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City officials, take off the blinders

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

Editor: The headline should have said: "Aid police and help bankrupt city."

City Council member Phyllis Grae and Mayor Eloise Taylor have shirked their duties to the citizens of Port Richey. Unless blinders are removed from their eyes, the citizens should begin looking for a 2 to 4 mill increase in taxes next year.

What about the $1.2-million dollar budget for the present Police Department that we cannot afford? Wasn't that the issue before the council at the last meeting? The abolition of our Police Department was never the issue until it became jumbled with cost. Instead of doing something constructively, council member Grae placed blinders over her eyes while continuing to use her favorite expression, "I don't understand," and recommending to the council that more of our tax dollars be spent for an outside study.

This is the expertise she will be asking the voters to vote for when she seeks re-election next April. If she doesn't seek re-election, it will be a blessing for the citizens. Her rhetoric has outweighed facts and wisdom. The same is also applicable to Mayor Taylor. Her attempt at being a judge instead of mayor on the dais is noticeable. Workshops for the council were designed to debate issues such as the police budget. Council member Grae's sudden change of position about the Police Department, which was not the issue, was nothing more than lots of wasted time, with her enjoying her voice and exposure to an audience and TV camera.

Surprises to council members after reaching the dais are not necessary. Jointly and respectfully, council members should debate issues on the dais, protecting the best interests of our city and citizens on all issues. That is why they are elected.

Port Richey is joined to the north, east and south with populations greatly exceeding ours. Gulf Harbors has a larger population and is policed entirely by our Sheriff's Office. There are ways to afford police protection if council member Grae and Mayor Taylor will remove their blinders. Overall administration is badly needed for our city. The council needs to set policy and procedure complying with the charter. The city manager should implement them.

James Carter, Port Richey

Port Richey police budget

is unfair to residents

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

Editor: The editorial says to me you are not too informed about Port Richey. On the other hand, you may be wanting the reader to believe you are an expert in any field every 24 hours.

You referred to council member Phyllis Grae, Wal-Mart Supercenter, the police, the sheriff of Pasco County, present council members Pat Guttman and Dale Massad. You were not satisfied and then slammed former acting mayor Bob Leggiere and created an inference against former council member Joe Menicola. The only one you missed was Mayor Eloise Taylor. To me, that is understandable. She hasn't done anything for Port Richey since taking office other than attending meetings.

The 20-person Police Department with an annual $1.2-million budget is not fair to the citizens. Port Richey city limits are about 2 miles wide and 2 miles long. Everything else around us is another government, except the Gulf of Mexico. Does the sheriff hire a deputy every time a superstore opens in the county? Police Chief Bill Downs is looking for an alibi to satisfy his statistics.

I am having problems with people drinking from containers and urinating on buildings in my own neighborhood. The police have been here and talked. That's all. I suggest to Mrs. Grae she look out for our citizens. Don't run for re-election.

Gene Reas, Port Richey

Deerwood Academy

should pursue charges

Editor: As a parent of a child at Deerwood Academy, I greatly appreciated your recent expose of Jeff Alcantara's criminal history.

It left me thinking that a person who would go to the extent of having cheek and chin implants to alter his appearance may have more skeletons in the closet.

He seems to have even conned his own attorney, George Tragos, who confidently stated, "Every expenditure can be documented, and there were no improprieties ever on any financial transactions."

Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but it sure seems like he was caught red-handed..

What kind of man would steal from schoolchildren, jeopardizing their education?

What kind of man recruits his own daughter's assistance in his lifestyle?

What kind of man gets away with it time and time again with minimal penalty and jail time?

My only hope is that Deerwood Academy prosecutes and puts him behind bars.

I would also recommend "hard labor" so he can learn what it is to actually work for a living.

Laurie Simpson, Port Richey

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