To The Citizen Who Wrote To Complain About City Officials - Yes, elected folks are the ones who helped to promote whatever economic position Clearwater is in at this time. They take the credit . . . and the heat for working with consultants, promoters, etc., in the redevelopment of Clearwater and Clearwater Beach. Of course, some elected officials will admit to errors of judgment on some projects, others will not. However, when writers report news about various city projects and budget matters they merely report what happened. It is not their intent to make one city project or another a major issue. Citizens of Clearwater should make issues major or minor.
The three minutes of citizen speaking allowance at official Clearwater city meetings was not always the rule. Yes, there was a time when citizens were allowed to talk at work sessions and permitted to speak more than three minutes. And, yes, the city hall meetings lasted an hour or so longer than current city council meetings. (But, every disgruntled citizen had a chance to speak to the issue important to them.
Some city staff members probably felt that many of the old city council meetings lasted too long. Clearly, some meetings did last too long. However, when you look at what top Clearwater city officials are paid (plus benefits, vacation time, etc.) longer city hall meetings should not be an issue once or twice a month. It is good to notice Mayor Frank Hibbard allows for longer times (longer than three minutes) for citizens to speak about controversial issues being voted upon at city council meetings.
Hope that has helped to answer your inquiry.
Columbus Day, October 9 - It is difficult to believe we still celebrate Columbus Day as a national holiday in America.
Most people do not believe that Columbus founded America. We do know, however, that Columbus found some Caribbean islands void of people; but, for the most part, most of the islands he "founded" were already inhabited by people who had lived there for 10,000 years or more
We can attribute to Columbus various forms of island slavery and brutality in the name of the King and Queen.
On the other hand, there are early Viking settlers who are recorded as early "founders" of America long before Columbus. Of course, even the early Vikings said there were people already in America when they arrived.
If we need a holiday on October 9, perhaps we should call it American Indian Day, in honor of the true original founders.
Yes, Columbus was a great explorer of his time. I do not wish to denigrate his many accomplishments. However, most reliable historians do not credit the founding of America to Christopher Columbus; rather, they credit Columbus for his worthy explorations beginning in 1492. (And note his failures such as killing-off most of the original Caribbean island populations by bringing-in various deadly diseases and island slavery.)
Happy Columbus Day. (The banks are closed as well as government offices.)
Latest Fox News Voter Poll Information - Depending upon the news source you follow, reported voter trends may vary by large percentages.
For example, in a recent Fox News Voter Poll Data from September 12-13 poll (survey), current voter results were reflected.
The so-called wide gap of voters who support Democrat candidates over Republican candidates has narrowed to 3 percent. With a deviation of 3 percent in survey results, the voter gap between Republican and Democrat candidates is nearly a dead-heat.
53 percent of voters say President Bush is honest and trustworthy. 82 percent of Republicans approve of President Bush's performance, only 12 percent of Democrats approve of Bush's performance. Thus, the voter gap in support of President Bush between Republicans and Democrats remains large and unchanging.
55 percent of voters approve of their congressional official, while 72 percent of all voters are undecided which congressional candidate to support.
Big issue? War in Iraq.
51 percent of voters support the war in Iraq. 44 percent oppose the war.
If Democrats take control of congress, 53 percent of voters say they would likely not pursue terrorists enough.
54 percent of voters say the country is more divided than in 2004. 41 percent of voters say it is the same.
Depending upon several key congressional races in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania, the mix of Republicans and Democrats in the 2007 Congress could alter which political party would take control of the direction of the country. With a presidential election in 2008, results of the upcoming 2006 elections may help to alter which political candidates might make a run for the U.S. presidency. Sen. John McCain is perhaps the GOP frontrunner in the 2008 upcoming presidential race, while Democrats lean towards Sen. Hillary Clinton.
Can't Gain Ground - Speaking of Hillary Clinton, she just can't gain ground with voters regardless of what she says or does.
Holding steady at about 38 percent favorable voter count (62 percent not in favor), Hillary Clinton may not emerge as the Democrat party frontrunner in 2008.
Many Democrat faithful are beginning to talk about people like John Edwards and, yes, Al Gore, as names of potential top presidential candidates in 2008; Edwards being favored by younger voters.
What about Hillary?
She would likely remain a powerful Democrat senator from New York.
With all of the political power granted to her from a charismatic, prominent former president husband, you would think she would be the clear leader in the Democrat party. Not true. The American public arguably has a difficult time trusting Hillary Clinton. Same is perhaps true of Hillary's GOP counterpart Sen. John McCain of Arizona. GOP faithful have trouble warming-up to McCain, who many had thought of as the GOP frontrunner.
Neither Clinton nor McCain can get past 40 percent favorability figures with voters. In some respects it is too bad. Clinton vs. McCain would have resulted in an interesting presidential race with great debates with McCain.
Then again, Edwards or Gore versus Guiliani or Gingrich wouldn't be bad.
Canadians Think Tank Says U.S. Tax Rate Among Highest - When you listen to some U.S. politicians you might think we need to increase taxes; after all, where would the massive amounts of money they plan to spend after getting elected eminent!
In Canada, CD Howe Institute, a conservative think tank, recently reported that the United States is among some of the highest effective tax rate countries in the world regarding tax rates on capital.
The 2006 tax competitiveness report reported U.S. tax rate at 38 percent, Canada 36.6 percent, Ireland 14 percent, Mexico 13.8 percent, Singapore 11.5 percent, Hong Kong 6.1 percent and Belgium 4.4 percent (allowing for deduction of equity financing.)
You can now see why large multi-national corporations do not use the U.S. as its (tax) headquarters.
Of course, when you listen to some political candidates running for election, we Americans need to tax our corporations at higher levels. "We need to make them pay more taxes," say the political candidates appealing to uninformed voters. What those clever politicians do not say is that we are losing those large corporations, and their jobs, to other countries with more reasonable tax rates.
You tell me.
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