Fire district issue needs to be settled
In 2008, Spring Hill voted for an independent fire district. At the time I thought that referendum would have included the authority to fund the new fire district. I was wrong. Now we find ourselves funding a special election to allow the transfer of the taxing authority from the county to the Spring Hill Fire District.
That being said, why did I vote for the Spring Hill Fire District in the first place? I thought at the time that the County Commission was more interested in what the powers in Brooksville wanted than their what their neighbors in Spring Hill wanted.
With the project to widen Elgin Boulevard, calling into question the performance of the present administrator and the now infamous Hernando Beach Channel dredge — I feel like Spring Hill has been treated like the stepchild that has to work and contribute to the household income but gets nothing in return.
Not only would I like to see a viable Spring Hill Fire District, but I would also like to see Hernando County divided at the Suncoast Parkway into two separate counties. The Spring Hill Fire District taxing authority may be a referendum on just that.
Dave Mulholland, Spring Hill
Spare our parks from budget cuts
I concur with and support the young children and their parents who demonstrated at the recent commissioners meeting that closing down Ernie Weaver Youth Park, and other parks and athletic fields in the county, would be devastating for the sports-playing youth, their parents and the community at large.
If anything, during hard economic times, recreational facilities enable struggling families to participate in low-budget and very economical activities through sports and picnicking at the free park areas. Besides, these types of services contribute to the physical and mental health well-being of the community as well.
If we are to conduct cutbacks, I would hope the Hernando County government would look hard at other areas for new revenue and increased savings such as cutting back or eliminating the outsourcing of private-sector contracts and the financing of questionable county agencies like economic development and tourism.
A second area for acquiring additional revenues could be the recent interest by CEMEX in expanding its mining operations an additional 600 acres on prime land in the Brooksville area. New taxation, either in the form of increased property taxes, new expansion taxes, or an ongoing fee or "community payment" annually to the county should be explored earnestly by county officials because of the project's significant impact on all aspects of county land and services.
A third area for new revenue sources would be looking to the federal government for grants and loans to develop new industries and small-business development.
A fourth and final revenue or cost-savings consideration would be to merge Hernando County government with neighboring Pasco and Citrus county governments. Such action would eliminate duplication of agency structures, consolidate services and increase cost efficiencies by one larger, but leaner, and possibly expanded county government entity.
Brian P. Moore, Spring Hill
Commissioners should get pay cut
I see the Hernando County Commission is mulling cutting salaries of perhaps the county attorney or administrator, or firing them.
These county commissioners get paid more than $62,000 plus benefits for their part-time county jobs. How about cutting their salary in half and the county can keep what they consider a needed attorney? The state Legislature recently passed a law that allows county officers to cut their own salary.
You tell us everyone needs to share the pain. Time for the commission to start sharing.
Jon Knudson, Spring Hill
Kids' show was worth celebrating
On May 27, Chocachatti Elementary second-graders put on a Memorial Day show for the veterans.
It's too bad that the Hernando Times didn't think it was worthwhile sending out a reporter and photographer.
My husband and I attended this show, which was presented to honor our veterans. There were men and women there from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and service people from the current conflicts.
The children said they realized that there were many sad moments that the veterans remembered, but that they would like, for this evening, to make them smile — and that they did. I also saw some wiping tears from their eyes.
The costumes, dances and songs were very well done. Thanks to the teachers and parents involved. We old-timers couldn't believe how the children were able to remember all the lyrics (especially the song of all the states in alphabetical order) and dance routines.
This was a fun evening for all who attended, and I know that I will try to attend more of these functions put on by the school. Congratulations to the staff and children of Chocachatti Elementary School. You really did brighten our day.
Geri Faust, Spring Hill