1. Archive

Pasco residents should be wary of raising taxes

Published Sep. 26, 2005

Re: Sheriff's inaccuracies may doom penny tax, Jan. 30 column

Editor: C.T. Bowen, in his column, says supporters shouldn't push Penny for Pasco this year. I hope they never push it.

Pasco County already gets enough money. Besides, the county is growing and developing, which is going to greatly increase tax revenues over the years. Sure, a Penny for Pasco would bring in more money, and the government can always figure out how to spend it. But all they have to do is spend the money they get more wisely.

Bowen mentioned Sherriff Cannon's "misinformation" back in 1998. Really, that was to be expected. You shouldn't believe any government official who says we need to raise taxes.

Those "Penny for" things have a way of becoming permanent. Think of Pinellas County.

Apparently, one of the leaders in the effort for the cities is Zephyrhills City Manager Steve Spina. At least, he's leading their search effort. Remember the misunderstanding that led to his spending unauthorized money to build a bricked roundabout there. Anything from the cities will lack credibility. Bottom line, citizens: Watch your wallets.

Ernest Lane

New Port Richey

Sheriff Cannon's performance

shows he is unfit to hold office

Re: Understaffed or poorly managed?, Jan. 23

Editor: Geoff Dougherty's story is a fine example of investigative journalism, possibly one of the best I have seen. Not only has Dougherty provided valuable information for assessing Sheriff Lee Cannon's performance, he also has reminded us of non-partisan touchstones for assessing the performance of any other public official. Is there any question that decision-making ability and responsible management are among the public's minimum expectations for any public official?

Furthermore, is there any question that decision-making ability depends on the availability of reliable and relevant data, or that responsible management requires, at a minimum, generating and/or accessing reliable and relevant data and making such data available to others for use in their own decisions?

There is no question that Sheriff Cannon failed to provide reliable and relevant data to the public and, thereby, at a minimum, hampered the decision-making ability of the voters. Likewise, Sheriff Cannon failed to provide reliable and relevant data to the members of the Pasco Board of County Commissioners and, thereby, at a minimum, hampered their decision-making abilities. Whether he did so intentionally or unintentionally comes down to a debate between whether Sheriff Cannon is criminal or incompetent.

Either way, Cannon is unfit to be sheriff, and so it simply comes down to a matter of how and when he is to be removed from that office.

To focus exclusively on Sheriff Cannon, however, is to overlook the fact that he is operating within a complex system that perpetuates itself. Moreover, to suggest that the issues raised by Dougherty and pursued by Ed Collins are partisan, as Sheriff Cannon has done is saying that voters expect and accept less integrity, honesty, competence and responsibility from elected officials of their own party than from elected officials of another party. Who is politically motivated here: Sheriff Cannon, who raises such an ill-founded defense, or those who raise legitimate concerns about his performance and pursue them through lawful channels?

Sheriff Cannon, I call for your immediate resignation.

Kimberly A. Blevins