Letters to the Editors
Foster home flap shows callousness
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 6, 2002
Editor: The recent coverage of the foster home status in a deed-restricted community is very important and should be followed up to its conclusion.
The labeling of foster children as a piece of merchandise and the caring of them as a business is a capricious and callous attitude that has no basis in the law. To pursue this ligation is not only morally wrong but a waste of homeowners' funds.
Did the Forest Lake Estates Neighborhood Association have a full board meeting with all directors to decide the issue and, if they did have a meeting, was the membership advised of this meeting in writing? According to Florida statue: "All sessions conducting association business when a quorum of the board of directors is present require advance notice to all members of the community." If this was not done, the subject is moot and void.
Foster parents deserve praise, not harassment
Editor: The homeowners' association that does not want the foster home in its development does not know what it is talking about.
There is no way foster care can be considered a business. I am a past president of a foster parent organization of some 700 foster families in New York state. Foster parents there receive larger stipends than here in Florida, I am sure.
A study there revealed that foster parents are reimbursed for the cost of feeding and providing all the financial needs of these children with the exception of clothes and medical expenses.
New York state provides a little more for a clothing allowance, which is never enough and it usually ends up costing foster parents from their own pockets. A little economy can be worked out if they have three or four children that can share or pass down clothes to younger children.
This association should be kissing the feet of these foster parents because it would cost the state of Florida 10 times as much to institutionalize these children and we would all be paying a state income tax.
If you want a business where you may net 65 cents an hour or less, you have to be out of your mind. Corinna and Steve Gourlay should be commended for wanting to care for children who come with all kinds of problems, as Florida cannot afford to pay this family what they deserve. The Gourlays merit a certificate of commendation for volunteerism instead of the harassment to which they are being subjected.
Is New Port Richey's request for reappraisal necessary?
Editor: At a New Port Richey City Council meeting, a bid was received for a parcel of property that the city has for sale. The purchasers want to build a bed and breakfast on this land.
The City Council was in favor of the sale, but wants to have the property reappraised as the bid price for the property is two years old. The city has had the property in its possession for several years and had it on the market for at least three years.
How much revenue are the people losing by not selling this parcel of land? How much revenue will the citizens realize by selling this parcel now for the $103,000 instead of spending more money for a reappraisal?
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