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City's political theatrics have become ridiculous

Letters to the Editor
Published May 26, 2005

Re: Sound and fury but no action, story, May 25.

Enough is enough! Largo City Commission, quit wasting my tax money! A six-month investigation of alleged illegal campaign contributions and now, so the story goes, we need to investigate possible perjury committed during this inquisition (good luck proving that). Please, give me a break. This political theater has now entered the arena of the ridiculous.

Commissioner Mary Gray Black, let me make something perfectly clear. We do not live in a world of absolutes. Not everything is black or white, good or evil. Rather, most things are a shade of gray, and good or evil is generally based upon one's perception.

It has become obvious that you have some personal vendetta against a few of your fellow sitting commissioners, which is your business, just quit wasting my tax money trying to fulfill your bailiwick. And about your insistence of absolute enforcement of the charter: Okay, let's do it, but we should also make sure we enforce, absolutely, the constitutions of the United States and the state of Florida. End result of doing that:

1. U.S. Constitution; article 1, section 9, paragraph 4: "No capitation or other direct tax shall be laid . . ." We can semantically dance all day long, just don't tell me a tax on my income is not a direct tax. I can give you the anti-16th Amendment arguments also, but not now.

2. All property taxes must be repealed. Why? The 4th Amendment guarantees the rights of the people "secure in their persons, houses . . . and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures." Don't pay your property tax and see how long you're secure in your house. Are property taxes legal? Hardly. Blatant violation of 4th Amendment. Are property taxes good or evil? Depends on whether you're the giver or getter.

3. The Florida Constitution forbids the state from levying property tax, but do you think this stops them? Not a chance. Look at your property tax bill or trim notice. Almost 50 percent of the School Board levy is mandated by state law. Technically, the state isn't taxing our property, but please, they're dictating to the local School Board what they must do. Illegal? Technically, no, but in reality (shade of gray), yes.

If you need further examples, just let me know, but back to the main issue. I'm tired of the saber rattling and wasting of my tax dollars. There are no absolutes in political venues. We can find fault with every elected person in the country. Believe me, all have known "sin," but what's the point? Perhaps you'd like a pillory in front of City Hall.

Finally, it's so noted that your intent is to enforce the city charter outlined in section 9.02(4). To share a "moment of Zen," this provision forbids "contributions" by city employees. It does not stipulate nor define what a contribution is, but according to "political Webster's," any/all of the following qualify as a contribution: yard sign, lapel pin, bumper sticker, cash, encouraging others to vote in a certain way - this list could continue. Needless to say, if we wished to enforce, absolutely, 9.02(4), as previously mentioned, all have sinned, including, I'd bet, yourself.

End the inquisition!

-- Curtis A. Holmes, Largo

One point in editorial needs clarification

Re: Largo City Commission's dysfunction needs to stop, editorial, May 20.

While I am in total agreement with your editorial, I would like to clarify one point.

You state, "Unsuccessful City Commission candidates from this year's campaign . . . continued to push for more investigation of possible charter violations."

I would like for your readers to know that neither Rodney Woods nor myself has been involved in any of these activities. Joshua Lindsey is the only unsuccessful candidate from this year's campaign who has pursued this issue.

-- Gigi Arntzen, Largo

Fired paramedics should be rehired, with raises

Re: Every 911 caller deserves a response, no matter what, editorial, May 15.

As a taxpayer paying for emergency medical services, I disagree that abusers of the 911 system should still be responded to. The woman who had 122 calls for nothing within the past two years seems a little ridiculous to me, and I am aware of another person who has called 911 for her mother's constipation four times in one month.

Each of these runs costs the taxpayers more than $500, and it would seem to me that emergency medical care is a privilege, not a right. We should either force the people who call 911 for ridiculous reasons to pay for this service, like everyone else has to pay for ambulance services, or we should put these people on a list where they are not responded to and let what will be, be.

The two paramedics who were fired should be rehired with a pay increase.

-- Dr. Stanley S. Moles, Largo
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