'Town hall' a pitch to raise tax rate
Last week, I attended a meeting held at the VFW Hall, billed as a "town hall" meeting. It wasn't. It was a presentation designed to convince the people of Hernando County that the county is going to go broke if they do not raise the property tax rate.
I never heard such bull in my life, and I am not young. The county apparently spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year and employs hundreds of people yet seems to be able to say that they cannot find a paltry $6 million to cut without going broke. They get away with this by saying that all of these expenditures are constitutionally mandated except for a few bucks that provide services that the taxpayers need.
This allows them to take away our parks, libraries, whatever while millions in expenses remain untouched. County officials should be forced to bring the entire budget before the public and nothing should be sacred and protected from the budget knife. I would be shocked and amazed if the total Hernando County budget could not be slashed by many millions of dollars if the county overlords had any desire to find ways to do it.
Larry Stellato Sr., Spring Hill
Ways to address feral cat problem
With all the scrutiny directed toward Hernando County Animal Control, we must remember a root cause of the need for effective, humane animal services in our county. That is the epidemic of abandoned, feral cats.
There is a proven, effective and humane solution to this problem, but it is currently illegal in our county. It is called trap-neuter-release (T-N-R). Where trapping and euthanizing does not keep up with the annual population increase of feral cats, T-N-R consistently applied can, over time, effectively reduce feral cat populations to nearly zero through attrition. It has worked in other communities.
Imagine the amount of needless pain and suffering, not to mention loss of wildlife, that could be accomplished right here with the cooperative leadership of the county, volunteer groups and concerned citizens. And what better time to consider such progressive methods than now.
The county commission must amend its ordinance to allow the release of neutered, vaccinated feral cats as part of its comprehensive animal services program moving forward.
Linda S. Love, Brooksville