Editor: On June 4, I attended the Spring Hill Fire & Rescue meeting at Springstead Theater. I went with an open mind seeking answers both from the county commissioners and the fire commissioners. I was shocked over the lack of control by the presiding chairman. The fire commissioners did not act in a professional manner. The procedures for an orderly meeting were not followed, so it is no wonder the audience made outbursts and derogatory remarks. It was disgusting that many members of the audience created disturbances while our county commissioners attempted to speak. Our five commissioners acted with class and dignity in an adverse situation.
Many of us were expecting to leave the meeting with a better understanding of the situation. Instead, we left with a bitter feeling toward the people in attendance and also the fire commissioners.
Whether one is for or against any issue, one should have the courtesy to listen to both sides without insults and interruptions.
Stanley R. Skalski
New blood wouldn't hurt government
Editor: I am sure that Hernando County has some fine old families, but I find it difficult to believe that the taxpayers should be required to provide employment for so many of them and their relatives. Perhaps it is time for these persons to withdraw their snouts from the public trough and seek employment in the private sector. Surely new blood wouldn't make the county government any worse, and it just might even invigorate the old families.
Decline in custodial upkeep noticed
Editor: Re: "ServiceMaster for School Building Custodial Services"
As a volunteer for the Adult Ed Program, I would like to add my observations and comments regarding this matter. For the past four years, I've assisted at the physical education evening sessions for the physically and mentally handicapped adults at the West Hernando Middle School. Over the past year, I have noticed a steady decline in the upkeep by the present custodial staff of the gymnasium in that building.
This past Christmas, the gym was closed for a period of two weeks while the floor was refinished at no doubt great expense to the county. I invite our School Board to visit this site now to view the condition of the floor. It is covered with dirt and discarded wads of gum. There has been no effort on the part of the custodial staff or their supervision to clean the area.
I also call attention to the restroom areas. I feel for the safety of our handicapped individuals.
Perhaps with the awarding of the contracts to a private concern, this work will get done as it should be. It sure is evident that it is not being done now.
Francis J. DuPonte
County needs new commissioners
Editor: After reading Sunday's paper I have a few comments I wish to make.
The guy collecting the dollar at Pine Island Park _ He is a park employee? Dressed like that? Is there a system set up to check on collections? If not, I would like that job.
(County Attorney Bruce) Snow should be dropped and replaced by a full time attorney with no connections to the good old guys. Of course, (County Commissioners Harold) Varvel doesn't like to lose Snow; they are all of the same clique, getting rich on the people's money. We need more Ginny Brown-Waites on the commission.
Why do Grubbs and Goldman get all the big contracts given out by the commission when it has been shown they do inferior work, and Goldman doesn't know how to build schools or prisons.
We need new people on the commission. The good (old) guys are all one family. New people would take a couple of years to form their own clique, giving us a few years of honest work, and then we get rid of them. If it wasn't for the tenacity of you newspaper people in covering all these things going on in Hernando, the people would surely be taken. Please keep up the good work.
Deputies should warn illegal parkers
Editor: As a new Florida resident, I eagerly awaited the Masaryktown Arts and Crafts Festival. On May 25, I was driving U.S. 41 and saw the parked cars for the festival. One sheriff's deputy was visible talking to a woman in the Masaryktown Hotel parking lot. Traffic was backed up in all directions at the intersection while cars waited to make turns. No one was directing traffic.
I arrived at the show at 9:05 a.m. on Sunday and found parking along the west right of way of U.S 41 just north of Wilson. I parked my car behind two others, and spent several minutes in the car adjusting sun shades.
As I walked toward the festival entrance, I passed three sheriff's deputies talking. One said, "There goes another one," but I did not pay attention, thinking he was commenting on someone else. There was a "parking" sign sitting on the ground near the entrance, but it was not visible from U.S 41, and I decided to remain parked where I was.
I enjoyed the show and returned to my car at 9:50 a.m. I saw that my car and the one behind it had parking citations. (The cars in front had gone.) I asked a deputy why we were allowed to park and then given tickets.
He said, "I didn't give it to you." I then asked another deputy. He pointed out the "no parking" signs on the opposite side of the road and behind my car. I asked about all the cars parked there Saturday, and he replied that they got tickets also.
Immediately following this, several deputies were on the right of way preventing parking.
I paid the ticket. However, I think the sponsors of the festival should know how inconsistently the sheriff's department directed traffic. Hernando County certainly made a killing from parkers at the festival. It sounds like entrapment, when deputies watch drivers park, and then issue citations.
Great teacher does more than teach
Editor: Mrs. Cheryl Kelly was my son Joseph's fifth-grade teacher this past year and did something that no teacher has done before. She needs to be commended.
I know that my son has been, at times, very trying for Mrs. Kelly, and she has helped him to receive awards that, without her support and direction, he may not have accomplished.
Every year as my son attends school, I visit his teacher to discuss grades and difficulties. This year was just a little different. Mrs. Kelly was concerned about her students' feelings, and not just doing what is required as a teacher.
When Joseph received his awards _ president's honor roll, perfect attendance, art and Spanish _ I was so proud.
These awards aren't just Joseph's, but they are a reflection of what type of an accomplishment his teacher made as well.
There was one award that my son received that was very special. Mrs. Kelly had given her students awards based on their personal talents. Joseph received an award for "most creative" To know my son's teacher felt he contributed to the class was something that no other teacher had shared with me before. Mrs. Kelly is truly the "most creative" teacher that one of my sons have been able to share a year of learning with.
Deltona Elementary should be proud. As my son moves on to middle school, it will be with a new inner strength from the support and recognition he received from his "creative" teacher, Mrs. Cheryl Kelly.
Karen L. Kraatz
Don't fix what's not broken
Editor: Re: Spring Hill Fire District
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
If it ain't broke, don't break it.
Developers should enforce directives
Editor: Re: Your article on The Oaks subdivision.
On Dec. 5, 1990, Matthew M. Cartee II, director of the State Department of Business Regulation (DBR), handed down a consent order against the Oaks of Spring Hill Inc.
The Oaks of Spring Hill Inc. was found to have violated a provision of Chapter 498, and after receiving a slap on the wrist, was ordered to pay a fine of $5,000.
The consent order also ordered the Oaks of Spring Hill Inc. to notify lot owners that they had the option to retain their lots or to obtain a refund of the monies paid including taxes and recording costs from the developer.
The DBR totally ignored the initiator of the complaint and the other homeowners who purchased and built homes in The Oaks, who were also deprived of the amenities that attracted them to The Oaks.
Mr. Cecil, vice president, alleges the amenities were not installed due to protests of residents who did not want the tennis and shuffleboard courts and RV parking near their homes. He failed to acknowledge that there were only 12 protesters against an untold number of lot owners who were ignored. The DBR has failed the residents in The Oaks again by questioning the ability of the department to enforce the very consent order they handed down.
Florida already has a scandalous reputation of unethical developers taking advantage of unsuspecting, mostly retired people who use their hard-earned savings for a dream house. They soon learn that they have been victimized, one way or the other, by piranha-type developers.
If Mr. Carter and his board cannot enforce its own directive, then they should resign and the board be abolished instead of wasting the taxpayers' money promulgating consent orders which they profess to either be unable or perhaps unwilling to enforce.
Mrs. William Small