Editor: Your Sept. 24 Viewpoint page was a perfect example of partisan, biased ideology carried to extremes.
Your editorial cartoonist e.g., who should have stuck to science fiction and dinosaurs, each week presents us with an insipid, insidious cartoon always attacking Republicans but never portraying the corruption and duplicity of the progressives.
The column by Diane Roberts reeked with lies and half-truths and dripped with venom and hatred for Republicans and others. What sane person could read this pathetic tirade without feeling nauseous?
Your resident curmudgeon, Bob Driver, who thinks he may be an atheist, never fails to bore us with his monotonous maunderings. It would be merciful if he were gently eased into retirement before he embarrasses himself any further.
Re: Sept. 17, Dunedin City Commission meeting topic: downtown parking Editor: The city staff presented a “new parking management system” that is creative, substantive, increases parking stock, and does not require installing paid parking in the near future.
During “citizen input” time, I and other residents offered our support of the new plan, along with some dissenting opinions from merchants who still wanted paid parking.
I was very surprised and disappointed by the commission’s discussion and the final motion approved by the commission at the end of the evening. I had been encouraged when the mayor spoke eloquently and persuasively in favor of the new plan. More than once she praised city staff for addressing the serious concerns shared by many residents after the last meeting regarding negative impacts of paid parking on the quality of life in downtown Dunedin. She commended city staff for crafting a creative public/private partnership, increasing free parking stock, meeting master plan goals, and utilizing a portion of BP monies very appropriately.
However, once the other commissioners began to weigh in with their comments, somehow things began to go south, very quickly. In the end, Commissioners Kynes, Gracy and Livingston disagreed with the mayor, insisting that Kynes’ motion in favor of the new plan include paid parking; they passed a motion to that effect.
Editor: I am exceedingly disappointed in reading about the city of Largo’s decision to raise property taxes despite the fact that many of its residents are on fixed incomes and wages remain stagnant in Largo, Pinellas County and Florida. It’s as if this decision was made in a vacuum.
I wonder if all alternatives were considered. For example, would it be cheaper to enter into a contract with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office rather than maintaining an independent police department. If given a choice, would residents choose raising their own taxes or having their own police department? I understand the fire department is a sacred cow but that attitude should not extend to a public educator. In addition, there is no county equivalent to a fire department. There is, however, a clear alternative to a Largo police department and it is just down the road.
I am incredulous that a fire public educator and an IT support person is included in this new budget. Why do we need to expand the number of full time employees for these tasks? Outsource the IT person and point people to fire prevention videos on YouTube.
The code enforcement office suffers from wildly inconsistent enforcement. Yes, we all want to see a nicer looking community. Where is the progress? Several years ago, a small business on Missouri decorated their building in a manner that was deemed inappropriate by code enforcement. The building may have been purposely dark and the business may have been ill-conceived, but the city should be encouraging businesses instead of running out of town. This building has been abandoned for years and the offending exterior remains. On the other hand, code enforcement apparently looks the other way when a store takes over an abandoned Walgreens and paints it black. This architectural eyesore looks like something Darth Vader would envision. Where is code enforcement? Is this their definition of acceptable?
Editor: I’ve received much appreciation and encouragement to continue as councilor, most recently for my representing community input during discussions of the new mall redevelopment. With 6 1/2 years of service, I’m grateful to have more community support now than ever.
Precisely because of this support, I feel I should set a strong example highlighting the necessity of electing new people to Council. Although I have incumbent advantage, I am withdrawing from this November’s election, thereby providing an open door for new interest.
With both bachelor and master’s degrees in political science, it was natural that I ran for office. As councilor, I have learned how a city runs and come to appreciate that it’s the talented and hard-working employees who keep Seminole a safe and enjoyable place to live.
It’s been a real eye-opener to experience the effects of an old-boy network - the small, insular group that has been in control of Seminole for many years. There has been little inclusion of others, and overt resentment of me, a councilor who asks serious questions. Yet, it’s the elitist attitude of this clique that concerns me almost as much as the words of a City Hall employee, regarding a death threat made against me several months ago.
Editor: Hello to the voters of the city of Seminole. I’m Councilor Jim Quinn. I’m in the second year of my second term as a member of your city council.
This November you will be voting to elect two council members. I will be voting to re-elect Chris Burke, and voting to elect Trish Springer, and I am asking you to cast your vote for Burke and Stringer.
If you believe as I do that Seminole is a wonderful city to live in, work in and play in, and wish to keep it that way, then help the city by voting for these two candidates.
For the last nine years there has not been an increase in property taxes, and over the five years I’ve been on the council, we have cut the budget around $2 million with the outstanding help of the city staff. Chris Burke, running for re-election, is a sergeant on the Largo Police Department, married and the father of two girls. He has brought to the council a bright young mind and an insight into all aspects of city operations, and is a watchdog over our contract with the Sheriff’s Department.
Re: “Councilors accuse Plantamura of disparaging comments,” Sept. 3 Editor: Once again the (Seminole) council shows its true colors in an attempt to shut down one of their own. Vice-Mayor Barnhorn wonders if there is anything that can be done to silence Councilor Plantamura because he doesn’t like her comments. The answer, sir, is no.
