1. Archive

Editorial on signs is illogical, baseless

Editor: In response to your editorial about the Clearwater sign ordinance, your arguments are illogical and I challenge you to provide convincing statistics. If signs distract motorists, they probably aren't very good drivers. Can you show how many motorists are "distracted" each year? Is the "distraction" germane? Are you playing games with your readers? Document how many accidents occurred principally because of a sign.

Document your statement that signs "can" contribute to accidents. Should we make laws based upon your suppositions?

Assume your postulated mechanism is correct. Since the small signs are harder to see, it will be more difficult to locate a business. If people are trying to find a business with a small sign, there will be more accidents of the type you describe as they strain to catch a glimpse of the sign.

Why did it take until 1985 for government and its sympathizers to decide there should be a more restrictive sign code? Where is the data for the pre-1985 period to support government decisions? This is government in the sunshine? I have formally requested to see the data; to date there has been no answer from the city.

Why weren't sensible long-term plans made to begin with? There has only been kneejerk reaction to our community's major problems. The issues of drainage, water, safety in our homes or on our streets, and education get inadequate attention.

The St. Petersburg Times has not been a leader in our community. A contributing factor to our problems is excessive growth, which the St. Petersburg Times promoted in its self-interest.

It is extremely difficult to consider your comments as serious. As a newspaper, do you oppose individual property rights? When government condemns property for public good, compensation for that property is just.

In your enthusiasm to find fault with others, you overlook the city's condemnation of real property without just pay. You cannot stop me from using my property and ask me to be happy.

Some communists may feel this is a fair arrangement. This violation of property rights is from within government; there has been no referendum, and I doubt whether citizens would vote for such a violation of rights. Perhaps I have more faith in citizens than you do.

I hope your support for retroactive laws will come back to haunt you. It is wrong to make laws that have the effect of being retroactive such as the sign ordinance.

The declarations at the end of your writing ring hollow; there is no fairness in Clearwater government. Clearwater government is an example of government unresponsive to the needs of the citizens. In Clearwater, government is working for government.

While 200-plus business people wasted their time asking their government for redress, the commissioners sat through an hour and a half without addressing the issues presented before them. The Declaration of Independence states that it is the people's right to overthrow their government when that government is unresponsive to their needs. Perhaps this is a good time to begin a vote of no confidence for Clearwater.

The city won't admit when they are in the wrong even when they violate their own rules. Little people with small mentalities. I'll bet the St. Petersburg Times is the same.

Michael Dalton, Clearwater

Belleair Fire Department proved itself

Editor: Once again the Belleair Fire Department has come to our rescue. The recent rains and tornadoes should certainly be proof positive that Belleair takes care of its own residents.

Why are we even considering contracting with Belleair Bluffs for fire service? It was our two trucks and our firefighters and our volunteers who were around town helping our residents and taking care of our emergency situations. In fact, the fire department alone answered 36 calls.

A picture in one of the newspapers showed the Clearwater trucks in Belleair Bluffs helping those businesses and residents there. The Belleair Bluffs truck is an EMS truck and it must go where the county sends it in an all-out emergency.

I hope my fellow Belleair residents will remember tornado weekend when they go to the polls on Nov. 3 and vote against the proposed contract with Belleair Bluffs.

Jane Plasket, Belleair

Plan should guide City Hall location

Editor: The news that the Clearwater commissioners are thinking of building a new City Hall at the location of the existing one flabbergasted me to no end.

Before deciding on a location for a new City Hall, an exhausting study should be made to establish a good criterion for location based on a good plan that is both comprehensive and practical _ meaning not out of sight and easy to get to.

The City Hall is more than an office building. It should be the focal point in a civic center municipal plan. Its location should reflect on our heritage and be a legacy that we can proudly pass on to future generations.

A start was made in 1984 when a bayfront plan was presented. Many things have happened, but the basic plan has many values (although the former Sandcastle Motel site was lost). We still have the ownership of the largest open space for development of a civic center.

Richard B. Mecha, Clearwater

Writer rebuts supporter of Clinton

Editor: Why do you insist on addressing national matters in the Largo/Seminole Times? The answer, of course, is that when you get anything anti-Bush/Republican/conservative, you'll find room for it somewhere!

On Oct. 2, it was a quarter-page guest column on how Clinton's election would stop the appointment of Republicans to the federal judiciary.

That writer believes this matter alone is a compelling reason to vote for Clinton. The writer notes that the president appoints all federal judges; that for 20 of the past 24 years, the president has been a Republican; that the Supreme Court has become "a haven of rightwingers"; and that it is "shocking" that 71.6 percent of federal circuit judges have been appointed by Republicans.

The writer seems to conclude that this is leading toward "complete control of the government" by "conservative Republicans".

The biggest bunch of baloney here is the single-minded focus on the federal judiciary, which simply, although importantly, interprets and applies laws made by the Congress.

What are the figures we've heard about Congress lately? That for about 38 of the past 40 years it's been controlled by liberal Democrats and, we might respond, is a haven for leftwingers. I find this really shocking!

If, as the writer states, James Madison "did not foresee how one party's prolonged control of the White House" might be dangerous, neither did he see the danger in prolonged control of Congress. And he certainly didn't foresee the danger of control for even one day by Clinton/Gore.

William L. Weaver, Largo

Mangus thanks voters, volunteers

Editor: I am writing you concerning my bid for Pinellas County commissioner. I want to thank all of my family and supporters who voted for me. I also want to thank my campaign managers, treasurer and all the many volunteers who helped during the past eight months. We can all be proud for we ran a good, clean and honorable campaign at all times.

My opponent, who won, fellow Republican Steve Seibert, also ran a clean campaign. He worked hard and I feel he will keep his promises. I feel he will not forget where he comes from as many people do.

Thanks again to all who supported me, and be proud for we all worked hard and life goes on.

Joe Mangus, Largo