1. Archive

Criticism of city manager's work unwarranted

Just read your negative article about City Manager Mike Roberto. It is so easy to criticize people that are active.

I run a company with 60 staff and $15-million in revenues. I know that it is important to take action and simply make more right decisions than wrong ones. Nobody is perfect, so stop whining!

Usually the things that you might deem "wrong" are simply solutions to problems you were not even aware of. Mike has done a lot of good for Clearwater:

The "One City, One Future" plan, which brings us all together. The final plans for the new bridge. IMR's arrival and a major improvement in our visual horizon because of that. The new palms on Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard. The new construction at the Clearwater Beach.

I think the Clearwater City Commission should keep on supporting Mike, and that the Times should more focus on all the positive effects he has brought to this city.

Stu Sjouwerman, Clearwater

Simple apologies not enough

to erase Roberto's mistakes

Thank you for keeping us informed of Mike Roberto's expenditures. Without the Times' reporting, the taxpayers would have no idea of how much he has spent.

How many mistakes will he get away with by apologizing until he is fired? He has committed so many mistakes at the taxpayers' expense, I think he should have lost his job long ago.

Keith Leyden, Clearwater

Largo commissioners should

re-examine priorities

Re: City's property tax rate may get boost, July 1, Largo has openings for 18 police officers, July 5, and Study says library crowded, July 27.

Question: How can you need funding for police officers who don't exist? In a low-crime community like Largo, how do you justify more police? Why is federal grant money accepted to create positions when local administrators know it is only a form of political pandering to short-term issues and the local community will be left holding the bag when the funding is discontinued?

The study referred to in the July 27 article details that Largo's "world-class" library is "inefficient," not inefficient by the normal definition of the word but inefficient because of its success. Confused? Me, too. Let me try to explain.

The consultants are saying the Largo Library is a victim of its own success and quality administration. The head of the Largo Library and all the staff have done such a superb job that too many residents want to use its services, resulting in overcrowding, overuse and, consequently, excessive inefficiency.

I guess the problem is I can't speak governmentese. How can so many people be so happy with a virtually free service and the service provider be considered "inefficient?"

In the Largo City Commission work session of July 27, one commissioner stated, "This report didn't tell me anything I didn't already know." Question: If this commissioner was aware of the library's overuse problem, how come nothing was done about it? If some commissioners are out of touch, it's great to know the taxpayers aren't.

Why are Largo commissioners willing to throw money at the Police Department (raise taxes) and ignore the services that the Largo citizens need and want to use? Why does Largo even have a Police Department? Neighbor Seminole and nearby Dunedin have used the county sheriff for years and plow the savings into more appropriate community services.

Largo is in the process of finalizing its annual budget. It will be intersting to see whether it will fund the unneeded police positions, forcing a tax increase. It will also be interesting to see how Largo's jewel, its "world-class library," will fit into budget plans.

Ross C. Herman, Largo

Landscaping Tampa Road helps, but walls still needed

Re: Wider Tampa Road also to be greener, story, Aug. 6.

I have to complain about the $231,000 dollars being spent on making Tampa Road a "greener" roadway by the state Department of Transportation and the city of Oldsmar.

Now, I am all for greenery on the roadways. Trees on the median don't bother me. What does bother me is that the city and the state are lax on the idea of spending their own money to construct walls along residential sections of Tampa Road to keep the noise and dangers of a wider Tampa Road away from the residents who live along that corridor.

If you are going to spend to beautify a major thoroughfare like Tampa Road, at least make it less noticeable to the residents who live along that roadway.

John Fontana, Palm Harbor

Parents must be responsible

for their children's actions

Re: Parents must parent before teachers can teach, column, Aug. 4.

Thank you, Jack Reed, for having the courage to address a situation in our schools that others in the media merely allude to.

I've always wondered why teachers can't get the message to the general public that "the inmates are now running the asylum." You might be surprised to learn that more than a handful of parents (single mothers) and teachers are intimidated by the kids. Since the breakdown of our families, this situation is almost out of control.

Parents won't parent unless they're forced to. It's easier taking the easy way out and letting someone else do it. I commend Reed for his suggestion that all of us, including teachers, administrators and school board members, develop a spine. The sooner the better.

I imagine many Americans interpreted the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to mean that they are entitled to rights without responsibility. Maybe an amendment is in order.

Lil Cromer, Belleair