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City should focus on areas we actually use

Letters to the Editor
Published October 18, 2006

City should focus on areas we actually use

Hangar 1: A place to park history Oct. 15.

Why does this city waste efforts and money on the wrong issues? How long do we have to wait to get a new mayor with some foresight?

The city needs to spend its efforts saving historic buildings in areas people can visit and walk by. The downtown airfield is out of the way and inaccessible for most citizens to utilize, so why waste efforts to save any building there? We should concentrate where people live and walk around, such as Central Avenue. The many old buildings and shops along Central by the State Theatre should be a hot spot for conservancy, not the airport. We need to save old retail buildings and shops to help offset all the brand new retail going on, maintaining a quaint district along with a sparkling new district. Where is the city's 20-year plan?

We need to incorporate Al Lang Field, the Pier, the port, the new Dali Museum all into a master plan, and not waste time on an area (the airport) the masses can not even use.

Scott Hoffman, St. Petersburg


Is speeding really our biggest problem?

In the last two weeks I had the opportunity to see a couple of situations that can be turned into a substantial tax savings.

First, observed nine St. Petersburg police cars, all engaged in writing speeding tickets on the Pinellas Bayway. Just the other day, I saw the same "police effort" on Fourth Street S.

To be honest, I'm more concerned about living in a city that is in the running for "murder capital" of the U.S. than I am about a few people speeding. Obviously, the Police Department thinks that the safety issues within our community are well in hand and do not require patrolling. So, since our efforts are now focused on speeding, let's replace half or so of the police department with Speeder Maids. The money saved in reduced pay and benefits could be put toward reducing our high taxes.

Claude Henschel, St. Petersburg


Don't abuse recycling center by dumping trash

An open Letter to Mr. or Mrs. Garbage Dumper and You Know Who You Are:

So you think it's okay to dump your old furniture, trash and garbage inside the city recycling containers or, better yet, leave it strewn all over the ground around the containers? Guess what, "someone" has to pick it all up! What if the city gets tired of cleaning up your refuse and takes away the recycling station?

There are lots of people in our community who actually actively participate in the conservation of our earth and who appreciate those recycling stations. Please be respectful of the difference between recycling and garbage and do us all a favor by placing your trash in trash containers, not recycling containers. Be a friend to the earth, not an enemy.

Heidi Hagedorn Sumner, St. Petersburg


Overspending kept city from decreasing taxes

Treasure Island, along with Redington Shores, is one of only two beach communities that didn't decrease their millage rates this year. Redington Shores will fund underground utility lines and replace storm drains with its additional revenues. Treasure Island needs the additional revenues because its commissioners didn't plan for the loss of toll receipts and because they elected to keep its expensive police force. City revenues have increased an average of 20 percent a year over the last six years for a city that is built out and fixed in size. Reserves have not been greatly increased. Therefore, is it logical to conclude that this represents out-of-control spending?

Ed Wegman, Treasure Island


Madeira Beach is neglecting its employees

Beach cities get their budgets settled Oct. 11

Yes, Madeira Beach has some of the most expensive property on the beach to the tune of $1.3-billion. Yes, the city does spend much of its $12-million budget on capital improvements. Lowering the millage rate (again) was a fine gesture. Too bad their graciousness doesn't include the employees who make the city run.

While surrounding communities are showing employee appreciation by offering wage adjustments averaging 6 percent, Madeira Beach isn't even offering 5 percent. A Classification and Compensation Study conducted in 2005 by Gulfport states: "Employees perform best when they believe they are treated fairly at their place of employment. More specifically, they want to know if they are receiving the compensation that they deserve for their jobs."

It is clear that Madeira Beach, by no means a city in financial difficulty, just doesn't care.

Steve Burdick, vice president/Madeira Beach Communication Workers Of America Local 3179, Gulfport



New law will keep everyone safe on road

Law aims to protect cyclists Oct. 1

Thank you for educating citizens on the existence of the law requiring motorists to leave at least 3 feet of space between the passing car and a bicycle. There's one thing I haven't noticed. That's an explanation of why the law exists.

Here's why: If a two-wheeled vehicle (motorcycle, scooter, bicycle, or other) must lay the bike down in an emergency, you (the motorist) don't want to be following or passing too close. Every time I explain this to people, I use one hand to mimic a bike laying down to the left and the other hand palm down to mimic a car passing too close.

Everyone instantly understands and starts thinking about giving more room when they drive past. If you provide an explanation of why the 3-foot law exists for bicyclists, the explanation improves road safety for motorcyclists and scooters, too. Please improve road safety for all my motorcycle, scooter, and bicycle riding friends and let everyone know why the law exists.

Kimberly Cooper, St. Petersburg


We invite readers to write to us. Letters for publication should be addressed to Letters To The Editor, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. They can be sent by fax to (727) 893-8675 or through our Web site at: They should be brief and must include the writer's name, address and phone number. Please include a handwritten signature when possible. Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length. We regret that not all letters can be published.

[Last modified October 18, 2006, 08:14:52]

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