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Letters to the Editors

Altman's desire for tax increase knows no bounds

© St. Petersburg Times
published April 14, 2002

Re: Gas tax increase hits roadblock, April 12

Editor: Until the April 10 Board of County Commissioners meeting, I thought that Commissioner Peter Altman never met a tax he didn't like. I guess I was wrong. However, residents of Pasco County should not celebrate.

It seems that Max-Tax Altman's objection was not that a tax increase was being discussed. Rather it was that the increase under discussion was not large enough.

It appears Altman's only objective during his term of office on the board is to increase the tax burden on the county taxpayers as much as he possibly can.

If his fellow commissioners don't jump on board his tax train, then he will block their efforts to resolve problems, even though their efforts involve a smaller tax increase.

I made repeated efforts, calls and faxes to his appointment secretary to try to arrange a meeting with Commissioner Altman to discuss a problem with residents of Community Development Districts being denied their right to representation on their boards. He obviously was not interested. I never got a return call from him or an appointment.

I guess, in the future, if I want to discuss a matter with him, I will have to tell his secretary that I have a great idea for a new tax or an increase of an existing tax of at least 50 percent. That should get his attention.
-- Dennis L. Smith, Wesley Chapel

Foreign nurses more than capable

Re: Poor decisions made on nurses, April 2 letter

Editor: On behalf of the Philippine Nurses Association Gulf Coast FL (PNAGF) and other foreign nurses, I would like to address some matters to the letter writer.

The degradation and insults he threw on hard working unselfish foreign-trained nurses: Every one of us has a humble beginning, but what really counts is where we are leading. Time is of essence, yes. It amounts to expenditures. That is why I truly understand the grievances about wages, benefits and cost cuttings.

But if the outcome is satisfactory, a few months of training (that we all undergo anyway) is of little consequence compared to the quality care with undying dedication one can give to our vocation. The barriers we overcome in culture, technology, and different methods of care are incredible. It says a lot.

Foreign nurses are highly in demand mainly for the unwavering qualities we possess. And according to the letter, "the latest hospital survey shows a high level of patient satisfaction," which was attributed to the dedication of the nurses.

Are foreign nurses not contributing to the "high level of patients' satisfaction?"

We may not be American-trained nurses, and we are prone to culture shock, but please credit us with some intelligence and common sense. Those of us who qualified to be of service to this great nation have undergone an intensive four to five years of education with hands-on-training. We have to pass three sets of examinations. It is required that we are registered nurses in our own country and must pass exams here.

What we lack in certain aspects of technology, we certainly make it up with our resourcefulness. Please make no mistake in underestimating our capabilities. We are here because we prove our worth.
-- Tita Edralin, PNAGF president, Palm Harbor

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