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Sarasota Thursday, Apr. 21, 2011 8 years ago

Letters to the Editor


+ Editorial spells out insanity on federal spending
Dear Editor:

The April 7 edition spelled out succinctly the “Federal spending insanity.”

The average family’s portion of the national debt was stated as $251,742. If one carries this argument further to see how much debt a family would be allowed to support, say to buy a house, some additional insights can be drawn. At an average family income of $41,957, as stated, a family with good credit, like the United States currently enjoys, would qualify to borrow approximately $215,000 at an interest rate of 5% on a 30-year loan. Medium credit would only allow approximately $168,000. If one looks at a 20-year loan, considering that each generation should pay for its own debt, then good credit would only allow a loan of $178,000.

If we do not reduce cost there is no way we can pay for our house. If the world financial markets decides we are not serious about our deficit then expect foreclosure.

Bruce Zeitlin
Siesta Key

+ Legislature and county not guarding house values
Dear Editor:

“Blockbusting” was a term used in the real-estate industry in the 1950s. What it simply meant was unscrupulous real-estate people would spread the word that a house was being sold to blacks, Italians, etc. This caused panic selling. The real-estate agents then benefited from commissions for selling the houses.

What was once a stable area ended up in chaos, with the resultant drop in prices of the homes. Since the housing market bubble broke, we are once again in this danger but from different perspectives.

The House and Senate are considering bills S0476 and H0883, which take away the right of counties and cities to set their own restrictions on zoning and other building requirements. In the latest compromise, they are agreeing to grandfather in existing rules. However, this is not enough, because it means we won’t control what is going to be needed in the future as other bubbles come and go.

Our county also needs to seriously start enforcing our codes to prevent blockbusting via illegal rentals, business establishments that violate noise, sign ordinances, etc., because they are as damaging as the tactics used based on race and ethnicity in the 1950s. Repeated speeding and stop-sign running need to be brought under control because they reflect on the neighborhood.

Remember the sole intent of the 1950s block busting was to drive owners out and prices down. This is a re-emerging pattern driven by owner/landlords who want to snap up these properties at low prices and then illegally rent them. History repeats itself. We must not allow a few irresponsible and greedy individuals to overwhelm the system. Speak up before it is too late.

Joe Volpe

To send in your letters: 
Please email them to [email protected], or mail them to the Sarasota Observer, 1970 Main St., Sarasota, 34236.  The Sarasota Observer gives priority to letters of local interest and about local issues. The Observer will print all letters to the editor if it feels they are of general interest, but only if the letter is signed and the author’s street address and phone number are given. The editor reserves the right to condense letters.


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