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Letters to the Editors

Mayor is correct in forcing council to follow rules

© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 5, 2001

Editor: As a frequent New Port Richey City Council attendee, I am amused by Tom Finn's childish walkout at the last council meeting.

By charter, the mayor presides over the meeting and recognizes a member to speak. Each council member knows that he or she needs to be recognized by the mayor before beginning to speak.

Time after time I have observed Tom Finn ignore the rule and butt in with an irrelevant remark or idea that he wishes to pursue. When the council disagrees, Finn plays to the audience and press and talks on and on, using up time that would be useful in completing the night's agenda.

Mayor Brenner is fully justified in her effort to control the agenda and not let any member dominate the council. Council meetings now last far too long, and they must be controlled.

An old adage comes to mind: 'Tis better to keep silent and be thought a fool, than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.
-- George W. Henry, New Port Richey

Mutilation of majestic oak for church's move lamented

Editor: Anyone used to driving on Adams Street in New Port Richey will notice something is missing. You will be shocked when you see that the once beautiful and majestic oak tree that was on the corner of Adams and Virginia has been reduced to half its original size. It was mutilated by the city of New Port Richey to make room for the move of the Catholic Church.

Oh, the city manager, the mayor and the City Council members sympathized and said they would look into alternative routes to take the church. Did they?

My husband, Jim Clark, admired that tree each and every day of his life. He died two months ago of pancreatic cancer. I know he was standing next to me and shared my tears as I watched that tree come down.

What's left of that oak may not survive the injury done to it this day. And so Tree City, USA will someday be devoid of one of its longest standing inhabitants.
-- Eileen Clark, New Port Richey

Let's name government center after Dr. James Hollingsworth

Editor: It would be an honor for the people of Pasco County to name the West Pasco Government Center after Dr. James L. Hollingsworth. It was Dr. Hollingsworth who turned so called sewage systems that emptied into the Gulf of Mexico into one of the finest in the state of Florida. He recommended John Gallagher to oversee the workings of government and rid the corruption that was running Pasco County.

Dr. James L. Hollingsworth is a person who is ready to express his views and usually they are based on good honest judgment. I took Constitution law 20 years before I took Doc's course at Pasco Community College. He opened a whole new world on the creation of this great Republic.

He is a man of great morals and ethical strength. I met Doc more than 20 years ago when he was running for office and he said he would only accept one term if the people elected him. It was his only mistake, if I may say. Not only did he rid our sewer system that was a giant septic tank, but he started work on our premier incinerator. The incinerator generates electricity from burning the garbage and sells it to the electric company, adding money to the already strapped county.

The time has come to honor this great man and true American. I often wonder if Doc didn't make that promise only to run one term, how much better Pasco would be.

It is my honor to suggest a motion to make this undertaking a reality.
-- Walter B. O'Reilly, New Port Richey

Problems will continue until all commissioners are recalled

Editor: Anything less than a complete recall of all five Pasco County commissioners and a cleaning of the house will only continue the abuse.

We need a government that listens to the taxpaying public, understands and responds to our needs. We need a government that knows the science of systems and management. We need a public that will stand up and take action. All of which is but a dream, for this is Pasco County.
-- Andrew Vogt, Port Richey

Homeowners face possibility of an even higher assessment

Editor: The city of New Port Richey is a very lovely place to retire to. But, the city of New Port Richey has found an antiquated state law that dates back to the early 1900s. This law allows counties and municipalities to assess (over and above our regular taxes) the citizens for anything the municipality feels will better the citizens/community.

In December 2000, the city of New Port Richey sent "letters of assessment" to a lot of homeowners stating that they were going to repave, reconstruct their streets along with adding "traffic calmers," fixing sidewalks and planting trees. This letter stated that they were going to assess each homeowner about $2,500 (Merry Christmas).

On Jan. 30, there was a town meeting and more than 250 homeowners went to complain. Most of the citizens that attended were retired and on fixed incomes.

The people stated that they could not afford this assessment, as their incomes could not bear the added expense. They would have to decide whether to purchase food for the week or get their needed medication for life or pay this added burden, an assessment.

The city leaders were very generous to the citizens. They are going to give the assessed homeowners 10 years in which to pay the assessment. That's along with a 7 percent interest rate and a lien on their home. Homeowners who cannot afford to pay this assessment, the city has stated, don't have to pay the assessment, a lien will be placed on your home, and when you pass on, the city will collect on the lien before the home can be sold.

After the sitting council heard all the complaints, it decided to kick in 38 percent of the tab. The next letter that was received in February stated that they were going to assess the homeowners between $893.18 to $2,150.44 which would be the adjusted assessment.

On May 15, the bids were rejected. Why? The engineers had not figured all of the sidewalks into the project. The engineers have to redo their figures, of course, making the dollar amount larger, have another meeting with the contractors and have the contractors rebid on the project with a higher cost factor.

What does that mean to the citizens of New Port Richey? A higher assessment.
-- William R. Liska, New Port Richey

Holy Trinity is not the only Lutheran church in Lutz area

Re: Lone Lutheran Church calls Lutz home, May 19

Editor: The article was in reference to a Lutheran church in Lutz. The article stated that Holy Trinity Church was the only Lutheran church in the Lutz-Land O'Lakes area. I beg to differ with this article.

Holy Trinity is not the only Lutheran church in this area. My husband and I are members of All Saints Lutheran Church located on Van Dyke Road in Lutz. It may not be in the same synod, but it is still a Lutheran church. I think the public needs to know that Holy Trinity is not the only Lutheran church in the area.
-- Jan Stuckwish, Lutz

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