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Waste goes on unchecked in fire and EMS system

Re: Fire consolidation talks quickly doused story, Aug. 31.

Waste unchecked in EMS system

I would recommend a medal for Pinellas County Commissioner Norm Roche, who is the only one of the county commissioners who has the brains and the guts to face the fact that our fire and EMS systems are grossly inefficient.

For many years the commission has ignored studies which point out waste and inefficiencies of both fire and EMS.

In February 2010, a study was done by the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA). It was recommended that the commission "set benchmarks and track fire and EMS costs and evaluate alternative service delivery models." But they just blindly hand out tax dollars to local fire departments (for EMS services) without a clue whether tax dollars are spent efficiently.

In 2011 an IPS study pointed out the costs per EMS visit varied as much as 202 percent between departments — from $185 to $558 per visit — and they just blindly hand out our tax dollars with no accountability.

How could anybody ignore these facts, year after year, and still keep their jobs? In the business world they would have been fired for incompetence and yet we keep electing the same people who haven't a clue regarding management or efficient use of our tax dollars.

Jim Harpham, Palm Harbor

Re: Fire consolidation talks quickly doused story, Aug. 31

Idea would save a lot of tax dollars

I say kudos to Commissioner Norm Roche for bringing up the issue of fire department consolidation in Pinellas County. I would venture to say that hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars would be saved if such a change were undertaken.

The cost of each city paying a fire chief, fire marshal, and administrative and training staff could be combined under one agency with no harm to response times or cuts in services. It would cut out fat from the top and end pointless duplication of services, which can no longer be justified or paid for in these lean times.

Michael Duffey, Safety Harbor

Re: Fire consolidation talks quickly doused story, Aug. 31

LaSala no help to Pinellas citizens

In my opinion it is time for Pinellas County Administrator Bob LaSala to leave. He is detrimental to the citizens of our county, most especially to those of us who believe that our local fire departments should transport patients. Paying for Sunstar is unnecessary and, in my opinion, a political gaffe.

Benita Petrillo, Palm Harbor

Re: Scientology fined $413K story, Aug. 25 and Fine earned, now pay up editorial, Aug. 26.

Scientologists seem to help city

After reading about the fines levied on the Church of Scientology by Clearwater and reading the comments of the online participants, I decided to see the "eyesore" building attached to the Fort Harrison Hotel.

I think they did a good job of matching the Fort Harrison Hotel they own across the street. I also think they are not hurting downtown Clearwater but are helping some of these businesses survive. I see these people spending money in the stores. Some of these downtown stores are owned by them. The landlords must be happy.

I also notice that the "other building projects" they have completed are better than they were before they took them over. The areas where they have renovated are free of crime and unkempt surroundings.

That being the case, why are you saying they are bad neighbors? Is there another agenda you have for attacking them?

They can be my neighbor any time!

Eugene Ballard, Clearwater

Re: Scientology fined $413K story, Aug. 25 and Fine earned, now pay up editorial, Aug. 26.

Must be a way to work together

I don't understand as a resident and as a business owner in the downtown area why the city is unwilling to work with an entity that is bringing investors, activity and money to the area.

I am not a Scientologist, but I would love to see our downtown flourish with restaurants, stores and businesses that cater to all age groups.

I am not a Scientologist. All I'm suggesting is that we all work together on making a better downtown.

Ralph Rugo, Clearwater

Texting at table height of rudeness

After discussing this matter with several people to get their opinion, I'm glad to know I am not the only one who objects to the use of cell phones but mostly those who text while they are supposed to be doing other things.

I feel I'm a bother to folks who invite me for dinner or an evening out and continue to text their friends like I'm not even in the room. If they have sub words or abbreviations for texting, they should have a sub word for, "I'll call later, as I have company right now."

Nothing could be more rude. It reminds me of folks who whisper to others when someone comes in the room and they want to make snide remarks about them. It is so rude to whisper or text when in the company of others.

Whoever thought texting was a plus to humanity has surely missed the boat on this one.

Fran Glaros-Sharp, Clearwater

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Waste goes on unchecked in fire and EMS system 09/03/11 [Last modified: Saturday, September 3, 2011 12:12pm]

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