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There's no such thing as free federal money

Federal money fuels debate Sept. 8 article

No such thing as free federal money

Thankfully there is one candidate for School Board, Steve Luikart, who has used the term "caution" when deciding to accept additional federal funding.

Mark Swartsel does not grasp or ignores the fact that all federal money comes with strings attached: new mandates, excessive regulation, bloated bureaucracy, huge additional reporting and expiration dates for these funds.

Mr. Swartsel would do well to speak with local officials and let them express how their areas of responsibility are affected before urging a chase for the almighty federal aid without scrutinizing the mandates that would follow.

Yes, our schools need money and all of us want our schools to produce successful graduates. What is needed is for our teachers to have time to teach in safe, disciplined environments with a dramatic reduction in mundane, bureaucratic and duplicative reporting to satisfy the requirements imposed by so-called free money.

Robert F. Hatfield, Dade City

Bunting doesn't speak for all Sept. 8 letter

Collins, Fasano have close ties

Who's really the loser? Ed Collins, a registered lobbyist, doesn't disclose his financial dealings with Fasano in his letter attacking me. According to a Times story dated Nov. 19, 2007, Fasano invested $25,000 in Suncoast Creamery, an ice cream shop run by Collins.

Mr. Fasano, along with Democratic Senate Minority Leader Al Lawson and Democrat Rep. Darryl Rouson of St. Petersburg are endorsing Charlie Crist. Lawson and Rouson are two of the most liberal Democrats in Tallahassee. I find it strange that Mike Fasano still calls himself a Republican.

Fasano says he stands for less government and less taxes, but when my wife, Ann, and I fought the Penny for Pasco tax, Mike Fasano wouldn't take a stand against the tax.

In 2006, Fasano proposed a sales tax increase in Pasco County to pay for clinics for uninsured residents. Three months earlier, he had taken a $50,000-a-year job with Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, according to a Times article dated Oct. 31. 2008. Fasano dropped the idea after I started collecting petitions against it.

When I wrote a letter to the Pasco County Commissioners opposing a tax increase in 2006, Fasano told me that I did not have a right to make policy and that "the leadership" makes policy.

As for Collins, just a reminder that he is a loser and lost his bid for re-election for county commissioner but furthered his financial career thanks to Mike Fasano.

I make my decisions to support a candidate based on who I think is best for our county, state and country. Sometimes I lose and sometimes I win, but I don't get a salary for my political involvement, and my income is completely independent of my political activity and whoever wins or loses. Can Collins and Fasano say the same?

Bill Bunting, GOP state committeeman, Hudson

Learning to live within your means

They say Obama or other elected officials are at fault for the recession. Maybe they are, but you have to control your own life.

Live within your means. Stay home. Don't spend what you don't have. Try saving up for what you want or need. Buy secondhand appliances and cars or a preowned home. These things are out there.

Shop around. Hit the flea markets and tag sales, thrift stores and farmers markets. Buy food on sale and use coupons. Eat at home. Don't be caught up in advertisements and commercials.

Balance your checkbook even if the government doesn't know what that means.

Live within your means and you will find a happier, less-stressful life. Being frugal is not being cheap; it's being smart.

Nancy Bisnette, Land O'Lakes

Why not cut county salaries?

How about a discussion on cutting the salaries of all county employees by 10 percent and giving no raises until the recession ends? Don't forget, everyone who works for Pasco County government has their salaries based on before the recession began.

As a self-employed person, I wish I would have taken only a 10 percent reduction in pay. By the way, you can make up a lot of any pay reduction by using discount coupons and by shopping more smartly. Ask me, I know.

Bob Clark, Port Richey

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There's no such thing as free federal money 09/09/10 [Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 4:52pm]
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