Editor: I read with great disappointment the letter to the editor by Rep. Debra Prewitt published on May 1. Her letter seemed to suggest that it is everyone else's fault she could not get her bill passed. I cannot understand why she can't simply say to the public that she tried but failed.
We all have our failures, Rep. Prewitt, and I would expect you as my representative to set the example and take responsibility for yours. But you let me down. To attack Rep. Mike Fasano, Rep. Carl Littlefield and Sen. Jack Latvala is the easy way out. The fact is that they sponsored and passed a lot of legislation this year.
I think you would be more wise to focus on what you did accomplish this session rather than what you failed at. Tell me how many bills you filed and how many passed. What will they mean to me? Your finger pointing is a huge disappointment, and you have some work to do to regain my confidence.
Charles K. Bates, New Port Richey
Rep. Debra Prewitt didn't show all facts
Editor: Rep. Debra Prewitt made some interesting statements in her letter. First, let me agree that the Sheriff's Office needs more deputies on the road to protect the increasing number of new residents coming into this county. There also would be common ground on the need for additional funding that we both share.
Prewitt noted that Rep. Mike Fasano, the majority whip and chair of the Pasco delegation, had no open bills to submit this proposal. This is due to the fact that he has five bills on the governor's desk to be signed into law and that she has none that I can locate. Fasano's bills include drug testing for juveniles involved in the legal system; a sexual predator act that increases the time from 10 to 20 years that this type of criminal will be under state observation; and naming of the veteran's nursing home that Fasano and others worked to bring to Pasco to serve the veteran community. The last two bills involve tax exemptions. The first is for businesses that use Florida universities for research and development of high-tech projects. This will hopefully stimulate the high-tech industry to build in this state, which in turn will bring high-tech, high-paying jobs to Florida. The second exemption is for Lykes Pasco Citrus Manufacturing, again encouraging industry in Pasco County. The best way to increase the tax base is to increase business and manufacturing, thus the reason for Fasano's support of these bills.
Prewitt has concerns for the citizens of Pasco, but she stated she felt the opposition to the proposal was so great that she chose not to work and fight for her beliefs. Her voting record has improved from last session. However, the need for a leader to stand and fight for what is right is an age-old American tradition. Thank God our founding fathers put conviction over what seemed to be overwhelming odds to secure our freedoms.
She notes that the Pasco Building Association was led to believe the sales tax could lead to impact fees. The proposal of impact fees and the legislative change for the use of such fees for road deputies was made by me to Sheriff Lee Cannon at the budget hearings. There are 13 other counties that have impact fees for law enforcement.
On average, over the past 10 years in Pasco, we had 2,400 new homes built each year. A $2,500 impact fee would put $6-million in the sheriff's budget for more deputies. Then if additional money is needed, let us revisit the other tax proposals.
Hugh C. Townsend, New Port Richey
Reviewer is way off the mark
Editor: Three cheers for Frank N. Marino of Spring Hill! "Show Palace review was not accurate," April 30, 1998."
It sickens me every time I read one of this person's reviews. I cannot believe that some of these entertainment facilities don't sue her for libel. She is a vicious individual, and usually so far off base when I go to see whatever she has "ripped" at.
Let's hear some other opinions.
Pauline Fitchpatrick, New Port Richey
One commissioner gets things done
Editor: In regards to the letter to the editor dated April 24, 1998, from Anthony Colontonio concerning the lack of concern on the part of county commissioners dealing with the flooding in the Bass Lake area, we wish to respond. We live in Hudson off Hicks Road and were recently flooded. The roads leading to our home were impassable. After a month with no mail, no garbage pick-up, no services at all, we were ready to pull our hair out in frustration. We finally contacted Commissioner Pat Mulieri, who, in response to our plight, visited our neighborhood via a sandbag path. Mulieri contacted the county, and pumping was immediately started to remove the water that had come not only from heavy rains but also from construction retention ponds on State Road 52.
For Anthony to state these do-nothing county commissioners should retire does not in our opinion refer to Mulieri, a really terrific lady and the most concerned commissioner we have. We feel at election time, we as voters of Pasco County need to replace some of the commissioners with more Mulieris. It's a shame there are not more people out there who are as hard working, compassionate and caring as Mulieri is.
Peggy Dome, Chad Beckett, Hudson
Attorney's staff could handle cases, too
Editor: I recently had the unpleasant experience of receiving a letter from the Pasco County attorney. I noticed on the letter that Karla A. Stetter, the county attorney, has five lawyers on her staff. In March, the County Commission granted Stetter $25,000 of taxpayer money to defend the county against a suit brought by a former parks and recreation director. The director's job pays $45,422 a year. This is not Microsoft or the tobacco industry. Would it not be more economical to assign this case to one of the staff lawyers and save the $25,000 for a water wars lawyer or an H. Clyde Hobby fee?
Bill Rueck, New Port Richey