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Council listened to citizens, read paper

Editor: Re: Council says no to annexing 500 acres, Wednesday Citrus Times: Hope you had the chance to read the Oct. 29 issue of the St. Petersburg Times about the Crystal River council decision to reject the Wal-Mart annexation. Better yet if you were there at the council meeting.

I was there. I was surprised to find that the city lawyer and staff were specifically directed to go find a way to annex this property! Their obvious bias on the various annexation discussions certainly ruled out much sound advice on many of the points that were raised.

A national survey reported that public officials believe and trust citizen organizations more than their staff when it comes to environmental issues. I think this meeting bore that out. The council was appropriately concerned about what the citizens were saying. Luckily the council members also read the papers.

The instructions to the City Council were to not listen to any discussions about Wal-Mart or wetlands or the environment because that "was not the issue." When of course it is the entire issue. The only reason for the city annexation to be on the table was so that Wal-Mart did not have to face the county planners and environmental rules.

It is amazing to me that some people think that they can grow a city and reduce taxes in the long term. It won't happen . . . never did and never will. Where in the history of the USA has anyone ever found it less expensive to be in a large city?

One of the reasons some wanted this annexation is because it would be done without a citizen vote. Because, by their own admission, citizens never vote for annexations.

So the bottom line is either you believe in democracy or you don't. Either you believe that the citizens understand or you don't.

I'm a believer. Three cheers for Crystal River City Council!

Ron Miller, Homosassa

president Homosassa River Alliance

Red Hat Society: more to it than meets the eye

Editor: In every organization, there are people or events that you kind of wish never happened. All week long, the stories and comments about the Red Hat Society have shown a side of this organization that is somewhat embarrassing to those of us in the chapters around Citrus County.

Just to set the record straight, I have to say that if you don't know enough about a subject, you shouldn't speak about it.

Red Hat Society women volunteer thousands of hours cumulatively for the many non-profit organizations and worthy community causes in Citrus County. We are caretakers of husbands and children who have debilitating and incurable diseases. We are veterans of the United States Armed Forces. We are the mothers of sons and daughters who are serving this country heroically throughout the world. We are grandmothers raising our grandchildren due to unforeseen circumstances in our children's lives. We are cancer survivors.

We have reached an age and a time in our lives that afford us some well-deserved time, for a couple of hours out of the month, to simply enjoy the love and support of each other's friendship. It's a sad commentary that some people in this community think that the flamboyant few hours that we display in public while treating ourselves to sisterhood and friendship, is actually who we really are.

While I agree that the reason for all this attention was quite ridiculous, and certainly not worth the entire ruckus that it caused, it will unfortunately be what many remember.

I ask that the next time you see us around town, enjoying an outing, I hope you no longer see us as mindless ingrates whose heads are buried in our own childish, meaningless frivolity. Please try and remember that these few hours of enjoyment give some of us the amazing strength and courage to get through the 718 hours of the rest of the month when we are giving back to society and nurturing our families.

Bonnie Peterson, Inverness

Queen Mother

"The Wet & Wild Water Lilies"

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