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Letters to the Editors

Radios not worth the money

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 7, 2001


Editor: Re: Chairman defends Spring Hill fire board, March 1 letter to the editor from Spring Hill Fire Rescue District Commissioner Bob Kanner defending the Spring Hill Fire Commisioner decision to purchase radios:

It is nice to know the fire commissioners want to educate themselves, but I strongly feel that instead of spending $4,800 on radios, if the commissioners really want to get an education, they need to spend a 12-hour shift with the firefighters and get the entire picture, not just a brief glimpse.

Just because fire commissioners want to respond in their cars (with plaques, if they have their way) to an emergency call, taxpayers don't need any more insurance liability than we already have. Leave that to the firefighters, and respond with them (I am sure the firefighters will love this deal). If the commissioners want to hear what is going on in Spring Hill, they can go to Radio Shack and purchase fire scanners for a fraction of the cost.

If the commissioners are with the firefighter throughout the entire call, I am sure they will find a much better purchase needed than radios. I think this would benefit all of the taxpayers!

Please remember, Commissioner Kanner, the people of Spring Hill elected you to be the eyes and ears for us. I think you are leaning in the right direction of having commissioners educated, but I strongly disagree with the board's decision on the purchase of radios and feel that you should reconsider the decision.
-- Henry Bebnowski, Spring Hill

Radios will give officials knowledge

Editor: Re: Fire commissioners taking role too far, Feb. 22 Hernando Times editorial on the purchase and use of radios by Spring Hill Fire Rescue District commissioners.

I respect editorial writer Jeff Webb, and I feel that he is an excellent journalist. But every once in a while he misses the full impact of a particular action.

I ask Webb to consider the duties of our fire commissioners. Twice each month, they are given status reports on equipment, and requests to repair and replace equipment. They administer a multimillion dollar budget from a comfortable conference room well insulated from the real world. They depend on a paid employee to advise them on significant changes that should take place.

Now come the radios, which enable one or two commissioners to observe our personnel in action. I emphasize the word "observe." The person in charge has the opportunity to approach a commissioner and comment on the functioning of a piece of equipment, or a procedure or a member of the district. Then, when the matter is discussed back at the meeting room, wouldn't it be reassuring for one or two commissioners to say "I support your proposal; I was there."

As a taxpayer, I would feel a lot more comfortable with the radio system; and I have talked to many Spring Hill residents who agree with me.
-- Nick Morana, Spring Hill

Standards would aid county leaders

Editor: Re: One year later, new managers make strides(GARTH COLLER), March 4 One year later, new managers make strides(PAUL McINTOSH), March 4 Hernando Times:

Your evaluations of one year's work performance by Hernando County Administrator Paul McIntosh and County Attorney Garth Coller provide guidance for the Board of County Commissioners. Unfortunately, successive boards of commissioners have a different understanding as to needed personal qualifications of senior officials.

Similar evaluations of the county commissioners every November would provide guidance for the electorate.
-- James A. Willan, Brooksville

Dogs suffer from human rules

Editor: Re: Changes proposed for dealing with dogs, Feb. 28 Hernando Times:

Am I the only one who sees the trend? Dogs are no longer man's best friend.

Remember how they used to be, when they ran and played completely free?

They'd wag their tails and give a paw, but that was before the leashing law.

Now they snarl and growl and bite and bark. Maybe we should consider that canine park.
-- John Albert, Spring Hill

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