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Letters to the Editors

Stop bickering, start working in Port Richey

© St. Petersburg Times
published July 21, 2002

Re: Port Richey council doesn't "fight,' July 2 letter.

Editor: I have followed the council's actions and the articles, editorials and letters printed by you for quite some time, and my response is a mixture of amusement, sadness and anger.

Council member Phyllis Grae, unfortunately, is using rhetoric to dodge the real and serious issues our city has faced and faces today.

Far from being about the ongoing legal battle between Stardancer and Sun Cruz, the videotape to which she takes such exception is in fact about environmental damage to our river and what damage means to the future of all of us. As for Ms. Grae's complaining that the mayor implied that she and two other council members have their "head in the sand," I, for one, continue to worry about the business-as-usual attitude that has been so pervasive at City Hall for years. If that means they are sticking their heads in the sand, then it is time to stop.

One can only wonder why, having recently voted, along with the other three members of the council who were present, for a full investigation, Ms. Grae is now backing off her vote and instead attacking council member William Bennett and Mayor Eloise Taylor.

It makes perfect sense that any investigations of city activities or city departments should be thorough and complete.

These are public officials and city employees, and they must be above reproach, as Ms. Grae so ardently claims herself to be, in their actions as representatives of our city.

As a citizen, I would hope that any elected official or supervising employee would welcome scrutiny. It is the shirking of scrutiny that concerns me.

Sadly, council member Grae's letter is not so much informative for "those people who do rely on the written word," as it is the posturing that so often becomes the prelude to election politics. Ms. Grae's actions and statements merely add to the carnival atmosphere.

To the council, the city manager, the city attorney and the various heads of departments: It is time to straighten up your house, quit bickering and get on with the business of the city.
-- Fred Miller, Port Richey

Wanted: parade volunteers

Editor: Have you been sitting on the curb, watching, as the parade passes you by?

Are you one of those who do not want to get involved with putting the parade together but scream because "we" do not have a parade for this year?

Are you one who constantly tells everyone how it should be done but isn't to be found when the request for workers goes out?

Hey, I'm talking to you. When was the last time you volunteered for anything other than to finish off the ice cream?

I want a Fourth of July parade here in Zephyrhills next year, and I need you to come forth right now and volunteer to help put it together. I cannot and will not do it by myself. I want this to be a true community affair.

Do it now, as one famous advertiser says. Call me at the Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce and sign up to help. Call (813) 782-1913. The office is open 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. weekdays. If I don't get 20 people from Zephyrhills to work on this, I won't do it.
-- Cliff McDuffie, executive director, Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce

Don't let developers off the hook

Editor: Pasco County commissioners have an excellent plan for developers to include parks and green space in their 1,599 specials and other packed neighborhoods.

Hopefully, they will also have a plan to prevent developers from buying their way out of community parks the way that Oakstead did. Hundreds of Pasco residents protested Oakstead's incredibly dense development tromping on the rural Lake Patience Road neighborhood. One of the consolation prizes was the 15-acre community park that the neighbors would be able to enjoy.

The newspaper ran a story regarding the commissioners' hearing to decide whether the 15-foot setback from the wetlands could be counted as part of the community's 15-acre park. The next news was that there would be no park at all. Devco would pay $150 per unit to the county, and the park would go elsewhere, like in Trinity or Wesley Chapel.

Not a very neighborly way to act, but Don Buck did tell rural residents at the initial meeting protesting Oakstead that the development probably wouldn't do anything beneficial for the current residents. That was too true.

After all of the negative events regarding Devco and Oakstead, it would be a very neighborly thing to quit trying to crowd in so many homes. They could provide the community park and school sites that their development and the surrounding neighborhood could share and could go a long way toward creating a true sense of community.
-- Debra Moore, Land O'Lakes

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