What We Think – The Op-Ed Saloon
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Lee County is historically known for its natural and cultural beauty. Nowadays, it’s also known for its crime. Sheriff Scott believes crime is “Everywhere USA” and “all relative” and the victims usually have criminal pasts.
I disagree. Many of victims of crimes each year in SWFL are not criminals. Plus, as cops, we have a duty to protect everyone in our community.
Instead of blaming victims of countywide crime, let’s look at the Sheriff’s Office. A $160 million dollar budget but no considerable salary raises in nearly 10 years. We’re over 35 deputies short on road patrol and losing more to better paying jobs by the week.
Some local police at www.LEOAFFAIRS.com believe the only way to get ahead at LCSO is to pay for a promotion by joining the “$1000 club”. Curiously, the Sheriff’s campaign donation list and recent LCSO promotional list nearly match up.
What happened to promotions based on years of service and achievements?
Morale among LCSO deputies is low. They struggle on $35,294 a year while working a dangerous job for days on end and can barely afford to pay rent or give their kids a nice Christmas.
It’s time for a new sheriff.
Written by Stephanie Eller: Candidate for Lee County Sheriff
During my 15 years at the Lee County Sheriff’s Office I witnessed many decisions that were not relevant to serving and protecting the citizens. I realized we had lost focus of our core competency: “To protect and serve.” I also witnessed reckless and irresponsible spending, but watched the citizens and reporters who questioned these expenditures become easily “pacified” with an alarming response of “We can’t cut any money from public safety!” Many citizens were comfortable with the response, yet many realized there was something seriously wrong. I was, and remain, one of the latter.
When I made the decision to run for sheriff, I had an opportunity to speak with a former elected official who wanted to hear what I had to say. Once he realized I had the practical experience as a law enforcement officer, a college education including a Masters in Management, had successfully managed a family business, and had the discipline to become debt-free, he knew I had something special. He told me to get a 5 point plan on paper and to tell everyone about it.
Here is my 5 point plan:
1. Cut the fat at the top. There have been 3 ranks added to this sheriff’s bloated bureaucracy: Colonel, Commander and Executive Staff Officer. These will be eliminated. While these high-salary positions were added, two subordinate ranks were eliminated: Corporal and Master Corporal. A new rank structure and step plan allowing employees to test, train and advance will be implemented.
2. Put more boots on the ground. “Immediately reviewing Every Position in the Sheriff’s Office Top to Bottom to Address the Bloated Bureaucracy and ensuring the Every Tax Dollar Entrusted to the Sheriff is spent with You, the Taxpayer in mind.” (Mike Scott Campaign Flyer, 2004 – punctuation as printed in flyer). Utilize those resources for their intended purpose – protection and service to Lee County citizens.
Written by Ray Judah
There has been a great deal of press recently concerning several of our local Mayors traveling to Washington DC to speak to our Congressional delegation and United States Army Corps of Engineers about the dirty water crises stemming from the excessive release of polluted water from Lake Okeechobee.
Fortunately, Senator Bill Nelson and Congressman Curt Clawson are extremely supportive and responsive in working to address the harm to coastal estuaries on the west and east coast of Florida. In fact, Senator Nelson and Congressman Clawson are supporting legislation that would expedite federal funding for the Central Everglades Planning Project to facilitate water flow to the Everglades.
However, the real heavy lifting should be focused on Governor Scott and the state legislature. For it is the state that has jurisdiction over water quality. It was the Governor and state legislature that refused to use Amendment 1 funds to purchase land south of the lake to store, treat and convey water to the Everglades. And, it is the Governor and state legislature, during the 2016 legislative session, that recently approved a “Water Bill” that will all but make it impossible to clean up the dirty water by giving the sugar industry safe harbor from being held accountable in efforts to restore Lake Okeechobee, Caloosahatchee and our coastal estuaries.
By Glenn Mollette
The Pope messed up. The media has reported that the Pope questioned Trump’s Christianity because he wants to build a wall. ”A person, who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”
Interestingly enough Pope Francis lives surrounded by a 37 foot wall that was completed in 852. The wall has been reinforced over the centuries and has saved previous Popes in the past when the city was under siege.
Therefore, The Vatican must keep staunch security and they do. They have a tremendous wall and a small fierce army. Pope Francis, like all good men, has the ability to make a mistake and he did. Thus, the Pope is not perfect. Pope Francis is a holy man. He is a good man. He is loved by most of us, even those who are not Catholic. ISIS doesn’t love him and would love to infiltrate Rome, invade the Vatican and kill the Pope.
Editorial by Ray Judah
During the 2016 State legislative session, Representative Matt Caldwell (R) sponsored a new
‘Water Policy Bill’, recently signed by Governor Rick Scott, that undermines water resource protection from Appalachacola bay to the Florida Keys. The bill greatly impedes efforts to cost effectively prevent water pollution at its source and is silent on enhancing sound water conservation practices.
The replacement of the regulatory permitting process that included performance standards to address potential pollutant loading of lakes, rivers, streams and coastal estuaries with the sole reliance on ineffective Basin Management Action Plans (BMAP) will lead to a reactive, ineffective and costly approach to management of the state’s water resources. BMAP’s only go into effect after water bodies are severely polluted, with the costs paid by taxpayers, instead of those responsible for the pollution.
