The message from Mayor Bob Buckhorn's office, "City of Tampa launches phone mobile payment option for on-street parking," includes a quote from the mayor: "This is one more step we are taking to make Tampa a more tech-savvy, accessible city."
Three years ago while I was on the Tampa City Council, my administrative assistant, Jeffrey Huggins, and I were aware that the city was proposing to spend $2 million on a new parking system that was going to cost hundreds of thousands of tax dollars as an annual expenditure for maintenance and upkeep.
We contacted a company called Parkmobile, which is operated by the firm that has signed a contract with the city, and we made a proposal to city Parking Department administrators. They did not accept our recommendation of the Parkmobile system, which could have saved us $2 million.
Our proposal consisted of replacing the guts of parking meters with a digital replacement that was going to cost about $90 per meter, and a number placed on each individual meter for the cellphone user to identify the meter where they intended to park. Once the person parking had registered with the system, there would have been a 35 cents service charge for administration purposes. Once motorists parked, they would put in the amount of time they wanted to park, and they would receive a text when that time is about to expire, so they could have the ability to add time.
This is the same system that the city of St. Petersburg was in negotiations to have installed when Jeffry and I tried to save Tampa taxpayers some money.
Tampa has some high-paid administrators who should have been capable of recognizing a way to save the city millions. Check the operating account of the Parking Department and see where it stands today compared to the years prior to the installation of the kiosk meters.
TampaBoth deserve praise
This is in response to Joe Henderson's column "Judge did it right, Hoe did not" in Saturday's Metro Section. Henderson compares two public figures' response to legal troubles and praises one and skewers the other. In what should have been a column praising both for doing the right thing, Henderson decides to use it as an opportunity to attack and discredit Hoe Brown. I am not sure if Henderson attempted to call Hoe or speak with his many friends, but if he did, he would have learned he is a good man, dedicated public servant and leader.
What more does Henderson demand that Brown do? He immediately corrects the problem, provides funds to those adversely affected, apologizes and accepts full responsibility, resigns from all public positions, and all within just a few days. Likewise, Judge Sheehan immediately apologized and accepted full responsibility but did not resign her position, which she is certainly not required to do.
For Henderson to say that Hoe Brown was "hounded" and "chased" out of office by "people wielding pitchforks and flaming torches" is inflammatory and baseless and not supported by the facts. It is sad that Henderson praises one public figure and vilifies the other, when they both did the right thing
David B. Williams
Since the Tribune has no problem printing the Christian opinion on homosexual relationships, I'll offer the scientific and rational counter-argument for the sake of even coverage.
Your space-genie friend is just a figment of your imagination - a fictional character in a series of Middle Eastern myths written thousands of years ago by barely literate sheepherders. If an alien entity is surveying planet Earth, and is deeply concerned with the sexual practices of its inhabitants, that being is surely no god, but a sad, nosy loser who needs to be told to scram and stalk the private lives of folks in another galaxy.
When you die, your soul will not be teleported to a cloud paradise where it will spend eternity in a celestial mansion with Prince Charming. You'll be dead, and those still living will only remember you as the outrageously ignorant and gullible person who justified ugly and irrational present-day prejudice with ancient bullshine.
Grow up and cast off your childhood fairy tale, acknowledge the fact that only other human beings exist and accept them for what they are before you've wasted your entire existence perpetuating a vicious deception.
TampaBible doesn't govern
The Constitution, not the Bible, governs civil rights.
At first, I thought the July 12 letter ("Evidence in Bible," Your Views) arguing that "God does not approve of homosexuality" as a reason to oppose same-sex marriage was a joke. Alas, not.
The Bible, written by Bronze Age flat-earthers, contains prohibitions on "sins" like pork, shellfish, mixed fabric garments, and plowing the corners of our fields. None of those are taken seriously today, nor should they be. Furthermore, what "God" believes about anything is irrelevant where citizenship is not dependent on religious belief (let alone fundamental literalist beliefs).
City Hall, not that letter writer's pastor, issued my marriage license. She can believe whatever medieval nonsense she chooses. She cannot force it on me or others, however.
Oil still best source
Michael Husband's letter July 15 ("Keystone concerns") rambles on with dubious statistics about the alleged dangers of oil exploration and transporting oil by rail and pipeline. He implies we must find alternate energy and states we are not doing enough. I think he has forgotten about the billions of dollars spent looking at wind, solar power, and the corrosive ethanol we are forced to put in our autos. These billions have been spent with extremely poor results. Oil is still our best source of energy.
We have literally thousands of pipelines in the U.S. carrying many products. Every industry has some risk of an accident occurring. Recently, fertilizer plants have had several. Should we stop making fertilizer? I suppose we could return to the horse and buggy days where he could pick up the droppings, dry them and use them to burn for his steam-propelled auto. Conveniently, Husband does not mention the mode of transportation he uses. I will venture that it's a gasoline-powered vehicle.
Charles "Chuck" Salzmann
New Port Richey