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Collins: I did not write letter supporting Sea Forest aid

Editor: Once again, you have misleading information in your editorial of Sunday, These rents no bargain for low-income seniors.

You indicate that "Commissioner Ed Collins, as chairman, wrote a letter to the state in support of government assistance for Sea Forest," etc. This statement is incorrect as I never wrote such a letter.

The chairman of the County Commission, in the capacity of "Chief Elected Official in Pasco County," is the designated signer of thousands of documents that are prepared by staff based on action taken by the Board of County Commissioners. They include everything from liens to requests for grants for the Sheriff's Office.

You are quite aware of this, and to state that I wrote the letter in question is intentionally misleading your readers.

Ed Collins, County Commissioner

Do good in community;

hold public office

Editor: As a Gulf War veteran who served in a combat zone, and having served in the military for five years, I am insulted by people who challenge my commitment to this nation and my home, namely the city of New Port Richey and Pasco County.

The reason I ran for City Council in April stemmed from the lack of qualified candidates willing to step forward. After I took office I became part of a professional team the likes of which I had not seen since I left the Army to go home and take care of my father, who had been hurt in an industrial accident. My decision to hold public office and open my life to public criticism is only the first part of the commitment we all take on when we, "the elected," choose to run for office.

The other part of the commitment is how involved you must be in the daily workings of the community and understanding how the decisions you make are going to affect the people in our community. This, by the way, is "A FULL-TIME JOB," if you take the trust placed in you seriously.

When I decided to run for county commissioner I did so because of the blatant misuse of public trust and lack of vision that exists, and will continue to exist, until someone qualified and willing to hold public office steps forward. I am completely committed to honest, ethical representation of the people (which includes a complete abstention from alcohol, tobacco and drugs). And I intend to dedicate all my free time to building a better community, but I must eat and pay my taxes just like all the other hard-working people who choose to live here. If you have so much free time that you can do this job with the same dedication to duty, honesty and ethical behavior and are willing to give up all pay and privileges, then step forward and file your paperwork.

Lastly, to address the subject of my resignation, state law dictates when I must resign and when it must be effective. The experience I have gained and will continue to build upon will put me in a unique position. I will be the only commissioner who was willing to serve for next to nothing in compensation before taking office on a county level. If you think you can organize 51 percent of the people of New Port Richey, roughly 7,500 people, to sign a petition to have me removed, give it your best shot. But if you have any sense of community and really want to do some good, rather than just throw political stones, try running for public office where the real world awaits you.

Scott R. Bryant, council member,

New Port Richey

Convenience is key for

recycling program success

Editor: I was disheartened to read the article in Monday's Pasco Times about how poorly we in Pasco County are doing in the recycling effort, but I was not really surprised. I have lived in Pasco County since 1990, before curbside pickup, and went to the trouble of hauling my own recycling to the recycling center in New Port Richey before 1992.

I was thrilled when we started curbside pickup, but even at the beginning, I was skeptical about its chances for success, based on the blue bags alone. When visiting friends and relatives in other cities across the nation and seeing how their recycling programs work, ours looks pretty lame.

At the supermarket where I regularly shop, blue bags are a special order item, and oftentimes the store has no blue bags to sell. This is a rather large deterrent to the effort. I estimate that I spend about $25 per year on blue bags. Why must we use these bags, which also have to be recycled? Why can we not have the hard plastic blue bins that I see in most other cities I visit? I for one would be happy to pay a one-time fee for one or two containers and not have the inconvenience of having to find and purchase these blue bags on an ongoing basis. I believe that if it is not convenient, people will tend not to recycle. It would surely be a shame if we lose our funding, when we are all aware of how necessary it is to not only maintain our current recycling tonnage, but to increase it. This seems like a no-brainer to me.

Julia Hall, New Port Richey

Recycling bags readily available

at retail, grocery stores

Editor: This letter is in response to a letter to the editor in Thursday's Pasco Times. We are quite surprised to read Joseph E. Shoener's letter, which states that blue bags for recycling are hard to find. On the contrary, we find they are easily available. As a matter of regular procedure, we periodically call the grocery and retail stores to check availability.

On Thursday, 42 locations of the following grocery and retail stores across the county, report that they have the recycling blue bags in stock: Eckerd, Food Lion, Home Depot, Kmart, Publix, U-Save, Walgreens, Wal-Mart and Winn-Dixie.

This list is compiled as a result of polling the individual stores.

Please do not forget that the haulers are required to supply their customers with schedules and/or calendars advising of blue bag pickup days.

I urge Mr. Shoener and any other residents in Pasco if they have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to call Pasco County Recycling at (813) 847-8041. We will be glad to assist them.

Robert J. Sigmond,

Utilities Fiscal Services/

Special Projects Director

Hospice staff, volunteers

deserve some praise

Editor: In honor of November being National Hospice Month, I would like to say thank you to the millions of volunteers and hospice personnel who give so freely of their love and dedication to the hospice organization, terminally ill patients and their families.

As the director of volunteers for Hospice of Pasco, I have the privilege of working with the community, volunteers and staff daily. It is a rare and high privilege to be in a position to help people understand the difference that they can make, not only in their own lives, but in the lives of others simply by giving of themselves.

On behalf of everyone from Hospice of Pasco Inc., I wish to extend our gratitude to all of those who support hospice, not only in Pasco County, but all over the country. Let's salute these great people!

Suzanne Mandeville, New Port Richey

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