Editor: Re: Gary Bogard's recent letter to the editor regarding the "amount of dignity and common courtesy" displayed by the Hernando County commissioners:
Like Mr. Bogard, for 14 years my schedule precluded attending commission meetings. Circumstances have change and during the past three months I have had the time to attend all but two meetings. My motivation was to see if our county government really is as bad as the press was reporting to the public.
I have more than nine pages of notes that I think expose both sides of the picture, and it's not as bad as most people think. In fact, a longtime resident who has attended more meetings than I rightly said, "This is the best board" she has ever seen. "However, the courtesy and respect issue is certainly a problem."
But, as is the case with other problems, this is not presented in the newspapers as it really is. In fact, the discourtesy of the board members pales in the presence of the discourtesy of the citizens who use the 30 minutes of public input to vent and attack the board, as well as each other.
This performance is inexcusable and shocking. What makes it worse is it comes mainly from older people who know better, and who were raised when the character traits of respect and civility were widely taught in the community and the home. This is the group that should be setting an example to follow, not creating its own hall of shame. I would no more take one of my grandchildren to a board meeting than I would a pornographic movie.
I am so aghast. As a senior citizen, I apologize to the young people of Hernando County for this deplorable display of behavior.
As far as the press is concerned, they have done a disservice to residents because they only see the commissioners' performance. Besides, why should the press bite the hand that feeds it by criticizing the behavior of the misbehaving citizens? On at least three occasions residents have made pleas for both the board and citizens to be more civil. One person even suggested a sergeant of arms be present at meetings to maintain order.
Recently the press praised the board for its strength when they fired the county administrator. I challenge the press to take a stand against all the negative energy spent on these counterproductive attacks against people instead of ideas.
John K. Miller, Spring Hill
Arts benefit will help guild
Editor: The recent benefit performance for the Hernando Performing Arts Center Guild, featuring the Stage West Light Opera Company under the direction of Irv Clark, was a huge success.
Proceeds from the event will help the guild in its efforts to bring quality entertainment to the area at affordable prices and to provide scholarships to worthy students of the arts.
Dorothy L. Constantin, Brooksville
Halloween party was safe, successful
Editor: The ninth annual Halloween Party for the Handicapped (special children and young adults and their families from Hernando and Pasco counties) was a great success. Aripeka Elks Lodge 2520 provided this special evening for these beautiful youngsters. It enabled them to enjoy a safe trick-or-treat event and receive toys, candy, food and door prizes.
Thanks to all the individuals and merchants who contributed time, talent and merchandise to this event, which drew an estimated 275 people.
Mary Ann Steffes, Spring Hill
Thanks for help on dredge project
Editor: The board of directors of the Hernando County Port Authority, on behalf of the commercial fishermen, professional mariners and recreational boaters, wishes to express its gratitude to local, state and federal legislators for their continued support of the Hernando Beach dredge project.
On Sept. 23, Hernando County commissioners entered into a feasibility cost-sharing agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. State Sen. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Brooksville, has assisted with acquiring state funding for this study. U.S. Rep. Karen Thurman, D-Dunnellon, has assisted with the reactivation of the Hernando Beach Channel 107 Study, which was announced by the Corps of Engineers on Jan. 16.
Cap. John Saittis, past chairman and board member of the Port Authority, initiated this project with the Corps of Engineers and Thurman in 1994. With continuing support this project will take this major waterway to the Gulf of Mexico.
Susan Harman, vice chairwoman
Crack down on reckless driving
Editor: When will our Sheriff's Office do something about the reckless driving in Hernando County? This includes speeding, stop sign violations, illegal passing and going through red lights with abandon.
One only has to take a short ride around Spring Hill to see any or all of these violations in a very short time.
Sheriff Tom Mylander, when are you going to put a stop to this idiocy?
Edward Graham, Spring Hill
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