Flat rate fire fees needed
I would like to go back 20 years in history when I was the vice chairman of the $94 oversight committee.
Mr. Lubee and myself did an intense study to evaluate a flat rate fire fee. At the conclusion of that study our panel felt that a flat rate of $94 for every home in Spring Hill, no exclusions, would have been fair to everyone.
The issue was placed on the ballot and it was defeated mainly by the home owners who paid absolutely nothing for their fire protection. At that time I was a Spring Hill resident and thousands of home owners to include myself paid not only to protect my home but we paid for those who paid nothing.
On July 6 the headline in the Hernando Today reads Fire Flat Fee Infuriates Some. Twenty years later and its still the same story. The majority of Spring Hill is either on a fixed income or had a severe financial downgrade, yet the majority of those residents are paying their fire tax and still paying for those who don't.
Lets look at the home owners who never paid a fire tax. They are complaining that their taxes will go up. I look at it from a different stand point. Your taxes are not going up, the county is collecting back taxes for all the years that you paid nothing for your emergency services. $171.44 per year equates to 47 cents per day.
Hernando County Fire Rescue services is one of the best in the state. It takes funding to have the well trained paramedics, EMTs and firefighters who Hernando County residents are accustom to utilizing. We are speaking of less then 50 cents a day to protect your life and property.
I would like to share my thoughts on the "Traffic operation successful" and the "speed trap" comment in a recent edition of Hernando Today.
If the selective enforcement action is using reasonable guidelines in the issuance of speeding tickets - such as speed 10-plus mph over the limit, then whatever means the Sheriff's Office utilizes makes for good enforcement. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that a marked police car performing traffic enforcement creates a "halo" effect. Once past the marked cruiser, people revert to however they were driving before.
If reasonable guidelines are used to identify the people who are speeding excessively, then that is a positive for reducing accidents.
Speed itself is not the primary cause of most accidents. If the ticketing officer is only using a single digit over the posted limit, and the posted speed limit is not reasonable, then I believe the enforcement action is being conducted not in the interest of traffic safety, but to generate revenue - and that won't make our roads safer.
Many of today's drivers create serious traffic issues. They change lanes without signaling, tailgate, weave in out and out of traffic, impede traffic in the left lane, drive aggressively, show no patience for others on the road, tinker with their cellphone, and believe a traffic red signal means to speed up and go faster.
It is unfortunate that more of that poor behavior cannot, or will not, be enforced. So if the article written by Matt Reinig was correct and the average speeding violation was over 13 mph, then kudos to the Sheriff's Office for trying to keep our roads, and people, safer.
I enjoyed reading the article on yellow light timing and red light cameras. I have found a solution to the problem. After a very questionable right turn ticket I received in an unmarked, hand addressed and hand stamped envelope that almost got thrown away, I simply resolved not to shop in Brooksville anymore.
We used to go to the Dairy Queen, Checker's, Rooster's and Golden Corral a lot. Now, we just go somewhere else. Can't fight City Hall.