1. Archive

Single-member districts would mean long lines at polls

Editor: Having worked at Precinct 29 as a clerk in charge for a number of years, I cannot stress enough the chaos you will have at the polls if you select single-member districts in November. There are long lines at general elections now. You have seen nothing if we go to single-member districts. There will be much longer lines and longer waits and more confusion. It will take years to straighten out the messes created by converting to single commissioner districts, single school board districts (they are different) and changing precinct lines. People complain now at polls who are registered independent as they can only vote for independent candidates. Democrats and Republicans complain because they cannot jump party lines at the polls. You will not be able to cross district lines no matter what unless you actually move to another district and register the move with the elections office.

As it is today, some people do not know what precinct they live in. What chaos we will have with the school board districts, commissioner districts and precinct changes.

Some people have a post office box and no way can the elections office decide where they vote under single-member districts unless each person is called. Some streets, roads and highways have different districts, depending on the location. Even people who live on the fringe of the Spring Hill Fire District do not know where they belong. I have one of those fringe precincts.

With single-member districts, how can the poll workers and elections office personnel tell people where they belong? They can't unless each house number is fed into computers and matched with registered voters. Programming this will cost a pretty penny which will be passed on to the taxpayers. For the past primary, the elections office had five different ballots printed. I checked and asked how many would be needed if we were a single member district county. The answer was about 25 different ballots for the first primary.

We will need a King Solomon to figure out the mess at each polling place. We will need extra workers and that will also mean extra taxes. There will be many angry voters and I won't blame them. It will be utter chaos at the polls and I doubt if the poll workers will want to work at any following election.

Voters will want to vote for candidates outside their member districts. The unfortunate fact about single-member districts is that you will be able to vote for only one commissioner and one school board member every four years. Think about this. People who move will want to vote for candidates in their old districts if they should move to another district.

Newcomers to Hernando County will be in an utter state of confusion all because of the single member districts, if you vote yes for this change in the November election.

The problem will come after you have voted yes and the single member districts go into effect. Once before Hernando County voted to have single-member districts and after a few years reversed it to the countywide districts in effect today. Changes such as this mean extra expenses and extra expenses mean more taxes.

Also, you will have only one commissioner and one school board member representing you. In our present system, if you get a bad apple, you will have four others to offset that bad apple. With single member districts, you could also have only one enthusiastic board member or commissioner working for you or that one could be a bad apple.

I like the idea of having five people working for me, don't you? Then do not vote for single member districts. United we stand, divided we fall.

Rosalie Fredericks

Spring Hill

Kiwanis contract proves

commissioners are puppets

Editor: We're mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. We are outraged that the county commissioners reversed their decision and now have approved the "Joe Mason" version of the Kiwanis contract. The commissioners have proved once again that they are merely trained puppets.

There is only one way to cut the strings that Mr. Mason holds and that's to make each commissioner beholden to only you, the voter in his/her district.

Let's show the commissioners where the real power in this county is, with the voters. Vote yes on single-member districts and make the commissioners accountable to only the voters in his or her own district.

We have had enough of "business as usual." If you don't want Joe Mason to continue running this county, vote yes for single member districts on Nov. 6.

Lee and Rita Jean Vezzoni

Spring Hill

Reader ought to rest easy

about youth offenders center

Editor: On Oct. 12, you published a letter written by Rosemary Zion. She had been unable to find the answer to her question of where the rehabilitated first-offense drug youth would go when released from the proposed center on Spring Hill Drive.

Looking to the source, I talked directly with state Rep. Chuck Smith and understand the offenders will be released only when they have completed their 120 days and have a sponsor and living quarters waiting for them. I hope this relieves her fears.

I had felt the location was appropriate as it puts the center in an area already used for the detention of lawbreakers and owned by Hernando County. There would be no further cost for land purchase or installation of utilities to construct the center. A number of law enforcement personnel already are stationed in the road prison and jail facilities and those added when the new center is opened would be an adequate number to generate a feeling of security to those living nearby.

Peggy Hammond

Spring Hill

School systems suffer as

society succumbs to greed

Editor: It's sad to see hearts sealed shut due to greed. God is no longer the supreme being, but the love of power and money is. Keep the worker down, pay them little, take away benefits or don't give any to start, seems the norm.

Where are we learning this satanic philosophy? Television seems to be the biggest factor, but the schools and churches are in many cases the biggest violators of all.

The last I read was 70 percent of all churches were social (worldly) teaching, not God teaching, and the golden rule has been altered to "Do unto others before they do it unto you." I'm sure there are a lot of preachers who will point the finger of hate at me for saying this, but if they would look in a mirror when they point, they would see three fingers pointing back at themselves.

The school system and our government, in whatever form it takes, is, in my mind, the biggest destroyer of human dignity and a child-destroyer. Big paychecks and little minds are what seems to be making up our school system, starting at the top with Betty Castor and filtering its way down.

Florida spent $28-million last year on pregnant teens. $2.2-million was saved last year in the Hernando County school system and this has been proposed for higher teachers' salaries. We should freeze teachers' salaries except those that actually do exceptional teaching, plus change our schools' teaching program.

A trade/professional system starting in the 10th grade would take care of most of the millions we spend on pregnant teens and troubled youth, as they would have the knowledge needed after graduation for a good job with pay instead of despair. "I'll get pregnant or go into the military so someone will take care of me" might become an obsolete idea.

Dallas LaDuron

Spring Hill