Rank our votes
Floridians should get to vote for ranked choice voting | Editorial, Aug. 28
Your editorial lets Floridians know they don’t have to put up with the same old divisive politics. As your editorial notes, ranked choice voting would offer Floridians the opportunity to express their true preference instead of voting for the lesser of two evils, invites more candidates to participate, creates more solution-oriented campaigns and, most important, usually ensures that winners will have more than 50 percent of voter support.
For three years, Rank My Vote Florida has led a grassroots initiative to bring ranked choice voting to Florida. We made great strides in Sarasota last year with their city commission voting to move ahead with the ranked choice voting mandate passed by its voters. Clearwater and Gainesville were on deck to move ahead with ranked choice voting referenda based on Sarasota’s lead.
Then, as your editorial notes, the Florida Legislature passed a voting reform bill SB 524, which included a ban on ranked choice voting. This was done with zero discussion about its positive effects. We are seeking to reverse that legislation through voter education and awareness. We’ll get there.
John Severini, Lakewood Ranch
The writer is chairman of Rank My Vote Florida Inc.
That sand is tourist dollars
Beachfront slips beneath the lapping waves | Aug. 28
After reading a letter about how beach erosion should be a problem for waterfront home owners and nobody else, it got me to thinking. Sure, some people live directly on Pinellas beaches, but most people out there are tourists. Go count the hotels and the many pale-skinned folks on the beach. Tourists.
They may play miniature golf and visit wax museums after they get too sunburned, but those folks are here to walk on our beaches. Since tourists pay 7% sales tax for their tourist trap trinkets and an additional bed tax for lodging, the people who benefit most from beach renourishment are Florida’s full-time citizens. Thanks to tourists spending so much money, we don’t even have to pay a state income tax.
Buying sand to rebuild a beach wiped out by erosion isn’t a luxury. It’s a necessity. Like streets and sidewalks, that sand we walk on isn’t a beach. It’s infrastructure.
David Fraser, Clearwater
A higher standard
Top secrets in Trump stash | Aug. 27
It is about time to take a step back and realize how this country works. Too many Republicans seem to forget that the president and all elected officials work for the people of this country. They are not kings. They are employed by the people of the United States. To those who think that because Donald Trump is a former president, he shouldn’t be charged with a crime, it is exactly the reverse. He took an oath to protect the country and the Constitution. If anything, I believe he should be held to a higher standard and suffer the maximum penalty for each crime.
Jack Smith, Oldsmar
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We’re not simple minded
Biden cancels billions in student debt. Now the hard work | Editorial, Aug. 26
I watched in amazement as President Joe Biden, through executive order, decided to forgive $10,000 (or $20,000 for those with Pell Grants) in student college loans for everyone earning less than $125,000. He believes that this gesture will con us simple-minded voters into forgetting about the economic problems he has created. Floridians are not idiots. We work hard for a living and it isn’t fair, even if the scheme was legal, to pass out money like candy on Halloween. I believe that this plan is nothing more than a cynical election scheme.
Mike Peters, Orlando
For adults only
Some Florida hospitals halting treatment for trans youth | Aug. 31
When my granddaughter was 12 she became a trans boy. She dressed in male clothing, no makeup or jewelry, etc. She wanted hormone treatments and a therapist supported that, but my son, who had custody, refused permission. He said she could do it if she still wanted to at age 18. But at age 18, to our family’s surprise, she began transitioning back to being a girl. Makeup, jewelry‚ longer hair and dresses appeared on her. She is 24 now and a total young lady. She now says there were problems growing up and this was her way of handling hem. Thank goodness my son refused medical treatment, which would have had permanent effects. Now I don’t believe any child should have medical treatment for transgender identity. Only adults with lots of therapy should do it.
Irene Spivak, Palm Harbor