LETTER: Opposition to transparency should come as no surprise
To the Editor:
Hypocrisy is defined as “The practice of professing standards, beliefs, etc., contrary to one's real character or actual behavior, especially the pretense of virtue and piety.”
Hypocrisy is exactly what readers saw in the June 28 Herald article headlined: “Partisan elections become law for city, school board.” The article was about state House Bill 490, sponsored by Rep. Mike Stone.
It should not be a surprise to anyone that Sanford Mayor Cornelia Olive, Mayor Pro Tem Samuel Gaskins, school board chairman Lynn Smith and school board vice chairman John Bonardi are opposed to transparency. Since elected to their respective offices, they have certainly been less than open with the public, especially about economic issues.
This mayor and city council has, for years, overtaxed city residents and collected excessive water/sewer rates while maintaining an outrageous fund balance that should have been used to reduce taxes. Instead, the council has just voted to increase taxes. This governing body does not have credibility.
It is laughable when Mr. Gaskins says that he is concerned about spending $35,000 on a primary election when he continually supports a city golf course that loses about six times that amount each year.
Smith and Bonardi have supported spending taxpayer money on “technology” and other non-essential items that have little to do with educating students. These funds should be used for classroom personnel salaries. Teachers and their assistants are competing with tech notebooks for funding. As candidates, Smith and Bonardi ran as Republicans, but as school board members, their spending habits were completely aligned with Democrats.
The bottom line is that these Democrats would like to continue sliding into office under the radar and not be associated with Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Eric Holder, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.
Now, thanks to Rep. Stone, Lee County voters will have a better opportunity to know which candidates support bigger government, higher taxes, crippling regulations, taxpayer-funded abortions, same-sex marriages and prefer technology and other frills over the employment of school personnel.