Mosquito control numbers don’t add up
On May 13 of this year, the Hernando County commission voted unanimously to eliminate the 1⁄10 of a mill cap on the mosquito control MSTU. At the time, Commissioner Wayne Dukes claimed that at the end of the last fiscal year mosquito control was $150,000 short and the money had to be made up from the general fund. However, according to the end of year expenditure status report, mosquito control had spent only $600,687.03 of a budgeted $643,541, leaving a positive balance of $47,852.97. It is important to note that the 2012 and 2013 budgets only allocated .0844 mil, much less than the .1 mil allowed under the voted tenth mil.
Mosquito Control operated inside its budget in both 2012 and 2013 when it was allocated .0844 mil. For some unexplained reason, the $141,000 was added to .1 mil in the 2014 budget. Of that amount, there is still over $415 thousand remaining in the fund.
One should ask Susan Goebels-Canning why $875,000 was budgeted for 2014 when the department had only spent $600,000 the year before and $631,000 in 2012. Given the fact that it had not even used the 1⁄10 mil granted by the voters in the two previous years, what made the county, not only raise the MSTU to the max but add $141,000? Did they know at the time that they were going to use that $141,000 as an excuse to remove the cap?
The only reason the county commission could have had to remove the cap was to allow them to raise taxes through the MSTU, claiming mosquito control expenses that never existed. By removing the cap, the county commissioners admitted to the public that they would be able to raise your taxes at will, the probable reason for the fraud.
FCAT puts too much pressure on students
I’m a student at West Hernando Middle School and I am writing this letter to express my point of view regarding the FCAT/standardized testing. The pressure put on us students is overwhelming.
I always score high on the math FCAT so I’m always placed in an advanced math class. I used to love math and always got straight As. Now I struggle learning the material. I feel that my GPA is affected because if I was placed in a class based on my grade level rather than test scores I would excel.
Next year, I start high school and my career goal is to become an electrical engineer. Maintaining a high GPA is vital for earning a scholarship. During my freshman orientation I was informed that if I don’t pass the FCAT at the end of the four years I don’t receive a diploma. Many students drop out of high school. Some move on and get their GED. Where is the incentive to stay in school and attempt to graduate?
Rogers Park bridge jumping a problem or privilege?
Weeki Wachee has had a little problem with kids climbing on the bridge at Rogers Park for a very long time.
As I was driving by on this bridge I had to stop and take a few photos of the kids jumping off of the bridge. They smiled and said they loved being able to jump into the water from the bridge. They said to put their photos on Facebook.
I have seen the county put up many different fences over the years on top of this bridge to stop them. The new one they just finished putting up looks like it cost the tax payers a bit. I must say it looks very nice but it does not work in any way for the reason they put it up.
I truly think that the kids will find a way to jump off of this bridge into the water no matter what is put up to stop them. So why not just put up a sign that says it is at their own risk?
Now you might think kids are kids. Well, I looked off to the side of the bridge. There were as many parents smiling and taking photos of their kids jumping off of this bridge into the water. So lets ask the readers of this newspaper what they think about the fence that was put up on this bridge. Should the county let kids jump into Weeki Wachee’s river like they have done for years or not?
Re: “Hernando will match state’s $3 million for education plaza,” by Michael D. Bates
The news that the Hernando County commission is going to “provide” $3 million to a now “governor-approved” $3 million state match for a proposed Nature Coast educational/nature center, whose public was not consulted, is typical of how the business community is riding roughshod over its citizens.
In addition, with the county administrator and commissioners in tow, the business community has had the audacity to “convince” the commission several months ago to continue vetoing an impact fee, which benefits builders and the real estate industry. The fee had traditionally helped the school district meet expenses.
Now the “good old boy” business leaders have the audacity to approach the school board, with hat in hand, asking to piggyback or tack on their half-cent sales tax request to a school board half-cent tax in a “collaborative” effort for the November elections (“City, county want to piggyback on school sales tax,” by Geoff Fox) . Such self-serving hypocrisy, under the guise of helping the schools and the community, is just another example, in a growing list of business decisions in the county, engineered for financial gain for a few.
The school board needs to say no to the joint tax scheme, or citizens should reject the shared tax in November, despite the long-term damage it will bring to the schools in Hernando County.