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Letters to the Editors

Problems may lie with City Council not city manager

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 24, 2000

Editor: We, the Woodland Estates Homeowners Association Board of Officers, wish to also express our concern regarding the high turnover rate of the city manager position in Crystal River. While these comments do not necessarily represent the opinions of all our members, we feel they do represent a consensus.

Each time we lose a city manager, considerable time and money are expended searching for a qualified replacement. Additionally, other staff members leave whenever there is a change at the top. This results in even more cost, training and loss of continuity within the key staff positions.

In our opinion, it is the responsibility of the City Council to provide the city manager and staff with the direction for the future of the city and to hire qualified people to carry out that plan. It is not the job of the City Council to micromanage every aspect of day-to-day operations. For some time now, past and current City Council members have been less than professional in dealing with our city managers.

The impact of uncertainty in management tends to create morale problems among staff members. If we listen to general conversations around the city, we have to believe there are serious morale problems among the city employees.

We have high hopes that our new council members and future council members will carefully evaluate problems with city management. If problems occur, the City Council should discuss said problem or problems with the city manager before going public or making a damaging decision. Like the adage "the buck stops here," these problems lead directly back to the City Council.
-- H. Butler, president, Woodland Estates Homeowners Association

The Times' misguided ideology came through in editor's column

Editor: When we moved to Citrus County four years ago, we considered various newspapers as our source for reliable reporting of national and local news. We decided on the St. Petersburg Times, as the cost for subscribing to the Times was less than the total cost of a like service from the Tampa Tribune or the Chronicle.

We have endured four years of reading Bill Maxwell, Martin Dyckman, Elijah Gosier, Phil Gailey, Howard Troxler and contributing columnists Roberts, McGrory, Dowd, Goodman, et al.

The crowning blow was when Greg Hamilton, editor of the Citrus Times, took it upon himself to crown Susan Gill the biggest winner in the last election, a decision with which we all concur. However, Mr. Hamilton displayed the true Times ideology when he added his opinion about who actually won the election, replete with all the garbage put out by the "Sore Loserman" faction.

I guess that the old saying "you get what you pay for" applies in this case.
-- John Liggitt, Homosassa

Team effort brought success to Floral City Heritage Days

Editor: On behalf of the Floral City Heritage Council, presenters of Floral City Heritage Days 2000, I want to extend my deep appreciation to the many individuals, organizations, churches and businesses that made Floral City Heritage Days on Dec. 1-2 a success.

Foremost, I want to thank the committee members, Herb Keesling, Cathi Ayers, Barry Pendry, Paul Sullivan, Allen Beasley, Sherry Brown, Bill and Janet Weber, Pam Bellman, Marie Jones, Terry Newberry, Larry Hartman, Tom Ellis, Lea Craig, Bob Roberts, Merrell Edwards, Marty Fish, Sandy Mass, Lawana Bain and Kathy Thompson, and all the volunteers who worked with these chairmen to bring about this special event for Citrus County.

To all the owners of historic homes who opened their homes on the tour, to all the hosts and hostesses who welcomed visitors, and to all the other property owners who allowed us to schedule activities on their property, we express our gratitude.

Sincere appreciation is extended to all the individuals and organizations who demonstrated early Florida folk life, daily living skills, trades and activities, and to all those who prepared the village for this special event, to those who prepared and served the folk foods, to the many musicians and entertainers, to the folk dancers, to the Citrus Model "A" Automobile Club, to Nature Coast Carriage Service for the horses and wagons both days, and to all the other exhibitors and participants.

Thanks to the businesses in the downtown area, many special activities were planned and carried out during the Folk Day, which greatly added to the event. A special thank-you to the businesses and organizations that made new Giant Christmas Cards for display along Orange Avenue during December.

The Floral City Heritage Council of the Citrus County Historical Society presents this heritage event to showcase early Florida folk life from the 1860s to the 1920s and to advocate historic preservation of our built environment. Individuals and organizations that have a like interest are always welcome to join in this annual event on the first Saturday of December and the preceding Friday night.

Again, on behalf of the Heritage Council, I say thank you to all our sponsors, those who provided special assistance, the property owners and all who participated and to all who attended Floral City Heritage Days 2000.
-- Marcia L. Beasley, Council and Event Chairman

Center for Independent Living made impossible dream a reality

Editor: The Center for Independent Living celebrated its second anniversary Nov. 29. Staffers and consumers were hosts of an open house with lots of guests and good food. Our speaker, Barbara Waitkevich, a core-volunteer, shared with everyone the beginning of the center in September 1998, when it was a dream we all shared. The dream became a reality, and two years later we have accomplished what others thought was impossible.

Thanks to Jean Mazzei, all the volunteers, consumers and the community for their support. Joanne Taisey, a former volunteer, talked about her disability and the obstacles she has had to face to continue to be independent. Her message to the audience was honest and one we will never forget. Joanne is a survivor and a champion in our eyes.

CIL took the opportunity to offer a special tribute to Bill Welch by dedicating our new office in his name. Bill had big plans for the center and continues to be deeply missed. Betty Welch attended and supports the center and our goals.

We, the Homosassa Center, would like to thank our board members, Fred Pratt and Peg Libertus, for celebrating the day with us. Also, we want to thank William Kennedy, executive director, for continuing to guide us in our pursuits. Lastly, we want to thank Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Publix for their generous donations to our event. We couldn't have done it without you.
-- Alma Warren, program coordinator

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