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Today's Letters: Approach schools like a business

Published March 15, 2007


Re: Applicants for Hernando County superintendent of schools

Instead of looking only at educators, we should be searching for someone with a financial and business background. This might take additional time, but when you realize the school district's annual operating budget is $428-million, it is worth extra time to get the right person. The Hernando County Commission's annual operating budget is $458-million, so you can see the school district's is almost as much as the county budget.

Yes, running the school district is big business. This candidate also needs industrial relations know-how because they will be dealing with various unions, teachers, bus drivers, etc.

Let's face it, the state mandates what is being taught; do we need another educator at the top? This individual may have all the educational specifications, but if the candidate isn't a well-rounded people person, there will be no harmony in the system.

We realize that the answer to this will come back that the various department heads can handle each specific department. The superintendent needs more than an educational background to efficiently cope with the daily problems.

We, too, believe that more time should be taken to select candidates for this important position. An "expert" was brought in to help the School Board; from what we read in the newspaper, he didn't do a very good job.

Joe and Kay Orsic, Spring Hill

Why not look closer to home?

I think all School Board members have forgotten what needs to happen in Hernando County schools. They are looking in all the wrong places for the next superintendent. Nobody from this county wants or needs someone from Broward or Duval counties, or Ohio or Kentucky. We want someone who is familiar with our schools, our issues, and can lead us to a better place.

Look right in front of your nose. There are plenty of qualified people here. What happened to promoting from within? The board has several people it has molded into people who work and care for this school system. Instead, the board is wasting our time with people who are resume-padding. Did the board members ever think that if these people are so good, why don't they still have a job?

Do we need to go down the path of another Michael Ransaw? Look at what you have right in front of you. At the very least the board will get someone it can be sure about. Think about it.

Sean Fitzgerald, Spring Hill

Re: Don't shop for elected positions March 13 letter to the editor

It's easy to make things difficult

Jerry Downing made a simple suggestion: "You should live in the district at the time you file your papers with the supervisor of elections to run for elected office." What a concept!

The residency question would be simple: "Do you now live in the district you are hoping to represent?" A simple "Yes" or "No" would do. Either you do or you don't. The district lines are quite clear, and your residence is either inside the lines, or it isn't. You either live there at the time you file your papers, or you don't.

Ah, were it that simple. We humans have an incredible ability for twisting things, especially words, to suit our desires. For example, one of the Ten Commandments of the ancient Hebrews says, "Honor the Sabbath day and keep it holy." One of the sticky points was what it means to "keep it holy," and the eventual interpretation was to do no work. But what constitutes "work?" Is preparing a meal "work?" Yes, so make your food the day before. Is tying your shoelace "work?" If so, wear sandals that don't have laces. Oh, and what does "honor" mean? How about "Sabbath?" What is "holy?"

Much oversimplified, but you get the message. Those points, and countless others, have been occupying the finest legal minds for several thousand years; the debate goes on to this day.

What will we get with a simplified candidate residence statement? I can see it now: "What does 'live in the district' mean?" Full time? Part time? Own your residence? What if you rent a house? Does an apartment qualify? How many months out of the year are required? What if you "live" there at the time of filing but move during the campaign? You lived there at the time of filing, right? What if the district boundary changes between time of filing and Election Day-or certification day - or whatever? And on and on and on. If this passed we would be haggling over each word for the next 40 years.

What if the one who gets the most votes wins and the one who gets fewer just vows to try again next time? A lot simpler, but a lot less entertaining!

G. B. Leatherwood, Spring Hill

Help the Shriners help sick children

For more than 80 years, Shriners' hospitals for children have been providing state-of-the-art medical care to children with orthopedic problems, severe burns and spinal cord injuries, at absolutely no cost to the individuals or their families. Nothing is ever charged to the child's family, governmental agency or an insurance company for treatment received.

Nineteen of the nations's 22 Shriners' hospitals, including the Shriners Hospital in Tampa, specialize in caring for children with a wide range of orthopedic problems, including clubfoot, brittle bone disease, effects of cerebral palsy, limb deficiencies, curvature of the spine, hand or back problems and cleft lip and palate cases. Children suffering from severe burn injuries are transported, free of charge, to our pediatric burn care centers in Cincinnati, Galveston and Boston for specialized treatment.

Locally, the Hernando County Shrine Club has commenced its 2007 Shriners Hospital Fund Drive for Children. Club members (with those "funny red hats") will be stationed at various commercial establishments throughout the county, requesting area citizens to "Help a Child Get Well" campaign for 2007.

During the recent 2006 fiscal year, numerous individual children from Hernando County were cared for at Shriners Hospital in Tampa. Some of them are still receiving care.

If you know of a child with orthopedic problems, severe burns or a spinal cord injury that a Shriners hospital might be able to help, speak to one of the Shriners participating in our collection campaign throughout Hernando County over the next few weeks, or call toll-free 1-800-237-5055.

John K. Ross, Spring Hill

Your voice counts

We welcome letters from readers for publication. To send a letter from your computer, go to and fill in the required information. Type your letter in the space provided on the form, specify that you are writing the Hernando section of the newspaper, and then click "submit." You also may cut and paste a letter that you have prepared elsewhere in your computer.

If you prefer, you may fax your letter to (352) 754-6133, or mail it to: Letters to the Editor, Hernando Times, 15365 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, FL 34613.

All letters should be brief and must include the writer's name, city of residence, mailing address and telephone number. When possible, letters should include a handwritten signature. Addresses and telephone numbers will not be printed. The Times does not publish anonymous letters.

Letters may be edited for clarity, taste, length and accuracy. We regret that not all letters can be printed.

[Last modified March 14, 2007, 23:27:27]

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