THE Bus is an excellent service
The residents of Hernando County need THE Bus system.
This is who uses the bus: Students going to school, school employees going to work, blind public employees, other public employees, Wal-Mart employees, Prime Cut employees, Winn-Dixie employees, disabled citizens, retired people going to the doctors, grocery or other shopping, music lessons, library, movies or restaurants, hospital volunteers, and so much more.
This is why we need the bus: Cabs are too expensive, people who are out of work can't afford their cars, people who are working can't afford their cars and either take the bus or walk, retired and disabled citizens can't always afford a car.
Now, let us address those who have the American Disability Act card. Why are there a few who abuse the service and have the driver take them up to four stops or more in one run? THE Bus was designed for one round trip per day. This takes away from those who are not near routes, who can only get ADA transportation two times per week. If the person is in the bus route area and THE Bus stops or goes by where they live and shop, they should be required to take THE Bus. Perhaps there could be set rules for all. ADA service two times per week? This needs to be reviewed and revamped.
I understand the federal government offered the county five new buses. What happened? Is the county going to cut off their nose to spite their face? There is grant money and also additional stimulus revenue being received. It makes a person wonder, where is it going?
What we need is: More buses, more routes, expanded routes and expanded hours. This will create more jobs, more revenue – all going into the county coffers.
Mass transportation is the only solution from our dependency of oil. In Europe it works quite efficiently. It is possible here.
More importantly, all county employees should be required to ride THE Bus for one week to and from work. The county commissioners should be required to ride THE Bus for a month. The taxpayer can no longer pay for their car, gas, insurance, maintenance, etc. Ride THE Bus and see how the taxpayers get around.
It is time to stop the excess and use the federal and state money wisely for the good of all. Therefore, THE Bus is the only means of transportation for many people. It would be a travesty to discontinue this service when it can benefit so many. The only answer is expansion, not discontinuance.
Commissioners, I beg of you, keep THE Bus!
Lucille A. Marano, Spring Hill
Local libraries are wonderful
Lately we hear and read more and more very unpleasant news about unemployment, foreclosures, or government corruption. The important point, however, is that life goes on and we must not forget the many little pleasant things that happen every day around us. As long as we keep our eyes open, we can participate in these happy moments.
I, for example, like to read and whenever I make the trip to one of our libraries in Hernando County I enjoy the visits. I frequently visit the West Hernando Branch and the Spring Hill Branch since we moved to Florida almost four years ago. I have never met more friendly and helpful people to find most extraordinary books or DVDs for my research than the ladies and gentlemen who work there.
On April 23 I went to a basic computer class on Spring Hill drive, just for a fresh up. I think 12 people participated (seniors just like me) for a two-hour lecture and when we left, everyone was smiling and happy that they went, they achieved something.
I only hope there are no further budget cuts to reduce hours and personnel at our libraries.
Andreas Foerster, Brooksville
Paving lime roads should be priority | April 27 letter
Let residents pay for paved roads
We have purchased several homes in Florida, and we have learned the following:
Don't buy a home on a lime rock road, unless you are willing to pay for the improvements to the road. Paved roads are not an entitlement.
When we have purchased property or homes, the cost of the improvements were either paid to the developer, who in turn had pro-rated the improvement costs to each property purchaser, or the previous homeowner paid the assessments. In addition, the paved roads increased my property valuation, which increased my tax burden.
As an already overtaxed Hernando County property owner, why should I be assessed to pay for the road improvements that your relatives want? Why did they buy the house in the first place?
The letter writer seems to be a reasonably prudent person, so he should be able to understand there is no such a thing as a free lunch. The County Commission should not be paying for road improvements. If your family wants paved road, then pay the assessments for them.
George Cooper, Weeki Wachee
Superintendent has hurt schools
The Hernando County School District is obviously suffering from a total lack of leadership. Since Wayne Alexander has taken over as superintendent, there has been no evidence of school district leadership whatsoever. In addition, the School Board has rubber-stamped each of the superintendent's poorly thought-out actions. Under Alexander, the teachers and administrators have been treated as though they were merely equipment or, at best, errant school children. As a result, school district morale has never been so low.
Alexander has no regard for teachers, who are the heart and soul of our schools. I have a great deal of experience as a leader and supervisor. I have seldom seen anyone do a worse job leading, motivating and inspiring the people that he has been responsible for supervising. Favoritism, vindictiveness and complete disregard for their well-being have defined his lack of respect for teachers.
How could he possibly think he could improve our schools by destroying the morale of teachers and administrators? In order to be able to accomplish his job, he must have the trust and loyalty of his subordinates. You cannot gain these things by treating people with disdain.
His arrogance in instituting half-baked plans, ideas and actions that have moved students, families, teachers, principals and vice principals all over the county is unacceptable. Many of these people have spent much time, money and effort to locate in a home close to their work place. Parents wish to get close to schools so they and their kids do not have long commutes. What is wrong with parents choosing to live close to schools and in neighborhoods where they wish to raise their kids?
How can he justify launching outrageous schemes such as ordering all teachers to interview for positions at Explorer or lose their jobs, all to be interviewed in just one day; or reassigning all principals except one to a new school; and the firing of 200 teachers without cause, or investigation of their performance? Was Alexander so ignorant that he did not know he was violating teacher contracts by disregarding seniority in his firing of teachers?
In our school system, wholesale removal of teachers requires that he proceed carefully, according to common sense, seniority and performance records. The hallmark of Alexander's reign is that most of his changes to the school system are shots from the hip without due regard for probably consequences.
A consequence of some of the superintendent's actions is to give the Hernando School District a bad reputation as an unreliable and vindictive employer. This could cause a teacher hiring problem for years to come.
The question of why and how Mr. Alexander is still retaining his position needs to be answered.
On two occasions, Board Members Pat Fagan and James Yant have voted to fire him. The other three board members, Dianne Bonfield, Sandra Nicholson and John Sweeney have voted to retain him.
These three board members appear to be going against the best interests of the Hernando County School System.
Surely the citizens are entitled to having board members who are loyal to the best interest of the Hernando County School System, and not to some individual, whoever that individual might be.
I believe that any experienced principal in the Hernando County School System who has demonstrated excellent performance at a county school could and would do a much better job as interim superintendent. At the least, he or she would not continue to wreak havoc.
James R. Supernor, Spring Hill