+ Scott’s low polls reflect back policies
I couldn’t disagree with your statements more. Falling poll numbers of those who voted for a winning candidate are also predictable when those voters find that their “winner” misled them. If Gov. Scott believes in streamlining government, why does he want to add drug testing for so many job and social-service applicants? We need only to see where the fees for these tests will end up.
The governor isn’t even pretending to care about the future of Florida. We need to protect our environment, not let the phosphate or oil industries ramp up at the same time that he removes environmental regulations. We need to ensure that the education of our children meets the changing needs of our scientific and technological industries; we shouldn’t cut more!
I would like to see Florida bring back an income tax for those making more than $200,000 a year! I’m not even close to that category, but I would willingly pay a few thousand dollars more a year if it means that we can protect our land, educate our children and have health care for all (especially through a single-payer system). This will attract people to our state. I believe there are many voters like me who understand that it is healthy to share prosperity. Scott’s actions show exactly who he cares about and what he doesn’t.
Sometimes polls state the obvious.
+ Separate church and state, not God and state
After reading your April 21 article, I wrote the following. The controversy about reading prayers at the beginning of local government meetings has resurfaced in Sarasota City Commission meetings.
Our Founding Fathers had good reason to separate church and state when they created this country back in the 18th century. They were well aware of the injustices, which had taken place in Europe, where England, France and Spain had state religions. However, they did not call for separation of state and God.
To the contrary, down through the years our country has recognized the importance of God in our daily lives and in our government operations. This appears on our coinage, which states “In God We Trust,” and on the walls in courthouses, which list the 10 Commandments.
There are two prime examples from the 20th century of what happens in a godless state. Nazi Germany with its Holocaust and Communist Russia. Both countries ignored God’s teaching and caused havoc to themselves and the world. And, as to be expected, they are fading into history as a prime example of what not to do.
And in today’s world, we still see so many examples of how orthodox religious leaders ignore the teachings of the founders of their religion. Whether it is child abuse in the Catholic Church or jihads by Islamic fundamentalists.
It is sad and tragic, but we find so many examples of how the actions of leaders and followers in Christian, Judaism and Islam churches stray from the teachings of the founders of their religion. It becomes increasingly important to keep the separation of church and state. For outsiders, it is easy to see hypocrisy in all their houses.
However, don’t let us go down the path of eliminating God from our government and ourselves. Anyone can deny the existence of God; however, they do not have the right to keep the rest of us from acknowledging His presence and his guiding hand in all of our affairs.
+ Money shift to Orioles is a disgraceful act
The public park cattycorner to Ed Smith stadium is home to the Ringling Redskins, Sarasota youth baseball and other youth activities. Traditionally, these organizations have charged $5 for parking during spring-training games and split the proceeds among themselves. Not anymore.
On Feb. 22, without public discussion, the Sarasota County Commission approved via its consent agenda a parking licensing agreement with the Baltimore Orioles. The agreement increases parking fees at the public park to $9 during spring-training games. The additional $4 goes to the Orioles. The 2011 parking revenues, totaling $22,482, were divided as follows:
• $1,471 taxes
• $2,498 non-profit payout
• $4,114 Sarasota youth baseball
• $3,085 SW District Parents Council
• $3,086 Ringling Redskins
• $8,228 Orioles
The Sarasota County Commission has pulled funding from city parks. Fees for youth activities have increased. At the same time, our County Commission and administration worked to find one more way to line the Orioles pockets at our expense. What could an extra $8,228 have done for Sarasota’s children and parks?
It’s a disgraceful wealth transfer — from children’s activities to a billionaire baseball team owner. Shame on our County Commission.
President, Sarasota Citizens for Responsible Government
CONA Board Member
Representative, Coalition of City Neighborhood Associations
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