Protect home rule
Florida’s nanny-state Legislature | Editorial, March 29
Preemption permits the Legislature to override local ordinances and dictate state controls over the local decision making authority of municipalities. The Florida Constitution grants municipalities the right of self governance, known as “home rule.” Municipalities have the right to exercise any power for municipal purposes “except as otherwise provided by law.” So, when any lawmaker wants to get involved with Key West cruise ship docking, plastic straws on the beach, or vacation rentals, the Legislature simply passes a law prohibiting municipalities from enacting that legislation. It’s as simple as that and municipal exigencies are vetoed.
There is only one way to eliminate preemption of local ordinances: Amend the Florida Constitution’s home rule provisions to eliminate those six words — “except as otherwise provided by law.” Surely, the Florida League of Cities along with the municipalities could help collect enough signatures to put it on the ballot. Without an amendment, we can count on the Legislature to continues to preempt local ordinances as the winds of politics dictate.
Kenneth Weiss, Treasure Island
Is ‘cancel culture’ real on Florida college campuses? | March 21
What ever happened to humor in our society? The Democrats are humorless and always angry at something or someone. The rest of us, especially if you didn’t vote for President Joe Biden, are afraid to say anything for fear of being called a racist or worse. We used to be able to laugh at ourselves. Unlike some Democrats, who apparently never say or do anything to offend, the rest of us are not perfect and understand that people make mistakes. One false move or statement and the Twitter mob will not only get you fired, but will try to destroy your life. Is this the America you want to live in?
Thomas Sheehan, Spring Hill
Proof of a sense of humor
Homeland Security chief defends U.S. handling of border surge | March 16
The one accomplishment that President Joe Biden can be most proud of during his first year in office is the fact that the GOP has suddenly developed a conscience about the living conditions of detainees at the Texas border. The official party mantra of “they shouldn’t have come here” has been replaced by a genuine concern for their wellbeing that would make any hardliner blush with pride. One can only imagine what other miracles Mr. Biden will perform in the coming year.
Dennis Bush, Tampa
The difference? Humanity
Kids in custody highlight Biden’s border challenge | Letters, March 28
The letter writer asks what has changed in the detention of migrant children at the border from the actions of the previous administration. The change is clear for all who wish to see it. The children being detained today are unaccompanied minors, sheltered until a responsible adult can claim them, not children taken from their parents in hopes that the cruelty of such action would deter migrant families from seeking refuge.
Kathleen Korb, Pinellas Park