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Majority in Oldsmar oppose project

Re: Oldsmar caught in morass of vocal minority's making, column by Diane Steinle, Nov. 11.

Steinle wrote, "This was not a case of majority rule, because the residents who oppose the Wilson Co. project are a minority of the city's population." Wrong! When the so-called minority are the only ones who show up at meetings to voice their opinions, they then become the majority.

She also states, "We are better off when we elect men and women who are independent thinkers." Please, Ms. Steinle, the last time I looked we were still a republic and that means that it is every citizen's duty to tell our elected representatives what it is we want. If we don't, well, it's clearly our own fault.

Maybe the mistake of the past _ that we elect people whom we know nothing about _ will hit home and the voters will realize they must be informed and stay on top of those we elect, rather than just elect them and forget about what they're doing until the next election or until it's too late to do anything.

I didn't happen to be at that meeting, but I surely agree with the so-called minority. The county commissioners screwed up when they didn't stand behind Oldsmar. They're looking out for their future votes and not doing what they were elected to do.

This "morass" has nothing to do with low-income families. The code is the code and it's a shame that it was improperly implemented, but that's what happened. This is purely about the Wilson Co. not making the money it expected to make. Get a grip!

Janice Miller, Oldsmar

Word on the street is "No'

to Oldsmar apartments

This letter is not a comment on the legal or ethical merits of the Oldsmar controversy referenced in the Nov. 11 column Oldsmar caught in morass of vocal minority's making, but on those same merits in journalism.

I live and work in the Oldsmar community and I have found the general street opinion to be overwhelmingly against the project; therefore, I found your statement curious: "This was not a case of majority rule, because the residents who oppose the Wilson Co. project are a minority of the city's population."

Please provide your many, many readers with a reference to the body of objective evidence you collected to support this statement, so that we may rest easy knowing that our favorite paper has not violated the basic Journalism 101 tenet "Never present a personal opinion as fact."

L.L. Thomas, Oldsmar

"Affordable apartments' being forced on the area

As usual, the social engineers in our society have created a problem where none should exist. Shouldn't the residents of Forest Lakes have a voice in whether they want overcrowded schools and traffic congestion? Shouldn't their elected representatives reflect their concerns? Cramming these "affordable apartments" into an area where they are clearly not wanted makes one reflect on people's motives.

Of course, now we have the lawyers getting ready to feast on this situation, attempting to create a huge civil rights dispute out of a simple matter involving zoning, density, traffic flow, school population, etc.

Here's a possible solution: If one travels within a reasonable radius of the proposed apartment site, you'll find at least six apartment complexes. Most are very large. Some are upscale, some moderate, some definitely on the inexpensive side.

Guess what? They all have "for rent" signs, and upon inquiring, it turns out they are offering discounts. Why? Because their vacancy rate is going up.

There are programs designed to help individuals of low and moderate means to find affordable housing. It's time to put common sense back into the equation.

H.W. Seelig, Palm Harbor

Overpass should replace

confusing roundabout

Since the Clearwater Beach roundabout is so difficult for many drivers and reinstalling stoplights would back up traffic, let's do neither. Let's build an overpass instead.

Creating an overpass from Island Estates to the beach would be a safe, easy drive for anyone, while creating a nonstop, smooth flow of traffic.

It could be designed to resemble the new bridge. It would be a "double decker," with the top level taking traffic to the beach with a beautiful view and the lower deck taking traffic back toward downtown.

On the ramp approaching the beach, the left lane would take you to the south beach and the right lane would dump you off toward the north beach. A cross street would keep north/south beach traffic from interfering with the traffic going to and fro. No stops and no tight maneuvers needed!

Since this would be such a good long-term solution, it may be worth pricing out. It would be a shame to build the bridge, do what many would consider "throwing good money after bad" to redo the roundabout, and still have something at the end of the causeway that creates controversy and problems.

Donna Andrus, Clearwater

How about trimming Katherine Harris' travel budget?

Our state legislators in Tallahassee are working at reducing the state budget. As a suggestion, they might make a substantial cut in the budget for Katherine Harris' office and request she handle state business from her office and eliminate the international travel that we taxpayers have to pay for.

Walter Etheridge, Palm Harbor

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