Question board veterans
With all due respect to Steve Otto, his evaluation of Hillsborough County School Board members April Griffin’s and Susan Valdes’ evaluations misses the mark (“School board flunks its own evaluation,” Metro, Sept. 22).
These evaluations of School Superintendent MaryEllen Elia are worth examining and wondering why two relatively new and young board members would be out of step with the multi-termed old-timers.
One obvious observation is Elia herself. You think she answers to the entire board, but she does not. Elia’s excuses and decisions are always politically directed to the majority of the board. As long as she convinces the old-guard majority, she can do what she wants and get away with her enormous missteps. Instead of seeking a common ground with all, Elia plays the majority and wholly dismisses opposing views.
Children died under Elia’s leadership. Instead of questioning the newcomers, who challenged the status quo, question the same old veterans who gave such glowing reviews under the dark cloud of death.
School system in trouble
I consider your editorial on our superintendent of schools in Hillsborough County amazing (“Elia deserves contract extension,” Our Views, Sept. 21). I always had a suspicion that The Tampa Tribune was pro-MaryEllen Elia, and this editorial confirms my suspicions. I consider your view point alarming. Under the leadership of Elia the morale of teachers is at it’s lowest point in Hillsborough County school history.
In one area, the Gates’ evaluation system was designed to be a way to guide teachers to better instruction. She has construed the Gates’ evaluation system into a way of getting rid of teachers her regime doesn’t want.
The school grading system under Elia is so two-faced. To the public and media she paints a picture of how unfair the system is. In the principal meetings she comes unglued and threatens principals with their jobs, not taking into consideration the socioeconomic areas some of these principals work in.
As far as the school board goes, it seems that the older board members who voted her in as superintendent are the ones who give her the high evaluations and the green rubber stamp to do as she pleases.
Our school system is in trouble with this person in charge. Eyes should open and see the real truth behind this woman.
Fix abortion laws
As I read Keith Morelli’s story “Lawmakers cite abortion pill case in seeking law to protect fetuses” in last Thursday’s Tribune, I was dumbfounded. The abortion pill case only underscores how wrong our current laws are.
A man, not wanting to be a father and against the desires of the mother, tricked his girlfriend into aborting their child and will go to prison. Yet, had the woman, not wanting to be a mother and against the wishes of the father, decided to abort the fetus, her decision is considered sacrosanct. Same outcome but different results.
To correct this situation, we should fix our laws. Except in cases of incest, rape or an at-risk pregnancy, all decisions to terminate a pregnancy must require the approval of both parents. It took two people to get pregnant, and both must be involved in terminating or keeping the child. If the parents cannot agree, then the child is put up for adoption or one parent gains sole custody (without child support) while the other loses parental rights.
The alternative is that we enforce the laws equally and anyone who kills a fetus — mother, father or otherwise — goes to prison.
How many wrongs?
Regarding “Lawmakers cite abortion pill case in seeking law to protect fetuses:” So now we are going to propose a law that protects fetuses from violence. Will this be an equal opportunity law? Have the pro-abortion people been consulted about this? Planned Parenthood beware!
Or is this a special law that prohibits violence by one partner in the pregnancy but allows it by the other? Then isn’t this sex discrimination? And don’t we have laws against that?
If two wrongs don’t make a right, how many wrongs does it take?
Reopen the Pier
Not only has Mayor Bill Foster dropped the ball with the Rays’ situation (“Striking out at Tropicana Field,” Our Views, Sept. 29), we need to remember his leadership, or lack thereof, with the Pier situation. Not only has the mayor and council spent $4 million on the ill-fated Lens concept, in spite of a tremendous lack of support in the community, they are now planning on spending about $500,000 on Mirror Lake, all the while keeping the Pier closed due to budget constraints.
It supposedly costs $400,000 to keep the Pier open. Why not take $400,000 from the Mirror Lake project and use it to reopen the Pier? That would leave $100,000 to beautify Mirror Lake. A whole lot of landscaping can be done with that much money. We don’t need a major project at Mirror Lake right now. We do need to reopen the Pier, as our winter visitors are arriving and the hot summer weather is about to end.
Let’s make this a priority. We have endured enough hardship regarding the Pier during the last three years. Enough is enough.