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Letters to the Editors

Why not spend an extra penny in our county?

© St. Petersburg Times
published January 27, 2002

Editor: The Friends of the Pasco County Library System are disappointed that the Pasco County Commission decided to delay a decision about A Penny for Pasco until 2004. This means new capital improvement projects could not be started until 2005 at the earliest. As Friends of the Library, we are concerned about the need for new libraries in the high-growth areas of Wesley Chapel and Trinity/Odessa as well as the expansion of some of our current facilities.

Our county commissioners must acknowledge that thousands of Pasco County residents are already paying this extra penny every time they travel south to shop in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. The Penny for Pinellas program, which has been passed twice, has funded nine new libraries in Pinellas County. Pasco residents helped pay for them. The Community Investment Penny in Hillsborough County has paid for three library expansions with a fourth to be started soon. It has also paid for the refurbishing of several existing libraries. Again, Pasco residents helped to pay for them.

Wouldn't it be nice if the money we spend in Pasco was helping to build libraries, expand our existing libraries and provide for other beneficial projects?
-- Barbara Sherwood, president Friends of the Pasco County Library System

Public officials asleep at wheel on accident data

Re: County hasn't compiled accident data since 1999, Jan. 13

Re: Editor: We were stunned again by the actions of our public officials and their seeming indifference to performing their official jobs with a sense of duty and a concern for wisely using taxpayers resources. It is inconceivable that accident data has not been compiled since 1999, especially in light of increasing fatalities on the county's roads.

To use the Y2K excuse demeans the intelligence of the county's residents. Y2K was a concern for many large companies and governmental entities processing reams of data daily and handling vast financial resources across the Web. The basic data entry needed could have been loaded off-line in a simple spread sheet. How many accidents occur each day? As the article indicated, approximately 6,000 annually or about 17 a day. Staffing shortages can be overcome by contracting this simple work to any competent data processing firm.

The most disturbing part of the article notes that because no data has been gathered, available funding was not even requested. When will there be an opportunity in the future to obtain funding for improvements in light of current statewide revenue shortfalls? Safety on our roads must improve as the population expands. The county should review this matter and determine who is responsible for this inexcusable job performance and replace them.
-- Dale Gottschalk, Hudson

Pig owner should set anexample for public

Editor: The saying goes "When living in a glass house, don't cast stones." Or do commissioners live by the saying "Do as I say, not as I do."

Two weeks ago, County Commissioner Pat Mulieri had a lot to say about the female dog in heat law, which she voted to enact. This law not only requires owners of a female dog to keep her confined to the owner's property in a responsible manner, but also gives Animal Control the right to fine the owner should this female dog not be confined to the letter of this law. This female is to be confined as not to attract male dogs running at large.

At the commission meeting, I made the point that owning animals requires proper fencing, designed for the animal being confined. All animals belong on the owner's property fenced in a manner not to allow them to escape. How simple this is. There will be no unwanted litters, no damage to property, no animals dead on the side of the road, nor any of the other problems animals at large cause. We did not need another law that infringes on one's rights within the confines of ones own property.

I went to Michael Loura's property and saw the damage Pat Mulieri's pigs have caused. The pigs run back to the Mulieri property for safety when confronted. Not to the woods as a wild hog would. These are not wild hogs, they are potbellied pigs.

Would I say that I saw anything wrong at the Mulieri property providing that her animals stayed within the confines of the land she owns? No. Her animals all appear to be well cared for.

But, commissioner, don't lie to the residents of Pasco County. These are your pigs. Put up a hot wire at the top and bottom of your fence and fill the holes. Repair the damage to your neighbor's property. Enjoy your animals, but do so on your own property.

Set the example of responsible pet ownership, then say, "Do as I do!"
-- Harold Brlecic, Hudson

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