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Today's Letters: If you want it, then pay for it

Letters to the Editor
Published August 31, 2007


Re: Recreation subsidieswill end story, Aug. 27

If you want it, then pay for it

So the drive for tax cuts has led Pinellas County to stop subsidizing the use of other municipalities' recreation facilities by residents of the county's Municipal Services Taxing Unit.

It amazes me how many people demand tax cuts and then find a resulting cut in services surprising.

Even more amazing is the county residents who expect the other municipalities to provide their services for free. These deadbeats howl at having to pay out of pocket what they did not pay in taxes.

Let 'em howl!

The fees charged to nonresidents make up for the taxes these county deadbeats don't pay. One of the reasons given over and over again for not annexing into a city is that the county MSTU charges lower property taxes. That's because it does not provide services provided by other municipalities, such as active recreation.

That means if you want to walk around Taylor Lake or take a picture of an osprey at Wall Springs Park, great. But if you want to learn French, play basketball or use the weight machines, you want something you haven't paid for. You get what you pay for.

Actually, the lower county MSTU property taxes work against county residents at tax cut time. The county was running lean to begin with, and a good way to cut the recreation budget is by cutting the subsidies. Theoretically, these are services the county residents did not want to begin with.

Cities like Largo, for instance, have charged higher property taxes to pay for substantial recreation departments. That's because Largo residents have expressed willingness to tax themselves to receive these services. Largo's Recreation Department "has been nationally accredited and named an 'Agency of Excellence' by the State of Florida."

Why should my tax dollars pay for county deadbeats to use facilities they refuse to pay for with their taxes?

Philipp Michel "Mike" Reichold,Largo

Re: Resort blends casual class, gorgeous views editorial, Aug. 29

Hope resort will end the slump

Good editorial on the Sandpearl. I can only hope this new resort will breathe new life into the broken spirit that is Clearwater Beach. Merchants in the area are holding their breath, wondering if this new attraction will be enough to get them through these lean times.

The "perfect storm" that many of us predicted has come to pass. It's a boom-to-bust real estate cycle, made worse by poorly conceived redevelopment incentives, made worse by the irrationality of wannabe-player developers, made worse by flawed beach and downtown redevelopment plans, made worse by construction schedules that assured the worst possible consequences of the other "storm" dangers, made worse by a boom-to-bust credit availability environment.

Meanwhile, state and local governments stepped in to prove that no matter how bad the storm is, they can make it even worse.

Shame on them for proposing to cut our services while our taxes and insurance costs - and their pay - continue to go up. Shame on them for turning a blind eye to the damage they've done to the beach.

Those trying to make a living on Clearwater Beach have been hammered hard by every squall of this perfect storm. They can only hunker down to await the turning of the market, hoping the new Sandpearl Resort is the oasis in the redevelopment desert that allows them to survive.

Dave Spath, Clearwater

Re: See that red light? You might want to stop for it story, Aug. 30

Don't announce, just enforce

I have never understood why police name the areas or intersections that they will be monitoring for illegal driving behaviors. All intersections and areas should be suspect for motorists who run red lights or drive while impaired, and since the activity would be illegal at any time, why publish these specific dates and/or times?

The motorist who would run a red light in these areas would probably do so at any time, at any red light. Is the publishing of specific information supposed to act as a deterrent only on that specific time or date?

I live on a very busy street that was run right through the middle of the subdivision. The way speeders are caught here is by using unmarked sheriff's vehicles.

Speed signs are up, red lights are a given. Does anyone really think that announcing a time and date for monitoring is going to make any significant difference?

Bobbye Blackburn, Clearwater