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CANDIDATE'S REPLY

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Times offers candidates not recommended by the editorial board the opportunity to reply. Here is one of those replies.

Tom Osborne, candidate for the Dunedin City Commission

Pursuant to the telephone instructions of your editor and Dunedin resident, Jack Reed, I am resubmitting my response letter. Because I criticized the incumbent opponents, the original letter was rejected and I was advised that this violated the rules (after the fact). Therefore, in this you will find no such criticism, although I contend they were the source of complaints about me.

Who decided that my manner was a legitimate issue? How about my attendance record? Would that qualify? I am proud of the fact that I have missed only one regular meeting of the commission in my five years of service. Your broad brush, unfounded, insulting smearing of me personally was unwarranted, unjustified and totally unprofessional for a Pulitzer Prize newspaper of your status. To do this without specifying particular incidents to which I may respond is shocking and violates all rules of fairness.

Your position is totally inconsistent with the glowing terms of endorsement of me by your previous editors prior to the 1994 and 1996 elections. For the record, I'm the same guy, the taxpayers' candidate! Your failure to endorse me merely proves the point that whistle-blowers are never well received by special interests who likewise scorn campaign reform. Fortunately, the voters will decide who has earned the chance to be re-elected.

Regarding the comment that I had "few new initiatives," we discussed at length my positions on the following:

1. Nielsen relocation _ incentives and city condemnation power.

2. Blue Jays _ support break-even contract; a red-ink contract should go to referendum.

3. Future amendment of state law to expand annexation.

4. Acceleration of sidewalk program I initiated.

5. Institute flat rate on reclaimed water program.

6. Expand drainage program I initiated (Third Avenue, etc.).

7. Expand sewer installations to eliminate all septic tanks _ 140 homes in Spanish Trails now under way (my project).

8. Create Culture Fund _ to regulate spending.

Do you consider that deliberately omitting the above and more was fair? For a really fair approach, see interviews by "Spotlight on Dunedin," Cable Ch. 15, Feb. 2, 6:30 p.m.; Feb. 3, 5:30 p.m.; Feb. 4, 6:30 p.m.; Feb. 5, 10 a.m.; Feb. 6, 10 a.m.

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