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Letters to the Editors

Some critics of 'affordable housing' have real concerns

© St. Petersburg Times
published May 5, 2002

Editor: Re: Public incivility was topped only by ignorance, April 28 column:

The column by editor of editorials Jeff Webb concerned me greatly. It did a grave injustice to the people who have an interest in the new "affordable housing" developments scheduled to be built in our area. It seems that the only people he focused on were the loud-mouthed rowdies with marginal grammatical skills. He discounts anyone who is against these projects as intolerant, ignorant and narrow-minded.

He gave no mention of legitimate concerns of the people of our community, including:

Our school system is overcrowded to the point that most schools in our area must resort to portable classrooms to accommodate the overflow. Affordable housing by its nature attracts families with children. Does the developer intend to finance additions to our schools to meet this need?

Our water supply situation is precarious. We have been under watering restrictions for some time and our supply is limited. How can it possibly handle the huge increase in volume required for these developments? Would the county be required to sink new wells? Who would be responsible for the sinkholes it would create?

What about additional fire and police personnel to service these areas?

Barclay Avenue is very busy. Was there ever any thought given to putting the entrance of the new development on Elgin Boulevard? Elgin is a four-lane road and could handle the additional traffic. This would at least eliminate some of the congestion on Barclay and a tree buffer is there to minimize noise from Barclay for the development.

These are only a few of the legitimate concerns of residents in the Silverthorn, Seven Hills and Regency Oaks subdivisions. I resent Webb portraying the majority of them as insensitive and half-witted. We care about our community and the impact this project could have on our schools, natural environment, roads and other aspects of our daily lives.
-- Sandra Potter, Brooksville

Affordable housing critics fail to set a good example

Editor: Re: Public incivility was topped only by ignorance, April 28 column by Jeff Webb:

After reading the column, I was appalled.

Do the residents of Silverthorn, Seven Hills and Regency Oaks think they are so very much better than everybody else? Yet, these same people expect the people who will be living in these "affordable housing" apartments to wait on them and provide safety and other services.

These residents believe that clerks, cops, cashiers, construction workers, teachers, landscapers and senior citizens are not very worthy of breathing the same air they do. One day, some of these people will be senior citizens, or perhaps they know people in these professions. Do they not want to be treated like human beings and be respected for their abilities?

God created all mankind as equal and these people, it appears, believe they are superior. In their lifetime, did not someone help them or give them a break? It is truly sad these are adults who are supposed to be setting examples for younger people. At least we know now why people treat others poorly: uncaring and vicious ignorance, ego and superiority.

I'm sure these same people go to church Sunday and profess to be good Christians, and as soon as church is over the gossip flies. God knows who is naughty and who is nice and who really cares about others. What a terrible shame! I, for one, hope I do not know any of these "superior products" on a personal basis.

My Bible says, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." These people will have to answer to a much higher authority in the end, and I wish them lots of luck. I do know that my family and I do not want any of these hypocrites living near us. I am for this affordable housing and I am given to understand there are guidelines to be followed.

It seems as if the blue-collar worker is looked down upon. Yet, we are the support group for the hypocrites who would rather squash us than help.

I'm not sure if I expressed myself properly, as I am only a blue-collar worker who helps when I can and where I can. However, I would think twice before I support these hypocrites.
-- Sharon Calhoun, Spring Hill

Can't trust county to do "affordable housing' well

Editor: Re: Public incivility was topped only by ignorance, April 28 column:

Poor Jeff Webb. He went to the wrong meeting. The meeting between residents and county officials was held Wednesday, April 24, and was attended by about 600 people. Perhaps the additional 200 people at his meeting were the people who demonstrated "an absolutely stunning level of ignorance about the basic functions of their government." Our meeting was attended by people who asked intelligent and probative questions and got nothing more than a "stroking."

Webb asks us to have faith in a government that repeatedly has been unable to deal with any situation that faces it without benefit of a study by an outside consultant and, of course, paid for by the very ignorant people who don't understand that corruption and malfeasance permeate governments throughout the land.

We have every right to question how our money is spent and the integrity of the people who are in charge of it. It is that condescending and arrogant attitude that has everyone outraged, not "affordable housing."

It would take more space than this letter permits to come up with even a partial list of blunders and errors within the past year that taxpayers in Hernando County have had to endure.

Mr. Webb espouses tolerance, yet chastises anyone with a different viewpoint from his own. An April 21 Times editorial written by Webb, Stereotyping complexes is misplaced and divisive, challenged residents of the "upscale" subdivisions for not being diligent in their responsibility to have examined land-use maps before buying their homes. Had Mr. Webb interviewed some homeowners, he might have discovered that we were told the multifamily apartments slated for Mariner Boulevard were to be 124 upscale apartments, in keeping with the area. This "deal" obviously fell through, and a less desirable one took its place behind the closed doors of an autonomous department.

Instead of being trusting, we should have been suspicious. Had we learned of the "affordable housing projects," which were not even a gleam in the eye of the developer or the county at the time most of us came to Hernando County, does he think any of us would be living here now? He probably would be looking for another job because circulation of the Hernando Times probably would be non-existent. Unless he has another job he, too, owes his livelihood to the "upscale residents' " annual subscriptions to the Times.
-- Jean C. Marin, Spring Hill

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