Editor: We have been residents of New Port Richey for more than 22 years and we love this city. However, we are thoroughly fed up with the way the City Council is always thinking up ways to assess us with additional fees.
The assessment to redo the roads in our subdivision was excessive, which was proved by the amount we finally had to pay. We were not asked whether we wanted to bring in the Queen of Peace Church, which will cost us an additional large amount of money; and the idea of buying the Hacienda to make it a luxury hotel is utterly ridiculous. Do you really believe that tourists are going to turn off U.S. 19 to stay in that hotel in this little town? As for a three-story parking structure, we couldn't fill a two-story structure let alone a three-story.
They charge $40 per year for water runoff. Our electric bill has a franchise fee and taxes about 17 percent per month; also cable and telephone bills have these same taxes. Our water bill has been going up 4 percent each year until the final raise is 40 percent.
Lately the city brought forth the fee for the fire department as a street lighting, then found out it was illegal because they could not charge a fee for public safety services without lowering our real estate tax _ supposedly thinking to lower the real estate tax by one-half percent. This, as usual, only benefits the expensive homes and their owners.
The average resident in this city is on a fixed income, and we are now getting in many young families who are also struggling to keep up with the higher costs today.
I think it's time our council gives a little thought to us, instead of thinking up ways to get us to pay for their grandiose ideas.
Robert and Elizabeth Hope, New Port Richey
Port Richey council takes wrong track
Editor: I was outraged by the votes of Port Richey council members Pat Guttman, Phyllis Grae and Dale Massad in voting to adopt the suggestions of Matrix regarding our police department _ carte blanche without doing their job as representatives of the people to consider what the public wants, what level of service the community wants. They also did not consider the Matrix study by eliminating code enforcement and handing that to our Police Department.
It seems to me and many residents and business owners here in Port Richey that this is a political move. There are others ways to cut the budget without cutting the safety of residents. First, let's look at the code enforcement: Police can handle that as Matrix suggested. Second, do we need all the staff in the building department? Third, what about having a city manager but not an assistant city manager _ this city is very small to have both. Let the city manager earn his pay.
What about a new city attorney who does not put us in jeopardy of lawsuits for his ignorance? We have too many department heads who are jeopardizing our Police Department. Please contact our representatives and let them know we will not tolerate this, or maybe it's time to have Port Richey merge with the county.
Lisa J. Vayre, Port Richey
No thanks to teachers whose pay shrinks
Editor: In a recent letter, Ann Bunting states that the school district's desire for more money is "fine thanks" to our local Republican delegation after the 7.7 percent increase in school funding they fought for. I can think of a worse thank-you. The thanks our legislators offer our dedicated teachers, without whom our schools would not have seen such enormous gains, by cutting their salaries. No raises this year. No cost of living adjustments. Just the expectation inflation will reduce teachers' purchasing power by nearly 3 percent next year.
That's what I call legislative appreciation for a job well done.
John Berglowe, New Port Richey
Canada no answer for health care
Re: Let us study Canada's health care system, eh?, June 29 column by Jan Glidewell:
Editor: Glidewell apparently feels we all should be happy to pay more taxes as long as those taxes go toward the growing list of entitlements he supports, and that we, our children and grandchildren will have to pay for in the future. His recent column on health care reflects his left-wing, Robin Hood view that as long as someone else pays, what's wrong with free health care for everyone?
He commented that "people who have the privilege (health care that they have paid for) are much less likely to see it as a right than those who do not." Well, Mr. Glidewell, you mean people who have worked and earned something are not as likely to want to be forced to pay for the needs of others who have not earned it and will not pay for it?
There is no free lunch, Mr. Glidewell. Americans have the right to earn their own way. When did everything from free university education, to free health care, to subsidized child care credits become entitlements?
Charity has a very important place in society, but our government is not, and should not be, that place.
By the way, as I am certain Mr. Glidewell knows that Canadian drug prices are lower for some drugs because the Canadian government restricts the prices that can be charged for them, not because of socialized medicine.
Ken Mackey, Brooksville
Nudism better than repressive morality
Re: Children aren't mature enough for nudist camps, June 24 letter to the editor responding to Can't critic see camp is nude, but not lewd?, June 23 column by Jan Glidewell:
Editor: I think that Peter Stathis and U.S. Rep. Mark Foley should do a bit of research on nudist camps and children. All of the children involved with this camp have been nudists for a good many years. This summer camp has run for more than 10 years. These kids will have a much better feeling of self without all the body consciousness that most of us have.
I am not a nudist. I have never been to a nudist camp. But travels to Europe and the Far East demonstrated that nudity on beaches and certain work environments was more the norm. Raised as a prude, I began to ask questions. Surprise! I found that some of the best-educated Republicans with doctorates and other esoteric degrees were nudists. Frank discussions led me to believe that nudism at a young age would be much better than the repressive morality that most of us experienced.
Where did the moral burqas come from in our great country? Why is it normal for nudity to be displayed on the front page of newspapers in Europe? Television ads all over Europe display nudity as normal.
Are we Americans correct, that all nudity is bad? Perhaps the Taliban is correct and people should wear burqas.
Mr. Foley is an uninformed politician. He understands that most of the electorate were raised to be prudes. I remain a prude. Not now as much as was drummed into me as a kid, but enough to know I will not become a nudist.
From discussions and a bit of reading, I think the kids in this camp are better equipped to handle the big world and their bodies than most of us were as kids, or even adults.
The one good thing I see happening will be stories by real investigative reporters. Let the truth prevail.
Kenneth Moore, Brooksville
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