Shame on the residents of North Palm Beach who did not vote in the March 14 election. There was only one council seat up for a vote. It took me less than five minutes to stop in and cast my ballot.
Of the 12,182 residents, only 1,281 people voted, according to election results. The village is governed by five village council members. These five are responsible for the quality of life for residents in the village. It may not be a glamorous job, but it’s an important one.
Surely everyone has five minutes to spare to ensure that the council members you elect share your vision of how you want the village to be governed.
PATRICIA WILLIAMSON, NORTH PALM BEACH
GOP wasting time
Now that the GOP congressmen are realizing that their health care plan is a disaster waiting to happen and the White House says it will not pass, what now?
If instead of trying for seven or eight years to repeal Obamacare, they would have put their egos aside to think of the American public, they wouldn’t be in this fix. Their time spent would have been much more productive if instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, they would have adjusted the gears.
I think it all goes back to the first days of the Obama presidency when Mitch McConnell stated that he would do everything in his power to make Obama a one-term president.
KENNETH GANZ, BOYNTON BEACH
Trump budget slashes
jobs, not create them
The proposed Trump budget, “Trump plan guts EPA, State Department” (Thursday), would fire about 3,200 federal employees in the Environmental Protection Agency alone. Other deep cuts in federal agencies would take the livelihoods away for thousands more.
Trump was elected to create more jobs. Stephen Bannon, the president’s chief political strategist, says he wants to “deconstruct the administrative state.” This apparently means that he wants to fire thousands of federal employees, so that the state cannot function and give Americans the valuable services that our taxes fund.
This is the gutting of America and does not make America great again, but just the opposite. Trump’s budget cuts would eliminate the Meals on Wheels program by cutting all funds to Community Development Block Grants. So, he would deprive fragile shut-in seniors of meal delivery? Who needs death panels for TrumpCare?
This budget would also take all federal funds away from Housing Rehabilitation programs which worked to maintain the older housing stock in West Palm Beach and other county communities.
DUANE FLEMING, PALM BEACH GARDENS
Editor’s note: Duane Fleming was a planner for the Department of Housing and Community Development in West Palm Beach.
As ADP budget goes up,
more local dollars needed
Barbara Palmer, chief of the Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities, wrote a timely piece published recently in The Palm Beach Post, “Support jobs programs for persons with disabilities” (March 13), exhorting employers to consider hiring individuals with developmental disabilities.
She reminds us that March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. She encourages us to support Governor Scott’s budget proposal that adds $7.5 million to the APD budget to move more than 680 individuals off of the wait list and into Medicaid waiver services.
Here’s the problem: For every dollar directed to the wait list, Florida’s developmental services providers must find roughly an equal amount in their local communities. Rates paid to providers today are woefully inadequate and are significantly less than the rates paid for the same services a decade and a half ago. Meanwhile, the cost to provide those services has increased exponentially.
To the local sources who support needed services to this most vulnerable population: When the State of Florida moves people off of the wait list, please do not presume that it will relieve the cost pressure on your local developmental services provider. Each person thankfully moved into needed services increases the demand for local dollars.
To you, the local resources who supplement the state’s rates and help your local developmental services providers keep Florida’s promise to people with developmental disabilities: Thank you for your continued support. We need you more than ever.
SCOT KANNEL, BELLE GLADE
Editor’s note: Scot Kannel is the executive director of The Arc of The Glades.
Citrus industry needs
to oppose fracking
The letter from Mr. Dinerstein, “No harm, no foul; let Florida frack” (Wednesday), was clever but lacking facts. The chemicals used in fracking are highly toxic. Government loopholes do not require the oil and gas companies to release information to the public on the chemicals they use.
Researchers, however, have found that these chemicals are endocrine disruptors and cancer-causing toxins. Forty thousand gallons of these chemicals are used for each fracking site, 600 of which are benzene, lead, uranium, radium, methanol, mercury and formaldehyde. During the process of fracking, these chemicals leak out and can contaminate nearby groundwater, and the wastewater is sometimes discharged into lakes that supply drinking water.
Then there are the fumes from evaporated water, which can lead to a number of problems, including asthma, heart attacks, and cancer.
Anyone raising livestock near fracking sites would be subject to contaminated meat.
I would not want to consume any produce grown with water close enough to those sites. The Florida citrus industry should be carefully monitoring this situation.
ROBERT LANGER, PALM BEACH GARDENS