The County Commission has not managed Hernando County in a competent manner. It has not adequately provided a practical and proficient framework for running county government.
It is quite amazing that in a few short years Hernando County went from a vibrant, growing county to a county that approaches slum conditions. The commission in those short years ignored the need to diversify the county's economic base, depending instead on a dwindling single-family housing industry.
Where was and is the aggressive approach to attracting new industry and encouraging competition? Even with no impact fees it seems Hernando County cannot attract new business. Other counties with impact fees are attracting major businesses, bringing new jobs into their counties. Zero impact fees only reduces the county's revenue; it has not and will not, by itself attract new businesses. Generating new and additional revenue streams entails, in large part, bringing in new and additional good-paying jobs. The commission has not seriously invested in attracting and luring new businesses to Hernando County.
Now the commission is going to give a "local preference" when awarding contracts for county goods and services. Local preference means the county will be paying more for those goods and services and requiring the taxpayers to pick up the tab, while at the same time hurting competition. Will the commission ever get serious about diversifying our economic base and fostering competition?
Economic diversity goes hand-in-hand with good financial decisions. The commission should not only be looking at ways to generate new and different revenue streams but also be concentrating on making sound spending decisions. Again and again commissioners have been making financial decisions without fully analyzing or understanding the financial ramifications. The commission has emptied its reserve funds earmarked for specific capital needs and used those funds for operating expenses.
Good business practice adheres to the rule that capital reserve funds are not to be used for regular operating expenses. It is not to be done. The appearance is that the commission is pennywise and pound foolish, cutting unwisely and spending foolishly.
Furthermore, what may seem a good idea in a strong economy often times is disastrous in a weak economy.
Tough decisions are hard to make, especially unpopular ones. However, when tough decisions, even though unpopular, are the right decisions for the county, the commission must make them.
Badly done, commissioners, badly done!
Just the facts
Guilty of procrastination in my elder years, I have been waiting for one of our many informed letter-writers to spring into action and, armed with facts, respond to Mr. Abel Tarrada's frequent tirades.
Heady from seeing his propagandist rants in print, he continues to spew forth more beyond-biased nonsense. It appears we have spawned a Ted Rall clone; but even the oft-denigrated and despised Rall gets some of the facts right some of the time. I am pleased, however, that Mr. Tarrada has found in Len Tria someone who drives him up the wall much as he does most (I hope) Hernando Today readers.
Liberalism is not rational no matter who expounds on it, but Mr. Tarrada is really making a hash of promoting his cause. Less Kool Aid consumption and more Google fact-checks would result in his discovering that most issues have at least two points of view. Each issue expounded on by Mr. Tarrada could be refuted with reasoned, rational viewpoints, but it's obvious he doesn't want to be confused by facts.
Worshipping at the shrine of all that is Democratic, Mr. Tarrada ought to check out a real president, Harry Truman who, caring more for the country than a legacy, had a sign on his desk that said "The buck stops here." In the case of our Dictator-in Chief, however, his Obama Zombies refuse to hold him responsible for any of the problems endangering our country, buying into the "fundamental transformation" promise he made five years ago - the only one he has delivered on.
I do agree with Mr. Tarrada that we are in need of more facts; wouldn't it be great if he had any.
Mary L. Wright