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Letters to the Editors

Courage may end developers' free ride

© St. Petersburg Times
published March 2, 2003

Editor: Pasco County Attorney Robert Sumner finally won the hearts of average Pasco taxpayers when he told the Planning Commission to "put away the rubber stamp."

Some of us were wondering when it would all end: the developments that do not pay their own way, the increasingly congested roads, overcrowded schools and all of the other services that current residents have to dig deeper to fund. And now the commissioners want us to increase the sales tax even more?

Mr. Sumner and County Administrator John Gallagher are both finally shaking their heads and pointing fingers.

New developments must be planned wisely and come up with the necessary funds to provide for the needed infrastructure, including roads, schools, parks, libraries, police and fire protection. In other words, pay their own way.

Thanks to Mr. Sumner, who had the courage to say enough.

Maybe the free ride for developers and large landowners is coming to an end. The commissioners should take note. To the courageous and those with backbone will go the political spoils.
-- Ann Campbell, Land O'Lakes

Habitat volunteer proud of group's work, homes

Re: Habitat for Humanity hurts community, Feb. 17 letter.

I have been a volunteer with West Pasco Habitat for Humanity for three years now. There are three affiliates of Habitat for Humanity in Pasco County.

Last month, I took steps to now be involved with the board of directors as the family partner. The group of people that I work with is a diverse group that comes together to help the community.

Habitat for Humanity is a people-to-people partnership drawing together families and communities in need with volunteers and resources to build decent, affordable housing.

Our applicants must first show a need of housing. But they must also prove stable income, pass a credit check, and earn sweat equity hours working on their homes.

The homeowners have a personal attachment to the home that they work to build.

The homeowner is given a mortgage that must be repaid just like any other homeowner. These mortgage payments go into our treasury and allow us to fund more homes.

The homes that I have had a hand in helping build have been quite nice.

I would be glad to live in any of the three. Each one has met or exceeded the standard homes in that neighborhood. I am not aware that we are given any special variances.

In fact, the home we are working on now was held up for three months waiting on permits because the permit office was backed up.

We are subject to inspections for each phase of our construction.

Each home has given a single mother the opportunity to raise their children in a decent home that they can call their own.

A popular saying in Habitat is that we are giving someone a hand up not a handout. And yes, I would be glad to have any of them live next door to me.
-- Maria Brandes, New Port Richey

Elected officials must stand against gambling

Editor: At this rate, this gambling business is going to control this fine little city of Port Richey, and it is time our elected officials take a stand against it.

Your paper has been very vigilant to expose all the shenanigans that are going on here.
-- Walter Radau, Port Richey

Coast Guard offers free vessel checks

Re: Captain's folly costs taxpayers thousands, Feb. 25 letter

Editor: I agree that this is a lesson to learn from, and I also agree that it could/should have been prevented.

The letter writer is correct when he says that there are items that should have been carried on the vessel. I wish to offer the services of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Do you know that the auxiliary has a program that is just right for situations of this kind? It is called the vessel examiner program. This program is aimed at the boater. It is free, and no report is made to any federal, state, county or city agency.

This is a program where the auxiliary will do a courtesy vessel check to ensure that your vessel has all the required safety equipment on board and is in compliance with federal and state requirements.

Upon successful completion of the vessel safety check a decal will be awarded. Any boater desiring a vessel safety check, please call Gene Brooks (727) 376-8836.
-- Eugene F. Brooks, Flotilla Vice Commander, 11-6, New Port Richey

Share your views

The Pasco Times welcomes letters from readers for publication.

Because of space limitations, letters should be of reasonable length (250-300 words maximum as a rule).

Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length.

All letters must be signed and must contain the writer's address and telephone number. Addresses and telephone numbers will not be printed. Anonymous letters or letters with initials only will not be printed.

Send your letter to Pasco Times, 11321 U.S. 19, Port Richey, FL 34668.

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