District leaders throw crumbs to teachers

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12:00 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017 Opinion

This is in response to Superintendent Robert Avossa’s teacher union indignation and Chief Financial Officer Mike Burke’s long-winded response to why teachers should not get real raises. (“District committed, but state budget key to teacher pay,” Saturday)

Palm Beach County is one of the richest in the state and receives far more money from county taxes than from the state or federal budgets. Teacher salaries are never the priority of our wealthy school district, which is not much different from the average corporation.

Shame on the above-mentioned CEO/CFO who rationalize their overblown rewards while telling the hungry teachers that there’s nothing left in the cupboard for them. They make sure that there is money in the budget for loaves for themselves while year after year, they throw crumbs to their teachers.

LESLIE DRINKOVIC, WEST PALM BEACH

Haynie’s developer

ties a clear conflict

Thank you for the investigative stories regarding Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie’s conflicts of interest. Please continue to pursue this important story until the entire truth is exposed.

I am a longtime (over 30 years) resident of Boca and have been concerned about why huge development projects keep getting approval from the City Council with no infrastructure improvements to support the population growth. These projects typically require changes to the code and variances that seem to be written by the developers.

The fact that Haynie and her husband are financially benefiting from these developers is a clear conflict and the fact that she chose to not mention the nature of her conflict sounds wrong to me.

DAVID WALTON, BOCA RATON

County near threshold

on stormwater runoff

I read with interest the front-page Palm Beach Post article “Brown water fouls county beaches” (Friday). Unfortunately, this is not a new story, just different names telling it.

For several decades, thousands of fishermen, divers, surfers, and boaters have been sounding the alarm on the devastating environmental impacts of stormwater runoff and the resulting freshwater discharges.

If the county and municipal leaders are genuinely interested in solving this problem then they should re-examine the positions they take when considering development proposals, land use changes, and zoning amendments. No amount of environmental mitigation can keep pace with the massive projects being proposed in Palm Beach County.

The fact is, we continue to pave over green space and drain the land to accommodate large-scale developments within our coastal watershed that have harmful consequences to the Lake Worth Lagoon and beyond. Lake Okeechobee water is not the culprit here in Palm Beach County; it is simply too many rooftops, roadways and parking lots.

Community leaders are often influenced by the promise of an increased tax base and job creation without ever accurately factoring in the long-term costs associated with these projects like additional public services, impacts to infrastructure, increased traffic congestion and environmental issues like stormwater runoff.

What about the jobs that are supported by clean water and a healthy ecosystem? What about the impacts on our quality of life? Growth is a given, but we could be approving far more sustainable projects.

There is a carrying capacity to every parcel of land and I am afraid Palm Beach County is nearing its threshold. Lip service and letters to the governor from our leaders are all well and good, but it is their votes that matter.

Judging from recent history, we can expect more brown water fouling our beaches.

TOM TWYFORD, NORTH PALM BEACH

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