Approve impact fees and help current residents
Dear Mr. Chairman and Commissioners,
I was shocked to witness the board's cowardice in discussing impact fees to improve things for residents and students at your Feb. 11 meeting. The very fact that you all (except Mrs. Rowden) showed your reverence to the Hernando Builders Association, the Hernando Association of Realtors and the all-powerful Mr. Ingoglia and the respective groups never ending backing with money and support. Never before have I witnessed such a travesty and slap in the face to residents of Hernando County. To blatantly just "push aside" any reference to having new residents pay for schools and improvements but rather put the burden on the current homeowners and business owners to be forced to pay higher ad valorum tax rates to support "new" residents solely to keep new home prices low and builders and realtors happy.
My Lord, are the whole bunch of you so naive to think that $7,000 added to a $200,000 home price will scare away prospective home buyers? No, actually I think that you just don't want to alienate Mr. Ingoglia or his groups. Shame on all of you, to think it is just fine to force those of us currently here to pick up the tab for new residents in the coming years to appease your donors and sponsors.
I know you have scheduled a "public comment" time for the March 11 BOCC meeting, but past history would lead a knowledgeable individual to assume no matter how many people speak in favor of impact fees, that you cowards on the BOCC will stand in harmony with the builders and realtors and once again "stick it to the current residents." As is usually the case, money and power trump fairness and doing what is the right thing!
Don't cut the military
Here we go again, cutting the military back to bare bones. Hadn't we learned our lessens after World War I and World War II? And now Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel wants to reduce the deficit on the backs of our men and women in uniform, who have helped America stay strong and kept our country safe. And the bottom line on this is it boils down to politics.
The administration dare not take away any of those welfare cards, the ones that for all practical purposes are credit cards whose monthly charges are paid by me and the rest of the taxpayers. Those cards that the cardholder can use to purchase iPhones, televisions, lottery tickets, etc. Loss of those cards would be a loss of votes and we can't have that happen.
How about those dollars being used to support political pet projects, or being used to support countries that don't even like us? So now we are going to dump 440,00 to 450,00 men and women into the job market. Does this make a lot of sense to anyone? And what happens when the next crisis arises. Do you think there will be volunteers for the military lining up for a job that may or may not have a future?
I wish I could tell you "wait till next election" but we will again wind up with politicians whose purpose is to get elected and to make the other guy look good. And they will get elected because all those people living off taxpayer dollars will certainly vote for them.
Programs help with child care
Many families in the area are unaware of programs available to help with the high cost of child care.
The state of Florida offers a Free VPK or Voluntary Pre- Kindergarten Program. This program is free for all 4-year-old children. This program helps prepare children with the skills that they will need to enter kindergarten.
As many parents are well aware, children are expected to know much more before entering school. In many cases, children are considered behind if they cannot write their names and don't recognize the letters of the alphabet and the sounds of the letters. To find out more about this program, parents should call The Pasco Hernando Early Learning Collation at (352) 799-8159.
The collation also offers other services such as a school readiness program. This program helps parents pay the high cost of child care. This program is available for all children under the age of 8. This program is income-based. The collation reimburses the child care centers for part of the cost of child care and assigns parents a parent fee based on their income.
Another program available for children who may be at risk is Head Start. This program services children ages 3-5 in Hernando County. They have a school in Spring Hill and Brooksville. This program is again income-based. For more information about this program call Mid- Florida Community services at (352) 754-2464.
Also child care centers offer scholarships and a sliding scale for parents who may not qualify for the school readiness program. To find out which centers have these options, you can call and ask. This is not something that child care centers advertise.
Medicare Advantage program under siege
According to the latest news, President Obama and his administration are planning for more cuts to the Medicare Advantage program beginning in 2015. The planned cuts will hurt seniors who elected the Medicare Advantage plans over the traditional Medicare program that covers only 80 percent of the costs.
Existing Medicare cuts, are already resulting in higher costs and reduced access to the doctors seniors had and liked. Medicare Advantage plans now serve nearly 16 million people, or about 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries. They can offer lower out-of-pocket costs and broader benefits than traditional Medicare.
Insurers say they will be forced to pass on higher costs to seniors or cut benefits if the government reduces their rates, and some plans may drop out altogether. The impact could vary significantly around the country.
Most seniors like the Medicare Advantage program because it offers choices to select participating doctors and hospitals for their medical needs and usually includes a prescription drug plan, and is more affordable to seniors.
If you are a senior citizen and like to keep your Medicare Advantage program, then you better exercise your First Amendment rights and let your government know to leave your plan alone. Call your U.S. Congressional representative and tell them: Please, no more cuts.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio: (202) 224-3041
U.S. Senator Bill Nelson: (202) 224-5274
U.S. Representative Richard Nugent: (202) 225-1002
Privatizing Social Security is better
Let's see, in a recent ad Ms. Alex Sink says her opponent supports privatizing Social Security by investing it in the stock market. To this I can only respond, just what do you think the richest people in the world do with their money? The answer is they invest it in the stock market. Now just what do the poorest and the dumbest do with theirs? They give it to the government which is like flushing it down the toilet.
The government has taken Social Security and all but bankrupted it and the rich just keep getting richer. So to this I ask the residents of Pinellas County, who would better serve your interests in Washington, a former lobbyist, who knows his way around Washington and has a way to save social security, or yet another progressive-socialist presidential boot licker who only cares about the many ways to waste taxpayers money and, by the way, supported Obamacare. In November it's all up to you remember it's only your money.
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