Sunday’s letters: Clearwater does not need a strong mayor to be strong

Sunday’s letters to the editor
Published November 2 2018

Tampa’s mayor says yes | Letter, Nov. 1

No need for a strong mayor

It was interesting to read letters from Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long, who don’t live in Clearwater, telling us why we should change our form of government.

Under our current council/manager government, we have successfully created America’s No. 1 Beach as determined by TripAdvisor and others. We have the strongest Parks and Recreation Department and finest facilities in the region. Our Imagine Clearwater plan will create a waterfront park and entertainment destination that will be enjoyed for generations. And it won’t take six administrations to finish!

Commissioner Long wrote, “Clearwater residents have not fully benefitted from the economic recovery and they have been largely excluded from regional transportation discussions.” She gave no example of any lack of benefits from the recovery but focused her letter on transportation. Our vice mayor is the chair of Forward Pinellas, which deals with transportation issues countywide. Regional discussions are still in the early stages. Clearwater’s committed to these discussions, and is at that table.

Under the professional management of City Manager Bill Horne, we focused our City Council more than 15 years ago on addressing infrastructure. The City Council made the difficult but necessary decision to increase fees to create a program that addresses our entire system on a 10-year rolling basis. Sewer and stormwater aren’t sexy, but during a typical summer thundershower our streets do not flood like Tampa’s.

I want to pose a question to the two Pinellas County Commissioners (Long and Karen Seel) advocating for this change. Pinellas County is a charter county and is eligible to be governed by the structure you are endorsing for Clearwater. If it’s good for Clearwater, then why isn’t it good for Pinellas County? And why are you not advocating for such change at the county level?

Hoyt Hamilton, Clearwater

The writer is a Clearwater City Council member.

A nation’s soul is on the ballot | Letter, Nov. 2

Let the elephant rest

The father of the Canadian prime minister once said living next to the United States is like sleeping next to an elephant: “No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.” We Canadians feel the pain the United States is experiencing. Many Americans I meet are embarrassed to admit they are American. This is sad. As one of your northerly neighbors and friends I implore you to get back what once made you the envy of the world. Regain your strength, compassion and sense of fairness. Show the world you do not operate from fear and weakness, and allow the elephant a more restful sleep.

Colin Baur, Vancouver

As deficit spikes, GOP eyes cuts | Oct. 30

How to save entitlements

The easy fix for Social Security and Medicare is for members of Congress to cancel their plans and to enroll themselves in Social Security and Medicare with the rest of us, the people. Problem solved.

John J. Phillips, St. Petersburg

Trump tries to rally turnout | Nov. 1

The business of governing

When will President Donald Trump stop with these weekly adoration rallies and get down to governing? He should be tucked away in the Oval Office studying bills and lobbying Congress to promote his agenda.

Dianne Franz, Palm Harbor