1. Archive

Change wasn't about Freaney, but about city

Re: Commission flaws will be fixed at polls, letter, June 25.

When will the residents who voted for the current Dunedin City Commission members come forward to defend their elected officials?

All we are seeing are letters about what a good person acting City Manager Moe Freaney is. Of course Moe is a great person! She is well-liked by almost everyone, is intelligent, articulate and a very competent person. I served on at least one citizen's committee with Moe and saw first hand what a capable person she is.

However, I don't think the letter writers chastising the City Commission understand that it was not about Moe Freaney's capabilities or intelligence.

The citizens of Dunedin elected their officials to be responsive to the needs and desires of the people who placed them in office. Is it just possible that the majority of Dunedin residents changed the makeup of the City Commission in order to effect some changes in how our city is run?

Perhaps residents want more accurate and timely information on Dunedin's finances. Maybe they want to see a different style of government. There are many issues affecting Dunedin citizens.

Just as people change over the years, so do the governing bodies of our communities, states and nation. Change is inevitable. The city still has hundreds of dedicated employees and it will continue to function just fine.

I have the feeling that many residents are not publicly voicing their opinions on this matter for fear of hurting Moe Freaney's feelings or somehow implying that she wasn't a good city manager. Moe carried herself in a most professional manner through a very difficult period and I believe she was intelligent enough to realize that our newly elected officials might wish to make some changes in our city's future direction.

It takes courage by our elected officials to make changes, which are not always popular with everyone. One recent letter writer said some of the most prominent and respected members of this community urged the commissioners to hire Ms. Freaney (as the permanent city manager). I believe there are many more prominent people in our community than the small number who publicly voiced their opinions.

And I don't believe for a minute that the people who appreciate and support our elected officials believe that this issue was about Moe Freaney. And I'm sure Moe knows it was not about her ability to do the job. I wish her well in her move up to the county.

Bill Douglas, Dunedin

Residents need to get united for good of Dunedin

Re: Disputes in Dunedin city government.

There is enough blame to go around for everyone for our current state of affairs, including the previous mayor, current mayor, commissioners and citizens.

It seems that we enjoy airing our dirty linen in public via the media. I have not agreed with the City Commission on numerous topics in the last few years, but I usually address the commission or the individual commissioners in reference to my concerns.

The St. Petersburg Times has been the target of some of our citizens, but the duty of the media is to provoke discussion. We should not throw stones for problems that we created in Dunedin and should settle in Dunedin.

In our search for a city manager, whether we agree with the process is not important. Our only consideration should be to hire a qualified person and to offer assistance to the commissioners. We definitely need to stop this bickering that is going on between commissioners and citizens.

Our current commissioners were willing to serve and you and I were not. The commissioners were elected by you and me, if you voted, so let's get together and support them.

This is so typical of our country. We are so divided and have lost sight of the reason for our strength and prosperity. Since the Civil War, we have been united in purpose.

We could be more efficient at finding ways to get our Dunedin residents to vote. I have heard some say the turnout in the last city election was good, but where I come from, 22-plus percent of the people voting is not anything to write home about.

David E. Thomas Sr., Dunedin

Many to thank but also many who need a warning

My nephew, Jason Harrill, is dead at the age of 22 from a solo motorcycle accident. Allow me a small amount of space to thank some people.

To the kind lady who prayed over him as he lay on the hot asphalt, to the concerned witness who showed up at the hospital, to the paramedics who attended to him, to the helicopter pilot who flew him to Tampa General, to the compassionate nurses and the knowledgeable doctors, our family thanks you.

To the newspaper that broke the story and did another interview, my family thanks you.

To the TV station that attended the service to bring this danger to the public, my family thanks you.

To the more than 500 people who attended his funeral services, my family thanks you.

To the recipients of Jason's organs, my family welcomes you.

To the people who still ride these fast, imported motorcycles, my family warns you. Speed kills.

Linda Anderson, Adel, Ga.