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Commission has right to investigate traffic enforcement

Editor: Re: Deputies aren't there to raise money, March 4 letter to the editor.

Yes, the Sheriff's Office is a business enterprise _ the business of law and order. The shareholders are everyone who pays taxes in Hernando County. Traffic is just one department of this enterprise and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how out of control traffic is in Hernando County.

I'm surprised it has taken this long for a commissioner to seek an investigation of the traffic control department.

Commissioner Robert Schenck and all commissioners have a right to look into any county department under their control and to investigate whether that department is operating efficiently. The commissioners were voted into their positions by the shareholders of this county and they are shareholders, too.

Jim Henneman, Weeki Wachee

Spare us a return to past annoyance

Editor: Few Floridians remember, or even have any awareness of, Florida's constables. Every little crossroad community had a constable. His job was to bring in enough traffic fines to pay his salary, gas for "his" car, and some money for the community. Traffic violations were the primary source of constable revenue.

They were "good old boys" without training or any sense of professionalism. Some were ex-moonshiners and cattle rustlers. Those who were not around in those days are not likely to have known about them.

I was a Florida Highway Patrol trooper (No. 339, Troop D), assigned to Seminole County in those days. Constables were an embarrassment and annoyance because they gave law enforcement a bad name. Sometimes we had some serious conflicts.

The idea that our sheriff should concentrate more on bringing in traffic fines to fund the Sheriff's Office is an example that the county commissioner who dreamed up this idea is too young and lacking historical awareness, to know what that would do to degrade law enforcement.

Brooksville has a police department. The sheriff should not do its work except to render assistance. We in the county pay for Sheriff's Office services and we should not be subsidizing the city of Brooksville the way it is today. Assistance? Certainly. But routinely? No! Sheriff's deputies are not constables.

Larry Coffman, Brooksville

How ridiculously far will auditors go?

Editor: Gee, aren't we all sleeping better knowing our dedicated county auditors are in hot pursuit of those dastardly Web surfers and clandestine e-mailers over at ye olde county building! Maybe alarms should be installed, alerting the personnel police when an unauthorized Web site is contacted. Let's get these dangerous desperados.

Confident that our audacious auditors will be following their usual practice of equality and fairness, we know they also will be checking computers on salaried employees' desks. While they're at it, a lot of us taxpayers would be interested in a look at salaried time sheets. Reports of two-hour power lunches, managerial conferences on golf courses, and Friday flu outbreaks have abounded for years.

And, who knows? After the computer caper has been resolved, our erstwhile auditors may go after even more insidious hotbeds of malfeasance _ paperclip pilfering, water cooler lollygagging, and excessive restroom visitations.

Mary L. Wright, Brooksville

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