Editor: Your Nov. 13 issue caused me concern as to the direction of your newspaper. To begin with, the Beacon published a 744-word letter from Mr. George A. Gonzalez of Madeira Beach, despite the Beacon’s own guideline that letters be no more than 500 words. Mr. Gonzalez’s letter called Republican policies “Neanderthal, oppressive, anti-environment and exclusionary,” as if putting an R or a D label on a person fully describes that person.
Mr. Gonzalez has displayed this kind of vitriol before. In 2012, he accused the Beacon itself of “spewing right wing conservative baloney.” Later that same year, he insulted Beacon readers by claiming that they “want to believe whatever they want, even if it is not the truth.”
Also on substance, Mr. Gonzalez deserves criticism. He claims that money determines elections. Then how would he explain Greenlight Pinellas losing by 62 percent to 38 percent. No Tax For Tracks was outspent 12 to 1, and yet they, and the people of Pinellas County, prevailed. In addition, local government agencies also spent millions of dollars pushing the Greenlight plan.
While I agree that money has corrupted the public policy process, I do not care for Mr. Gonzalez’s insulting and counterfactual vitriol. I did not see him on the ramparts, working to defeat the thoroughly rotten Greenlight Pinellas “plan” to enrich special interests. I was on the ramparts, so I know who was there, and Mr. Gonzalez was not there.
Editor: Being a political newbie has opened my eyes to the political process and how quickly things can move during one’s own campaign. Timing and planning are everything. Running for Seminole City Council was my first attempt at winning elected office and it certainly will not be my last.
I want to thank the 1,165 voters in Seminole who took the time to vote with my name selected as their candidate. I know I did not personally meet the bulk of them, but it speaks volumes that they not only took the time to exercise one of the most precious rights we have but also that they thought me worthy to represent them.
Lastly, to Roger Edelman and Bob Matthews I wish you the best of luck in your upcoming terms in office.
Editor: My friends, several years ago as a member of the previous city of Seminole Charter Revision Committee, we put forth several changes to the charter for your approval. They were endorsed by the electorate and became part of that document that governs how we conduct our city. One of the changes offered then has come into practice recently. That is the combination of our local elections with the general election. It appears to be quite the success.
Our thinking was that far more folks take part in a general election, such as this past election, so there would be more interest in the local races as well. And we could save the cost of twice yearly elections. This would seem to be the case judging from this our first election under the current format. Take for example our robust third place finish. We received over 1,700 votes. Far more then any of the current folks on our City Council who did not participate in this election cycle.
By the way, a warm and heartfelt thanks to all the folks who participated in the election and made it the success it was. A very special thanks to a great staff and all the folks who displayed signs and such. It was a difficult year to maintain signs. All of the signs we put out initially went missing. We were forced to order more and those signs began to disappear promptly. We gathered up less than half the signs with your permission we placed out there. These politicians. At the rate we are gaining a loyal following, one day soon we may put one of us on the City Council. Warmest personal regards and have a safe and happy rest of the year.
Editor: I heard Simon & Garfunkel singing “My Little Town” the other day and thought how fortunate I am to live in Belleair. The impressive community spirit here was evidenced recently by the dedication of Hunter Memorial Park. Turnout from my little town was amazing, over 300 attendees. This inspiring memorial to our veterans was made possible by the efforts of the Belleair Community Foundation.
For a town this size, we’ve constructed an awesome Rec Center hosting numerous annual events for not only our residents but surrounding communities as well. We maintain our own police department. In order to promote safer travel through my little town, a roundabout is being constructed. Infrastructure is being addressed and the old Biltmore Hotel will finally be revamped. Not to sugar coat everything, my little town is sometimes faced with contentious issues, but we are able to agree to disagree without throwing spitballs across town hall.
Belleair Community Foundation is committed to encourage, support, and enhance the lifestyles of the residents of my little town. Their main goal is to make a lasting difference by creating a powerful community spirit that will endure the test of time. Wonder what the BCF has in mind for their next project - maybe replacing dead palm trees along IRR.
If you care to belong to this impactful organization and promote community spirit in my little town, call 446-8204 or email email@example.com.
Editor: These next two weeks will be spent by politicians, pundits and the media telling us to come together, analyzing the election trying to give their opinion of how and why the Democrats got trounced.
Republicans will gloat about their win and call it a mandate for their Neanderthal, oppressive, anti-environment and exclusionary policies that leave many Americans without any hope for the future of their families.
Democrats will blame poor candidates, low voter turnout and corporate money permeating the political process. If you have enough money or media access, your opinion will be heard just like the lying ads used during the election.
If you are like me, even though our opinion may be valid, all you can do is hope some newspaper prints your letter if it’s not too long. That is sad because it is families like mine that are most affected when voters continue to vote for the same people that they give an 11 percent approval rating to. Anyone believing one president among so many politicians is the fault of all your perceived ills is either ignorant of the facts or smoking funny weed.
Editor: Dear beach-walkers and fishermen. Please pick up all your plastic bags as they kill dolphins and sea turtles. If they inhale them they suffocate or if they swallow them they starve slowly from not being able to absorb nutrients.
It’s all of our jobs to pick up litter on the beach. Smokers, it’s your job to pick up the cigarette butts. The Ocean Conservancy states that cigarette butts are the worst polluters of oceans except for oil slicks.
Also dog walkers it’s your job to pick up after your critters because we do not want to walk in your dog’s poop.
Editor: I just wanted to express how much I appreciated the assistance from the city of Madeira Beach business tax coordinator, Gwen, last month. I am a Realtor with Vicinity Realty in Madeira Beach and every year for many years I have been receiving a Local Business Tax Renewal Notice for the company.
I am an associate and not the business owner or broker. I recently found out that only the real estate broker is required to pay for the local business tax according to a law passed by Florida Legislature that became effective on October 1, 2012.
When I came into the city office and was told to check with the business tax coordinator, she promptly took action and resolved the matter for me with a smile on her face and a professional attitude. She is an example of exemplary service, a valuable asset, and superior representation for Madeira Beach.
Many times we only hear negative news or feedback on customer service so I wanted to commend the city on their friendly and helpful staff. The positive attitude from this individual allowed me to not only straighten out my issue, but have a great experience with our city government as well.
Editor: Let’s hope this Pier 60 Park enhancement project will add a dedicated new place for “performers” at the park to do their thing in some other place than on the main walkway or promenade.
These panhandlers are always blocking the pathway to the pier and making all the visitors to the park walk around on the sand to get to the pier. It’s like they own the park or something when they put on their dog and pony shows. Law-abiding and tax-paying residents of Clearwater and Pinellas County who visit the Pier 60 Park deserve a little more respect than that.
Something else that deserves some attention too is the dolphin statue at the park. The statue is sitting too low and it should have been placed on a platform or base. As it sits right now on the ground, not too many people can look at it or even see it from a short distance. The small plaque at the foot there now should also be incorporated to the base of the statue and some inexpensive LED lights should be added around the base of the statue to light it up at night. Better yet, place the dolphin statue on a pedestal in the middle of the roundabout where it can become the focus of a welcoming and graceful sculpture. And while I salute and support our men and women in uniform, a lot of money, $510,000, is being spent on this project for things like the “flag plaza” that really has nothing to do with the Beach Walk, the beach ambiance or improvements to the park.
Letters do not necessarily reflect the views of Tampa Bay Newspapers.
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