Editor: My name is Alex Verhunce, I am working on a Boy Scout requirement. I recently went to a Seminole City Council meeting when they were discussing the water tower. After listening to this discussion I wanted to share my opinion in regards to this topic.
I believe that it should be removed because it is not being used for what it was built for. It would cost the community $53,000 a year if they approve the lease with the county.
The reason some people want it to stay is because they like seeing it and view it as a historical site. I feel this money could be used more wisely for the community.
Editor: I recently lost my mom. I cared for her for 5 1/2 years but in her final year of my caring for her she was actually in a nursing home because she was too much for me to manage on my own.
Medicaid was a blessing because I don’t know how I would have managed or what I could have done if she hadn’t been able to go into the home. I was already worn down from the 4 1/2 years of caring for her on my own 24/7.
My mom and I were fortunate. Medicaid was there for us. What about all the people to come after the GOP decimates Medicaid and so much more with their “mean” bill?
We are not people who turn our backs on those in need or at least we weren’t until a certain party came to control all of government.
Editor: I just read the letter to the editor in the Tampa Bay Times posted on June 24 from the president of the Florida League of Cities. I agree with her on this very important issue that affects every city in Florida.
This organization represents 412 cities in Florida and those cities represent about 97 percent of the residents of the state of Florida. The whole body of the letter is informing us that some of the legislators in Tallahassee are working very hard to take away the rights of cities to govern themselves.
This is the phrase that I have heard many times over my seven years on the Seminole City Council, “Home Rule,” which means we, our city and the residents of our city, want to decide what is best for us, not what Tallahassee thinks is best for us.
1. Fake News has an agenda. An agenda is an underlying, often ideological, plan or program. It may be good or bad, but where Fake News is used, rest assured the overall objective, if discovered, would not be broadly supported.
Those who write fake news first and foremost have an objective. This is also known as propaganda. It is either used to gain support for the objective or to bring disrepute to someone or something that is blocking the objective.
The objective may or may not be obvious, but if a news article is “cheering” on attacking the subject it can become obvious that there is an agenda of some sort. (Even if to just sell something.)
When reading an article or hearing a report, note if it is trying to persuade you toward or away from the person, group, place or thing being reported on. If it does, then ask yourself what the agenda is. It is likely Fake News and definitely deserves further investigation.
Re: ‘Seminole water tower sparks discussion,’ June 22 Editor: Hi. I don’t know much what is going on. I am from Denmark. I’ve been here a long time and America is bad to not keep history of America. I know I am not in the city limits but I hate to see the water tower being taken away. Let me say this: you need money to keep it, so why not ask all the people who like it to spend $2 each. Would that help to keep it or would you need more to restore it? Well, that is my opinion.
Re: ‘City to negotiate water tower issue,’ Seminole Beacon, June 15 Editor: A recent Seminole Beacon article quoted Mayor Leslie Waters as saying that saving the Seminole water tower is the “will of the people” and that “citizens that support saving far outnumber those opposed.”
Uh ... what? Nobody asked me....
An earlier Beacon article said the City Council had voted against saving the tower; now they have reversed that and hundreds of thousands of dollars could be spent on this, and why? Because a handful of residents have a sentimental attachment to it. I don't agree with them.
Is Seminole going to spend so much money without a better understanding of how many people are actually for it? Without explaining to the residents of Seminole why this is a good use of our tax dollars?
Editor: At a special meeting Monday, June 19, the Board of Commissioners voted to accept the resignation of suspended City Manager Shane Crawford and former City Clerk, Cheryl, his wife. The residents lost patience with Mr. Crawford’s management style and his own agenda-setting philosophy, an agenda that only benefited some.
He mused about extending an olive branch to those opposed to his plans, but he never did. A lack of inclusiveness and failure to create communication between the city and all residents hardened feelings of distrust from more than a few.
Residents had long lamented Crawford’s conflicting interests with developers, commissioners, and workplace employees.
He ran the city like an autocracy, with rude retaliation in store for those who questioned his policies.
Editor: In a June 8, 2017, Beach Bee article, Indian Rocks Beach Mayor R.B. Johnson discussed the importance of a few dozen beachfront residents signing off on easements for the upcoming beach renourishment project.
While only a few are being asked to sign away some property rights to the Army Corps of Engineers for this renourishment, it is likely that all beachfront residents will be asked for signatures on future projects.
Mayor Johnson explained how crucial the sign-offs are for the preservation of the beach. The following week, during an IRB workshop session at City Hall on June 13 to discuss “the value, importance and sustainability of beach vegetation and sand dunes,” it was discovered that our mayor had not read, or even set his eyes on, the releases he felt were so important for folks to sign.
Furthermore, Johnson was quoted in the June 8 Bee article as saying that those of us concerned about our property rights have a misconception over the nature of the beach, despite efforts to “educate” us. About 90 percent of those who attended the city workshop were the “uneducatable” to which the mayor referred. The “educated” were severely underrepresented.
Editor: Rule 14: The only time to use the word “never” is when you are describing how often to use it.
At the June 13 City Commission workshop, our loquacious mayor made several comments as to how the future of beach renourishment is probably going to depend on all of the property owners on the beach signing away some of their property rights.
As I know many of these property owners, let me say that that will never happen as long as Mayor Johnson has anything to do with the future of the plantings on the beach.
The fact is our garrulous mayor has stated to numerous persons that he doesn’t care if the dunes grow all the way to the gulf. The mayor’s passion has turned into an obsession that is detrimental to our beach. It is time that a reasonable and well thought-out long-range plan for the future of the beach is developed. Our verbose mayor is right about one thing. This is a crisis.
Editor: On our president: I find it a little unsettling in 2017 that the President’s cabinet is made up of all white, mostly older men, with little government experience. One exception is Ben Carson, who recently referred to slaves as immigrants. Really immigrants came over of their own free will and slaves on the other hand were chained below deck and the women were repeatedly raped by the crew. Just thought I would set you straight on that one, Ben.
On the wall: In the 1500s we had our own Taliban; they were called the Puritans. They burned people to death as a form of punishment. Then came slavery in 1619, and later genocide against Native Americans. You get my meaning. Who are we to throw certain groups out and build a wall to keep others from coming in? It’s very arrogant and racist to say the least. We are trying to throw out people in a country that is populated by immigrants.
As far as terrorists gaining a foothold here, they’re already here and have been for hundreds of years. Police departments go on 100 domestic violence calls per hour in America. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
On social welfare: I have worked in various social programs since the mid-1970s. The thing we find very annoying is when someone is on government aid and has money to smoke (pot sometimes), drink (go to bars), etc. Another thing we’re tired of hearing is “I’m disabled.” Yeah right and I’m Batman, get over it! With that being said, I believe this: Poverty is a societal embarrassment. It is easier for us all to bear if we make the victims blamable for their condition. By the way, the majority of people living below the poverty line reside in the Southern states. In these same states life expectancy is the lowest. We also use poverty as a social control mechanism. At the end of the day, you can’t blame a child for having irresponsible parents.
Letters do not necessarily reflect the views of Tampa Bay Newspapers.
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