Thanks for voting against Wal-Mart
As residents of Tarpon Springs for the past 20 years, my family and I would like to thank Tarpon Springs City Commissioners Robin Saenger, Peter Dalacos and Susan Slattery for voting against the controversial Wal-Mart Supercenter on the Anclote River.
The hundreds of Tarpon Springs residents who have shown enough interest in our community to attend City Commission and Planning and Zoning Board meetings can attest to the "bullying" tactics imposed by Wal-Mart's legal team.
I applaud the intelligence of these commissioners, as well as the Planning and Zoning Board officials, who did not buckle under to Wal-Mart's tactics.
If Wal-Mart decides to sue Tarpon Springs because its residents want to preserve the small-town atmosphere of our community, then shame on them. I for one would never set foot in this store.
I am not a small-business owner, but common sense tells you that building a Wal-Mart Supercenter in our town would cause many small businesses to close, forcing thousands of workers in our community to lose their jobs and forever changing the landscape of our downtown and Sponge Docks, both of which are tourist destinations.
When you combine this with U.S. 19's already horrendous traffic issues, building on a natural wetland, the impact to wildlife including nesting eagles, not to mention Wal-Mart's removal of turtles in the middle of the night, this was a no-brainer!
So again, thank you, Robin Saenger, Peter Dalacos and Susan Slattery! My parents tried to teach me long ago that if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all. So, to Mayor Beverley Billiris and Commissioner Chris Alahouzos, I have nothing to say!
Glenn and Sue Harris, Tarpon Springs
Commissioners had clear bias
On the evening of Oct. 21, I attended a meeting of the City Commission in Tarpon Springs, a meeting which was to decide whether a certificate of concurrency for the Wal-Mart project had expired. The city commissioners were to act in a quasi-judicial capacity, to act fair and impartial and consider only facts that pertained to that issue.
I could see within the first 40 minutes of a meeting that lasted five hours that Commissioners Susan Slattery and Peter Dalacos had a clear bias. I wasn't alone, as they were asked to recuse themselves and they refused. They totally ignored the facts, the testimony of the city planner and advice of their own city attorney.
I don't know what law or rule allows for the city commissioners to act in a quasi-judicial capacity, but it clearly doesn't work. Where is a real judge? It is obvious the aforementioned commissioners have an agenda and they give the appearance of being in someone's pocket.
Joe Sharkey, Tarpon Springs
Re: Candidate right on cost of land scandal | story, Oct. 22
Politicians act above the law
Former Pinellas County Administrator Steve Spratt, who was in the wrong, gets paid more than the consultant who reviewed the wrongdoings. Huh?
Everything is upside-down and backward. Nothing makes sense anymore that has anything to do with politicians. They are apparently all not only above the law, but rewarded for it as well.
Brenda Wallis, Dunedin
Re: Pinellas Trail to be inducted in Hall of Fame story, Oct. 21
Celebrate trail that's U.S. model
Thanks to the St. Petersburg Times for your continuous support for our Pinellas Trail. We sincerely appreciate your recognition as we continue to develop and expand our multiuse linear park throughout Pinellas County.
Used by many as a transportation accessway and enjoyed by many as a recreational trail, the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail is a national model to communities throughout Florida and across the country hoping to have the same public-private partnership success.
We will be celebrating our 18th anniversary on Dec. 1.
Scott Daniels, Clearwater