Letters to the Editor for Jan. 20, 2013
Published: Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 10:52 p.m.
After reading recent coverage of the costs paid by Gainesville Regional Utilities to outside attorneys regarding the biomass plant, I did some additional research. A brief Google search reveals that GRU's operating budget in 2012 was about $382 million. GRU opted to spend about 0.25 percent of its budget to have attorneys advise them on a complex project that represents a large investment by the city.
I also learned that using outside counsel is very common among smaller municipal governments. I fail to see why this decision is controversial. People may criticize the city of Gainesville and GRU, but the fact remains that Gainesville has balanced its budget every year, and GRU has worked hard to make sure that this contract has the best interests of GRU ratepayers in mind.
Let's all chip in
There have been many hours of debate regarding debt and spending cuts. I believe there are ideas not mentioned that might be of help.
Has anyone thought of asking citizens who are working to consider on a voluntary basis giving one, two or three days pay a month for six months or a year?
I know that this is what happened years ago when my father was postmaster in a small rural town during the Great Depression. He was earning $75 a month for our eight family members. He gladly gave up three days of his pay a month for a period of time.
When I started teaching, it was the year that the pension plan for Florida's teachers was being initiated. We were asked to donate one month's pay to help the teachers who had been working for years and never contributed to a retirement fund.
Margaret A. Rosenberger,
Seats too costly
I recently received the renewal form for my Gator football season tickets, for seats that I've had for over 25 years.
The mandatory booster contribution this year is now half of the cost of my tickets. Although I realize that money generated by boosters is what is needed for athletic program growth, I'm finding it more difficult to pay for my cherished seats.
Through the last couple of years, I have become disabled and am on full-time oxygen, but I somehow make the games to watch our beloved Gators. I still buy my tickets every year so that I do not lose my seat location to someone with deep pockets.
I wonder how long before I will lose them to the high cost and just have to watch from home. To all the Gators on the football team, I'm still proud of you no matter where I watch the game.
Raymond James Caswell,
Quick action needed
Two recent headlines (Jan. 15, Sun) indicated that President Obama wanted quick action on enacting legislation for gun control and to resolve the debt ceiling issue. In the past, he also wanted quick action to pass the stimulus bill and pass Obamacare. Those things don't exactly inspire confidence in the government acting quickly.
It's a shame that this administration can't move quickly on issues like the XL pipeline (five years), hiring a commerce secretary (vacant six months and no one nominated), proposing a budget by the required deadline, or resolving the Benghazi investigation.
Defend all rights
Even more predictable than the cries of “Never again!” and “We must do something about gun violence!” are the Second Amendment fetishists' fantasies of government tyranny and the need for patriotic shedding of blood. I will take their complaints seriously when they defend with equal ferocity the rights of ethnic and religious minorities to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, the rights of prisoners to be free from cruelty and torture, the rights of women to control their own bodies, and the rights of all citizens to vote without intimidation or unwarranted burdens.