I’d like to offer some additional perspective on the points raised in your recent editorial “State right to end speed trap.”
While it is a common perception that police operate “speed traps” to generate fees, tickets are actually not a feasible source of revenue for municipalities and their police departments. Fees from tickets are not directly submitted to the issuing department. Neither the officers nor the command staff has access to the revenue to fund their budgets, and they therefore have little financial motivation to issue tickets as a means of generating revenue. Additionally, in Jupiter’s case, we issue more warnings than tickets.
Hypothetically, if a city’s manager or its elected officials did provide policy direction to generate ticket revenue to balance municipal budgets, it would not have much of an impact. In Jupiter’s case, the revenues from tickets issued by the police department are less than 1 percent of our overall general fund operating revenue, making it hardly a blip on the radar screen of managing municipal finances.
There may be many different perspectives on why lower or higher speed limits make sense on roadways like Alternate A1A in Jupiter. Safety is certainly always of primary concern, far outweighing the myth that “speed traps” increase police department revenues.
Editor’s note: Andy Lukasik is town manager of Jupiter.
Why argue over speed limit? It won’t be enforced
Regarding the article “Speed limit restored along Jupiter stretch,” Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow is worried about the new 50 mph speed limit on Alternate A1A. Everyone has gone, and still goes 50 mph.
Where was the chief when we made several calls to the police and wrote an extended email to him after the 4th of July, when more then 100 people lined the beach between the Reef Club and Carlin Park and for three nights shot off bottle rockets and cherry bombs? Made it sound like being back in Vietnam. It is a violation of the town laws and the county laws. If it blows up or goes up, don’t light it up.
I guess the chief has his hands full with an extra 5 mph. So yesterday I passed Tony Penna Drive on Alternate A1A and set my speed at 50 mph, staying in the right lane down to Frenchman’s Reserve. I passed no one, and was passed by 42 cars. Interesting? Maybe next year he will join us with my video camera on July 4th at the beach, and maybe I can get a picture of the non-enforcement.
Police err using fear to oppose speed hike
In response to the well-written article about raising the speed limit on Alternate A1A, just once I would like to read about a local police or fire department department using a reason other than safety (job security) to oppose something. The Jupiter police chief is trying to instill fear among the public. Police departments have bigger budgets and better benefits year after year, all the while telling us how important they are. Advances in DNA and video surveillance have done more to suppress crime than any department is capable of.
Gay or straight, marriage credit will help all
Regarding “IRS: Equal tax status OK for gay marriages,” my wife and I are a same-sex couple. We have been together for 40 years and married for three. We got married in Massachusetts but live in Florida.
Since Florida doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages, we have filed our federal taxes as two single people, which means we paid less income tax. With the new IRS ruling, we are in the same boat as other married couples and have to file married joint or married filing separate. This means we have to pay higher taxes since we both have about the same income.
Although I don’t like to pay more tax, I welcome the rights and responsibilities that go with the right to be married. Now I call on all us married people to lobby against the marriage penalty and ask for the marriage credit to be restored. I should add that I’m a retired tax accountant.
West Palm Beach
Big Sugar turned lake into personal sewer
Regarding the water releases from Lake Okeechobee, residents and guests alike in Florida should be boycotting Big Sugar. Neither my husband nor I have purchased sugar or sugar-laden products for more than 20 years because we will not give money to one of the biggest polluters in Florida.
It is obvious that Big Sugar does not give a flick for Florida, not the people who live here or the environment. For years, Lake Okeechobee has been their personal sewer. This is not about making a choice between saving Indian River Lagoon or flooding people living next to the lake. This is about corporate responsibility. This is about jobs in Florida.
And, yes, boycotts do work. When the tuna fishermen were using nets that caught all the fish instead of just tuna, we boycotted tuna, as did many other people, and the tuna industry changed the way it fished. It used this new way of fishing as a marketing strategy and placed this on all cans of tuna.
Editor’s note: Becky Ayech is with the Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida.
Don’t put American lives at risk overseas
At a time when Americans are waging a new civil war between the haves and the have-nots, it’s time for our president to take serious stock of his non-foreign policy. The critical four-letter word is exit.
Ours is a civilization rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition, in which human life is precious, as opposed to the Middle Eastern tradition, in which human life is cheap and expendable. Compare the willingness of Israel to release thousands of murdering thugs for one kidnapped soldier and the Assad regime killing innocent babies in Syria with poison gas.
If the president has any common sense, he will immediately remove troops from this unearthly region, including Iraq and Afghanistan. There is nothing we can do to save those who don’t want to be saved, and, instead, view you as an interloper and unwelcome intruder. The president should continue to pay attention to the only key threat in the Mideast: Iran. Don’t waste a single moment to make right what will never be appreciated.
Greed destroying kids access to student loans
Regarding “Couple struggles with son’s high private loans,” the banks were the “middle man” between the government and the student. Later on, the government instituted the direct student loan program, to add competition and save taxpayer dollars.
Initially, the rules and regulations helped ensure an equitable relationship between the bank and government. However, over time the banks engaged in fiduciary rewards (payola) to various schools and universities to use their bank exclusively. As with all schemes, it grew, costing taxpayers hundreds of millions over the years. When President Barack Obama took office, he successfully pushed to reverse this loan policy and remove the middle man, saving a huge amount of taxpayer money.
Wall Street’s policy of greed over patriotism is destroying this country. The student loan obstructionism is intended to make it harder if not impossible for lower-income/middle-class kids to get an education that will give them some kind of competitive edge in today’s global market. It guarantees that advantage only for the rich and for our international competition.
Royal Palm Beach
Cruz presidential run would benefit Democrats
Regarding the article about conservatives cheering, “Run, Ted, run,” as a Liberal, I, too, want Sen. Ted Cruz to run for president. If he should win the Republican nomination, I predict the largest landslide in modern politics for Democrats.
This is a man who was encouraging Texas to secede. Or how about wanting to bring guns on the floor of the Senate, to show how safe it is? Then, of course, there was his McCarthy-like attack on fellow Republican Chuck Hagel, accusing him of conspiring with anti-American radicals without an ounce of any proof. If Republicans think he’s their new political savior, like Fred Thompson once was, I encourage him to try.