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Progress trumps experience at Fire Department

Letters to the Editor
Published April 27, 2005

New Largo fire Chief Jeff Bullock received a promotion from City Manager Steve Stanton even though he does not have the proper qualifications, and Stanton himself just got a raise. Progress for whom?

Meanwhile, a 27-year veteran with excellent evaluations and an excellent employment record sits home with no job, a wife and three children to support. The citizens of Largo should be outraged!

Division Chief David King (27 years) and district Chief David Morrin (23 years) were fired and shuffled out the back door without a fair shot at being a part of the "restructuring" that's going on in the Fire Department. There was no pornography or sexual misdeeds, as there were in other cases of terminations in the tricounty area. There is no misconduct on either one of their records. Stanton said he directed Bullock to create a management team that would "respond to public safety needs in a post-Sept. 11 environment." What better men to do the job than the men who were actually in the department on Sept. 11?

How about last hurricane season? The Fire Department's emergency hurricane plans were put into action and followed to the letter through four hurricanes. Doesn't that count for something? Isn't that progress?

What about the 120 years of combined firefighting experience that has left since March 1, 2005? When there is an emergency, I want someone who is experienced to rely on.

Yes, I want progress too, but at what cost? The cost of safety? Come on! Mayor Bob Jackson, there needs to be an inquiry into these firings, because no matter what the circumstances, it is not right to terminate two exceptional employees with their years of service and dedication to this city for absolutely no reason and without warning.

-- Shelley Eberle, Largo

Tearing down the Biltmore makes no monetary sense

Re: It's coming down, story, April 23.

No matter the comments, "It's coming down" - that beautiful old Belleview Biltmore hotel.

Whatever happened to "Waste not, want not"? Why have we become a throwaway society? Why do we no longer preserve our beautiful past? When we were young, and wanted something new, our grandparents would say, "Whatever happened to make over, make do or do without?"

Years ago, folks added onto their homes, but today, they either sell or tear down and rebuild.

I just returned from an overnight trip to St. Augustine, where you seldom see any new buildings, but you sure see a lot of old buildings that have been restored and still stand after several hundred years.

Not only are the buildings still standing, but they are in good use and earning an income for the occupants. That is one thriving city and a joy to visit.

To tear down when you can redo makes no monetary sense. The new owners of the Biltmore must have more money than they know what to do with.

I wonder what will happen when they run into cost overruns. They will probably sell the unfinished building to others, who will tear it down and start over.

Such a waste!

-- Fran Glaros, Clearwater

Entertaining a modest proposal for middle ground on Biltmore

Re: It's coming down, story, April 23.

It seems that the rhetoric is heating up on the future of the Belleview Biltmore Resort & Spa.

It is rumored that the hotel is no longer a viable operation, that suppliers and staff members cannot always be paid. It is obvious that the building is old and has had plastic on the roof since last hurricane season, and numerous other problems.

It would be logical to look at a middle ground.

For example, why not save the Tiffany Room, the kitchen and another small portion as an elegant dining and entertaining facility where the residents of Belleair could enjoy the memories and serve the needs of not only the new condo owners but the town of Belleair and beyond?

-- Bob Laws, Belleair

Psychologist is mostly wrong about "typical sixth-grader'

Re: Homework's no hassle for this sixth-grader, story, April 21.

I find it interesting that Clearwater child psychologist and Today show contributor Ruth Peters would consider a "mostly A" student who attends a private school that costs around $5,000 per year and whose parents are both engineers a "typical sixth-grader."

If Ms. Peters really wanted to help a "typical sixth-grader," she should have contacted a public school and sought out a child who is a "mostly B" student who is performing below that level.

-- John Honoski, Trinity


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[Last modified April 27, 2005, 00:47:14]

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