1. Letters to the Editor

Saturday's letters: St. Petersburg needs a change in course

Published Nov. 3, 2017

Mayor's race

Time for change in St. Petersburg

To summarize St. Petersburg's problems under the current administration:

First, the sewage dumping into waterways and the aquifer continues with only excuses and blame on others, no transparency, no admission, no accountability and continued cover-up by Mayor Rick Kriseman and staff. The hiring of a $90,000 sewage spokesman for this crisis only amplifies the unwillingness of the mayor to step up and accept responsibility and apologize for the dumping that was caused, in large, by closing of the Albert Whitted plant under his watch.

Second, there are the cost overruns on the pier and police station building projects. This overspending will continue with the splash area add-on and a very subjective art project the mayor is proposing for the pier. What good is a splash area if the water is contaminated?

Third, there is the loss of key businesses in Midtown on Kriseman's watch with the mayor claiming he had "no clue" this was going to happen.

Fourth, partisan politics has nothing to do with running and managing the city. This has become a defense tactic by the mayor to cover poor management.

We are not only a city, we are a community, deserving of better representation and management. Unfortunately, as a community, we will be paying for this lack of management and these poor decisions for years to come. Let's move forward with a positive change or it will only worsen.

Richard Stowell, St. Petersburg

Driver barrels down bike lane | Nov. 1

Tell it like it is

It's understood the Tampa Bay Times is a liberal-leaning paper that strives to be "politically correct." Your front-page article about the terrorist attack in New York City is a perfect example of taking PC to the extreme. The headline refers to the terrorist as "Driver," which was a little weak, but then you refer to this murderer twice more as a "motorist," like he was just some guy out for a drive.

Based on the adjoining article you knew exactly what happened. Why not tell it like it is? Your subscribers deserve it.

Ray MacGrogan, Tampa

Activists offer crash course in poverty
Nov. 1

Problems all around us

I was moved by this article that summarized the effect that Philadelphia activists made on a councilman when they offered to show him "places where people are actually in poverty and actually would need help and assistance." Sadly, Wheels of Success, a nonprofit dedicated to improving transportation for working families, can testify how our own bay area residents need help and assistance to escape poverty.

Tampa Bay's mass transit problems are real — a lack of public transportation makes it difficult for low- and moderate-income working families to reach sustainability. Without effective and safe transportation, families find themselves trapped living between the poverty level and having a sustainable income, i.e., an income that supports basic needs including housing, child care, food, health care and transportation, while allowing them to save for emergencies such as illness or car repairs. Employees struggle to reach work on time when buses are late, and their employment options are limited by the bus routes. Those with older children struggle to reach day care on time so they are not penalized $5 a minute for the time their children have to wait to be picked up. There are many more very real challenges caused by poor transit in our community.

We hope our community leaders and voters do not need a "simulation" to understand the effect of inadequate transportation on families' lives. We all suffer the delays and challenges of getting to work and school every day on our local streets. However, we hope that the community will consider taking a ride on mass transit to see why a "penny tax for transportation" is important to help families improve their employment options, care for their families and reach sustainability.

Susan Jacobs, Tampa

Tax bill's risks, rewards | Nov. 3

Just more trickle-down

The House bill on a "new" tax plan would apply the same trickle-down philosophy that failed during the Ronald Reagan years. Yes, President Reagan cut taxes, but he had to raise them again in three years. The Senate plan, which will be taken up if and when the House passes the bill, is worse. Over 10 years, billions will be cut from Medicare, Medicaid, Pell grants, supplemental aid to the disabled and low-income Americans, child tax credits, health care, not to mention cuts to the Coast Guard, FBI, DEA, and EPA programs.

All this to enable permanent tax cuts for the wealthiest.

By borrowing to pay for these tax cuts, the Republicans will increase the national debt by at least $1.5 trillion. What happened to Republican orthodoxy that increasing the debt was ruinous? The claim that a "rising tide" lifts all boats has been proven brutally wrong. This "rising tide" legislation will drown the people who need the most help, and endanger the social legislation that keeps us safe in our homes, communities and within our borders.

Mike Rosenthal, Clearwater