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Residents cannot afford extra tax

Have we become too greedy to help the needy? Feb. 12 letter

Whether an increase in our taxes will be forthcoming to subsidize health care for those without insurance remains to be seen. However, I don't believe that the Pasco County described in the writer's letter is a good candidate for any further increases in local taxes.

According to the writer, Pasco County is poor, with jobs that are mostly low paying, an average per capita income of $18,500 (which I assume is low relative to surrounding counties), and where newcomers pay "overpriced houses on future sinkhole property." (They pay a much larger portion of their paychecks for housing than even five years ago).

This describes a population which can afford more taxes? And yes, I understand that some individuals would be helped by the program, but for the time being we should address the state of Pasco County as a whole and whether its citizens as a group can continue to afford increased levels of taxation.

Add to this litany of factors the reality of absolutely huge property insurance increases in hurricane and sinkhole (the Pasco special) coverages, and I would say that the "we can't afford it" rationale that the writer dismisses as an excuse not to pursue this additional tax is in reality a very valid reason for many folks in Pasco County to oppose this tax.

They should not be labeled as greedy just because they don't share the writer's opinion on this topic. Name calling, which seemingly is becoming more popular in public discussions, is not a very constructive approach to problem solving, especially when the topic is still under discussion. There are so many variables to be taken under consideration, that this cannot be a quick fix.

I commend the Pasco County politicians who have not allowed themselves to be rushed into a decision on this issue.

Tom Waldbart, Wesley Chapel

Cat might have been safe

if owners kept it indoors

I am an animal lover, and my heart goes out to the Johnson family, whose cat was impaled by an arrow. However, they are ultimately responsible for the horrifying result of their irresponsible behavior.

Has this cat been to a vet for a checkup? If it had, then they either did not divulge that their cat was allowed outside to roam or ignored the vet's informed instruction that allowing any animal outside without supervision is asking for its demise - be it by traffic, poison garbage, another animal, or terrible human behavior. The owners state that the cat has no enemies in the neighborhood. I wonder if the neighbors who have cat deposits in their flower bed would say that they are fond of the Midnight. It is the act of a poor neighbor to allow one's animal to do its business in the neighbor's yard. As we all know, animals do not use their own yard for this task.

The most important thing for the offended neighbor to remember is that it is not the animal's fault that the owners are such poor neighbors. The pet does not know any better.

Leslie Gomillion, Hudson

Dentists commended for

giving back on dental day

As a longtime resident of Pasco County, I was delighted to personally assess the free dental day offered by Dr. Vincent Monticciolo and other volunteer dentists on Feb. 10. A customer relationship management author and Fortune 200 business adviser, I was delighted when one of the doctor's staff asked if I would like to observe their fifth annual Dentistry with a Heart day.

This is more than a free dentistry day for those less fortunate. This is an event of human kindness and dedication. Clearly Dr. Monticciolo and his outstanding staff have become completely dedicated to this event, working at a feverish pace for 12 hours - plus working Sunday to clean up. It is more than a day of free services. Both those who provide the services and those who receive the services appreciate the humanity of this event. I observed those offering to do anything to help in the present and in the future.

I observed Jodi Karuso become emotional when her patients leave with tears in their eyes after being treated, many for the first time, and in all cases with extreme dignity and respect.

Yes, Dr. Monticciolo's office receives local media coverage. However, from a completely independent perspective, this is the furthest thought of all doctors and employees associated with this event. These professionals care about this community. They are giving back to an area they call home. I hope this Dentistry with a Heart day becomes a model for every county in every state. My brief visit left an indelible impression on this humble observer that we should all find ways to give back. Well done, Dr. Monticciolo and staff!

Van Mayros, Port Richey

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