Floridians concerned about real issues, not ideological ones
Letters to the Editor
Published July 12, 2006
Re: Gallagher and Crist can't both be right, July 8.
After reading Steve Bousquet's column regarding social conservative John Stemberger's concerns with the moral issues before the Florida electorate, I am left wondering if he is living on a different planet than the rest of us. How many Florida residents are concerned about banning gay marriages or interfering with a patient's right to die when they are presently faced with unaffordable homeowners' insurance premiums or no insurance at all? Then there is the threat of oil drilling off our pristine beaches that could kill our tourism business. Or how about that almost-$3 gallon of gasoline commuters are paying to get to work on our overcrowded Florida roads?
Neither Tom Gallagher nor Charlie Crist is going to take Florida into a moral decline. Floridians have many more crucial issues to consider when determining whom they should vote for as governor. We are in an insurance crisis that demands quick action by our political leaders before homeowners are forced to walk away from their mortgages and business owners decide to relocate their firms to other states.
It wasn't too many years ago that Gallagher was the state insurance commissioner. He seems oddly quiet on the topic of a fix for our insurance woes now. Somehow I think that the state voters will make their decision based on more than a handful of moral hot-button issues. The Terri Schiavo case should have taught intervention proponents at least one lesson about Florida voters.
Christine R. Vaughn, Belleair Bluffs
Homeowners' insurance out of control
Re: Homeowners' insurance.
I am utterly amazed that the newspapers have not been on the front lines to help the people in this state. The insurance companies have gone completely out of control, including Citizens Property Insurance Corp. There has been no control from Gov. Bush.
My insurance company decided to stop doing business in Hernando County and my broker told me my only option was to go with Citizens (It sounds friendly, doesn't it?). When I moved into my house six years ago my insurance was $650 a year. Citizens wants $3,300.
I have a relative in California whose house is double the value of mine and she is paying less than $500 a year (and they have earthquakes, fires and floods).
If the politicians do not do something soon there will not be any taxpayers to pay their salaries.
Harry Beton, Spring Hill
Looking for the governor's leadership
It's time for Gov. Bush to jump in and figure out what he can do to fix this homeowners' insurance mess created by the state government and their state-run insurance fund. It's time for Jeb and the boys to start thinking outside of the box.
We have homeowners who can't afford to insure their homes even for minimal coverage. The former insurance commissioner has the audacity to try to run for governor. They blame all of the problems with insurance on the weather, but we have had hurricanes down here in Florida for ages; the insurance mess is less than eight years old.
It's not caused by the weather but by governmental mismanagement of the insurance companies. If you do not write homeowners' insurance in the state, you should be restricted from writing any other insurance in our state.
They say Gov. Bush is on his way to private industry so that he can replenish the level of net worth lost in his present position as governor. Where is he going to work - Nationwide, or State Farm insurance?
Kevin Begley, Pinellas Park
Let state insure all homes
As a responsible citizen I feel that the insurance industry in the state of Florida needs to be reformed.
It seems to me that Floridians are getting a raw deal from the insurance industry. If we are going to be insured by the state, we don't need the insurance companies at all. If the state of Florida assumes all the responsibility for insuring all property, the state should get the good along with the bad.
The insurance companies should not be allowed to pick and choose the properties that they will insure. There will be an end to our property inflation, and a lot of our citizens will be affected by not only the lack of insurance but also the rising cost of it.
If the state assumes total control of property insurance, I feel that it will be able to effectively cover the state with the proper coverage and an affordable rate - and to heck with those companies whose only motive is profit at our cost.
Michael A. Daul, Tarpon Springs
Is a home too much to ask for?
I was really hurt by the July 8 letter, It's the park owner's property.
First of all, the money provided for a mobile homeowner to move is not given as a handout by the government. The meager funds are paid by the developers. If the letter writer has been reading the paper, he would see that we don't have any gall at all. We are poor people living on meager incomes. A mobile home on a rental lot is all we could afford and is in most cases the only way to have a roof over our heads.
We are not after something for nothing, we just want to be treated the same as you or anyone else would like to be treated. So please forgive us for wanting a home.
Lonnie Kelley, Seminole
Community needs all social classes
For quite some time I have been torn on the issue of developing mobile home parks, but as the mobile homeowners become more demanding of the park owners, it is becoming easier to take a side.
Why should anyone have to be responsible for these people? Yes, poor people need a place to live, but an owner of land or a house can and should be able to sell it at any time. Land gets developed! Do these people really believe that their mobile home, on the water in Florida, is going to stay that way?
I happen to live in a townhouse directly behind one of the parks that is rumored to be closing down. I have read about people having nowhere to go and not being able to afford anything. Yet, on the Fourth of July, there were a few thousand dollars' worth of fireworks going off from there.
I left New England because it was too expensive. If you can no longer afford it here, go somewhere more reasonable. Nobody owes you anything, not unless you are a disabled veteran.
But if something isn't done to make some affordable housing, eventually there won't be anyone to work at the lower-paying jobs! A community needs all social classes.
Clara McCormick, St. Petersburg
Urban League shouldn't be saved
Your July 6 editorial (Fix, and save, the Urban League) proposes saving the Urban League's dysfunctional Hillsborough County chapter.
Irrespective of its mission, this organization has bled cash and ill served its constituents. Why does the Times promote saving this institution? Another knee-jerk liberal reflex, perhaps.
I surely don't remember Times editors proposing that the taxpayers bail out Enron, do you?
Jim Parker, Tampa
Expand doggie dining
Thanks to St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker for being the first local official to stand up for the passage of the "doggie dining law." All other local officials of other cities should follow his lead to back this law, which took effect in the state of Florida on July 1.
It is now up to them to recognize this for their localities. We who love our dogs and wish to have them with us legally would very much appreciate a quick response and not have the situation put on the back burner for some future time, or never.
Eyvonne Connelly, Largo
[Last modified July 12, 2006, 05:46:59]
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