A better way to regulate county's cabs | Nov. 16, editorial
Keep independent transit agency
I agree there needs to be a better way to regulate taxicabs. That is why the Public Transportation Commission board and I have been spearheading comprehensive reforms that will improve transparency, accountability and responsiveness to the industries we regulate and consumers we serve. These new measures will not cost the taxpayers money and will continue to protect the consumer.
Disbanding the financially independent PTC and placing it within the big Hillsborough County government would reduce transparency, is a waste of taxpayer dollars and would be fiscally irresponsible. As an independent authority, the PTC is 100 percent self-funded. While previous boards have expressed a desire to make reforms, this board is implementing needed changes. Sweeping new board policies will be considered for approval at the Dec. 11 PTC meeting.
The inspections of over 2,100 vehicles and background checks for more than 3,000 drivers are essential to ensuring public safety. The PTC ensures Hillsborough County consumers are getting into a safe, clean vehicle with a licensed driver who has submitted to a criminal background and driving record checks.
The PTC's new interim director, Kevin Jackson, has an exemplary record in consumer protection and has been working with the board to thoroughly examine the organization from top to bottom, ensuring quality best practices for ethical operations and accountability. The county's internal performance auditor has recently completed an audit plan and the PTC will move forward with completing the audit and implementing the management oversight recommendations.
Abolishing the PTC is unnecessary and would recklessly put consumers at risk.
Victor Crist, chairman, Public Transportation Commission, Tampa
Take sex assault cases away from the military | Nov. 20, commentary
Who's boorish now?
Petula Dvorak's commentary that sex assault cases should be taken away from the military failed to prove why such changes need to be made.
Using the case of Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, Dvorak only showed that a civilian court failed to convict Krusinski on assault charges even after the charges were downgraded from sexual assault. I'm still trying to understand how a civilian court's inability to convict an individual on sexual assault changes discredits military authority over such cases.
To insinuate that only certain individuals of the correct gender are capable of understanding the concept of sexual harassment is as boorish as she accuses Krusinski of being.
Peter Clark, Tampa
Radel admits having cocaine | Nov. 21
Radel is a hypocrite
U.S. Rep. Trey Radel is arrested and pleads guilty to cocaine possession. This is the same guy who voted to defund the Affordable Care Act 40 times and voted to require food stamp recipients to take drug tests. He also voted to drastically reduce food stamps for the disadvantaged. Now he has agreed to undergo drug rehab, to stay out of jail. This rehab will be paid for by his health plan, the same type of plan he wants to deny to most all U.S. citizens. What a guy! What a hypocrite.
John Henninger, Clearwater
Drug addicts in charge
I think everyone in office should be randomly checked for drug use. Why is it that when us civilians start a new job we must be checked? If we fail the test, we don't get the job. These men and women are running our country and if they are on drugs then they surely are not thinking with a straight head. I know I don't want some drug addict making decisions for our country.
Charlotte Larson, Odessa
Citizens property insurance
I've been on that Citizens merry-go-round before. Back around 2008 I innocently took the choice to opt out of Citizens for a fly by night company called First Home. Two years later, First Home dropped me. I then had to pay to have my house re-inspected before I could go back to Citizens, thank you.
Just did a little research on First Home. They went under in 2011 and were sucked up by Homewise. Effective Nov. 18, 2011, HomeWise Insurance Co. was ordered into receivership for the purposes of liquidation by the 2nd Judicial Circuit Court in Leon County.
HomeWise Insurance Co. is an affiliated company of HomeWise Preferred Insurance Co., an insurance company that is also in receivership. They have since then been absorbed by Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance Co. Weiss Ratings views Homeowners Choice as among the weakest of the so-called take-out insurers that have been encouraged to remove policies from the Citizens portfolio. None of the other 12 take-out insurers scored better than a "C," or "fair," on the Weiss scale. In case you are wondering, I opted to not depart Citizens when offered the glowing opportunity this year. Buyer beware!
Doug Bauer, Clearwater
Worn, but welcome | Nov. 21
Poor Sean Daly. I get it even if others don't.
Your editors made you attend the Eagles concert to write a review. As you surveyed the audience from the comfort of your corporate suite, you could not help but notice that there was not a foam finger to be seen. No one was jumping up and down, let alone twerking. You felt like a stranger in a strange land.
Your attention dismissively turned to your chardonnay sipping colleagues as they nodded their heads slightly to the beat of the music. Oh, the music. Your parents would be in seventh heaven, but you sit in purgatory.
You then hit upon a scathingly brilliant idea. You will show them. Instead of writing a straight up piece, you will instead make light of the relic audience and their equally relic contemporaries on stage. Satisfied, you now turn your attention to the positive. After all, Miley and Kanye are coming to town. Cannonballs and Kardashians, and visions of sugar plums dancing in your head.
Jeff Thofner, Tampa