Just say no
As I sat through the presentations to the Board of County Commissioners this week it was amazing how much Highlands County looks just like Washington, D.C., and that is not a compliment. Our constitutional officers (and staff in prior weeks) presented budgets that were "bare bones" and based only on "required functions." They were presented to a board that has already decided to raise our taxes.
The only way to stop the spending is to say no. Just as I have urged the Congress to not fund Obamacare, I urge the BOCC to not fund these budgets. I propose a 30 percent cut across the board. Yes, 30 percent across the board. If our elected officers are as good as Jack Ritchie says they are, prove it. In the next budget year, get more results for 30 percent less.
I know that some budgets are set by the state. I know that some offices have more responsibilities. I know that employees have not seen additional raises over the steps for several years. I know. But I also know that the only tool the BOCC has in its belt is the collection of taxes. If you don't collect it you cant distribute it. Even if it means never getting elected again, guys. Do what you know is the right thing. Stand strong.
Health care idea
I would like to submit the following idea as an answer to the health care problem that faces our country today.
Just that the average cost of the myriad health plans that are available to all federal employees and make them available to all citizens of the United States according to their ability to pay - i.e., people at the lowest end of the income spectrum would pay nothing, while those at the very top would pay the maximum amount. Individuals keep their present doctors if they so wish.
Curb excessive water use
Regarding the overuse of water for landscaping in Sebring Country Club Estates, does it matter if residents are willing to pay more for the overuse? The fact is that overpumping is a major factor in sinkholes because it removes tons of support water. Underground water holds up the layer of limestone which our sandy soil sits on. Where the limestone is thinner it collapses. The limestone being remnants of ancient sea creatures is porous and erodes easily.
A few weeks ago when filling a black bucket with well water I noticed that it came out milky white for awhile. That is my own direct experience with the erosive nature of this underground limestone crust deep beneath the sand. Yes, the limestone layer may be somewhat thicker along the ridge of central Florida, but I have lived in Highlands County long enough to remember watching a small house off U.S. 27 on the opposite side of Sun 'n Lake sink. It sank very slowly over weeks of time, eventually into total non-existence. Since no one died and it happened so slowly it seemed like a non-event at the time. I've since found no record of it on the web.
I call upon any suggestions to offer Commissioner Harris, the owner of the Country Club facility, since he has reported he has tried for years to curb the extreme overuse.