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Giving up license might have saved woman's life

Re: Crash victim had worried about eyes, Dec. 22 story.

I am angry and I am in tears after reading about Eileen Paonessa's death in a car crash. I'm angry with the Department of Safety and Motor Vehicles that they did not take Mrs. Paonessa's driver's license away. I'm angry with her friends, family and church because they didn't convince her to quit driving. But most of all I am angry with Mrs. Paonessa because she did not take control of her life and relinquish her driver's license.

We tell our young people that they need to be responsible, take control of their lives and make good decisions. We need to tell our elderly also! Don't endanger your life and my life by driving when you know you should not. Don't look at giving up your driver's license as a loss of independence. Look at it as an opportunity to take control of your life.

Most of all I am saddened by Mrs. Paonessa's death. During this holiday season when we should be singing Joy to the World to celebrate the birth of Christ, I can't think of anything sadder than having to sing Amazing Grace to bid farewell to a loved one.

If you know anyone who should not be driving, please talk to him or her. Have them call the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority and sign up for DART, an inexpensive taxi service for those who are unable to drive. The number is (727) 530-9921.

Linda McManis, Seminole

Stop hiring costly consultants

Re: With doubts, city okays $100,000 more for expert, Dec. 20 story.

I'm sure that I'm not the only Clearwater taxpayer who is deeply concerned about the profligate spending by our City Commission. We know that we face an open-ended, multimillion dollar commitment for the planned Clearwater harbor bridge, and recently a commitment for a new Phillies stadium was added.

When I read in the Times that the commission had voted to pay consultant Charles Siemon another $100,000, bringing his total payments from our city to over $900,000, I felt compelled to speak out.

I recall a time when complex city business and planning matters were handled in-house by our city staff without paying outsiders huge fees to do this work. Two examples that come to mind are the writing of a new land development code in the mid 80s and negotiations with U.S. Steel developers on Sand Key when that area was being developed.

It's about time we showed more fiscal restraint by, among other things, ceasing to hire expensive consultants, and by making no commitments to future major projects until we're sure exactly how much they will cost us.

Bill Schwob, Clearwater

Has the circus come to town?

Re: With doubts, city okays $100,000 more for expert, Dec. 20 story.

I'm confused. I thought the winter headquarters for the circus was south of here. Then I read about the money being spent to learn of the crafty visions of Clearwater's future by a consultant from Boca Raton and I realized the Greatest Show On Earth is right here in town.

Bob Coffey, Clearwater

Ruling against pool is laughable

Re: Family told pool illegal; must go, Dec. 22 story.

I remember reading a story a few years ago about a couple of women who got ticketed for taking their coffee on the beach. The feeling I got then is what I felt when reading the article about the Konstantinovic family and their above-ground pool. Maybe it is once again time for city officials to rethink one of their ordinances.

I sincerely hope that City Manager Tom Brobeil read his comments and realized how silly they sound. First, that the pool is a "potential visual and noise nuisance." How in the world did it survive five years of no problems or complaints? Secondly, that "residents have complained about people making too much noise as they bob up and down in other pools." I am still laughing! Perhaps we should just outlaw pools in the Sunshine State! That would keep it nice and quiet!

Seriously, I think it is normal to have fun in a pool and sometimes people do get excited and a little rowdy. That is why as parents, we monitor our children and make sure they are not getting too wild. It sounds as if the Konstantinovic family has been doing a fine job of it for all this time; I can't imagine they would stop now!

Finally, I was irritated by the mention that "city officials have been more accepting (of spas and Jacuzzis) because some residents say they need them for therapeutic purposes." Might these be the same residents who complain of people bobbing happily in their pools? Or might they be the happy bobbers? I think the 3-foot, aboveground pool is a therapeutic tool for both the child and the family in question. When it is hot outside and you don't want your kids in front of the tube, what better place could you spend some time together?

Julia Melucci, Largo

Horne deserves manager's job

I appreciate your Dec. 3 editorial, Change is in the air at Clearwater City Hall, specifically the judicious consideration of Interim City Manager Bill Horne.

We, as citizens, taxpayers and voters, are pleased to see the changes being carefully implemented by Mr. Horne and we ask him to continue, all in his own good time, to improve the overall performance of City Hall in the difficult task of governing and serving the people of Clearwater.

We will be following the progress of these changes, and we anticipate the removal of the "Interim" from Mr. Horne's title in the reasonably near future.

R.J. Radford, Clearwater

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