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Floridians should be first in line for COVID-19 vaccinations | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Monday’s letters to the editor.
The COVID-19 vaccine.
The COVID-19 vaccine. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Jan. 4

Floridians first

Where is my shot? | Dec. 31

It had better not be going to a senior New Yorker who is enjoying their winter vacation in their Florida home. Florida residents of any age should be a priority over non-residents. Who do you think keeps this state open and running for you to enjoy at your leisure? If you are able to drive yourself to Florida, you are able to stay home until you get your vaccine. Stop stealing from the poor, hard working, under age 65 people who make your snowbird existence possible.

M. A. Russell, South Pasadena

Shirking responsibility

Cleaning up Trump’s messes isn’t easy for the Republican-led Senate | Editorial, Dec. 29

I gave my 15-year-old grandson a choice related to a common question: “What do you want to drink,” and he answered, “I don’t care.” That’s not acceptable. People, generally, who answer any question with a “I don’t care” are shirking responsibility. Then after someone else makes the decision for them, inevitably they complain about the choice. You might notice it from contestants on TV game shows. “My friends say I should choose this one,” and they relieve themselves of the responsibility when they lose the prize.

For elected officials of any stripe to abstain from a vote is no different in that they failed to take responsibility; but elected officials are also being paid for their decision making. When they fail to do the job for which they were elected, it is a dereliction of duty. The three congressmen from Florida who chose not to vote on the stimulus checks bill last week — the bill to help needy Americans — still get to collect their paychecks. This is wrong. Vote them out.

L. Phillips, Brooksville

State needs better IT

Crafting a smarter digital future for Florida | Editorial, Dec. 31

This Times editorial nails it: " … the Republican governor and Legislature, who continually harp about running government more like a business, own this problem.” Republicans pride themselves on running state government with the focus of a business executive. Really? A business that doesn’t understand the importance of information technology is doomed to failure, and yet the Republican powers in Tallahassee have let Florida government IT systems fall into a regrettable state of dysfunction. How could our business savvy Republican leaders let this happen? Could it be that not spending money is more important to them than efficiency? When will they open their eyes to the notion that doing IT the right way saves money? Even more important is ensuring the ability of state agencies to deliver critical services.

Jon Crawfurd, Gulfport

Why put up with it?

Reporting in the Tampa Bay Times makes clear the sorry history of Florida’s IT expenditures. For years now, our Republican-controlled government has been unable to provide reasonably functional systems to its citizens mainly due to bid-rigging, corrupt and incompetent executives, and the power and “persuasion” of influential lobbyists. IT contracts worth hundreds of million of dollars are directed to favored vendors by ignoring bidding rules and and procedures designed to yield the best deals for taxpayers. Meanwhile, a whistleblower at Citizens’ Insurance is vilified, threatened with loss of his job, and denied whistleblower status and access to records to prove the claims, all with the cooperation of the state’s inspector general. Of course, there is no accountability. Why do Florida’s voters put up with this? Are we insane to keep reelecting the same party and expecting a different result?

Jody Price, Safety Harbor