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Bus system serves few at cost to many

Re: THE Bus and the sales taxes:

Editor: I recently found out our county has been mandated to start using THE Bus to transport disabled passengers, even though this is a function currently undertaken by TransHernando. This is projected to cost, according to our commissioners, about $55,000 of county money, which could translate into $200,000, given their inability to get their dollar figures straight.

Meanwhile, we keep hearing how we need to support the half-cent sales tax initiative.

Coincidence?

Why am I not surprised? Here we have a public transportation system in a county of less than 150,000, used as a virtual personal limousine service by about 125 people a day. That's 1/1,200 of the population, for which all the rest of us soon may pay almost $800,000 per year.

I know Hernando County pays about $185,000 and the federal government pays the balance. But who do you think funds the feds? Some little fairies or leprechauns?

I say we have been sold down the river by a group of commissioners who willfully, in the name of political correctness of having the many serve the few, deceived us about what we were getting ourselves into. I've never supported this bus system and never will.

Here's what really perturbs me. County planner Dennis Dix said 15 percent of federal taxes collected from gasoline sales goes to fund public transit systems, so it is in the county's interest to take advantage of those grants.

In other words, the federal money is there, so we should grab it. Free money! But what is left unsaid is the cost to county residents for grabbing the dough. In the end you have some bureaucrat puffing up his/her resume for showing exceptional initiative and leadership by having obtained these grants, while the taxpayer ends up footing the bill.

What arrogance! It's like going to a custom curtain store and a salesman saying, "These curtains normally go for $7,000, but today you can get it for $2,000." Rather than buying those curtains, how about telling the salesman, "No! You keep them, and I keep my $2,000. This way I will owe you nothing."

The county's solution to all this? Give out more free passes! Yahoo! Free passes for everyone! Let's artificially pump up ridership rates so we all look good.

Someone please pass me the duct tape; I think my head is about to explode.

Ask yourselves: If our commissioners get their half-cent increase, where will all this folly end? How many more dollars will go down this drainpipe? More importantly, how many more drain pipes will we be expected to fund?

Do we need more reasons to boot these rapscallions out of office come November?

Vilmar Tavares

Spring Hill

Fire commissioner true to

position, family, country

Re: Fire official should adjust or quit board, Jan. 27 letter to the editor:

Editor: Andrew Wells' letter makes many of us very angry. It contains so many bitter statements, I don't know where to start.

First, when Richard Martin ran for Spring Hill Fire Rescue District Commission, the two meetings per month were held in the evening. Martin is a salesman with a territory outside of our county, and attending evening meetings was compatible with his schedule. By the way, fire commissioners receive no salary.

Martin joined the Army Reserves because, like the rest of us reservists, he felt a patriotic duty to do something for our country, in addition to working and raising a family.

I personally believe that changing one evening meeting to a daytime meeting was a move to keep Martin from attending. Attendance is greater during evening meetings. Commissioners should change back to evenings, not merely to accommodate Martin, but also to accommodate younger residents who are starting to take a greater interest in the dealings of our elected officials.

I salute Mr. Wells for his military service, but I'll bet that when he went on active duty, he didn't have a wife, two children and a responsible position.

The rest of Mr. Well's statements are not worthy of rebutting.

Nick Morana

retired U.S. Air Force colonel

Spring Hill

Send letters via Web site

We have changed the way we accept electronic letters to the editor. Here's how the new system works:

Go to www.sptimes.com/letters/

You will find a form to supply us with your personal information. (As always, we will only publish your name and city of residence).

Fill that out, as well as the subject line, and then type your letter in the space provided. You also may cut and paste a letter that you have prepared elsewhere in your computer. If you are writing in response to a story in the Hernando Times, you should send your letter to that section. If you are not sure, you don't need to do anything. The form is automatically set up to send it to the Editorial Page letters editor.

When you are done, hit the button that says "Submit My Letter." If you have done everything right, you will get a message saying your letter has been received. If you write frequently, you may want to add the Web address for letters to your Favorites list.

As always, you may choose to send your letters to the Hernando Times by fax at (352) 754-6133, or by mail to 15365 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, FL 34613.

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