New development should pay for itself as much as possible
It is desirable for new development to pay for itself to the fullest extent possible. That is the intent of impact fees, which are an important element of addressing St. Lucie County’s capital needs, such as expanded or new roads, schools, jails, libraries, other public buildings, parks and more. The availability of impact fees also provides important resources to maximize state and federal grant funding opportunities. Multiple taxpayer paid studies confirm more is warranted.
To the extent that impact fees are insufficient, expansion-related projects are either jeopardized or pressure is put on future property taxes, that is, higher ad valorem or other taxes. No — not more on us. The difference between what the studies determined is needed and the state-imposed capped amounts is already a “discount” or “break” unaffordable by county taxpayers.
Please encourage your local elected leaders (St. Lucie County commissioners and school board) to maximize impact fees to the extent that the law allows so growth might begin to pay its fair share. If not now, in this healthy “hot” real estate market, then when? We cannot, nor should we, wait another four years. Every new additional development built with the current and now longstanding inadequate fees are dollars lost forever, only to be made up for by you and me.
Let’s hope not. You can make comments, and more information is available, at: https://www.stlucieco.gov/departments-and-services/county-administration/innovation-and-performance/impact-fees.
Harvey Alligood, Jensen Beach
New law supposedly about ‘parental rights’ is a red herring and an insult
Under the guise of protecting parental rights, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the red-herring “Don’t Say Gay” bill, as it’s called. Advertised as significant child protection legislation, the law addresses a perceived problem that in actuality is rarer than spotting a polar bear in the Everglades.
The notion that elementary school teachers need to be directed not to discuss human sexuality with their young students, or that they don’t have the ability to discern what’s appropriate or not unless threatened with legal sanctions is so insulting as to be laughable.
Florida has a severe teacher shortage and needs to treat those professionals it has with the respect that their education and experience deserve. This bill is the antithesis of that. On top of that, this ill-conceived bill did not address who is to pay for the litigation that will ensue when opportunistic parents start suing teachers, administrators, and school board members for purported violations of this statute.
I strongly recommend that these individuals take out a substantial professional liability policy to cover any judgments that may occur when judges and juries start wrestling with the ramifications of this law.
Richard R. Rhau, North Hutchinson Island
Cleveland Clinic and its amazing teams couldn’t be recommended more highly
Over the last few weeks, I have sojourned in and out of the Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital. Just finished the last post-op follow-up.
It all began with a routine visit to one of my cardiologists. He took one look at me, poked me in the belly a few times, looked at my neck, and told me to go directly to the emergency room: “They’ll know what to do once you get there.” Did they ever — what a well-oiled machine they are. Before I could tell them where to send the bill, they had an intravenous in me with diuretics.
They took about six liters of fluid off me — boy, am I glad I don’t have prostate issues. This all ended a couple of weeks later with a MitraClip being attached to my mitral valve.
During the trip they tested me from one end to the other. They asked my birthdate so often I am confident I’m going to a get a card from them.
Along the way I encountered wonderful professionals — from the doctors through to the housekeepers, and all the admin personnel, staff, technician, aides, and nurses in between. All engaging, responsive, concerned, and caring. Well-educated, well-trained, and well-practiced.
Amazing: The docs I encountered are from America, Romania, India, Colombia, Brazil, Iran, and Asia. Unlikely these people just drifted into town looking for work — more likely they were purposefully, pointedly recruited here by CCIRH because of their specialties, skills, and pedigrees. They are the crème de la crème. And I am glad we’ve got them — I am better off for it, and so is our whole community.
I can’t recommend Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital and its amazing teams any more highly. My thanks to all of them!
Tom Peschio, Vero Beach
A judicious President Biden is unifying the West against Putin
A recent letter implies that President Joe Biden is the proximate cause of the Russian War against Ukraine. I vehemently disagree. NATO is more united than I can remember. Support, supplies and world backing for the Ukrainian government, their courageous leader and the Ukrainian people are unprecedented.
Our president has a formidable background in foreign policy from years in Congress and personal experience, unlike the previous president. I am amazed at the amount of military hardware arriving daily to this extremely motivated army.
Maybe Neville Chamberlain was misguided in trying to appease Hitler, or maybe he bought England more then a year to prepare for the inevitable war.
I fear what a Vladimir Putin or any other autocrat will do when backed into a corner. Biden is judicious, calculating, being responsible and unifying the west. His moral compass is intact, his decisions and courage are front and center. His words and guidance are helping to heal the lack of trust that NATO experienced with Donald Trump.
Drew Reichman, Port St. Lucie
This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Letters to the Editor: March 31, 2022