Until recently I was part owner of an oil change business that employed about 30 people. I began reading Bill Herrle's article with excited anticipation that I would learn which needless regulations could be eliminated to save this business more than $300,000 per year. However, he offers not a single example of any regulation or type of regulation that should be eliminated to save that business money.
I thought back about what regulations could have been eliminated to have saved us money. Eliminating the regulations that prevented us from dumping our used oil out the back door, or from providing unsafe working conditions to our employees, or from defrauding our customers, would have saved us some money. Are these the "excessive, duplicative … plainly silly" regulations that Herrle advocates eliminating? If not, what are they?
Ed Bradley, Valrico
Low cost of compliance
Bill Herrle makes the claim that "the cost of complying with regulations for the typical small business is $10,500 per year, per employee." That is nonsense. There is no doubt the cost of regulation in businesses like construction and medicine may be significant, but the claim that all small businesses have that cost is ridiculous.
I have run my small firm since 1991. I have four employees. According to Herrle, I pay $40,000 per year to comply with regulations. I pay nothing close to that. I have to pay for unemployment compensation and workers' compensation, but that cost is minimal.
Regulations are important and protect us and assist us. I could spend hours detailing the regulations that make our lives safer, better and more productive.
Stephan J. Freeman, St. Petersburg
Home team backs Akin | Aug. 28
'Shut down' repressive laws
Senate candidate Todd Akin said, "Women have something inside them that can shut this whole thing down." Indeed, it's called a brain.
It's time to "shut down" this repressive movement against women. Let's "shut down" wars that kill our sons and daughters; let's "shut down" unequal pay policies that pay women 77 cents on the dollar for the same work performed by a man.
But most of all, let's "shut down" crazy laws passed by men that define "forcible rape" or "legitimate rape," that require 12-year-old incest victims to become mothers, and that restrict access to birth control.
Jane Gibbons, Tampa
On the attack | Aug. 30
If schadenfreude at the president's expense was an Olympic event, I would feel like a gold medal winner after watching Paul Ryan eviscerate Obama's dreamy utopianism.
No one knows who will prevail on Nov. 6. However, the moral clarity derived from Ryan's principled, persuasive account of the administration's cluelessness — and what is possible with ideas that promote earned success — offer a measure of satisfaction and, dare I say, hope.
Gary Harrington, St. Petersburg
'Get to know him' | Aug. 29
Ann Romney's speech was amazing. She spoke from the heart and was down-to-earth regarding her marriage. That was a way of life back then: staying home to raise your family. Unfortunately, today women have to work to make ends meet. My husband and I do not come from a wealthy family, but we all got by.
I think Ann Romney would be a great asset to our great country.
Catherine Yevoli, Riverview
Tampa Bay Rays
Moving isn't the answer
On the issue of a new Tampa stadium creating a better market for the Rays than the Trop in St. Petersburg, what proof does Tampa offer that it is a better market? A lack of attendance at Bucs games has blacked out TV presentation of most home games for more than a year. Attendance for the Bucs game against Tennessee was only 45,633 fans.
Unlike the Rays, who play 80 games at home each season, Tampa only has to fill Raymond James Stadium 10 times a year. The Rays' total attendance in St. Petersburg last year was 1,258,063; the Bucs' total attendance was 396,300.
So are the Rays going to spend $600 million for a new stadium in Tampa that probably won't provide any better fan base? Seems foolish. Do you think the Rays' management has considered this?
Paul C. Scherer, St. Petersburg
Controversial wetlands plan okayed Aug. 22
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's recent approval of the Highlands Ranch Mitigation Bank, as covered in a series of articles by Craig Pittman, ignores multiple wetland protection rules and establishes a dangerous precedent for arbitrary agency decisions influenced by Tallahassee insiders.
I recognize that every agency has the authority to find creative solutions, and I also recognize that mitigation banking as a whole is a valuable tool to protect and restore thousands of acres of natural areas throughout Florida. But this DEP decision and this permit deviate significantly from past practice and long-standing rules, with little assurance that wetlands will be protected.
In order to prevent this situation from recurring, permits should be reviewed and issued by locally knowledgeable water management districts rather than in Tallahassee. Decisions by agency experts should be upheld by their superiors except in instances of clear misapplication of science or rule criteria. And regulatory standards should be applied uniformly such that all wetland mitigation banks, regardless of which agency bosses they know and which Tallahassee lobbyists they hire, can be relied upon to continue restoring and protecting natural habitats.
Ed Cronyn, Tampa
Trip to my polling place shows barriers at work | Aug. 22, commentary
Be an informed voter
I have worked at the polls for about 10 years. My district has the best and most informed voters I have ever had the pleasure to work with. If you are an informed voter, then you know that your voter ID card simply gives the named voter the information he or she is required to have in order to vote in the proper voting district. It states, "This card is not intended as identification for voting purposes."
Josephine Dowd, Tampa
Lawsuits drive up costs
Why does no one ever mention one of the biggest reasons for the cost of health care, which is excess testing to avoid spurious malpractice lawsuits? Everyone who works in heath care, as I have for 39 years, knows that a large proportion of the tests we do are unnecessary and would not be ordered if the doctor did not have to fear that a future lawsuit would question why we didn't order every test possible for every condition.
We will never properly reduce the cost of health care under any system until we have tort reform. Does any politician (most of whom are lawyers) have the guts to say so?
Nyla Hubbard, Tarpon Springs
Citizens' top execs spend big | Aug. 26
Perhaps what Citizens Property Insurance Corp. needs is a good travel agent. While president Barry Gilway is correct in that "you're not going to find a $125 Marriott" in Bermuda, a quick check finds a highly rated Fairmont for $299 and even executive apartments for $150 per night.
There! I just saved you at least half of your $633 room in Bermuda. As infuriated, hardworking Floridians who are forced to use your company and your abusive rates to cover our home, my wife and I would like our refund now.
Steve Ferguson, Treasure Island
Republican National Convention
The Republican Party likes to present itself as a champion of small business, but I doubt many of the businesses in the heart of downtown Tampa, north of Kennedy Boulevard, would agree. They were hit hard financially by the combination of downtown businesses being asked to tell their employees to stay home; the absolutely ridiculous over-the-top security; a lack of parking; and the failure of the attendees to venture into this part of town.
Political conventions have become little more than lavish coronations. In the end, the people who benefit are a small few.
Michael C. Norona, Tampa
A job well done
I congratulate the mayor of Tampa, his staff and the police on their preparedness for the RNC and for the outstanding way the police/security forces did their job. It should be an example for all localities.
Harriet P. Sherwood, Clearwater