Editor: How dare U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, who lives in Tampa, to visit St. Petersburg and advocate a sales tax increase for Pinellas taxpayers! She should be focused on her work in Washington where there are so many ignored broken federal programs. Shame on Cathy Castor and the Greenlight cast for bringing her here.
The very people she is appealing to in south St. Petersburg will be paying more for the new sales tax levy then they will receive in the benefit for the elimination of their PSTA property tax. The sales tax has historically been called a regressive tax by the Tampa Bay Times and others because of its adverse impact upon the poor and middle class, but now that is not important since the new sales tax fits their goal of building a multibillion-dollar light rail on the eastside of Pinellas County.
Kathy Castor talks about the need to increase the bus service and how this proposed light rail project will do it, but that is only an enticement to get the people to vote for the Greenlight rail project because that is really what they want. Proof? The PSTA could have easily created a thoughtful improved bus service plan without the light rail proposal and it would have been widely acceptable. Remember, bus service can be changed to fit the changing population needs, but a light rail system cannot be changed once it is built and we are stuck with it!
More could be said. But you get the drift of my concerns and my opposition is clear. The billion dollar light rail project belongs in the same boat as another local billion dollar proposal for tearing down the perfectly good Skyway and rebuilding it with a larger bridge so the new giant cruise ships can fit under it. Good grief!
Editor: I recently had the pleasure of working with our city of Madeira Beach Building Department. Recently, the city passed a rental inspection ordinance to assure the safety and well-being of tenants within the city.
Initially, I had some inspection fears but upon meeting our building official, it was evident the man had an “I’m here to help” type of personality. He was professional and helpful and while he did manage to point out some shortfalls, he also pointed out the positive qualities of workmanship and thanked me for using quality products.
I wanted to let you know I am giving our employee a thumbs-up. I also don’t want to forget the pleasant lady, the permit technician that took my info and set the appointment. I want to express my appreciation to all for a job well done.
Editor: My friends. Wanted to take a moment to respond to the recent article in the Seminole Beacon, “Candidates Face Off, three City Council candidates participate in Oct. 2 forum.” The line in the column naming two others and myself as candidates that did not attend, kind of left it cold. Let me explain my absence, if I may. Simply put I had a schedule conflict. Those of us who still work, or recall what that was like, can very likely appreciate that work generally wins out in such a situation, and that is what happened in this case.
These forums are held annually at City Hall around election time, and I have had the pleasure to attend the last four consecutive years, and always look forward to them. They are generally informative and lively, but rarely confrontational, as in a face off. I reminded our City Clerk and the representative from the League of Women Voters that I had participated in forums where there were absences, those candidates went on to win successfully, so we hope history is on our side.
Our campaign stresses the serious resolve we have; this is our fifth campaign in as many years. We stress that commitment to the cause and to moving our city forward. We stress our experience, having served on a City Council previously, as well as service to Seminole on the previous Charter Revision Committee. That necessitated our local elections to be held in November with the general election. We feel this will bring more interest in the local races and save our taxpayers the expense of twice-yearly election cycles.
As for where we stand on the many issues, if you have not received one of our emails with the link to our website it is tchristy2014.webs.com. We place an ad weekly in this publication that reaches all of our residents repeatedly until the Nov. 4 date. The ad contains our website address as well. We shall continue to reach out to our voters until Election Day.
Editor: Seminole City Councilman Jim Quinn asks voting residents to “accept my recommendation and elect” Roger Edelman and re-elect Bob Matthews to serve on the City Council.
As a new resident of this community’s Seminole Gardens retirement complex, I was asked to support Jim Quinn when he began organizing the “owners association” within the complex in 2005. Having no background in issues prompting the need, I joined the support team and trusted his leadership. Now, 10 years later, Seminole Gardens has reaped the benefit of Quinn’s leadership in many ways. Now, like many of us not involved in politics and unfamiliar with many candidates seeking our vote for a public office, I must decide whom to support.
Quinn, I trusted your judgment then and you didn’t let me down; it only makes sense that I once again accept your guidance in determining the best for the Seminole City Council. Mr. Edelman, Mr. Matthews, I will be asking Seminole Gardens voters and this city to support you both as you make this community the finest place to live in the Tampa Bay area.
Editor: An open letter to the registered voters of the city of Seminole. I have been elected to serve the residents of Seminole since 2010, and I thank you for your support.
I love our city with all our great opportunities available for everyone to enjoy, St. Petersburg college campus with a state-of-the-art library, an outstanding recreation center with a staff that’s always coming up with great things to offer for our enjoyment, a school system that truly cares in educating our children, a fire and EMS department that not only looks out for our health and safety, but raises funds all years long to surprise needy families at holiday times and the final piece of this great city starts with the city manager and his staff and city employees who are just as proud of our city as I am.
So the reason for my letter is to ask you on Nov. 4 to vote to re-elect Bob Matthews and to elect Roger Edelman to the City Council. Bob has served our city with pride and integrity and has always looked for the best way to go forward in a direction that is right for our city.
Roger Edelman is president of the Seminole Chamber of Commerce and because of that and his background in business will be an asset to the city and council. If I have proven to you that I am worthy to serve you, then accept my recommendation and elect these two men to the City Council.
Editor: On Monday, Aug. 11, the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee passed a unanimous resolution to oppose the sales tax increase proposed by the Greenlight Pinellas referendum, which will be on the Nov. 4, 2014, ballot.
This would increase the 7 percent sales tax to 8 percent to fund a light rail system from downtown St. Petersburg to downtown Clearwater
Greenlight Tax is based on false premises and empty promises. It is extravagant spending. It will hurt the poor and middle class. It subsidizes politically well-connected developers. It threatens small businesses and the tourism industry.
Republicans stand for small, efficient, and effective government with reduced taxation and regulation. We support public transportation and a renewed effort to improve the public bus system in Pinellas County for the 1.6 percent that use public transportation.
Editor: As a result of recent disclosures, it is evident that we cannot trust Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority to manage the $2.2 billion Pinellas Greenlight mass transit system. Pinellas voters will vote on a referendum to raise Pinellas sales tax 1 percent in November.
Recently, PSTA was required to re-pay the government $354,000 for misuse of federal funds and more recently, it was discovered that PSTA agreed to pay $180,000 toward cleaning up soil and water contamination at the site of its former St. Petersburg bus depot.
Since Pinellas residents are not riding the buses, why should we raise taxes to provide more transportation?
Rather than raising Pinellas County taxes to 8 percent, the highest sales tax in the state of Florida, I suggest that PSTA begin “housecleaning” and start with Brad Miller and Ken Welch. The sooner the better.
Letters do not necessarily reflect the views of Tampa Bay Newspapers.
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