1. Letters to the Editor

Monday's letters: Let's get priorities straight on Hillsborough transit

Get county transit priorities in shape | Editorial, Nov. 13

Planning transit right

Hillsborough County has a once-in-a-generation chance to re-imagine our transportation future. With the new tax, Tampa alone will receive about $30 million annually for the next 30 years for transportation improvements.

With an estimated 500,000 people expected to move into our region over the next 20 years, we must make critical investments in our transportation infrastructure, and we must make decisions deliberately, based on clearly articulated goals and principles, and with transparency and respect for community values. These principles should guide us:

• Safety is our No. 1 priority.

•Economic development, access to employment centers and congestion relief are goals of an effective transportation network.

• Conservation, environmental and neighborhood concerns and historic preservation are impacts to be considered.

• All reasonable modes of connectivity should be considered — and all parts of the city should be served — with emphasis on neighborhoods that have been historically underserved and people of color and those with disabilities.

• Better transportation solutions should be coordinated with land-use policies and anticipated growth patterns, not just reacting to sprawl.

• Maintenance of the current system and operations are a primary, not secondary, objective.

By setting a framework of principles to evaluate projects and proposals, we can ensure the money is spent wisely.

Harry Cohen, Tampa

The writer is a member of the Tampa City Council and is vice chair of the Hillsborough County MPO.

Midterms and Medicaid expansion

Voting for Medicaid

Voters in three Republican-controlled states — Idaho, Nebraska and Utah — passed referenda approving Medicaid expansion. Maine, whose voters previously passed a similar referendum, will now get it implemented with the election of a Democratic governor. Approximately 800,000 residents in these states will now have health insurance. Coincidentally, that's the approximate total of Floridians who would receive health insurance if Tallahassee had approved Medicaid expansion. I think it's time for Floridians to take matters into their own hands.

Frank Lupo, St. Petersburg

Women are not a bloc

Voting their own ways

Women do not vote as a bloc. To say that this is the "Year of the Woman" is condescending. Even though some of our needs are the same, we are never going to vote in lockstep.

H. Sherwood, Clearwater