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Editor:
When civil discourse falls victim to litigation as the medium by which attempts to resolve differences of opinion between citizens of a political entity and its elected or appointed officials, then the ability to govern and to be governed is in peril. Such is the case in Madeira Beach today.

The laws of the State of Florida dictate that all matters that come before elected officials be discussed and voted upon in open forums, subject to the provisions of the Sunshine Laws. Further, the laws require that citizen input be allowed at these forums. Obviously, the interests of all citizens can never be accommodated when decisions are reached. What matters then is how those who are disappointed deal with their disappointment.

There has always been an argument as to whether elected officials should be free to vote their conscience on issues, or are morally bound to vote according to the dictates of public opinion, especially the opinion of a majority. This latter concept is in effect referendum government, which effectively negates the need for elected officials. All that is needed is a clerk to tally votes.

What we have chosen instead is the democratic system of government by representation. It is a system in which the majority of citizens elect certain members of the community to represent the interests of all citizens. If this system is to function properly, those elected officials must remain free to make decisions and vote according to their conscience, listening to the opinions of the citizens, yet unencumbered by the constraints those opinions may impose.
 ... Read More 
Editor:
I hope that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton does not believe that she has the women’s vote simply because she is a woman.

Women are not foolish and do not want to be duped by the lies she has told and continues to tell the public regarding such issues as her lying about emails when she was Secretary of State, thereby potentially jeopardizing our national security, believing that the economy, with its pathetic 1.2 percent growth and a workplace participation rate of only 62.7 percent, is something she can fix, then touting the successes of the last eight years of the Obama administration.

She pathetically portrays herself as championing women’s rights when she both villainized and demeaned women who were victimized by her husband and then President Bill Clinton. Lastly, no woman, no mother or father who has lost a son or a daughter wants to be lied to about what caused the terror the night of the Benghazi attack. People want honesty and a leader who is forthcoming and truthful. Sadly, Candidate Clinton lacks both of these qualities. Wake up ladies and gentlemen before it’s too late!!
 ... Read More 
Tuesday, August 16
Editor:
District 4 City Commissioner Ken Keys certainly does not represent me when he has succumbed to the wishes of a nearby bar and a once former owner of the property who is very vocal and claiming we are in dire need of more parking.

He was not around during the time we went through the real parking problems that Police\Chief Tim Casey brought back down to a slow simmer and for that matter I have not seen this commissioner around any time now.

There is not one day that goes by that I don’t thank God for giving Chief Casey the wisdom to solve this terrible situation. We still have our bad weekends but nothing at all compared to 3-4 years ago.

I am totally against the city of Treasure Island purchasing the Delilah’s parking lot and the adjacent lot for parking. It seems it will only generate more flow of people and dollars to the two bars both of which funded this commissioner’s campaign. I do not look forward to bar customers roaming the neighborhood to get to their cars across Gulf Boulevard after closing. Nor do I think having parking valets going back and forth is in tune with the residential area between the bars and the lot. Gulf Boulevard is dangerous to cross at any time of the day even if you’re sober.
 ... Read More 
Re: ‘What Has Trump Ever Sacrificed,’ Martin Dyckman column, Aug. 4.
Editor:
Reading your “As I See It” editorial by Martin Dyckman, I now do see it.

Having been a recent transplant from New Jersey, I see how the current leftist views of the Tampa Bay Times evolved. Mr. Dyckman, I am sure, is a learned individual but he misses one very important point in this editorial.

My ancestors followed the proper process of immigration and came through Ellis Island. In a few instances they remained there for weeks until they were vetted. At that point they entered this great country with no entitlement whatsoever. They worked hard, endured bigotry but succeeded only by their individual efforts.

I am not a big Trump fan and don’t agree with many of his views, but I believe the point he is trying to make is not related to bigotry but to the immigration process that has been followed by our country for well over 150 years.
 ... Read More 
Editor:
I hope we see this election out to its conclusion. The conclusion being Mrs. Clinton being elected Madam President of the United States. This is a very controversial election to say the least. There is plenty of mudslinging going on and we only have about 78 or 80 days to go. Trump’s obviously incompetent to be in office and anyone who thinks otherwise has got rocks in their head. He is a very dangerous man to be president. Mrs. Clinton is very highly qualified and competent. I don’t think that anyone needs to say anything more. It’s an obvious and clear choice. Her being a woman doesn’t factor into the equation at all; her ability and capability is what is important and primary most of all. This should not color anyone’s decision to vote for her. It didn’t factor into my decision.

Eileen E. Abbott
St. Petersburg
 ... Read More 
Re: ‘Mother of Pulse victim speaks at convention.’
Editor:
We received your newspaper in our yard Aug 3. I read your article about the mother of a Pulse victim. Rather than let her grief paralyze here, she decided to use his death as a chance to spread a message of love. This young man went to Seminole High School and the school is thinking of putting up a bronze statue in his honor in the courtyard.

Well, my son went to Seminole High School also. There is nothing there in our son’s honor or any other military person who lost their life in Desert Storm or any of the Gulf wars.

Our son has been gone for 25 years this past February. He died for you and all Americans so they could live in peace and safety.

Now the Gay Students Alliance wants a bronze statue in the courtyard. Where has our love for all Americans gone? Yes, guns are out of control and we all lost someone we loved. Who - GSA, or Seminole High School or the school board - decides which honors to give former students? What happens to all former students who lost their lives? Let’s get our priority in line with all Americans to decide which individuals or groups to honor at a high school.
 ... Read More 
Tuesday, August 9
Re: ‘Let’s keep Dunedin delightful!’ letter to the editor, July 29
Editor:
In the guest column of July 29 submitted by Gregory Brady, a couple of statements need to be clarified.

There is no doubt that, over the years and along with many others, Mr. Brady has contributed to the success of downtown Dunedin. For his efforts he should be applauded, however his claim that he “began working on the CRA committee” is not exactly accurate. For clarification, in order to be a member of the CRA committee one must be an elected member of the Dunedin City Commission.

During this past year, many citizens have expressed concerns regarding several issues that have surfaced. The first being the unexpected dismissal of City Manager Rob DiSpirto.

Then it was the need to implement paid parking in the downtown area and recently the issue was the purchase of the church property adjacent to Hammock Park in order to preserve green space, parkland, and avoid development.
 ... Read More 
Editor:
Donald Trump is right about the terrible logjam and incompetence in Washington that voters are fed up with. I must remind Trump to revisit the history of this logjam.

He might want to recall in September 2012, it was the GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who said, “Our No. 1 priority is to make this president a one-term president.” Senior GOP members plotted to bring Congress to a standstill regardless of how much it would hurt the American economy by pledging to obstruct and block President Obama on all legislation. And, that is exactly what they did. Block virtually everything. That’s why nothing gets done.

Among those senior members are Reps. Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan, and Pete Sessions (one of Trump’s favorites).

Furthermore, orchestrated by Ted Cruz, the senator from Texas, Oct. 1-16, 2013, the United States federal government was shut down. Cruz was trying to force President Obama to strip the funding from the landmark health-care law that had come to bear his name, Obamacare.
 ... Read More 
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
Submit News