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Letters to the Editors

Here are some tax dollars well-spent

© St. Petersburg Times
published March 4, 2003

Editor: I took some scrap metal to the Northwest Landfill recently. I marveled at the way the place is maintained. The workers are quick to help and they keep the place clean. We are getting our tax money's worth there and the location is excellent.

Another thing this county has that is exceptionally well-run is the Rock Cannery. I stopped in to admire the things going on there. It's squeaky clean and managed well. There were many women sharing the space and the equipment canning vegetables, chickens and other things for their pantries.

While so many tax dollars are subject to so much criticism by complainers, these two things are worthy of compliments upon compliments. Sure better than our high cost of county fire-rescue services, which can't find anything without a struggle and where our tax dollars are vanishing without a fire station north of U.S. 41 yet.
-- Larry Coffman, Brooksville

Deputies aren't there to raise money

Editor: Re: Traffic ticket revenue lagging, Feb. 16 Times:

According to the article: "While the budget of the Hernando County Sheriff's Office has doubled in the last decade, and its number of employees has increased by nearly a third, the amount of money the department has generated for the county through ticketing drivers has not kept pace."

What kind of a law enforcement department do you think we have in Hernando? Is this a business enterprise? Should we have an equivalent number of tickets to match both the number of employees and the budget? Do you think we are in a police state where we have to pay the police according to their financial input, without taking into consideration stability, crime suppression and community relations?

The police are not a political arm of the county commissioners and if they cannot balance their budget they should stop other budgetary adventures, such as affordable housing, Section 8 housing and over-growth.

Commissioner Robert Schenck said the shortage of traffic tickets issued by sheriff's deputies should be investigated, perhaps suggesting deputies are lax in traffic enforcement. I believe the commissioner should not get involved in this matter unless there is evidence of malfeasance on the part of the Sheriff's Office.

I agree 100 percent with Sheriff Richard Nugent that the Sheriff's Office should not keep records about how much money any type of law enforcement is generating for the county. "Increased calls for service and more violent crime in the past decade has made expansions to the department's traffic unit a secondary priority," he said. And that is the way it should be.
-- Luis B. Rosario, Spring Hill

Brown-Waite loyal to constituents

Editor: U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Brooksville, is to be commended for her continued dedication to remain accessible, sensitive and devoted to constituents. Her repeated open forums throughout the 5th Congressional District attest to her sincerity in serving the needs of those who elected her.

When asked point-blank if she would succumb to Washington's pressure to always side with her party should it conflict with local issues, her response was that her reputation as an independent thinker would continue to reflect favorably on her constituents' needs.

Actions always speak louder than words. Most recently during a forum in Inverness, dedicated staff members took copious notes of many of the problems aired by residents.

For example, those in attendance could easily identify the serious concern and energy demonstrated by Brown-Waite in promising to address the problems of medical care for our veterans. Her lack of tolerance for delays in solving citizen cases with government agencies was emphasized when she promised "no more backlogs of active cases."

She revealed a positive plan addressing the costs of prescriptions (sponsoring a bill to limit price changes for drugs to a percentage of drug company advertising budgets). In my case, a proposal to initiate the first steps in a project that addresses solutions for the national health care crisis was warmly received, put in her briefcase and is on its way to Washington for further evaluation.

This willingness to look at creative solutions is just one of the congresswoman's most admirable qualities and greatest assets.
-- David I. Monier, Inverness

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