The Way I See It
By cj pollick
Clearwater Begins Police Negotiations - The City of Clearwater begins negotiations today with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the labor union that represents the city's police officers and supervisors. The city is seeking wage and benefit concessions rumored to be on the order of $5-million annually in an effort to balance its 2010/11 budget.
With a proposal in hand from Pinellas County Sheriff Jim Coats to perform law enforcement in the city for some $10-million less than what the city had budgeted for this fiscal year, the City Council may now have enough bargaining power to reduce the cost of running the Clearwater Police Department. Or it may not.
Behind the scenes, FOP leaders have expressed a willingness to negotiate a reduction in police wages and benefits to make a Council decision to keep CPD easier to swallow. But at public meetings, FOP leaders have given no indication that their members are willing to give anything back.
Clearwater's Police Officers have lobbied hard for the continued existence of CPD. Today's labor negotiations will reveal whether they are simply trying to preserve their generous Clearwater wage and benefit package, or whether they truly believe that citizens will be better served by a city police force than by the County Sheriff.
City Marina And Long-Term Lease - City officials wanted the authority to "redevelop" the city marina property without holding a citizen referendum. "We shouldn't need to take those decisions to the public," said some city officials when discussing development of the city marina property.
So, legal minds wrestled with options to avoid the voting public (referendums.) The Pinellas Delegation, led by Frishe, once did not support an idea that would devoid the voters from having a voice, but, recently said what the heck, let's let 30-year leases be approved by the city council of Clearwater for that marina project without a public referendum. They passed the novel idea and had Gov. Crist sign it for approval. Done deal.
Now the only question is who might win the 30-year lease for the city marina property. Of course, there are some folks who wonder how much money could be spent at the marina site with only a 30-year recapture rate. How much money could be made at the marina to offset spent development funds? That problem, of course, becomes the problem of private developers.
On the other hand, if costs of renting at the marina must increase due to expanded costs, then what might become of rental fees and fishermen leases?
Time will tell how this works out for local businesses.
Silent Majority No More - There is a grass-roots movement of frustrated citizens across America joining a "patriot" protest group that is commonly called "The Tea Party." Career politicians from both major political parties are concerned that this non-partisan citizen group will try to remove stagnant politicians who do not listen to the will of the people from office in 2010 and 2012.
Tea Party supporters tend to not favor one political party over another-rather, Tea Party folks consider themselves modern-day patriots who want politicians to listen to the will of the governed. "We the people will save liberty," say Tea Party supporters.
Readers have asked how they could find more information about this non-profit group. Go to www.JoinTheTeaParty.us.
Not any longer. Tea Party supporters will cause change in 2010 and 2012. Why are many career politicians afraid of the Tea Party? It is simple, they lost contact with their constituency and have served special interest groups for many years. They have a voting record they can't defend when at town hall meetings. Perhaps that is why only a handful of Washington politicians held town hall meetings during the recent recess. Of the 255 democrats in Congress only a few held town hall meetings during the recess; in fact, many of the newly elected officials were the same ones who attended such town hall meetings to ask probing questions to their opponents when they ran for elected office (but now avoid the same meetings!) Yes, there is a fear of attending town hall meetings by many politicians. Fear of hearing comments from the people being governed!
Why Did Gov. Charlie Crist Oppose The Appointment Of Sotomeyer? - "Can't remember," says Gov. Crist. The reasons why Crist opposed Supreme Court nominee Sotomeyer can't be remembered by Crist any longer (since he left the republican party.)
Perhaps it was due to her liberal persuasion or possibly she was unqualified. Unfortunately for those who asked Crist the fairly simple question, Charlie Crist had temporary amnesia. "Can't remember."
By not supporting Sotomeyer's appointment to the Supreme Court, many Latino and democrat supporters were offended by Crist.
Of course, that was done when Crist was a republican. Now that Charlie has changed his political persuasion, he is trying to cover his tracks regarding Sotomeyer's appointment and his lack of support.
Who could blame the governor for not remembering his reasons to not support Sotomeyer; after all, he is involved in the giant oil spill off Louisiana that is now affecting Pensacola area beaches and points off Florida waters (such as the Middle Grounds fishery.)
Mexicans Want Permanent Residence - According to Gallup, roughly 6.2 million Mexican adults say they would like to move permanently to the United States if given the chance. Frightened by what their constituents might say, Democrats are refusing to hold public town halls.
Unions Predominantly Government Workers - According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the first time in the history of the United States, a majority of union members work for the government, not the private sector. (52% of all union members work for the federal, state or local governments.)
GOP Women Win - The message across America from voters was clear: Elect new people.
In many instances, GOP women proved they can win. In California, Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina won the GOP nomination for governor and senator. Tea Party candidates also had a strong showing across America. Nikki Haley in South Carolina and Sharon Angle in Nevada both won primary races. Voters in those races supported new candidates who had little major political party backing. Tea Party supporters proved they would play an important role in future elections.
GOP women will be tough to beat in November.
Anglicans Cut Episcopalians From Ecumenical Bodies - In a move to further distance the Anglican Church from the US Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church cut Episcopalians from serving on some interfaith bodies. The reason? The US Episcopal Church approving a lesbian bishop in difference to Anglican Church principles. This recent move by the Anglican Church further separates the US Episcopal Church from the "mother" Anglican Church due to the Episcopal Church's acceptance of openly homosexual bishops. It is not known how this decision will affect leaders from the US Episcopal Church serving on current interfaith groups; however, the recent Anglican Church message does little to soothe "divides" created due to unilateral decisions by US Episcopal Church leaders regarding acceptance of homosexual bishops.
BP Oil Company - In difference to President Obama who has never made a payroll or served as a CEO in a major corporation, BP Oil should have our full support to contain the oil spill and pay for all damages, beginning immediately.
BP Oil needs to repay many tens of millions of dollars to local, state, and federal entities for funds expended due to the oil spill. It will likely cost BP billions of dollars at the end of the day. If engineers and advisors to BP Oil are having problems stopping the oil spill, what should make us think our government-paid advisors are any better? Yes, it is a mess that needs much help.
Is BP Oil responsible? Yes.
Should they pay for all damages? Yes.
Are there other wells with the same or similar drill rigs and pipes? Yes.
Was our government lax on regulation? Yes.
The problem is current and needs confronted by everyone to help stop the leak and contain the oil slick. BP must lead that charge…with help from everyone (at the expense of BP Oil.)
Pointing fingers at this time will not solve the leak. All concerned parties must work together to stop the leak and contain the oil problem.
Many small and large businesses have been hurt financially by the oil leak. People are being put out of work and entire communities that rely on tourism are out of business. The oil problem has now reached Pensacola and beaches in the panhandle of Florida. Tar balls are being found on beaches near Panama City and only ten miles offshore. Not a good picture for those communities (imagine if the oil hits Pinellas County in July?)
BP Oil must remain a viable company to pay for all damages. What if BP Oil was closed and the financial problem became one for US taxpayers to resolve? Another billion-dollar bailout?
BP Oil must accept full financial responsibility and any other penalties. But, is this the time for our president to say he would fire their president and play hardball. Or, is this the time to solve the major problem and make sure BP Oil pays for all losses?
Mr. President, don't waste everyone's time by forcing BP officers to come to Washington for meetings, let those people focus on solving the oil problem…then bring them to Washington. Let's not play politics with a major catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.
"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you; that is the principle difference between a dog and a man." -Mark Twain
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