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Letters to the Editors
Killer doesn't deserve a death reprieve
© St. Petersburg Times, published June 29, 2000
Editor: Re: Lawyers state case to save a killer's life, June 28 Hernando Times:
Let me get this straight. Thirteen years ago a young woman was kidnapped, tortured, raped and murdered. Her killer admits to the crime, expresses no remorse and states that killing her was as easy as "lighting a cigarette." He was drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana the day of the crime. He was abused as a child and also saw his mother being abused.
So what? Is the young lady any less dead? His lawyers think they should get more information about his mental state at the time of the crime. That is legal and psychiatric mumbo-jumbo!
Just when I think I'm being swayed on the issue of the death penalty, I read a horrific article such as this and wonder why the monster hasn't been put to death yet.
Hernando Beach groups should work together
Editor: I have written letters to the editor in the past about issues such as the Hernando County Flood Ordinance, and the 50 percent rebuild rule, paving our county's roads and a county audit. I have refrained from making any comment about all the letters and articles expressing differing opinions regarding the fishing boats issue and where they are moored in Hernando Beach.
However, after reading the latest letters to the editor in both the Hernando Times and Hernando Today I am compelled to make a statement about all these writings.
Americans make much of our freedom of speech and the right to voice our opinions at any time and about anything, but I think this issue of the mooring of fishing boats is being "speeched" to death. Hernando County adopted an ordinance in August 1999 regarding this subject, and that should be the end of it for residents of Hernando Beach, excepting those people who are directly affected by the new ordinance. We Hernando Beach residents need to let go of it and let those involved in the legalities of the matter address it.
I do not believe there are two warring associations trying to gain dominance over Hernando Beach. Those who formed the new Homeowners Alliance did so toward their own objectives and goals. It is the right of any group of people in this country to band together for a commonality of purpose and to choose to name their group what they wish.
The Hernando Beach Property Owners Association (HBPOA) was formed many years ago and its membership is open to any property owner on Hernando Beach, residential or commercial, whether their land is developed or vacant. To say that the HBPOA members are all in support of the fishing boats and the Marine Industry Council, and against the residential homeowners, is incorrect. I do not recall the HBPOA taking a public and official stand either for or against this issue since its members elected John O'Brien president. I believe John has stated repeatedly at HBPOA meetings that he would like the controversy to end and that "we should all get along and treat each other as neighbors."
I also do not recall at any meeting, or in any recent publication of the HBPOA, a poll being taken of our 400-plus members to find out how they felt about the fishing boat question in order for an official stand to be taken on this issue. Each member may decide about this issue for himself or herself, and act according to their belief.
I am a longtime member of HBPOA and its elected treasurer. Our members have differing opinions on this subject, even among the officers and directors. Yet, we do not attack each other, nor do we publicly vilify each other. We do try to respect each other's right to form our own opinions. There are members of the HBPOA who also belong to, and helped form, the new Homeowners Alliance. Cathie Sullivan is past president of the HBPOA and on the HBPOA board of directors. Julia Jackson, one of the founders of the new alliance, is an elected director of the HBPOA.
Do subjects with differing opinions come up at board meetings? Yes, they do. However, we still try to find a common ground, despite these differing opinions. I may not agree with someone on a given subject, but I do respect their right to form their own opinion and act according to their beliefs. I also expect them to show consideration for my opinions, beliefs and my right to be at variance with them.
All Hernando Beach property owners are welcome to join the HBPOA. Come and meet your neighbors, greet old friends, and make new friends. Let us talk with each other, with consideration for each other, about subjects in such a manner that we are truly unified as Hernando Beach property owners. Let us work together, not against each other, toward common goals for the betterment of our community and for the good of all its residents.
Hernando Beach is a wonderful waterfront and water-sport community. It is a very valuable piece of paradise on Florida's beautiful Gulf Coast.
Parochialism, paranoia pervade Spring Hill fire commission
Editor: After reading articles in the two local newspapers about how the Spring Hill Fire and Rescue District commissioners reacted to a hypothetical question on an assessment tool used by the Hernando County administrator to help determine his appointment to head the Hernando County Fire Department, I have come to the easy and obvious conclusion that this fire commission is concerned only with themselves -- not the county, not the taxpayers, not the firefighters.
To take a single question and answer about fire service in the future out of a complex process and dissect it as a doomsday warning is not only ridiculous, but paranoid. Ideas are the essence of improvement and innovation.
The city manager of Brooksville is quoted as saying, "We look at all ideas with the intent of providing services in the best manner." Progressive governmental agencies, whether it is county, city, fire, police or finance, strive for interagency cooperation. This saves the taxpayers money. It promotes efficiency.
There is a difference between a sacred cow and a cash cow. The parochialism and paranoia of the fire commissioners stifle the growth of an agency and its employees. Their short-term thinking and lack of vision is what sets them apart from truly professional leaders.
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