It would have been a clash of the titans having Joe Lemieux run against David Russell for the County Commission District 4 seat. Joe, the liberal, far to the left, and David, the conservative, far to the right. Unfortunately, for Democrats and independents, Joe was late in his scramble to meet state regulations for a political bank account naming a treasurer and drawing a check from that account to file properly.
A balanced board will have years to go before Democrats and independents can challenge agenda issues in the interest of a broad spectrum of the constituency. This conservative board is cutting government employees, and their expertise, from critical jobs to hire private-sector replacements at cheaper costs.
This conservative board puts on a happy face in its agendas that ignore a critical, balanced perspective in its pursuit of tea-party objectives for extreme conservative budget cuts. A simple raise in millage would allow for continued government services to Hernando without the angst and uncertainty for county workers and those they serve - including parks and recreation, which affect hundreds and hundreds of parents and children who participate in sports rather than what goes on in the streets.
A conservative agenda is now on the table by a board failing in its conscience to serve all of its broad-based constituency.
Deron Mikal, Brooksville
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Newell was prince of a man
I will remember Bill Newell fondly. I met Bill as a Rotarian in 1994 at the Rotary Club of Spring Hill, a morning club. In 1998, Bill was instrumental in helping us form a noon-time Rotary Club in Spring Hill. He was a charter member of the Rotary Club of Spring Hill Central and became president in 2001-2002.
Nobody loved the objectives of Rotary more than Bill. He maintained a perfect attendance and was involved with every club activity until the time of his illness. Bill loved music and created many Rotary songs for our club, which were put into a song booklet. He generously gave the booklet to other clubs.
For several years, Bill took the leadership in running the bowl-a-thon event for our club that raised money for various charities. Over the years, Bill sponsored many new members into our club. He also brought positive visibility to Rotary on the TV show he hosted that highlighted community leaders.
My wife, Judy, and I attended several Rotary International conventions with Bill and Carol. We often had dinner together and where there was music playing, he and Carol would be on the floor, dancing.
It was at dinners with Bill and Carol that we learned of their strong faith in Baha'i and of Bill's involvement in county brotherhood activities. Also, Judy and I visited a meeting of Bill's Toastmasters Club and admired his skill in helping improve communication skills of leaders and potential leaders.
I rarely saw Bill without a nice smile on his face for everyone. He was mild-tempered and looked for the best in all people. I knew that you could always depend on Bill for followup on whatever project he started.
Bill was a prince and will be greatly missed by the many who loved and respected him.
Mel Greene, Spring Hill