First, your job is to uphold both the federal and state constitutions, which guarantee free speech. Not just for those not in public office but for everyone.
Second, what you fail to understand is that the proposal you make (“How can we taper people from disparaging the city, and from speaking ill of the council?”) smacks of a level of hubris usually reserved for the Washington elitists who think they know how to run our lives better than we do. Is that your intent, sir? To run our lives and think for us so as to spare you the indignity that you are thinking and acting like an elitist?
Third, if it is your decision to think for us realize that the same can be visited upon you. What the council fails to understand is that whatever they put into place to “punish” one of their own can and will be used against them once they no longer have the protection of their council colleagues. What goes around comes around.
Editor: Gun violence will not be solved by gun control, nor will it be solved by arming everyone. Gun violence can only be solved by individuals and therefore I suggest that we begin a mandatory military draft that is already in effect in some countries. The draft should begin for those 18 years of age who are unemployed and have not enrolled in college.
Military training will teach discipline and respect for authority, as well as teaching a trade that can be used after military service, if the individual decides to leave the military service. Lack of discipline and respect for authority in recent years has led to much of the gun violence.
Another important solution to gun violence is the reporting of individuals suffering from severe mental disorders, and everyone needs to become proactive in reporting these individuals. In Florida we have the Baker Act, which I feel should be adopted by all states. Personally, I had the misfortune of having to initiate Baker Act action on a mentally disturbed individual and I was pleasantly surprised at the effectiveness of the Baker Act.
If you know of an individual who appears to be suffering from a severe mental condition and will not seek help, do not hesitate to go to your local courthouse and state that you wish to initiate the Baker Act on a mentally disturbed individual. You will be asked to complete a simple form explaining all the known facts regarding the individual. Then, a judge will evaluate your request and determine what course of action is necessary.
Editor: On page 6 of the city of St. Petersburg’s RFP (request for proposal) for the new pier restaurant, under Section XI, it says the preferred proposal would “offer a nationally or regionally recognized chain restaurant or uniquely branded destination restaurant.”
The new Pier will, undoubtedly, be a focal point for our beautiful city; a must-stop destination for tourists and a gathering place for our local community. The Pier should proudly showcase our local flavors and our local vibe, be a reflection of all that’s great about St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay region.
I’d like to kindly ask Mayor Kriseman and the City Council to amend the desired qualifications by removing the “nationally or regionally recognized chain restaurant” clause, and leaving it simply as “the preferred proposal would offer a uniquely branded destination restaurant.”
Editor: How long does it take for a government-paid project to build an 800-square-foot building up on pilings and get it open for business? They supposedly broke ground for the new bait store under the Belleair Causeway Bridge on Jan. 20 of this year. Here it is September and still no finished open bait and tackle store.
On North Clearwater Beach, Dairy Queen was able to construct a store of the same size, from the ground up on pilings, in about two months. It is now open for business.
Why did it take the Pinellas County commissioners and the city of Belleair Bluffs since 2009 to figure out they needed a public boat ramp bait and tackle store to replace the one they tore down? Also, why has the county now taken nine months to build a bait and tackle store anyone else could have built in two months?
I’m sure there were all sorts of votes on whether to pay for feasibility studies. Then, there were the votes on the feasibility studies findings complete with pie charts and PowerPoint presentation; votes on how much to pay for plans and who to pay to draw up plans for the project; votes on how much to spend on the project; votes on the private bids from construction companies who wanted to build the project; votes on the bids from the private vendors who want to pay to rent the building. Plus, blah, blah, blah.
Letters do not necessarily reflect the views of Tampa Bay Newspapers.
Letters to the Editor Policy
We are proud to offer a forum to our readers. Please type letters to the editor (or print legibly) and include your name, town of residence, phone number and signature. Phone numbers will not be printed.
Letters can be mailed to Tampa Bay Newspapers, 9911 Seminole Blvd., Seminole, FL 33772, or send a letter by e-mail to email@example.com. Letters to the editor also can be submitted online, click here. Letters submitted online or by e-mail must include the writer's name, town of residence and phone number.
Guidelines for submitting letters to the editor, include:
• Letters are printed on a first-come, first-served basis. Letters may be edited to correct grammar, spelling and factual errors. They also may be edited for clarity.
• Please keep letters to editor to 500 words. Longer letters may be cut due to space limitations.
• Letters should address issues or current events. Please refrain from making unsubstantiated allegations. The newspaper will not print letters that contain slanderous or racial statements.
• Please don't use profanity.
• We don't publish poetry or songs in letters to the editor.
• We cannot return letters to the editor to the author.
• We do not print letters that are submitted anonymously.
• Writers may submit a letter every 30 days.
• Priority will be given to letters that deal with local issues by local writers.
• We wonít print letters that are submitted merely to promote a business.
• Thank you letters are accepted.
• Please allow two weeks from the time you submitted your letter for it to be published before inquiring as to its status.
• Effective with the Aug. 24 2014 primary, we will not publish letters on candidates within three weeks of the election, unless the letter is in rebuttal to another letter.