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Acting mayor missed his chance

Editor: In his last meeting as acting mayor of Port Richey, Bob Leggiere laid blame for his failed attempt to persuade voters to re-elect him. He lashed out at Times reporter Matthew Waite and editor of editorials C.T. Bowen. His verbal assault continued against police Chief Bill Downs.

It seems Leggiere uncovered information allegedly linking the Port Richey Building Department to years of fraud and corruption. The aforementioned gentlemen did nothing to investigate this alleged fraud. Leggiere contends had this fraud been exposed, voters surely would have elected him mayor.

I find it troubling that Mr. Leggiere did not choose the proper venue, namely regularly scheduled public meetings, to bring forth these charges and direct the city manager to investigate and have a public report. This blunder by Leggiere parallels a prior charge of interference and undermining a former building official resulting in his resignation.

In both cases, Leggiere and City Counil should have directed the city manger to investigate. To his credit, Leggiere promises a full written report naming names and exposing the fraud. If the forthcoming report indicates a coverup by Downs or (City Manager Vince) Lupo, the council should take appropriate action. But given their "drinking buddy" status, this is doubtful.

Fred Miller, Port Richey

Even biased coverage can't

harm Leggiere's reputation

Editor: As the daughter of a local politician I am appalled by coverage in the Times. It is clear that the prejudiced selection of candidates that your paper endorsed was not fixed on platforms, accomplishments or what was best for the people. Your motives for misrepresenting the facts are difficult to fathom.

The reports about my father, Bob Leggiere, have not only been distorted truths, fabricated illusions and a vast collections of misquotes, but have commonly not even reported the simplest of facts correctly. In former coverage, you have incorrectly reported his place of birth, number of elected terms and years of service. Yet even more disturbing is the way you have unjustly published non-stories with the intent of manufacturing controversy because you evidently did not like him.

You continually associated him with an ongoing "criminal inquiry" when the fact remains that not a single law enforcement agency has named or even implied that he is the subject of an investigation at all. More recently you have reported that his appearance with city officials at a local public establishment "cast a shadow" on the Sunshine Law. Once again, there was absolutely no evidence of any wrongdoing. Ironically, your accusation of the appearance of impropriety was echoed by his opposition. Would you classify any of this slander as campaigning for his opponent?

When you finally attempted to report his standing on vital issues affecting the city, your tampered version did not even come close to the truth. You neglected to mention that the rejection of the Korman rezoning and loss of permit left the city with a dilapidated house, minus thousands in tax revenue. And that the commercial zoning near the mobile home park was only a hearing, a legal right of that property owner. To deny a hearing would have put the city in court.

Your sensationalism, inaccuracy and lack of fairness has resulted in a grave loss for the citizens of Port Richey. Despite your malicious attacks, people who know him continue to believe in his integrity and skill, and admire his dedication to his community. Though none of his accomplishments has ever been covered in theTimes, it is crystal clear that this hard work in the city of Port Richey has resulted in a finer place to live and will not be forgotten.

Laura Ludy, New Port Richey

How could the ex-mayor miss out

on the rich tradition of corruption?

Editor: I am shocked, dismayed, disappointed and chagrined that Peter Altman, ex-mayor of New Port Richey, failed to pay his taxes on time, using the excuse of "cash flow problems." By doing so, he has let down his fellow politicians not just here in Florida but all across this great nation of ours. After all, when I lived in Illinois, there were two credos when it came to politics. The first was to get out and vote _ and vote again and again. The other was that any politician who was in public office and did not leave it as a rich man or woman just wasn't trying very hard.

So Altman should hang his head in shame. Where are the graft and political kickbacks that have made so many other successful politicians well off? How can any man or woman worth their salt ever experience "cash flow problems" when they are feeding at the public trough?

Douglas Spangler, New Port Richey

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