1. Archive

Seminole fire board needs better flow of information

Re: Seminole fire board should wait no more, June 22 editorial.

The only way an informed, intelligent decision can be arrived at is after the gathering of pertinent information. Is this information provided to the newly elected fire board in a timely fashion? Status quo seems to be seeing a packet of information the day of a board meeting. We appear foolish stating that we need time to digest the new information. And that's if information is even offered.

From the day I took office, I have found the task of gathering information to be tedious. It is almost as if we are given information on a need-to-know basis _ a need to know determined by administration.

Is the newly elected board in charge?

Is administration laughing at the board's indecisiveness? Did not a former board set aside this and other important issues for the newly elected board?

Why does this board find it so difficult to talk to one another, work together for the betterment of the department? Could it be that administration did such a good job intimidating the newly elected board with the Sunshine Law, effectively gagging the members from any form of communication with one another?

Why has the newly elected board had to rely on a handful of citizens for much of the information about important matters?

When we try to make a decision based on the information provided, what is the result? We voted to end the volunteer program and were criticized for that decision. We were told by the chief we could save money by eliminating an employee membership in a firefighters association. We did so and watched morale plummet. We attended executive sessions on union matters and, based on a one-sided viewpoint given to us by administration, gave direction. Result: The two sides seem further apart than ever and the board is subjected to letters by firefighters who claim that the concern is not there for their needs.

Just what is a fire department? Is it firefighters who are there when an emergency occurs, or it is a top-heavy department with personal agendas and benefits out of line with the real world, corporate or municipal?

If the newly elected board had been able to work with a supportive administration, maybe even more could have been accomplished in the last seven months. Why has no decision been made on the vacated deputy chief's position? What are we waiting for _ a new fire chief who knows less about this department than we do? Who's running the show here anyway? Was the newly elected board perhaps thrown a few curves upon taking office?

Nancy C. Patula

Seminole fire commissioner

Dolphins' demise a sad affair

The recent demise of the dolphins is such a tragedy. Not only did the animals suffer, I'm also thinking of all the mental suffering being experienced by the kind and caring people who gave their time and efforts trying to save these animals.

I was born in the mid-1910 era, and don't ever remember hearing of sea animals beaching themselves. But then, we didn't have worldwide pollution.

I firmly believe that if Homo sapiens had to exist in the dolphin world with all of its pollutants, there would be many more Homo sapiens out of whack.

Skip Ganger


Commit on Yacht Club for parking

Perhaps Belleair Beach is converting to making positive statements favoring beach renourishment, at least verbally. When City Council member Stuart Scott at the meeting on June 5 asked each member individually for his/her stand on beach renourishment, council unanimously favored having a beach. Mayor Bill Atteberry admitted that he was reserving the Yacht Club property for public parking.

Yet when a motion was made to make a resolution reserving the Yacht Club for public parking, it was voted down 5-2. Council's excuse was that it was waiting for an important update from Lonnie Ryder with the Department of Environmental Protection, who advised that the government was considering expanding its criteria and, therefore, we may not need to use that property at all. Why give something away for nothing, they argued?

Presiding officer Ron Zimmerman did receive a letter from Lonnie Ryder dated June 6. Its contents clearly stated that any beach renourishment is dependent on the Yacht Club property for parking.

In the meantime, Hurricane Allison whipped past us 200 miles offshore, causing beach erosion to our seven-eighths mile of beach. Forecasters are predicting this to be a stormy season.

Based on Ryder's recent letter, it is now necessary that City Council take immediate action to vote the Yacht Club property to be available for public parking, as well as any other matter necessary for compliance.

Remember, it is not the intent that counts, it is the act!

Selma Kron

Belleair Beach