Editor: I am puzzled by the continual reference to state Sen. Jack Latvala's legislative bill as a "merger" of the cities of Port Richey and New Port Richey.
Latvala's Florida Senate Bill 1852 and state Rep. Debra Prewitt's identical House Bill 1295 read:
"A bill to be entitled _ An act relating to the cities of Port Richey and New Port Richey, Pasco County; abolishing the city of Port Richey; annexing the lands comprising that city into the city of New Port Richey to assume the assets and liabilities of the city of Port Richey; providing for a referendum; providing effective dates.
The word "merger," meaning combining into one, does not appear in the Latvala or Prewitt legislation. The word "abolish," meaning to do away with completely, appears twice.
Why are Latvala and Prewitt proposing the abolishment of Port Richey?
Latvala has offered that he has had 26 telephone calls from Port Richey residents (population 2,619) asking him to look into merging Port Richey with New Port Richey because these residents feel intimidated by City Hall. Where is the proof of their claims?
Prewitt is quoted as saying she doesn't think a vote by the residents of Port Richey would be honest. And, she further states she is afraid they're (Port Richey) headed for bankruptcy, and we'll have to bail them out. Where is the proof of her claims?
The issue that needs to be resolved first is, is this legislative bill a political abuse of power?
Does our state Constitution allow for an elected official to determine if a city shall be "abolished" without fact or proof? What corruption will result from pleasing the one who raises the guillotine over the proverbial city fathers' heads?
Where is the outrage of the public that one elected official unable to tolerate an irritating constituent would dictate the abolishment of a city without the courtesy of informing them of his actions?
Latvala took the time to inform New Port Richey Mayor Peter Altman of his intentions to abolish Port Richey and annex it into New Port Richey before he made his intentions known to the press.
He did not invite Port Richey Mayor James Carter to the breakfast meeting with Altman and Prewitt. Why not?
On Dec. 12, Latvala faxed New Port Richey City Manager Gerald Seeber a draft copy of his proposed legislation and advised, "Following are two options for the bill we discussed. Please review and advise. Jack."
Latvala did not fax anything to Port Richey City Manager Vincent Lupo. Why not?
The Times editor, in his column of Feb. 2 on the "merger," ended with the promise the Times would at least "try to give residents of both cities a better sense of the details instead of the politics." Will that be before or after the April 8 city elections?
Virginia Krysher, New Port Richey
Thanks to all for compassion, sympathy
Editor: An open letter to the community.
On Feb. 11, our community lost a very special person, Marsha B. Glisson _ Christian, wife, mother, defender of children's rights and Circuit Court judge. To say my wife will be missed is an understatement. In silences, Marsha helped so many people, the majority never knowing of her involvement. Because of her caring efforts, lives have been influenced and changed forever. Dear God, provide the world with more Marsha B. Glissons.
I want to express my gratitude to the countless people from every walk and station in life that have helped us. The number of people that have shown my family assistance, compassion and peace has been unimaginable. I cannot even begin to count them all _ I owe so much to so many people. My hope is that all who helped during Marsha's illness and after in my family's time of sorrow will understand that my heart is much like their own. There is nothing that I could write that can truly be a reflection of our appreciation and gratefulness.
Barry P. Tranchetti, Jessica, Karisa and Rachel
New Port Richey
Car seller robbed teen of life savings
Editor: This letter is addressed to the person who sold my son a pink 1985 Honda Accord that was parked on U.S. 19 in November.
How, sir, do you sleep at night? Everything you said about the car was an out-and-out lie. Even after we contacted you after we took it to the mechanic and were informed it needed $1,500 in repairs, you pretty much laughed in our face. Yes, we got it fixed and I want you to know that was my 16-year-old's life savings he put into that car. Now, after only four months and $1,500 later, the engine is blown, hence another $1,500. No, we will not repair it. We will junk it because you robbed my son of every penny he had. I know you have children and I pray that they never have to go through the disappointment and the wondering of how someone could be so dishonest.
My son worked very hard to pay for repairs and insurance on this car, and you, sir, robbed him of every 16-year-old's dream of owning a car.
Denise Smith, Port Richey
Before criticizing, try firefighters' job
Editor: I have only three words to say to the numerous articles written by people who apparently have nothing better to do with their time than to criticize Pasco County Fire and Rescue: Get a life!
I have never seen a community have so little respect for others, especially their local fire department. It is apparent that those who write these articles have never been in the fire service themselves, because if they had, they would know one important thing: A firefighter has high respect for equipment and the people they serve.
I encourage anyone who criticizes the fire service to walk in the shoes of a firefighter for 24 hours and put your life on the line when you respond to a house fire or even a simple auto accident. And if you are lucky enough to survive between house fire, false alarms, auto accidents and what else may happen during that 24 hours, you would feel completely different about the fire service; you might even have some respect for them.
I want to take the time to thank Pasco County Fire and Rescue for work well done in our community. This is one resident of this community that will always support you. Keep up the good work and be safe!
Jennifer Dee Wallace, New Port Richey
Thanks, River Ridge, for Roosevelt play
Editor: I want to thank the River Ridge school administration for the opportunity to be present at Ms. Toni Gilman's Celebration of Eleanor Roosevelt. The play, written by Gordon Davis, had a wonderful rhythm of laughter, tears and anxious pauses that Ms. Gilman played magnificently on our eyes, ears and minds.
In this ugly, "curfew" week, what a pleasure to see the students in our audience, as enthralled as the seniors, run to get autographs and take pictures in order to record this outstanding performance.
Esther D. Liebler, Port Richey