Pasco letters: Charter move is for the people

Published June 24, 2015

Letters to the Editor

Ethics idea aimed at wrong audience | June 19 C.T. Bowen column

Charter move is for the people

Actually, I didn't ignore a thing, just paid attention. I am completely aware of the dog and pony show hatched behind closed doors and its intent.

All that we have done is illuminate Rep. Richard Corcoran's own words calling for a citizens initiative to create an independent and autonomous charter commission. Certainly, Rep. Corcoran was aware of what it was he was calling for, and it was not a nonbinding citizens advisory committee, as is further evidenced in his letter to Pasco commission Chairman Ted Schrader.

So what this boils down to is this: Is Rep. Corcoran a man of his word or not?

If a diverse group of Pasco citizens drafts a charter, it will mean government of the people, by the people and for the people. Something most of us want, tea party or liberal.

Clay Colson, Land O'Lakes

Don't be fooled by establishment

The public will never get to the issue of whether charter government is good or bad for Pasco, nor the finer details of which form of charter government should be chosen. It may look like the bidding is proceeding, but I assure you the end play is as sure as rain. And, yes, the idea of Clay Colson's committee teaming up with the establishment's movement shows a clear lack of political knowledge, though I respect the effort and motivation.

Limit campaign contributions? Sounds good, but I assure you it's exactly what the establishment wants. As Integrity Florida reported to the Florida House of Representatives Ethics and Elections Subcommittee, "75 percent of all of the money raised in the 2012 election cycle avoided candidate accounts and instead flowed through so-called independent committees and political parties." That percentage will go up when you limit contributions to campaign accounts, the one place the actual money can be followed.

The goal is for an elected county mayor. Five county commissioners, or 50, will be inconsequential; all power will reside with the mayor. Electioneering committee organizations and political committees will ultimately drive the election. Outside money was put in two of the last County Commission races, and the establishment is just warming up.

Purists would say that it will be an election for a mayor/czar, and the public is choosing. Really? An uninformed public is easy picking for these out-of-county monsters. Don't believe me? How can the public get information in the midst of declining local news. Ironic, C.T. Bowen's column on the subject appears on the same day that the Tampa Bay Times reveals it is planning to sell its office in Brooksville due to downsizing.

Yes, the benevolent dictator will arrive, technically chosen by the public, but I assure you, in reality, chosen by the establishment. Yes, the building department employees will then be friendly, developments of a regional impact will go through in half the time, contractors will no longer complain about Pasco, etc.

The only problem will be that those who fill the coffers of the committees do, in fact, want something for their pay to play. It will be paid for in the taxes paid, quality of life of Pasco residents, costs to do business, insider favors, influence, etc. You get nothing for nothing.

I will take open, nonfunctioning, inept government every day over the good old boy benevolent dictatorship.

James Mathieu, Port Richey

Tax funds wasted on school tests

If Sen. John Legg, R-Trinity, had bothered to travel to area schools, he might have realized that valuable tax dollars were being wasted on evaluative tests mandated by the state and serving little of their original intent.

Backing off, Mr. Legg?

When will taxpayers start to realize the waste of tax dollars by poorly informed legislative officials?

Don Prichard, New Port Richey

Raise pay of Fire Rescue workers

I was sitting in a restaurant the other day with my son and overheard a group of Pasco Fire Rescue employees talking about the financial situation in their lives. I don't usually pay much attention to people's financial discussions, but this particular conversation intrigued me a bit.

These are people who are trained to save our homes and our lives in times of need; they work on a crazy schedule, sometimes with no sleep, and they only make what people are suggesting McDonald's employees make. It's outrageous. These men and women put their lives in danger on a regular basis, and they only make $12 to $15 an hour. What is our local government thinking?

Yes, I'm sure they have good insurance, but they have to. The mental stress that these individuals must deal with on a regular basis, saving lives, fighting fires, watching people suffer, they should have something other than health insurance to compensate them. I was shocked by what I heard. How are people who work such a crazy schedule, put their lives in danger for the rest of us, and make almost poverty-level money supposed to support a family, enjoy raising kids? They can't. So these men and women work 220-plus hours a month, and most have to have second jobs to support their families.

The average person only works 160 hours a month and can make a great deal more money so they can enjoy time with their loved ones. A big "What are you thinking?" needs to be asked of our government regarding the pay rate of these brave individuals.

Anita Riner, Dade City