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Letters to the Editors

Report on lack of teacher applicants is misleading

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 11, 2000


Editor: Re: Teacher drought may worsen, May 7 article by staff writer Barbara Behrendt:

I feel you did not research this article fully. I graduated from Saint Leo University on May 20 with honors. I will receive a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education. I want to work in Citrus County. I have lived in the county since 1978. I worked very hard for my degree.

I was told over and over again how the county needs teachers. Now that it is time to hit the pavement, I am told there is a freeze on hiring. It was finally lifted May 1. Out of the five resumes I sent to each school that had an opening, I received one call back for an interview. Out of the 15 resumes I sent out to three counties (Citrus, Hernando and Sumter), I received two call backs and interviews. I do not want to be the new teacher who finds out she has a job two days before school starts, but the schools are not hiring at the rate the newspaper leads people to believe.

Out of the 18 elementary positions the Citrus County school board advertises, I know of five already filled, and Hernando Elementary is not even sure there will be a first-grade opening in August even though they have advertised it since February.

Before the county officials recruit out of the county, maybe they should try to interview qualified people in their own hometown first.
-- Janice Medina, Lecanto

It's wrong to approve water for airboat racing

Editor: Re: Drought won't strand airboats, May 2 Times:

I am a self-employed person. I own a landscaping-lawn service that is in the red because of the amount of rainfall we are having this spring, just like other lawn services at this time.

The water is cut off from the lawns, and yet there is this nut who has the right to waste 5-million gallons of water just to race airboats. He says this is his business. Well, what about all the other people who depend on water for their livelihoods? Where is the happy medium here?

If you have the money to play politics, you get just what you want.

So, when the little guy has to go for food stamps, will he get them? I bet not. You own your machinery, and in about six months, when that money is used up, you might get help if you know the right people.
-- Donna Alderink, Brooksville

Group demonstrates its faith through action

Editor: On April 22 Hands In Service, the Servant Evangelism Team at First United Methodist Church in Inverness, offered a Single Mom's Oil and Oil Filter Change to our community. This was offered as a demonstration of our faith through action. Our goal is to show God's love in a practical way, with no strings attached.

Local businesses helped to make this possible, and we would like to thank them all. Through these local businesses and the servant hands of three dozen people, 16 single moms had their oil and oil filters changed on their cars. Many could not remember the last time they had their car's oil changed.

During this time, their children played in the shade of a beautiful old oak and enjoyed an Easter egg hunt and the company of God's Clods, the clown ministry.

All will be offered this service again. Our hope is this will not only begin to meet a great need, but will be one of many ways in which our church will find opportunity to grow in service to God and his kingdom.
-- Ginni Crandall, Hands in Service Team Leader

Impact fee credit raises a number of questions

Editor: Re: Workshop will focus on rise in impact fee, April 27 Citrus Times:

The article stated that the Citrus County Commission had approved a $1.1-million credit on impact fees for Citrus Hills because the development has its own recreation center. Am I missing something or does this mean Citrus Hills developers are being reimbursed for the private spa recently completed there?

As I understand the legalese of impact fee use, out of total impact fees collected from a new resident, a certain percentage is allocated to several county functions. Based on the figures that have been in effect since 1990, there would be $180 out of each impact fee slated for the use of recreational parks or a similar facility in the area in which the fee was collected.

The residents who built in Citrus Hills have paid this money with the understanding they would receive some sort of recreational area in their neighborhood. I would assume it would be without admission or other fees.

To my knowledge there are no free recreational areas provided in Citrus Hills. In order to use the newly constructed spa and swimming pool, there is an initiation fee of $1,000, plus yearly dues. In order to use the golf courses, of course, there are substantial initiation fees plus yearly dues.

There is nothing wrong with a development charging for facilities they build with their own money. The questions in my mind are: Should they be allowed to use public funds to build their facilities? And what are the residents who paid the $180 impact fee for recreation getting for their money?

It would seem that if there was a charge to use these facilities built with the public's impact fees, that this additional revenue would go into the public bank account and not be collected by the developer and deposited to his bank account.

There is an old saying that different rules and different laws may be interpreted in different ways by different people.

There may be some perfectly good reason for the commission to give these impact fee amounts in this case.

With the current status of the impact fee schedule as it is, it would seem taxpayers are entitled to a little more detail on this latest decision.

It took a long while to build up a recreational balance of $1.1-million in impact fees; more than 6,000 payees at the current figures have been in effect since 1990.

Does it seem possible that more than 6,000 residences have gone up in Citrus Hills in that time?
-- John W. Glass, Inverness

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