Maps session derails | Aug. 22
One frustrated voter
I am becoming increasingly discouraged with the political system and elected officials everywhere in our country.
For a number of years, we have seen legislative bodies on all levels becoming more and more dysfunctional. While we can differ on the reasons for this lack of ability to deal with even basic responsibilities of elected officials, let alone more complex issues, we must agree that something has to change.
Our Citrus County Commission frequently bickers over minor issues. In Tallahassee, on the last day of a costly legislative special session called to fix illegal gerrymandering, our state legislators walked off the job, unable to finish the work we elect and pay them to do. These same elected officials, along with the governor, refused federal dollars to expand Medicaid and extend basic health care to a sizable percentage of our citizens. And it is all due to a dangerously high state of partisan- and ideology-driven politics. It is paralyzing all levels of the country.
Our governor feels he can violate the state Constitution and sit and wait until he is sued. Then he pulls money from whatever agency he wishes and settles the lawsuits with our money. Our federal government is in equally sad shape. Partisanship rules. Dislike for members of the other party dictates that any attempts to work together is out of the question. The current crop of candidates doesn't give rise to any hope of change.
As a society, we have a great obligation to try harder to improve our political system. The longer we are satisfied with "that's just how it is," the harder it will be for our children and grandchildren to enjoy what our country has to offer.
Jim Roosevelt, Hernando
Time to give up
Three strikes for the Florida Legislature in attempting and failing to draw congressional districts. You're out! It's time for an independent commission to draw the districts impartially and fairly.
Doug Hicks, Tampa
They should all be fired
What a sorry gaggle of elected politicians we have in Florida. A Republican governor, a Republican-controlled House and Senate — and they still can't get anything of substance done. It is a great example of why one party controlling everything is a disaster. In the real world, they would all be fired.
Ross P. Alander, Tampa
No adults in the house?
First the Legislature breaks the law in redistricting, then spends days in a special session whining about getting caught and yelling, "It's not fair! It's not fair!" Then when legislators learn they can't win, in true kindergarten fashion, the House takes its toys and goes home. That's the second time this year. They still had time to work. Some of us have to work on weekends, especially when we didn't all week. There ought to be a law against this — except they make the laws.
Gareth Fales, Temple Terrace
Go home, get real jobs
Again our elected officials act like spoiled children. They cannot agree on a map that a senior high social studies class could create in a week. Their answer is to abandon their job and go home. They blame the court for their ineptitude and their past deviousness in creating political districts that make little geographic sense. This way they can groan about the Supreme Court doing their job.
When will we learn that our votes need to be carefully crafted instead of blindly using the "R" or the "D" to select candidates? Send them all home to earn a living like the rest of us instead of their self-important posturing over perceived slights to their magnificence.
Send 'em home!
Jerry Hansen, Sarasota
Hillsborough PTC and Uber
Why Uber is better
Uber is a refreshing alternative to the for-hire vehicles regulated by the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission.
Uber is fast and efficient, with late-model, clean vehicles and good drivers. They seem readily available and arrive faster than cabs. Their drivers are pleasant and appreciate the opportunity to do business with the public.
Uber has vehicle options and is reasonably priced. The arrival of both Uber and Lyft has removed the monopoly of the PTC and cab companies.
My wife and I have had problems with the "regulated" cab companies in Hillsborough. The cab exteriors look great, but getting into a cab is rarely a pleasant experience. We have had cabs smell of cigarette smoke or have strange odors and stains. We have encountered offensive radio play. We have had drivers talk continuously on the phone. We have had drivers whose pictures are not on display or who display a picture of a different person. We have seen mechanical problems that should put the cab out of service until it's fixed.
More than once I have had a cab show up only to ask that another cab be provided. The sad part is we don't use cabs that often but our experience has been consistently poor.
Maybe the quality of competition will force the PTC to reprioritize the quality of vehicles, personnel and cost of transportation.
Robert Weisman, Tampa
Ten reasons why it will be Jeb vs. Hillary Aug. 23, column
I think most voting Americans would disagree with Adam C. Smith's prediction that Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush will be the two general election candidates for president next year.
Most of his 10 similarities could also be why they will not be the candidates. We don't need a another Clinton or Bush in the White House. Clinton has too many legal problems that will just get worse, and Jeb is too middle of the road for real conservatives. A lot can change in politics before next November.
Ron Bowman, Dunedin