1. Archive

Room for expansion makes Lecanto right choice as county seat

Editor: I have followed the ongoing debate for some time now about the possibility of moving the seat of Citrus County from Inverness to Lecanto. I really like to go to Inverness. It is a fun place to visit, and if the city develops as the townspeople envision, it will certainly be an even better place to go for lunch, shopping and to learn more county history.

And, if this idea is very successful, and the county grows as one can only envision, more and more people will be going to Inverness for entertainment and other reasons. As more people visit Inverness, this will bring in more and more cars to a place that is currently known for inadequate parking.

Also, if the county seat stays in Inverness and continues to grow, this obviously will bring in more and more cars by those increasing numbers who must conduct official business. Adding all of these business cars to the number of recreational visitors' cars surely will create a gridlock nightmare of what even now is a city with a shortage of parking space.

One does not have to be much of a visionary to project his or her thinking 25 to 50 years and see nothing but a giant mess that could have been prevented by simple logic and moving the county seat to Lecanto, where there is room for expansion. Whether Inverness has been the county seat for a century is irrelevant in the large scheme of things. Business centers are often moved to accommodate growth. Too many cars and poor parking will discourage me and others from visiting Inverness, thus depriving business owners of our money. This is self-defeating to the business community.

I say let's encourage commercial growth in this historical jewel of the county and make it a place where people would like to visit and have fun and not have to fight for a parking space.

Make Lecanto the governmental hub for its citizens so we can more easily transact official business. Most people looking from the outside in, and being non-political and objective, probably would say that now is the golden opportunity for the commissioners to make an intelligent decision to move the county seat to a place that will still have adequate space for growth a century from now. We must look beyond our noses. Moving from Inverness will have to happen sometime. It is best to do it now while we have the time and the clear opportunity.

Please make Inverness a place where people want to go to, not through.

Karl C. Schulz, Homosassa

No need to change garbage collection

Editor: When County Commission Chairman Roger Batchelor asked for public input from those in favor of or opposed to the proposal by Solid Waste Management Division director Susan Metcalf, that the services of R.W. Beck be engaged regarding planning, procuring and implementing solid waste collection services in the amount not to exceed $109,447, I started to speak. But I was told I was out or order. When I asked why, Batchelor told me, with more anger than the situation called for, that I was out of order to sit down. There was to be no discussion of the wisdom of having one trash collector for the entire county.

Let us hope that when Batchelor's term as chairman is finished, we can expect a return to some measure of civility.

The measure passed, with Commissioners Jim Fowler, Josh Wooten and Batchelor in favor, Gary Bartel and Vicki Philips opposed. This, despite the fact they had spent an hour and 45 minutes debating the spending of $88,000 for a referendum to decide whether or not to move the commission to Lecanto from Inverness.

Usually when a change is proposed, it is thought to be for the good and welfare of the entire community. However, this not true in this case. This proposal will enrich one trash collector at the expense of all others.

Currently there are eight trash collectors certified to operate in Citrus County, six of whom use the county landfill. Will they consolidate? Some will be forced out of business. Even with consolidation there is more equipment and there are more employees than one collector can absorb. This will cause financial loss and unemployment. Consider all the ramifications of this action.

This will call for a countywide fee. Remember what happened when Southern States Utilities, now Florida Water Services, tried to enforce statewide water rates? The more efficient water suppliers were to be forced to increase their rates to offset the smaller or less efficient ones. Don't let this happen here. Will the county impose a franchise fee similar to that for the cable suppliers and thereby cause a rate increase?

When the commission voted to reduce the tipping fees so that the trash would be deposited in the county landfill, rather than carted to where the rates were lower, Rolling Oaks Utilities shared this reduction with its customers. Probably the only one to do so.

There is no possible excuse for the intrusion into Beverly Hills. The service is good and the rates are reasonable.

I repeat what I said the last time this proposal was made: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!!" This may not be grammatical, but it is a fact.

John T. Walsh, Beverly Hills

Letter writer wrong about Rep. Thurman

Editor: Re: Thurman column was unpaid political ad, July 11 letter to the editor:

A recent letter by Mary L. Wright erroneously stated that a guest editorial published in this paper was an "unpaid political advertisement." If Ms. Wright was a contestant on the current NBC-TV quiz show The Weakest Link, she would be escorted off the stage because of her egregious fabrication and misinformation.

The editors of the Citrus Times rightfully acknowledge the circumstances behind Congresswoman Thurman's editorial column in their "editor's note" following Ms. Wright's misdirected accusation.

Ms. Wright, Congressman Thurman has done an excellent job of representing the people of District 5. She has been and still is a definite asset to all of us in Hernando, and I hope the Republican-controlled redistricting committee does not gerrymander her out of representing Hernando County again in 2002. It would be a political travesty to not allow Congresswoman Thurman to represent Hernando. We need her as we move into some troublesome times. Look out for the new weakest link _ Bush's plan to force our citizens into an HMO drug prescription plan (if we have one to choose from by the end of the year). Stay tuned in September. The next major gaffe to be forwarded by your Republican Keystone Cops-simulated farce placed before the citizens: Our two HMOs have to decide to stay or go. This now turns out to be a modern sequel to the Perils of Pauline serials the movies portrayed in the '20s and '30s (so I'm told).

Yes, Ms. Wright, you are the epitome of The Weakest Link. Do your homework. If you do, you, too, will want Congresswoman Thurman to remain as our congressional representative and continue with her excellent record of doing what's right for you and the rest of us.

Dom Cabriele, Brooksville

GOP, Bush boys lead U.S., state to ruin

Editor: Re: Thurman again uses questionable tactics, July 11 letter to the editor from Mary L. Wright:

With regard to the Times publishing Congresswoman Karen Thurman's guest column coincidentally on the same day our state senator formally announced her intent to run for Congress, it is strange when one of the wolves is the person crying wolf. Democrats don't have to lie about the Republican agenda to scare citizens of this state and country. The actions of Republican office-holders is doing that quite nicely!

Gov. Jeb Bush has just finished bashing the whole Florida education system, while his brother George W. Bush, the resident in the White House, has broken every promise he made to the general public. Notice I said "general public," not his right-wing zealots and big campaign givers.

Thurman voted against Bush's disastrous tax giveaway because she knew it would break the bank and bring on deficits like those of the Reagan/Bush years of 1980-1992. These deficits have been confirmed by several economists in the past couple of weeks.

Dubya's economic failure is nothing compared to the evil of his effort to destroy the wall of separation between church and state. Remember the words of Jefferson: "I do not find in Orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature." Or John Adams (our second president): "The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole carloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity." Or the Republican Abraham Lincoln: "The Bible is not my book and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long complicated statements of Christian dogma."

Yours and my right to believe what we want is imperiled by these Bush boys, and we all need to fight this with every fiber of our body and minds, Republicans and Democrats alike. Sign me an old _ but not greedy _ geezer.

Gil Williams, Spring Hill