The Water bill also delays Lake Okeechobee clean up by eliminating a January 2015 deadline -which the state didn’t meet – for compliance with nutrient levels without creating a new deadline. More than 400 tons of phosphorus enter the lake each year and the state was supposed to reduce it to 105 tons. Water quality is under the purview of the state, so it is incumbent upon the state to enact proactive measures to restore Lake Okeechobee and downstream rivers and estuaries with timely enforceable deadlines for compliance.
By Glenn Mollette
Sarah Palin recently came out in support of Donald Trump for President. We hadn’t heard much from Palin in a while so this was a grand opportunity for her to get back into the spotlight. Her Alaska reality show that paid her millions of dollars is now a distant memory and most of us are glad. Palin is often referred to as Governor Palin but if you resign without finishing your term you shouldn’t be able to run around the country being called Governor. Instead people should refer to her as the “former Governor who departed her office because she could make more money and obtain more fame elsewhere” or something like that.
By Robert Anderson
As I’m reaching in few month my 50th birthday, I was wondering want else is turning 50 this year.
- AstroTurf hit it big in 1966 when the company was tapped to turf the newly opened Houson Astrodome. After that, the low-maintenance artificial turf quickly expanded. It was so popular, even the Brady’s used it in their backyard. 50 years after its big reveal, AstroTurf coats countless sports fields and parks across the country.
- Consumer electronics store Best Buy certainly looked a lot different when it launched 50 years ago. In 1966, Richard Shulze and a business partner opened Sound of Music in St. Paul, Minnesota. The store started out as an electronics store specializing in stereos. By the late ’70s, Sound of Music opened eight additional stores. The transition from Sound of Music started in the late ’80s when the company rebranded to Best Buy Company, Inc. The increased demand for electronics lead the store to become what it is today.
- Doritos, the cheesy guilty-pleasure first made its way onto grocery shelves nationwide in 1966. Resembling Mexican chilaquiles, Doritos were popular from the get-go, becoming the first nationally distributed tortilla chip. In 1994, Frito-Lay spent nearly $50 million in redesigning the chip. It must have worked, as Doritos is Frito-Lay’s second biggest brand.
- Shortly after Twister’s introduction in 1966, the game became a huge sensation when Johnny Carson played it with Eva Gabor on The Tonight Show. The intimate nature of the game caused some controversy, with parents and competitors claiming it was “sex in a box.” Despite the uproar, Twister proved to be huge and would remain in people’s homes for decades to come.
- For 50 years now, Wite-Out has come to rescue, fixing little mistakes and typos that an eraser can’t handle. Like all good inventions, Wite-Out stemmed from a problem — correction fluid would smudge ink. To fix the problem, businessman George Kloosterhouse and Edwin Johanknecht, a basement waterproofer, teamed up to create the modern day Wite-Out. The product was reinvented and bought out a couple times until 1992, when BIC purchased it.
Editorial by Robert Anderson Publisher Lehigh Acres Gazette
We tried to be nice as a news agency with the Lehigh Acres Fire Board and have run many articles about what the fire department has done to make this a better community.
But recently the Chief could have answered five simple questions and it would have taken him less than 20 minutes to answer but instead he sent out 403 words of crap.
A couple of quotes from Chief Wayne’s email,
“You have to look at yourself in the mirror and live with your decisions and if you can sleep at night knowing the “propaganda” that you spread about our organization…that is sad.”
He’s so afraid to loss his job….
“As Fire Chief, I have many duties and responsibilities and a very demanding schedule.”
But the Chief took the time to write 403-word email in his so-called very demanding schedule but refused to step up and answer five questions in which he should have already had the answers.
This department is going into a deep black hole of no recovery. The community has tried twice in many years to advise the fireboard and they continue not to listen.
It time for community to come to a fireboard meeting, next one is scheduled at 5 pm at Station 104 on corner of Sunshine Blvd and 16th Street SW on June 24, 2014 and let our voices be heard.
Lets fill that room with taxpayers and residents …….. on June 24, 2014
Editorial by Robert Anderson Publisher Lehigh Acres Gazette
Fire Chief donates money ……
Then Battalion Chief John Wayne donated money two fire board candidates, now commissioners.
Do they owe him or does he owe them?
How much do you really know about our five Fire Commissioners?
We have a commissioner that drinks way too much at a certain local watering hole. This commissioner even was taken to hospital for falling down stairs at that watering hole intoxicated.
Another commissioner has attended Alcoholics Anonymous and has no driver’s license.
One of the commissioners cannot figure out if he is a he or a she?
Also one commissioner has family member working for the department and has no idea how the department should run. But this commissioner blames the former chief and former boards for everything.
The last commissioner is so quite during the meeting you don’t even know if he or she is even there.
These are the people running your Fire Department and trying to double or triple your taxes in November.
The next regular monthly of the Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District will be held on May 27, 2014 and will begin at 5:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District, Station 104, 3102 16th St SW, Lehigh Acres, FL 33976.