Letters: Affordable housing a critical issue in governor’s race

Affordable housing a critical

issue in governor’s race

I was glad to see that the editorial on Sunday, “Florida’s much-watched governor’s race hinges on state issues,” included affordable housing among the critical issues that the candidates for governor must address.

Too frequently, the crises of gun safety and sea-level rise tend to push this issue off the front page. But affordable housing is also a daily crisis for many Floridians.

Close to 1.94 million low-income Florida households, including a substantial proportion of our senior and disabled populations, are paying more than 30 percent of their incomes for housing. Meanwhile, our elected leaders since 2000 have stripped $2.2 billion from the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund that could have been spent on assisting low-income renters and homeowners. Our leaders must recognize that the Sadowski Fund is not a piggy bank they can willfully raid.

Affordable housing is an urgent issue in Florida and every cent in that designated fund should be spent on housing.


Robinson has always supported

at-risk school students

For more than 10 years, I attended almost all Palm Beach County School Board meetings and workshops. As a reading specialist, I volunteer-tutored our at-risk children for many years. I gave new books to school board members to donate to those schools in their districts for students in need. I became active in programs that Dr. Debra Robinson introduced. I was always appreciative each time I saw that Dr. Robinson was running for another term on the Palm Beach County School Board.

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It was clear that Robinson cared and supported the needs of our at-risk students. That’s what I believe in, too. Anyone who thinks that she did not, need only attend our school board meetings or workshops; this will show you clearly how her heart beats.


Gillum taking the high road,

should share his message

I am glad Andrew Gillum is taking the high road in the gubernatorial race. I hope that his supporters will not sit around eating crackers and cheese while discussing incendiary statements by the opposition, but share Gillum’s positive message to voters.


Independent, non-affiliated

should not vote in primaries

Many independents and many non-affiliated voters feel they should have the right to vote in the Democratic and Republican primaries. Let me tell them why they don’t and shouldn’t have.

These two organizations are semi-private clubs. Anyone can join the club, but you have to join. I live in Palm Beach County. I can not vote in Miami-Dade County. If I wanted to vote in Miami-Dade, I just have to move to Miami-Dade. No one could stop me, but I would have to move.

Move to where you want to vote. New York, California, Florida, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade or Democratic Party or Republican Party.


Trump’s stopping of pay raises

for federal employees not new

President Trump’s announcement that he intends to halt “across-the-board” and “locality” raises for 2019 is not novel or “outrageous.” During the Obama administration, civil workers were subjected to multiple pay freezes, as the federal budget could (and should) only support so much.

Incentive-based compensation promotes drive and personal development; flat across-the-board raises encourage complacency and discourage effort. It also takes away from the pot of money (and yes, dear friends, the pot is limited) that should be used to attract or retain the higher-performing employee.

Certainly, a reasonable COLA check (not a permanent adjustment) should be distributed from time to time and adjustments to baseline salaries should reflect regional differences in the cost of living. Neither of these, however, should be a routine, annual occurrence. District of Columbia federal employees received a 28.22 percent locality increase to their base pay rates in 2018; it is not unreasonable that it will be zero in 2019.

If we continue with the “everyone gets a trophy” approach to pay increases for federal workers, the net result will be a company full of very average or very unhappy workers. When that “company” is the federal government, all of us are negatively impacted.


Stop pedophile priests

though public embarrassment

Bruce A. McAllister is to be commended for his reform suggestions within the church (“Fundamental changes needed throughout Catholic Church,” Thursday). However, releasing priests from celibacy has little to do with heinous perversions committed against children.

Were they not protected clergy, their filthy deeds would be yet another punishable crime in any community. Such vile appetites cannot be dismissed that easily. At the very least, any convicted priest should have his photo displayed on the cover of every national newspaper and prominently in their local paper — followed by a public display, locked in the stocks, in the public square where their trusted flock can gaze upon these “holy men of God” predators.

Public embarrassment and humiliation are a good start as a future deterrent.


Trump shouldn’t bash

Sessions for doing his job

Once again President Trump rips Attorney General Sessions for doing his job. It just so happens he brought criminal charges against two of the president’s early supporters, Republican congressmen Christopher Collins and Duncan Hunter.

The president is not upset because they are involved in criminal behavior, but that Sessions had the audacity to hurt the U.S. Republican congressional race, where he felt two easy wins were in the future. This indicates if you are an asset to the president and the Republican Party you should be free from prosecution for any crimes you commit.

As the fallout from criminal activity associated with our president, his friends and associates continue to pile up, I wonder when and how it will end. My guess is, it will require a lot of presidential pardons.


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