tampabay.com

Today's Letters: Weaver Park raises questions

By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published May 31, 2007


Re: Our gems of parks required foresight guest column by Dunedin Mayor Bob Hackworth, May 28

I discussed this issue with Mayor Hackworth several weeks ago and it's obvious he continues to ignore any thought of fiscal discipline or control of taxpayers' money.

As usual, the City of Dunedin never does its homework before spending the taxpayers' money. It would seem that any thinking person would consider the following before even considering buying the Weaver property, located on both sides of Alt. U.S. 19 just north of downtown:

1. Do we need another park? This park would be within a couple of miles of existing parks to the south and north on Alt. U.S. 19.

2. How many people will use the park?

3. We already have waterfront parkland to the south in the marina and on Bayshore Boulevard, as well as the entire Honeymoon Island causeway. Seems to me we have plenty of room to view the open water.

4. How much will it cost to make it into a park?

5. How much will it cost to maintain the park and who's going to pay for it?

6. Where will people park their cars and how will they get across Alt. U.S. 19 without getting killed? I can see another stoplight! Great!

7. Are there other projects more worthy than this?

8. How much property tax revenue will be lost because of municipal ownership?

It's obvious that the attitude is we've got some money, let's get some other taxpayers' money and spend it.

No matter how the mayor tries to explain that it's not property tax money, he ignores the fact that it's still the public's money he wants to spend with absolutely no planning.

This is just one more project in a long line of poorly planned projects and the public just sits around and ignores the obvious mismanagement.

Jim Harpham, Palm Harbor

Re: Our gems of parks required foresight guest column by Dunedin Mayor Bob Hackworth, May 28

Mayor's letter lacked answers

Mayor Hackworth writes a good-sounding letter. I'm not against preserving prime real estate for public use, but not all the facts were presented. Let's explore what was not written about.

1. What exactly is the Weaver property's fair market value? The city just acquired 6 acres of prime land adjacent to Hammock Park for $600, 000. Mr. Weaver thinks his 4 or 5 acres of property is worth about $18-million.

2. Yes, we have a land dedication fund. From what I hear, the fund has about $600, 000. Where will the additional millions of dollars come from?

3. The property has no current parking. There's no access to the water side from the main parcel. I can see it now - families running across Alt. U.S. 19 at all hours.

4. The city's wastewater plant runs a drainage pipe under the Weaver land.

5. Is the city going to build a pedestrian bridge across Alt. U.S. 19? I don't think so.

6. With the impending budget cuts, one of the first to feel the impact will be the Leisure Services Department. Who will maintain the park and how much will it cost?

7. The dock will have to be refurbished and maintained. Again, how much and where will the manpower and funds come from?

Mr. Mayor, you need to present the entire picture and all its ramifications for the citizens.

We are approaching a time of tight budgets and talking about doing away with some city services. Timing is everything and maybe it's just bad timing.

Bill Coleman, Dunedin

Re: Audit: Cars too pricey a perk story, May 22

Is a county car really necessary?

I was appalled to read the remarks of Pinellas County Communications Director Marcia Crawley in the paper.

The only reason I am using Ms. Crawley as an example is that I read where her annual salary is in the $100, 000 range.

She says that she is on call 24 hours a day and that is a reason for needing a county car.

Even with the price of gas today, the county's reimbursement of 44.5 cents per mile driven should be adequate.

I know many people would love to be reimbursed 44.5 cents per mile for performing their jobs.

Is it any wonder that people are fed up with high property taxes and the waste in government?

C.E. Vincent, Clearwater

Correction

Clearwater City Manager Bill Horne fired city paramedics Trevor Murray and Mike Jones on the recommendation of fire Chief Jamie Geer. A May 29 editorial incorrectly stated that Geer fired the men, who have been reinstated as firefighters.

Your voice counts

You may submit a letter to the editor for possible publication through our Web site at www.tampabay.com/letters, or by faxing it to (727) 445-4119, or by mailing it to Letters, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. You must include your name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length.