Letters to the editor

No to tax extension

The mid-term election is on the way in Highlands County and campaigns to get your vote are hot and heavy. The county is using $25,000 of your tax dollars to push for a “yes” vote on the 15-year extension of the one-cent sales tax, extending it to 2034.

At $10 million a year that June Fisher said the tax will produce, that is $200 million over the other taxes you pay. Do you have that kind of money? And will the one-cent tax or tax dollars it replaces be spent wisely?

Recently, Sebring airport authorities came to the county to get help in securing a loan for a building that was to be used by a manufacturing firm named Project Nitrogen.

Instead of help, the commissioners just gave them $600,000 in your tax dollars and services. Now, a number of the citizens reminded them that they were short $10.8 million in balancing this year’s budget and they didn’t have the money to do this. They stated they were not sure that this venture would succeed, but thought it was worth a shot and did it anyway.

This is the same commission that has said they don’t have enough money to give their employees a raise for the last seven years.

Is there anything that you, the taxpayer, can do about this kind of spending by the county commission? I say, just one thing: Don’t give them extra money to play with by voting “no” on the one-cent sales tax.

Maybe if it fails this time they will wake up and see they need to change their spending ways. That could and should drop the millage rate.

I know that if the extension fails this election it will not go away till 2019 and we will see it two more times in 2016 and 2018. But at that time, we can see if we want to fight it or support it. If it passes this time, then you get to pay it for 20 more years and will see the same spending you have seen for years.

Bill Youngman


Budget cuts

I have been following the various stories regarding budget cuts. It seems everyone is working hard to make various cuts to the budget in all departments. It also appears that Sebring is already operating on a very thin budget. I hate to see the sheriff’s department take such a big hit on their budget.

I think I have a solution for the sheriff’s office. Here is a way they can get all the revenue they need: Start giving out citations to the crazy drivers on our roads. You know who you are? The people who think the rules don’t apply to them. Passing in a no-passing zone (do you not know what a double yellow line means?); driving recklessly and way above the legal speed limit; running red lights; changing lanes at a traffic intersection; treating U.S. 27 as your own personal race track (U.S. 98 heading to Lorida is even worse).

All of these violations are not only dangerous to the person committing them, but to the other people on the road as well.

We could easily keep the sheriff’s office funded for a long time to come. Let’s get busy issuing citations to these unsafe drivers and increasing the revenue for the sheriff’s department.

Brigitte Riello


Editor’s note: We are reprinting this letter because of typographical errors in the first one. We apologize for the errors.

Robin Williams

Robin Williams was attracted to extreme happiness or elated ecstasy. He obtained many highs in his life but the extreme happiness was always short-term and/or temporarily obtained by drugs.

When the extreme happiness wore off, the resulting lows by contrast seemed unbearable and depressing. It is so sad he couldn’t experience extreme happiness from the simple things in life such as friendship.

LeRoy Esler