corporation; society generally; common character." Dunedin has been a model of this definition in the past, and with your help, she will rise to newer and greater heights in the future.
My father-in-law, a councilman for 42 years in McDonough, Ga., passed away on March 5. It was he who encouraged me to pursue a position on the City Commission. A public servant of the first order for nearly half a century, he believed that caring about one's community was not enough, that one needed to demonstrate one's concerns by actively participating in community leadership. This I will do.
Thank you for your confidence. I will not fail you.
Ron Barnette, Dunedin City Commissioner, Seat 2
Hat off to mayor for his service
A huge thank you to Mayor Bob Hackworth for his years of public service to the city of Dunedin. We didn't always agree — well, most of the time we didn't agree — but I appreciate his devotion and dedication to Dunedin.
I take my hat off to you, Mayor Hackworth. You leave a positive legacy to our wonderful city.
Bill Coleman, Dunedin