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BOARD SETS POLICY, NOT RUN DISTRICT

School Board feels left out story, July 2

I was encouraged by the recent headline indicating that the Pinellas County School Board felt "left out" of decisions made by superintendent Julie Janssen. It seems that Janssen, charged by the board to reduce spending by $26 million, has struggled to meet that policy decision in a timely manner. It appears that the board now wants to get involved in operational decisions that are the responsibility of the superintendent.

There will be no educational reform in Florida as long as school boards - particularly those whose members are paid, given offices and engage in constant meddling in operational detail - feel "left out" when their chief school officer makes decisions that impact operations.

No professional school administrator would want to take a job that comes with a meddling, egocentric board of education.

John Mason, Clearwater

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School Board feels left out story, July 2

Allow Janssen to do her job as CEO

The job of superintendent is equivalent to CEO of a large corporation. She is paid to make difficult decisions. Let her do her job.

The School Board is made up mostly of former teachers whose only management experience was making decisions to scold Jenny for pulling Sally's hair. Few, if any, handled multimillion-dollar budgets, and it shows.

Idea! Let's remove all the former teachers and elect people with management experience.

Robert C. Freeland, Seminole

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Curb extensions must be corrected

There is a piece of traffic engineering in Clearwater that really needs to be corrected. Harn Boulevard in Morningside Estates has been engineered to the point that it is now dangerous.

First, it was speed humps that dropped the speed limit from 25 mph to 15 mph. Then, it was concrete traffic barriers in the middle of the street that limited the space available for automobiles. Now, you have put in concrete curb extensions that are downright dangerous. Who is doing the thinking on this last decision?

The curb extensions further narrow the space for auto traffic. They completely eliminate the space available for bicycles! We do have children in the neighborhood who ride their bicycles. They are not allowed to ride on the sidewalks. They can only ride in the streets and there is insufficient room on Harn Boulevard for a car and a bicycle to pass the concrete curb extensions.

Sure, the bicycle is supposed to stop when it comes to the barrier to allow the auto to pass. You are betting their life that they will stop. Don't you think that may be rather high stakes? A child (or an adult) may be distracted on approaching one of the curb extensions and accidentally pull into the path of a car. Serious injury or death could be the result.

I fail to see any useful purpose for the curb extensions. However, there is a need for a bicycle lane. Please correct this engineering defect before a tragedy results.

David Swan Jr., Clearwater

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Criticism follows principal,

story, July 7

Fire bad principal not transfer her

This article highlights part of the problem with our current educational system.

Why are we transferring around an employee instead of firing him/her?

In the various companies I've worked for, an employee receiving numerous complaints and bad evaluations would be fired, not transferred to another area. Are unions behind this? I know they're behind the problem of not being able to promptly fire bad teachers.

Nancy Foster, Clearwater

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YOUR VOICE COUNTS

You may submit a letter to the editor for possible publication through our website at www.tampabay.com/letters, or by faxing it to (727) 445-4119, or by mailing it to Letters, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. You must include your name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length.

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