Voice of the Voters, Jan. 26

Readers sound off about the candidates and the issues.


Published: Sunday, January 27, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 26, 2008 at 6:49 p.m.

I recently received a flier from the Alachua County Commission which recommended at some undisclosed cost to us all that I and every other resident should vote against Amendment One which basically shifts current taxing authority out of the hands of local counties and municipalities and into the hands of the state and its Republican legislature yet doesn't directly impact school board funding.

It's obvious that if Amendment One passes, local governmental movers and shakers will want to levy further taxes to support their pet programs, such as "CHOICES," and downtown two and three story fake brick facade buildings which have been approved by local codes enforcement in order to stimulate growth, yet are built no better than a mobile home.

Considering the possibility of a further tax increase levied afterwards. Let them beg. If it's a essential, let us be the judge, and by the way, just what did the fliers cost us?

Jeff Sterling,

Micanopy

I find it absurd that the County Commission would spend $21,000 to tell us how to vote on Amendment 1. Yet, a year and a half ago when the flood zone maps were drawn wrong they wouldn't spend any money to notify homeowners that they need to appeal their flood plane classification or have to pay for flood insurance they don't need.

Since 2000 the county budget has increased by 100 percent, population has increased 10 percent, average income has increased 4 percent. It is time for the county to tighten their belt. Vote Yes on 1!

Greta Rice,

Newberry

Tom Hawkins brings energy of youth with professional understanding of our community priorities, Jack Donovan wisdom, expertise and continuity; and Lauren Poe intellectual integrity of an educator to a leadership team that is not afraid to seek innovative solutions to help our community prosper in a chaotic global environment.

David E. Bruderly,

Gainesville

Please vote for Jack Donovan for City Commissioner on January 29th He has an unmatched record of protecting our neighborhoods, enhancing our environment and working to reduce homelessness in our city.We need to keep Jack on our City Commission.

Deborah and Peter Rebman,

Gainesville

I endorse Jack Donovan for District 3 of the City Commission because of his record of achievement and concern for improving the quality of life for all of us.

Hal Stahmer,

Gainesville

With a looming recession and a nervous stock market, Florida's government should be hunkered down planning for a rougher future. $2 billion in the red, the state budget is a mess. In short, this is a situation that requires leaders with both courage and wisdom.

Instead, Florida's governor and legislature are like a not too bright dog who has managed to learn just one trick. Commanded to sit, they sit; commanded to fetch,they sit again. Or in their case, cut taxes.

Amendment One is the same refrain of an old and tired song. After a decade of tax cuts, Florida can no longer respond to troubled times. And Governor Crist urges our local governments to follow the State's bad example, gambling on magic incantations, and waiting in line for our turn at the promise of a free lunch. Amendment One's supporters appeal to our greed, assuring us everything is wonderful and will always be. Their heads stuck in 1998, they are blind to the changes in the economy and so see no need to deal with it.

These people call themselves conservatives, but never has a name been so abused. Conservatives would invest in the present and save for the future. What we have in Tallahassee are a bunch of two year olds eating up all the cookies they can, breaking up the dishes and urging everyone else to do the same. We need adults, and soon. Vote no on Amendment One.

Anne D'Amico,

Gainesville

Jack Donovan has worked continually to prepare our entire community for the looming energy challenges we face. In the best tradition of a public servant, he is leading us to emphasize efficiency and conservation and seek alternative means of power. We need his continued efforts on the GCC. Vote Jack Donovan!

Sally Dickinson,

Gainesville

I offer my endorsement of Jack Donovan for re-election to the Gainesville City Commission.I find in Jack someone who has intelligence, integrity and the ability to really listen.

Jack is a patient, thoughtful leader who has really grown through out his first term and has learned a tremendous amount about who we are as a community. He

holds an overview of our major challenges, a workable view of our current problems and a hopeful insight into our community's true potential.He isn't reactionary and I value that. His accomplishments are solid and span many sectors.I urge you to vote and elect Jack Donovan for another term.

Annie Pais,

Gainesville

I am writing to express my support for Jack Donovan's bid for re-election on Tuesday, January 29. I urge my fellow citizens from District 3 to go to the polls and cast your vote for Jack. Throughout his first term as City Commissioner, Jack has always kept in the forefront consideration for the safety and quality of life of the citizens of our city, and respect for the environment. He has been a strong advocate for the type of sustainable growth that promotes economic prosperity while planning for our children's future. All the while he has demonstrated moral integrity and an unshakable conviction that everyone in this city is entitled to respect and human dignity. For these reasons, I continue to place my trust with Jack Donovan for City Commission District 3.

Florence M. Turcotte,

Gainesville

Jack Donovan deserves to be re-elected as District 3's representative on the City Commission. He has truly been a people's representative during his short time on the Commission, leading compassionate and innovative initiatives for improving the lot of all our citizens. A City Commission without Jack Donovan would be a very diminished thing.

Jerry D. Rose,

Gainesville

Jack Donovan is an effective City Commission leader. Jack has kept taxes low. Jack has implemented policies that sustain our economy and improve our quality of life. Re-elect Jack Donovan, Gainesville City Commission District 3.

Grant I. Thrall,

Gainesville

I have a much different perspective on The Sun's article concerning the youthfulness of the current crop of city commission candidates. There will always be a debate over age vs experience, but this year's election is more of a question of who in their right mind would want to join a commission that clearly operates with a one-sided agenda that requires nearly full-time participation out of it's members.

The only incumbent in the race was quoted as saying that there is so much to do and that it is a full-time job.

As someone that seriously considered running for the commission this year, I would have to say that the biggest problem we face is finding qualified candidates that can live off of $28,000 a year, or be willing to make the personal sacrifice of family and profession that it apparently takes these days. Is that truly how a city manager style of government is supposed to work?

A quick look at the current commission shows that at least 3 or 4 work for UF or SFCC, and at least a couple of them I don't believe currently have jobs outside of the commission and one lists "consultant" as their occupation.

A quick look at the current candidates shows a recent college grad and a current student who have not worked in the "real world" yet. A young lawyer with, I assume, a few years of work and a long family history in Gainesville, a young man who, I don't believe, is currently working, and who has had the time to knock on a lot of doors, an 8 year enlisted army vet most recently employed by a local "retailer," an incumbent full-time commissioner, a SFCC associate professor, and a well-respected business owner.

With all due respect to anybody willing to serve, this has absolutely nothing to do with youth and their calling to serve and everything to do with our inability to attract more experienced and qualified candidates. Regardless of who is elected, it should be fun watching this new crew attempt to manage our tax dollars, particularly under a possible decreasing revenue scenario.

Todd Chase,

Gainesville

So the teachers union, labor unions, and their fellow travelers in the Democratic party are against Amendment 1? If the liberals/socialists don't like it then it must be a good thing! As a homeowner tired of being taxed into oblivion by the tyrannical county and city "leaders" I urge everyone to vote yes for lower taxes and less government confiscation.

Robert Martyniak,

Gainesville

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