1. Archive

Commissioners should bow out on fee agreement

Re: Rehearing sought on water fees repayment, Jan. 5 Times:

Editor: Let me see if I have this straight. The attorney in this class action lawsuit was awarded a $1-million fee in accordance with his contingency fee agreement with Nick and Ann Morana, et al vs. the county commissioners, et al.

This class action was settled by Hernando County Judge Peyton Hyslop with his recent ruling to allow a fee of $1-million to the attorney for the plaintiffs, out of the $3-million available in the fund. Two million dollars is to be returned to Hernando County residents who paid regulatory fees to a utility company that was already being regulated by the county.

Contingency fees of one-third of the amount recovered in negligence and class action matters are a legal agreement between attorney and client and common throughout the country.

I am not offering my opinion as to whether the fee is unfair. I am concerned because the county is considering an action to overturn Judge Hyslop's ruling.

Here we have our employees, the county commissioners, proposing to use our tax money to pay more legal fees to bring a legally settled matter to a higher court. To overturn a signed agreement between attorney and client will be a very long and costly procedure that will whittle away at the $2-million that is supposed to be returned to us.

After a long time, we are to be compensated. The county commissioners should bow out gracefully and let it happen.

Louise Andryusky, Spring Hill

Cable pricing takes advantage of Hernando County customers

Re: Most to pay more for Cable in 2005, Dec. 29 Times:

Editor: I am a longtime customer of Bright House, but feel taken advantage of by the company's pricing structure. Competition brings down prices, and nowhere is that more apparent than at Bright House.

By its own admission, Bright House charges Pinellas County customers less than those in Hernando County because in Pinellas County they must compete with Knology. They state that St. Petersburg customers will pay $31.95 for their standard package.

Hernando County customers pay $44.95 for the same service. This means we in Hernando County pay more _ quite a bit more _ so that Pinellas County can pay less. Yet, according to the 2000 Census Report, the median household income in Pinellas County was $37,111, and the median household income in Hernando County was $32,572.

We are a fast-growing county; perhaps we should see what it takes to get Knology to come to Hernando County.

Barbara Miller, Weeki Wachee


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