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COUNTY OFFICIALS ACHIEVE NOTHING

Just look at the Hernando County Commission record over the past five years. Dismal at best. When times were artificially great, the commissioners looked artificially good. The voters got rid of three of those commissioners, more out of pent-up anger than reason.

Now we have a partially new deck of de-commissioners whose only goal is to shut down as much of the county as possible and yet keep all the good-times workers on the payroll. That just doesn't make an ounce of sense. If you are short 10 percent of your operating budget, you lay off 10 percent (in salary and benefits) of your existing staff. That is probably only 6 to 7 percent of actual head count because of the cost for retirement and health care benefits.

I was somewhat disturbed last week as I saw my very first THE Bus being towed down U.S. 19 from breaking down. That pretty much said the commissioners' first big decision to not get new buses for free and to fix the old ones was a stupid idea. The peanuts they saved by cutting bus service will also come back to haunt them. Imagine waiting two hours for a bus only to have it break down and never show up at all.

Sadly the state of Florida determines what the commissioners and the constitutional officers get paid and the size of their raises. They should not be paid for doing less than nothing.

The sheriff has $1.3 million surplus simply because he was given too much money in the first place, not because they are so clever combining emergency services with his ever-reaching control of the county octopus. Doesn't anyone get concerned with the growth of some departments and the reduction of the Supervisor of Elections Office by yet another $40,000?

As a consistent voter since the age of 21, I am starting to feel deprived of my constitutional rights to elect qualified people into office and, more importantly, to have any impact on them once they are in office busily shredding their many promises made to get elected.

So we have the commissioners, who have no real control over the constitutional officers, who generally disregard/argue with the experienced advice of the administrator hired to make hard nonemotional business decisions/choices that no one wants to follow.

I get it now. It's September, and the end of the month is the last day of the budget year. The commissioners are looking for a fall guy to replace the unending summer guy they used to have. Life is so simple when you live it that way.

Doug Adams,Spring Hill

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Modest rate hike pays off in future - Sept. 16, letter

Competition, yes; rate increase, no

This is in response to the letter extolling the virtues of the request by Progress Energy for an increase in its rates. I do not know how benevolent the Public Service Commission is on the letter writer's native planet, but I am sure he isn't speaking of the PSC here in Florida.

He claims that the increase will be a small one, that it would be repaid to the consumers in lower rates in the future, and that the investors in Progress Energy should be entitled to a 10 percent return on their investments. Huh?

When oil was being sold for $145 a barrel and logically drove up the prices of other sources of fuel, we were quite fairly forced to pay a fuel surcharge. Now that oil is selling for around $70 a barrel, I, for one, do not see any reductions on my energy bill.

Where is this benevolent PSC now? More than likely pondering the ways to justify another rubber stamp increase. As far as the 10 or 12 percent return on investments goes, I am sure that anyone with any investment funds at hand would jump at the chance to invest in a semi-monopolistic electrical utility at a return of 6 to 7 percent, given the current economic climate.

Progress Energy is a business, and I ask the readers how many of them would pay for an expansion of any business if they were given a choice to go shopping elsewhere. Further, there would be many people who would never see any future savings, if in fact they would exist, because of relocation or demise.

Instead of a rate increase, I would love to see a new utility move in and build the nuclear plants to give competition to Progress Energy in the future. Much like Bright House did when Verizon got the okay to supply TV and high-speed Internet services, I am sure that instead of an increase Progress Energy would actually lower its rates and still make a profit.

Richard Back,Port Richey

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