Editor: I attended the New Port Richey City Council meeting and the side show council member Finn put on before adjournment.
In my opinion, he not only showed poor judgment bringing up a subject that had no bearing on council business, but I believe he showed just how juvenile he could be.
He asked for Councilwoman Miller's resignation. I now ask him to resign. There is no place for behavior such as his on our City Council.
Norma Wasserman, New Port Richey
Finn is the one who should resign
Editor: I had the displeasure of being in attendance Nov. 6, when council member Finn went into his tirade for the resignation of council member Miller. I agree with Ms. Miller, Ms. Clark and our mayor: These antics have no place in the City Council. Council member Finn seems to forget he started this: He touched, and I doubt if a touch was asked for.
So Mr. Councilman, if any apology is due, it should be by you to Ms. Miller. Sorry, but the events of Sept. 11 have not given any person the right to touch another without the other's consent. I believe that if there is a resignation it should be by the party sitting to the left of our mayor. I further believe this would solve the problem of thugs on the City Council Mr. Finn refers to. Maybe then, New Port Richey can get back to the business of the city.
William R. Liska, New Port Richey
Pettiness has no place in city business
Editor: I find it disheartening that everyone has jumped on council member Tom Finn as though he were some sort of pervert. Some people are just like that, a touchy-feely kind of person, and perhaps Mr. Finn is one of them. He is always with a smile on his face that some people liken to a Cheshire cat.
Council member Miller, a very cordial, friendly person in her own right, has a right to take offense at what she deems inappropriate touching. It appears that Mayor Brenner and most of the City Council has had it in for Tom Finn for some time now. What a shame that the whole lot of them cannot seem to grasp the importance of maintaining an aura of refinement and/or sophistication, as well as professionalism and a decent presence when conducting the city's business in front of the public and press.
I do not advocate sexual harassment and I certainly do not condone that kind of behavior. There are remedies to find guilt or innocence in these matters, none of which has been approached as yet. Let the powers that be judge Tom Finn's actions before we start throwing daggers and poison pens at him and each other. I happen to have the utmost respect for council member Miller's dedication to her job, just as I have respect for council member Finn's dedication to his job. The only thing I am sorry for is that seemingly small personality conflicts have arisen to this very sensitive level.
David A. Henry, New Port Richey
Statesmanship not among Finn's traits
Editor: The only sparring apparent here is Tom Finn's fight for another headline.
If I read this right, Ms. Miller let Finn know he had behaved inappropriately. He chose to make a scene after her husband reinforced her words. He also chose to drag the whole City Council into his own private tantrum.
Now he wants her to apologize. (An example of the best defense is a good offense?) Having seen this guy in action at council meetings, I'm not surprised at the latest blowup. While Mayor Brenner and council members Clark, Chittum and Miller are able to debate, decide and move on, Finn continues his quest for statesmanship through mudslinging.
Mr. Finn: Own up, grow up and resign. Maybe when you've done the first two, you'll understand what statesmen do.
Don Kirby, New Port Richey
Artists' works enlighten, not offend
Editor: I took a few minutes today to visit the new exhibit at the newly renovated Barracks at the Zephyrhills Airport and I want to thank Steve Spina for allowing this artist to show her works, which are extremely well done in my opinion and certainly not offensive to me.
I spoke to MeloD for a few minutes, getting some of the history of her personal life and the personal abuse depicted in her paintings, which is what this show is about. How one can be offended when you know what the show is about and you must go out of your way to view it? You should be offended by the fact that people are abused and we seem to allow it to continue and take our anger out on those who try to open our minds and our eyes to the truth.
This is not like walking down Main Street Zephyrhills and seeing the exhibit placed on the sidewalk. You have to drive across town to see it! Then if the human body offends you, why did you drive across town to see it? Regardless of any controversy about her art, she is a fine artist and it very physically and poignantly depicts her feelings as an abused woman.
I come from a family of artistic people and even think I have a little talent myself. I appreciate the fact that one is allowed in this country, under the Constitution, which gets bandied about over many issues, the freedom of speech, which this certainly is. Isn't it wonderful that one can exhibit artistic expressions in this wonderful country?
Those who wish to view it may do so, and the others will be less educated because all they see is the human body and are offended by it. If one is offended by the truth, well, what can I say? If the human body offends one, maybe they don't truly believe. I hope this one exhibit, which will be traveling around the country, helps raise the issue of abuse and just maybe keeps someone from being abused.
Thank you, MeloD and Steve, for giving me this opportunity to meet abusiveness, up close and personal.
Cliff McDuffie, Zephyrhills
Menicola's threats reveal his arrogance
Editor: Thank you for enlightening the citizens of Port Richey to the real Joe Menicola. City Council member Joe Menicola's threat to declare "war on the police department" for ticketing his son for speed shows the true arrogance of a man who believes he is above the law.
Who does he think he is to demand that his son be given a courtesy because his last name is Menicola? Even George W. Bush doesn't bail out his own daughters and suggest that they be exempt from the law. I was outraged to hear he phoned the chief on vacation in California for such a petty reason! God help us if there is an actual city emergency!
Wake up, honest and caring citizens of Port Richey and run for council! Our city is being held hostage by a man who truly believes he runs the city singlehandedly and is above any law.
Laurie Simpson, Port Richey
Menicola's priorities are bad for city
Editor: I now see that this so-called good old boy network still exists. So council member Joe Menicola tried to get his son off of a speeding ticket, and when he didn't succeed his foul mouth took over. Is his son above the law? Apparently his father thinks so.
I assumed there were more important projects City Council members tended to. I guess not! Joe Menicola should be voted off as council member if this is his top priority. There are more pressing, important issues for the council to attend to. I'm glad the officer did his job professionally and wasn't swayed by the name of Joe Menicola. I also wonder how many other times officers were swayed by names in government.
If the people of Pasco and Pinellas made threatening calls as Joe Menicola did, we would be arrested for making threatening calls. Get him out of office and get on to attending what City Council business is supposed to be about. If he tended to council business maybe this town would be a better place instead of trying to get little sonny boy's ticket erased.
George Karvasales, New Port Richey
Football players' stand may bring change
Editor: What have we learned from the recent events surrounding the Gulf High School football players' homecomimg stand? Sadly, I suspect, not much.
I have read and heard only criticism about seven players choosing to quit their team over 15 minutes of fame. Right or wrong, the decision to quit was neither rash nor whimsical. Contrary to previous reports, it was not all about the halftime homecoming ceremony, although it was the final straw. These young men risked ridicule and heartbreak to bring attention to a football program that needs a wakeup call. Have we heard them?
As a beginning step, a compromise was reached, allowing players on court to be present for the announcement of king and queen at halftime. Now let's work on the bigger issue: improving a football program that has produced one losing season after another.
I just watched my youngest son play his last high school football game, another heartbreaking loss. Both he and his oldest brother played under the current administration and head coach. Year after year, they returned to play, through injury and disappointment, because they love the game. They will benefit from the rewards that come from their commitment and desire despite the compliance that has crept into Gulf High's program over the years.
However, my hope is that we let the courage of this year's senior football players inspire the needed change for those who will follow.
Laura Violante, New Port Richey