Fire board, manager
Tampa Bay Water loses yet more taxpayer money in its latest loss in the court system. Judge James Whittemore rejected TBW's motion for a new trail citing weaknesses in TBW's evidence against the engineering firm it had sued. The board at Tampa Bay Water and, specifically, General Manager Gerald Seeber, should all step down or be removed.
Seeber continues to waste taxpayer money, now asking the appellate court to review the case. So far, Seeber and the board have cost taxpayers more than $20 million in legal fees, on top of the judgment that the contractor did no wrong. This is typical of our local government. Unless Seeber and the board are replaced, spending and waste will continue, and the alleged super-lawyer who brought the case to trial for TBW will continue to rake in millions in fees.
Freedom of association
So now Augusta National has women members. So what? On the scale of things that needed change, this was No. 864,237 on the list. Should this have happened sooner? I believe so, and many of my fellow believers do, too. Here's what else we believe: There is a double standard that many would like to overlook. Locally, the Athena Society is an organization convened to support passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. Today, when men and women everywhere are oh so enlightened on gender issues, men cannot join. Why? Because the Athena Society is free to discriminate on the basis of gender. Ditto the newly formed Tampa Women's Hall of Fame.
The Athena Society and the Women's Hall of Fame are both rostered by many of Tampa's finest women professionals and community leaders. They are not to be faulted here, but as an organizational matter, why have a policy based on an exclusionary practice? Would any "mens-only" organization be at fault? What would the hue and cry be over the "Zeus Society" or the "Tampa Men's Hall of Fame?" Nary a peep about discriminatory women-only organizations and clubs, another of which is Shapes spa. Why?
Freedom of association should be held up for any and all private entities. Shouldn't we expect the same from them, which is that private entities (like Augusta National) should have the freedom to associate with whomever they want? That doesn't necessarily mean discrimination.
Steffan F. Cress
The 'annoying toll'
Regarding the "annoying toll:" On a recent trip to Chicago, I rented a car. I didn't carry change for tolls. There were no attendants at toll booths, so I had no choice but to run the tolls. When I returned the car, I mentioned this to the rental company. They offered no help. Upon returning home, I tried to contact the Illinois toll collection agency. They told me I would have to wait for the bill to be sent to the rental agency and then to me. I ran $2.50 worth of tolls and was billed and fined $58 and change.
If you think Tampa's annoying toll is a detriment to tourism, consider what one feels about Illinois.