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Researching before a decision is not flip-flopping

Re: Changed position will aid city, police, Nov. 15 editorial

Editor: In your editorial, you referred to me as having flip-flopped on the fate of the Port Richey Police Department. Webster defines the phrase flip-flop as "a sudden or unexpected reversal _ as of direction, belief, attitude or policy." To me that implies that I had taken a stand, then suddenly changed. Not so.

I never had my mind made up regarding the fate of the Port Richey Police Department until my research was completed and I was satisfied with the results.

When the citizens action group presented its report to the council some months ago, it came at a time when we were deep into the new budget and worried that we were going to end fiscal year 2002 with a shortfall that could have left the city at the brink of bankruptcy. Their exhaustive endeavor was well intended and well documented, and it stimulated my interest.

I said from the beginning that I liked the city with its own Police Department. We are small in size yet needy for community involvement, something we would not get from the sheriff. However, if the price for such services was higher than we could afford, if we could get the same level of protection as we are used to and if it was approved by the people, then, and only then, were we to move toward contracting with the sheriff. After hours of research, numerous telephone calls, comparisons with other cities of equal size, and studying the budget in depth, I became convinced that there was a way to remain intact and still be fiscally responsible.

Simply, look for help to an outside source _ a company that will conduct a time and motion study, a plan used by the best corporations and the smallest businesses, like my own. We need to look into overtime, compensatory time, the number of staff, and what all of this costs the taxpayer. Perhaps in the end we should contract with the sheriff. But to do so before exhausting all efforts to remain intact is not a responsible thing to do. And the Police Department is not the only one to be studied. I maintain that we move on to the other departments as well, as there is room for improvement throughout City Hall. The stress at budget time is evidence of this.

How wrong of anyone to believe that I would vote on something as important as disbanding our Police Department without doing my own homework. How disappointing to read that after I have written to you on numerous occasions and subsequently met with the Pasco editor of editorials in person, you still enjoy the spin of linking me with "political allies," along with the former mayor and a former councilman. I am my own person. My decisions are mine and are made because I believe that the motion I make or the vote I cast is for the good of the people. They are my motivation.

I do not have ties to _ nor am I influenced by _ anyone. And as for being "on the wrong side of the division," there is only one side, and that is what is best for the city.

Phyllis Grae, Port Richey Council member

Stadium arrangement seems to

benefit Saddlebrook, not county

Editor: A few months ago, the Times started publishing articles regarding the proposed tennis stadium. Now, it seems, the building of the stadium is an accomplished fact rather than a proposal.

My main concern is the administration and control of the stadium. Saddlebrook owner Tom Dempsey has stated that Pasco taxpayers would not be held liable for financial deficits. Yet, it appears, that all financial benefits would accrue to Saddlebrook.

His proposal says he and a nonprofit corporation with a board selected by Saddlebrook (including his son-in-law) would run the stadium. He would also have control of all vendors. I believe that this leaves his motives open to question.

I do not believe that this facility would be a tourist attraction for Pasco. Evidently, the money, a mere $5.7-million, is burning a hole in the pockets of the people able to spend it. Follow the money trail. Who would really benefit from a tennis stadium?

Joseph King, Hudson

Irresponsible motorcyclists

are headed for danger, death

Editor: At 1:25 p.m. on Nov. 12, I was driving north on U.S. 19 in the center lane (all three lanes were filled with heavy traffic) when two motorcycles passed between me and the cars in the far left lane. They weren't merely passing; they were traveling at about twice the speed of traffic flow, which was between 40 and 50 mph.

The front bike was driving on one wheel, while the back one was on both wheels, as this bike had a young lady on the back of it.

When the bikes stopped for the traffic light at State Road 52, the front bike stopped on one wheel, the front one, and I thought he was going to turn it over. The young fellow on the front bike was doing wheels through and around traffic until he and the other bike turned west.

These bikes these youngsters were riding are commonly known as crotch rockets, and I predict they will rocket themselves right to the cemetery. I only hope they don't take some innocent life with them.

Don Lam, Hudson

Cable company's fees

are driving people away

Editor: As a senior citizen on a very limited income, the cost of extended basic cable service, $42.78 including taxes, is becoming too much for my budget.

I called Time Warner and inquired about switching to basic cable only. That would reduce my cable bill to $11.95 plus taxes, which is a more affordable fee. I was informed by a Time Warner representative that if I decide to switch, I will be charged $22.95 to have a representative come to change me to the lesser service.

I then asked what would happen if I decided to completely terminate service. In that case, they will also send a representative to disconnect, but there would be no charge.

Perhaps they are encouraging people like me to quit. It wouldn't take much persuasion at this point. There are alternatives to cable _ satellite and video wave TV _ and they are becoming more attractive to me each day.

Dorothyann Reilly, Port Richey

Turn arrow sorely needed

at Little Road near Publix

Editor: I am writing about the need for a green arrow signal at the light on Little Road near the new Publix and the Veterans Administration building.

I have witnessed two near misses and know of several accidents already since the Publix opened about a month ago.

Perhaps you can forward my request to the correct department of the county.

Jo Ann Rail, Port Richey

Truth should have been told

about cost of Seafest parking

Editor: In the Nov. 10 issue of the Pasco Times, the article on the Hudson Seafest 2002 stated that there is no admission and that parking is free.

For the first time in the 25 years I've lived in Florida, I attended the Seafest with a friend on Saturday, Nov. 9. So when a sign said parking was $3, we were surprised but were told all money went to the Rotary Club.

Since everything was wonderful (including the delicious, reasonable grouper sandwiches), we were glad that our $3 was going to a good cause. But the advertising was not truthful.

Marion E. Dahl, New Port Richey

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