1. Archive

County's token $50 no match for penny sales tax

Out of the 160,000 residents in Hernando County, one unemployed pollster gathered more than 11,000 signatures on petitions to lower property taxes." Oh, swell. We get $50 back this year only. Then the county proposes a forever 1 percent sales tax on us to pay for public works in our quickly growing communities.

Hello! A modest new car will cost another $200 in addition to the extra penny on virtually every dollar we spend - forever.

Please keep the one-time rebate of $50 and let it earn tax-free interest for the county. We will never miss the token amount as we are the exact people you are talking about: homesteaders in a modest home and treated fairly by the existing tax code.

One of the big selling points of our home's location is THE Bus stop within 50 yards of our house. The day will come when we can't drive and will depend on public transportation like many others do now. And that is the pollster's suggestion to reduce taxes? Sad. Pathetic.

Everyone loves to lower taxes, but no one asks the cost of doing so. Didn't anyone learn from the federal tax cuts for the rich from Congress? Some of the rich said they didn't need the extra money and gave it away.

If it isn't broken, don't fix it. I don't want to think what validating those petition signatures might cost taxpayers. That has to be time-consuming.

We have lived in Spring Hill for fewer than six months and have been very pleased in our dealings with all the Hernando county offices: utilities, engineering, Property Appraiser, etc. They all are professionals and doing a super job compared to the rest of the country and world we have seen.

Thank you, Hernando County government staff, and please keep our $50 in reserve for the next natural disaster, THE Bus or just to pay a fair wage.

Doug Adams, Spring Hill

English is the language of United States

Re: Spanish is so widespread, site should be bilingual, Feb. 14 letter to the editor from the president of the Latin American Civic Cultural Association:

I could hardly believe what I was reading! English is the language spoken in the United States. Many people living in this country - the United States of America - are of different nationalities. Are they pushing to have their ethnic backgrounds pushed on us (Americans who speak English)? No!

The following quote is from Theodore Roosevelt in 1907. It sums up my feelings and probably a lot more like me.

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But, this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all! We have room for but one flag, the American flag and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language. And we have room for but one sole loyalty, and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Oh, and by the way, if you don't think you have a bright future in this country, get out. You won't be missed!

Mark Kundrat, Spring Hill

Immigrants should learn to speak English

Re: Spanish is so widespread, site should be bilingual, Feb. 14 letter to the editor:

I think Carmen Shannon has some nerve. My grandparents came here from Italy, along with many other foreigners, and were put on Ellis Island like criminals, abused by employers, made fun of and called names just to name a few. But they never asked that the United States change and have a second language. The reason was they were different people who didn't always want and want from their new country.

Many foreign people came here and had a hard time with the language and customs, but made the best of it and made this country great. Could you imagine dialing the phone and hearing a list of the different numbers to push for the languages?

You say Spanish is the second-most spoken language. I think in years to come it will be Chinese. Maybe we should get a head start on that, too.

I think part of the problem is people are sometimes lazy and want the easy way out. Today all I hear is complaining about this country. Don't get me wrong; I do not agree with everything the government does. But there is no better country to live in; and if I was so unhappy with it, I would move back from where I came.

The other problem is this country is so busy taking care of the foreign nations and trying to make them happy, they are forgetting their own here.

I have friends from many different countries who speak their native language, but have learned English and would die for their new country. So, get with it and help your people and your new country with those who are having a hard time. You would be doing your country a great service, like the teacher who helped you.

John R. Savelli Sr., Spring Hill

County may be at fault for CCA problems

Re: County jail's warden replaced, Feb. 15 Times:

At the County Commission meeting, purchasing director James Gantt stood before the commissioners and praised CCA to high heaven as to their efficiency and performance. He also implied "So what?" that CCA had made three errors or accidents. Anybody can make an error or mistake, as it was in the low 2 percent.

However, the private audit gave them a 72 percent performance rating.

How come in the new memo by Gantt he recommends sticking with CCA to solve its problems? This is the same Gantt that didn't have plans showing hidden walls and tunnels that sent the cost of the new jail wing sky high, costing more taxpayers.

I suggest our commissioners get their heads out of the sand and check their own back yards for some of the answers to the CCA problems.

George Santoff, Spring Hill

Support our troops, but not liars, thieves

Re: Supporting troops in word only, Feb. 6 guest column by U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite:

Support our troops Ms. Brown-Waite? I say most definitely.

Support the liars, scalawags and thieves on Capitol Hill that you refer to as your colleagues? I say most definitely not!

Let me see now, our troops were sent into harm's way in Iraq. Why? Oh, yeah. Now I remember. It was because Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction that he was intending to use. Oh, no, wait just a minute. That's right. The troops were sent there to stem the rising tide of terrorism. But, no, wait. My memory is so poor; Hussein was a supporter of al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden. You remember him, don't you? The bogyman that King George (Bush) pulls out of his hat whenever his poll numbers dip.

Madame representative, you have been nothing more than King George's lap dog ever since you were knighted into office by the Republican Party's chicanery, euphemistically referred to as redistricting. You refer to the war in Iraq as a noble fight for freedom and for civilization. In my view it is no more and no less than an ignoble effort on the part of a group of warmongering thugs who seek nothing more than to have their hand on the spigot that controls the flow of Iraqi oil.

Let me assure you, Ms. Brown-Waite, I have every intention of supporting our troops. But I'll have to wait until November to voice my support for our troops.

Roland R. Medeiros, Brooksville

Thanks for giving a forum to politicians

Re: Supporting troops in word only, Feb. 6 guest column by U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite:

After we elect our government officials, we are entitled to hear and read their viewpoints on issues concerning us. Whether it's Clinton or Bush, Thurman or Brown-Waite, Nelson or Martinez, we need to have them tell us where they stand.

This is not "unpaid political advertising," nor is it necessarily campaigning, because they may not use words we agree with.

But we need to be able to receive their messages, and I appreciate your giving our representative the forum in which to speak to us.

Thomas R. Malone, Spring Hill