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Attack on former sheriff was senseless

Editor: Re: Party loyalists quarrel at meeting, July 24 Times:

I was bemused, yet a bit shocked, by the petty politics attributed to the Hernando Republican Executive Committee regarding former Sheriff Tom Mylander attending a function for Karen Thurman, a good friend of his and our congresswoman who worked in concert with Mr. Mylander for the good of the county on many projects.

First, my admiration and esteem for Mylander has always been high, especially for his expertise, fairness and openness. Never did I feel a party affiliation was looked at before Mylander made a decision. He always based his decisions and actions on the facts before him. Always.

However, each party has within its ranks those zealots who would vote for Mickey Mouse before voting for the opposite party.

In the last election, even though Mylander was not running, I apologized to him for a Democrat who was running in the Democratic Primary and making outlandish accusations against Mylander. Thank God that person was soundly defeated and we have not heard or seen him since.

Point in fact: I have made it known on a personal basis to Mylander, all the constitutional officers and the chairman of the REC, I would like to see all constitutional officers run on a non-partisan basis. I would like to see all of them run as they do for some divisions of judges; if they get 50 percent or more of the vote, running without opposition, then they remain in office. If below, they are removed and a new election ensues.

Constitutional offices _ clerk of the courts, property appraiser, tax collector, supervisor of elections and sheriff, should not become any part of a partisan election process.

At the last Democratic fundraiser at Silverthorn Country Club on May 18, many Republicans attended our dinner, including at least three county/state officials who won on the Republican ticket. All of them were treated with respect and the honor due them. As chairman of the Hernando Democratic Party, I would offer no less. We run a first-class party in Hernando, and I won't settle for unnecessary petty, partisan bickering at functions.

Tom Mylander was, and still is, a genuine asset to Hernando County. To besmirch his integrity, good will and intelligence is a sad commentary on those acolytes of petty politics.

I always believed Hernando County should have the best people running it. If the best people happen to be Democrats or Republicans or independents, so be it. The people decide what's best for them. We in the Democratic Party will be trying to seek out the best people we can find or nurture and offer these qualified candidates for the voters for review. And hopefully voters will decide who the best people are to keep Hernando striving to be the best county-run organization in Florida.

The attack on Mylander was pure stupidity.

Dom Cabriele, chairman

Hernando Democratic Party

Connect the dots of

empty Wal-Marts on map

Re: Wal-Mart better than empty stores:

I would invite C. Paul of Brooksville to take a closer look at those vacant strip malls. Driving south on U.S. 19 between Spring Hill and Clearwater, there are four vacant or near-vacant strip malls, each at one time having had a Wal-Mart store as the cornerstone.

Driving farther south toward St. Petersburg, one observes in the southbound lane a stand-alone "big box" vacancy, which once boasted a Wal-Mart supercenter. That location was abandoned for a more favorable location several miles south in the northbound lanes, which now features a Wal-Mart Supercenter complete with car wash, automotive garage and gas station.

Many of these vacant locations have been available for lease or sale for years, which raises a question: Is it more cost-effective to retain vacant retail space, or to lease it to a potential competitor?

Karen Schrader, Spring Hill