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Schools, county need financial responsibility

Editor: Re: the proposed school and road sales tax referendums:

Let's focus on the proposed referendum for schools. The school district wants a half-cent sales-tax hike to build another school. While a special school may be justified, this is a big problem because school taxes have almost reached the state millage cap and additional debts can't be incurred without voter approval. It appears the sales-tax increase is really viewed as a permanent resource by the district. Prudent management of the education business and its funds is much needed and long overdue.

When did this stop being a part of the School Board's job? For example, why haven't steps been taken to save money by consolidating services such as libraries, recreational facilities and joint purchases with the Hernando County Commission?

As for the term of the tax, let's set it at four years and have another vote then to determine if the tax increase should continue for two more years. Taxpayers should not be asked for blank checks.

Next, let's look at the proposed tax referendum for road maintenance. The Hernando County Commission wants a half-cent sales-tax hike to fix up our roads.

If the hike passes, the recently-enacted 3-cent gasoline tax would be repealed. Now, some questions: Why haven't our roads been maintained before this? Also, why hasn't the county saved any money by consolidating facilities and/or services with the schools or through its own cost improvement programs?

Prudent management of the county business and its funds also is long overdue. Both institutions need to be managed as successful businesses, paying close attention to the bottom line.

As for the tax amount and term, let's have the same deal for roads as for schools: an additional half-cent sales tax for four years and then a vote to determine if it should continue for two more years.

Meanwhile, commissioners should rethink the gasoline tax issue because road maintenance is a reality and the county also is close to the state millage cap for property taxes.

Michael Parks

Spring Hill

Arts guild thanks community

for help in sponsoring choir

Editor: Thanks to excellent community support, the Hernando Performing Arts Center Guild takes great pride in having been able to be the major sponsor in bringing the Florida Singing Sons Boychoir to Brooksville.

First-place winners for the past two years at the Prague International Choir Festival and Competition, the Boychoir will appear in concert at the Hernando Performing Arts Center on Thursday at 7 p.m. for the public, and again Friday for students.

Thanks to you, we've been able to contribute $1,000 to this effort to bring excellence to Brooksville.

Dorothy L. Constantin

Hernando Performing Arts Center Guild

Review didn't accurately critique

Palace Dinner Theatre performance

Editor: Re: Arts and Entertainment Editor Barbara Fredricksen's April 25 theater review of Fiddler on the Roof:

Let's get real. The show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson provides one of the best dinner and entertainment values available anywhere. Dinner and a show for $34.95? You couldn't even get an after-show snack at Sardi's for that price.

I don't know whether Fredricksen is mean-spirited, or just ill-informed as to the variables that enter into many local productions.

Her review of Fiddler on the Roof knocks the orchestra, director, casting, air temperature in the theater, size of the stage, etc. What qualifies her to write silly columns of absolutely no socially redeeming value?

Since Fredricksen is such an experienced theater buff, I would think she would have enough common sense to bring a wrap with her in case the theater gets chilly. Many people are suffering from respiratory problems at this time of year and air conditioning is a necessity.

Wayne Raymond just happens to be one of the finest musicians and directors in any area, yet she questions his direction as being inept or non-existent. She certainly owes that man an apology. As Fredricksen is aware, tempos, no matter what the conductor sets, can be slowed down or "dragged" by a singer.

The conductor is then put in the position of having the orchestra accompany the singer's tempo. Otherwise the performance will turn to utter disorder.

Fredricksen used a quote from the show: "A little bit of this, a little bit of that," was needed to make it an outstanding performance. In my opinion, that is just a cop-out due to Fredricksen's inability to accurately critique the performance.

Frank N. Marino

Spring Hill

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