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Wednesday letters: Voters will be better stewards of our state than elected officials

A lesson in how not to manage growth | Jan. 5, editorial

Voters will be better stewards

Florida politicians have had decades to perfect a system of wise growth management but have only given us lip service while making back-room deals with developers who have devastated our state's natural resources, environment and economy.

With the Legislature recently further weakening growth management regulations, it is time for the people of Florida to stand up and be counted. The passage of Amendment 4 will give us the chance to vote on development issues in our communities. It will give us a chance to counter some of the massive destruction that continues to assault our state from the deep-pocketed development industry and their political pawns.

Look for the foes of Florida Hometown Democracy to launch a massive disinformation campaign against the passage of Amendment 4. They want to keep any shred of decisionmaking out of the people's hands because they know we will be much better stewards of the land and water resources of our state than our easily corruptible politicians have been.

John Murphy, Largo

A lesson in how not to manage growth Jan. 5, editorial

Popular vote can present some problems

I have mixed views of your editorial criticizing St. Pete Beach and Hometown Democracy's promoting local or state referendums authorizing voters to pass final judgment on certain land use/growth management proposals. On balance the best approach is to leave the decision and policymaking in this realm with legislative bodies where law, practice and tradition have placed them.

The inefficiency and costs of resorting to popular voting for such answers are evident, as is the potential for untoward and unwanted consequences. One example of the problems of popular decisionmaking is found in California, which is a state with a stalemated Legislature and an initiative-prone public that has voted on popular measures that created unforeseen future problems for the state.

Development has been a cornerstone of wealth creation in Florida and also destructive of the environment and beauty of Florida. The state Legislature is complicit in the worst aspects of development by weak regulation or lack of it, plus by ingesting too much lobbying money from developers. To avoid voter regulation of development, both the state Legislature and developers must show leadership compliance with reasonable statewide land management standards.

The editorial for the time being places the power of decision where it should be, legislative bodies. But if action isn't forthcoming, Hometown Democracy should press its case to the public.

James R. Gillespie, St. Petersburg

A lesson in how not to manage growth Jan. 5, editorial

System is broken

Florida Hometown Democracy is the last best hope for citizen purview over the future of our beautiful state and its development. I find it ludicrous to read this in the editorial: "Comprehensive plans are thick, technical documents usually written by professional planners. Elected officials are best situated to shape those plans to match a community's long-term vision for its future."

How many of your elected officials do you think read "thick technical documents"? Having spent 15 years of my volunteer life actually reading and then feeding document information to "elected officials" (a handful of them perform due diligence but not enough of them to protect us), you can trust voting and taxpaying advocates who care and work for free for progress and sensible government action far more than your garden variety elected official.

Most comprehensive plans are weak, with plan amendments approving more and more intensive development, courtesy of developer incentives via campaign dollar support. The comprehensive plan process is completely broken in Florida growth management. Vote YES on Amendment 4, Florida Hometown Democracy 2010.

Lorraine Margeson, St. Petersburg

A lesson in how not to manage growth Jan. 5, editorial

Our best bet

St. Petersburg Times, you disappoint. Growth management in Florida is a failure. If you think Ulmerton Road is beautiful, if you dislike trees, by all means stick with the current system. Florida will become one long strip mall, and who will come here then? But at least there will be plenty of minimum wage jobs.

The Hometown Democracy amendment would give voters more control over growth. If you don't like this solution, do you have a better one? Until someone does, I'm putting my money on Hometown Democracy. If developers want to file lawsuits so be it. The future of our state is on the line.

Elizabeth Drayer, Clearwater

Leftist distortions | Jan. 1, letter

Feeling the losses

There was one sentence in this letter that was so startling it completely tainted any other points the writer tried to make. This was the reference to "an attempt to leave the false impression that the middle class in America is losing ground economically."

While he may believe statistical manipulations that show differently, I bet the majority of those in the middle class would strongly disagree with him.

If he believes that is a false impression, then he probably isn't part of the middle class.

Laura Vickers, Tampa


Farmers' folly

A story in the Dec. 21 paper told us about a plague of antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis in America. The paper on Dec. 29, had an article on farmers who dose their cattle and pigs and chickens with antibiotics — thousands of tons of antibiotics, added directly to the feed, not to heal sick animals, but as an agent to fatten them up.

Coincidence? I don't think so. With a death toll of thousands of Americans killed every year, why do we let farmers breed antibiotic-resistant bacteria?

Geoffrey A. Landis, Clearwater

Don't sack Morris | Jan. 4, story

Front-page intrusion

I understand that economics caused the St. Petersburg Times to reformat the paper. I didn't like it, but I accepted it. I understand that economics caused the paper to omit regional sections several days a week. I didn't like that either, but I accepted it.

But there has always been a Sports section. In fact, sometimes there are two sports sections. That's okay — I don't read either of them. What I don't appreciate, though, is when the paper takes one-third of "my" front page to publish sports information instead of putting it in the sports section.

Frankly, I don't care who "Morris" is or whether they should "sack" him or not, especially when his team has just lost another game. So why is this on "my" front page and not in the Sports section?

Bobbye Blackburn, Clearwater

Wednesday letters: Voters will be better stewards of our state than elected officials 01/05/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 6:41pm]
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