Brooker plans 'inconsistent' | story, Oct. 19
Tax dollars aren't for private benefit
Pinellas County taxpayers need to understand that this is not just an issue about the adverse impacts ballfields would have on Brooker Creek Preserve or on individuals living in the immediate area. They need to understand that their money would be used to build ballfields for a private organization that will pay the county only $1 per year for 30 years and will keep the registration fees it generates.
The County Commission has a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers of this county to protect revenues and use them prudently.
The commission wants to use revenues to pay for the building of ballfields in the Brooker Creek Preserve area that will not be accessible to all county taxpayers — only to the members of the East Lake Youth Sports Association (ELYSA), which will collect dollars for itself and pay the county $1 per year for 30 years. Since when do tax monies go to benefit a private organization? (If I want to build a "recreational" skating rink on county property, will they build it, lease it to me for $1 a year and let me keep the income like ELYSA? I'd do so in a heartbeat.)
I can go on about the adverse impact such actions would have on the neighborhoods, property values, wildlife (yes, wildlife would be affected), the traffic and the deterioration of Keystone Road as a result. Others have presented those truths before. The commission needs to listen to the Pinellas Planning Council and its constituents.
The county will argue that the 100 acres are not preserve area. But they are surrounded by preserve. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it's a duck!
They can find other locations for ballfields that would be open (defined by Webster as "free to be entered or used; free from restraints or controls") to any and all — children or adults, playing ball, jogging, walking, etc. Their proposed plans sound not only contrary to their responsibilities but discriminatory.
Extend busiest library's hours
Is there anyone else out there who is outraged over the new hours at the busiest library in the Clearwater public library system? The Countryside library has consistently been the busiest library, but is now closed on Fridays and Saturdays. The only "late" day for our library is Tuesday, when it is open until 8 p.m. Students and the working class are no longer able to utilize our library.
Isn't it ironic that the Main library downtown is open every day of the week with 8 p.m. closings on three of those days. Who exactly is that benefitting? Doesn't it make more sense to give the Countryside branch those hours, and make our branch the reference library instead of the Main library? Or is it that the city wants to justify its huge expenditure in building and maintaining the Main library?
The Countryside library needs to remain open every weekday from 1 to 9 p.m. and on the weekends until 5 p.m. to accommodate students as well as all of us who pay real estate taxes and live in the Countryside area. I urge all Countryside residents to make their voices heard.
Marianne Wilson, Clearwater