As you’ll note from The Tampa Tribune on April 19, an interesting read, Mike Wells, our Pasco property appraiser, has hired his former stepdaughter to fill a position in his office. Aside from the legal question of whether that represents prohibited nepotism, the specific circumstances of the hire are even more offensive.
His stepdaughter applied for a position as an appraiser, a position for which she was unqualified. She has no appraiser experience, no educational background in that field, or the required certification. That was no barrier for Wells, though, as he hired her any way at $46,000 a year — where a salary of about $25,000 would be the norm. And by the way, no one else was interviewed for the vacancy, and the job was not posted on public hiring boards so others, who may have actually been qualified, could apply. Wells has no problem with any of this, because “... We think she’s going to do great.”
I don’t know if this meets a technical ethical standard, but I do know that public officials like Wells are the reason the public has become disgusted with elected officials, and with government in general. Wells, thank God, isn’t running for office again after this term. Other public officials should take note not to emulate Wells’ example, if they desire any respect at all from the citizenry.
The writer is director of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Pasco County.
Rarified air in Tampa
Praise is due to Mayor Bob Buckhorn on a number of fronts, not the least of which is bringing Bollywood to Tampa. New businesses are coming to Tampa in record numbers, new housing units are being built by the droves, and there is an air in the city never seen before. So thanks, mayor, for what you’re doing. We encourage you to keep up the good work.
Still stuck with the bill
Regarding “A GOP mandate everyone should help pay for” (Letter of the Day, April 23): The writer has confused me. He implies that under the old system, only some paid; but under Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) everyone pays. First, I’m glad to see an acknowledgement that this country, before the ACA, did not turn away anyone from necessary health care. But those same people who were getting it at no cost continue to do so under the Medicaid expansion of Obamacare, and those of us who were paying for the unfunded benefit signed into law by President Reagan are still the ones paying the bill! The only real difference is that the new mandates make the coverage more expensive and lessen the chances of finding a doctor who will provide treatment under the onerous rules and low reimbursements dictated by the ACA.
Once all the accounting is in, we will likely find that fewer people have coverage now than before ACA implementation, and taxpayers will pay almost $2 trillion more for the program over the next decade as opposed to the “savings” originally promised. We have a website (healthcare.gov) that is a hacker’s dream for accessing personal information. We have no idea who has paid for the coverage. And we are paying millions more to try to win over the 61 percent of our population that is against the program.
What we had was not perfect, but it was the best health care available in the world as evidenced by the wealthy who made the USA their destination of choice for health care.
Regarding “Shuttle employed for dangerous crossing” (Metro, April 18): The loss of one child’s life and serious injuries to the other two is saddening. Methods being employed to prevent this happening again on Hillsborough Avenue are not the brightest, however. There is a crosswalk in the area for pedestrians, but they are choosing to dart across in an unauthorized area of this busy thoroughfare. Maybe I’m just too old to understand this (born in 1940) but as children, we were taught to cross only at marked crosswalks/intersections and even then, to look both ways before and while crossing. It was rare that a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle for many years. Today, pedestrians and bicyclists are killed or injured frequently.
James D. Blair