Today's Letters: Facility built at impractical costLetters to the Editor
Published March 16, 2007
Waiting for the welcome station March 11 story
I don't blame any taxpayer for being upset about this Spring Hill Fire Rescue District station; I know I am. This is just another example of how our tax dollars are being used inappropriately. And this is what we can see clearly. Just what kind of wasteful spending is going on that we can't see?
I don't think anyone would object to building/renovating a firehouse that is safe and dry, but this started out as a roof replacement and somehow turned into this palace. Don't get me wrong; it is aesthetically appealing and quite a nice addition to the neighborhood.
But residents are struggling to maintain our lifestyles, dealing with issues like insurance and taxes while county spending is running wild and our county officials are crying poor. Residents deserve better management of fire district spending.
I don't think anyone would object to a decent, practical facility for the men and women who serve us. But the key word here is practical. I can only guess at how much this facility could have been built for had it been done with better management.
Spring Hill fire Chief Bill Davies tries to justify out-of-control spending by stating they went with Formica counters instead of granite. Well, chief, if that makes you feel better about it, good for you, but think about where your money comes from. At $1.3-million (and counting) I think our taxpayers deserve a better explanation.
I would like to see quotes for a building similar to Hernando County Fire Rescue's on Barclay Avenue. I suspect the difference would leave you speechless, Chief Davies.
Geri Foley, Spring Hill
Time is right for fair tax overhaul
I am covered under the "Save Our Homes" tax cap. Although this law has provided many of us with some protection from runaway real estate taxation, it is now very apparent that this same plan also is leading the great state of Florida down a path of self-destruction.
Moreover, our problems extend far beyond those being experienced within the housing industry throughout the country. Even an economic upturn in the national housing market will not solve our existing problems. Virtually every Florida neighborhood will still reek of unfair taxable assessments. As a result, people can't afford to buy, while others lose out if they sell and repurchase in Florida.
Admittedly, our tax problem is complex; however, remedies such as increasing the assessment exemption from $25,000 to $50,000, or allowing for assessment portability will only compound the problem. Our tax system needs a total overhaul, one based on fairness.
Therefore, I thoroughly applaud the solution for getting rid of residential property taxes; and, in their place, increasing our sales tax. It is a bold concept whose time has come.
Tom Woods, Brooksville
Embargo would benefit residents
If the County Commissioners wake up and pose a temporary emergency embargo on further development in Hernando County, four things will happen:
1. The prices of existing homes will increase, or at least stabilize, and people will be able to sell the thousands of vacant homes that exist.
2. The water shortage will stabilize in the short term. I always wondered why Brooksville was limited to one-day watering and Spring Hill had two days per week?
3. People will buy more existing homes and fix them up, or simply tear down old houses and rebuild on existing lots, improving all the aging areas.
4. The streets won't need to be improved, at a savings of millions of tax dollars, and we can afford to buy a better, effective school system as this area becomes more of a family community instead of a retirement community.
Doug Adams, Spring Hill
Group lobbying to honor veterans
Leo Jacobs, past Disabled American Veterans commander in Brooksville, and I traveled to Tallahassee recently to address the state veterans legislative committee about several issues brought to the attention of Rep. Robert Schenck, R-Spring Hill, and Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, both of whom are eager to sponsor legislation on behalf of veterans across the state.
First, we addressed the need to toughen language in state-mandated HB292.11 for structuring county service office staff and procedures from "may" to "shall."
Then, we asked that the section of the mandate that calls for only wartime veterans to be certified by the state for county veterans' representation to include all branches of service in all periods of time for those who served honorably for their full terms of obligation.
Of course, we urged consensus from the legislative committee that a county veterans service office be fully staffed by veterans certified by the state of Florida to handle classified materials and information, and that the director of those services report only to the "highest authority" of the county administration.
Naturally, we endorsed legislation sponsored by Sen. Fasano that calls for a paid Veterans Day holiday for all veterans. Veterans who wore the uniform should be honored forever, including their grave sites.
One more meeting is scheduled by the state veterans legislative committee before session ends and our small efforts will be met with all the resources at our command to bring before the committee, one more time, support for these issues and the 3.5-million veterans in Florida.
Deron Mikal, Brooksville
State prices itself out of paradise
Gas prices are way up. Supermarket prices are up. It doesn't take much to realize when the weather turns cold and snowy up North, and the snow birds come down, the prices are jacked up.
I can speak from experience. After retirement I traveled as a consultant, and when my wife would join me in Michigan or Kentucky or Minnesota or wherever, she would say, "Look how much more this item is in Florida."
Florida is no longer a retirement paradise financially. And with 22,000 students in Hernando County, it also has an expensive school system.
Art Croci, Spring Hill
Drive safely in an emergency
Please, motorists, when you see emergency vehicles or hear sirens, pull over if you can, or at least stop. You may not see them right away, but when you do, don't try to pull out. They know where they are going and you don't.
The emergency in progress just may be at your home or business. The heart attack/accident victim they are racing to save may be your family member. Obey the law and use some common sense.
Also, state law says if the conditions are bad enough to warrant windshield wipers on, you must have your headlights on.
Lastly, please take down our beloved flag when it becomes faded and/or torn. It is more respectful not to fly it at all than to fly it in poor condition.
My heartfelt thanks to all of our emergency personnel and members of the armed services. Thanks for a job well done. Keep Old Glory flying high.
Terry Dayton, Spring Hill
Your voice counts
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