Issues of affordability
Robert Knight’s thoughtful column (published May 15) makes a compelling case for conservation of the Lee property on Parker Road. A primary challenge is continued affordability to live in Alachua County.
We are already beset with ad valorem taxes that are among the state’s highest, multiple municipal taxing authority units, some of the highest residential electric rates in the state and a dependence upon unsustainable huge revenue transfers from Gainesville Regional Utilities into the city’s general fund each year. Removing another 4,000 acres from the tax base will exacerbate the already high cost of living in Alachua County.
Much county land is already exempt from local taxes — putting a huge burden on residents — yet local government maintains an unrealistic appetite for ever-more exempt land. This, coupled with local government’s antipathy toward any industry other than medicine or education, has created an enclave of extremes. There is an ever-diminishing opportunity for true middle-class families to afford the cost of residence here.
I lament what has happened to my hometown, but with a scant 15% of the population bothering to vote in city elections, we are assured of more and more wonderful ideas that are economically unfeasible and burdensome to “normal” residents.
Thomas Lane, Gainesville
Is this what we want?
Why do we vote for them? Think about the politicians who are in local, state and national offices — are they really representing us, have they done anything that benefits us?
Matt Gaetz proposed renaming a post office. Kat Cammack went to the southern border for a photo opportunity. Marjorie Taylor-Greene was kicked off committee membership before she even learned where her office was. Marco Rubio has the worst voting attendance record of any Florida senator in nearly 50 years.
Rick Scott wants to phase out Medicare and Social Security as well as raise our taxes. Ron DeSantis has made it questionable whether Disney can operate in Florida, although they contribute $7 billion in revenue for our state.
Is this what we want? These people are paid good money and a lifetime of benefits, for what, tickling our ears with revenge on the “libs”? I’ve got a suggestion, why not vote for people that will improve our lives? Is it possible to have a better society, and get along with each other? If it is, then we need to vote accordingly.
Debra Burke, Gainesville
Saving Russia’s soul
Vladimir Putin, who considers himself a devout follower of the Russian Orthodox Church, about a month into the war, quoted scripture at a Moscow political rally: “Greater love hath no man than this, that the man lay down his life for his friends.”
He apparently was referring to the thousands of Russian soldiers who died fighting the “neo-Nazi” government in Ukraine led by the Jewish President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Perhaps more to the point in scripture would be: ‘‘What does one profit if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
After murdering thousands of innocent civilians including children, Russia must find a way to exorcize Putin and save her own soul. The United States should take serious note of what can happen if an amoral, egomaniacal autocrat gets into a position of power.
Jeffrey Rubin, Micanopy
There is no way a male can have even an iota of the feeling of the pain and emotional distress of a woman who is a rape victim, and yet the justices of the Supreme Court, mostly males, are going to decide about the Roe v. Wade case. If this is not hypocrisy, then what is? In all fairness, all the male justices of the Supreme Court must recuse themselves from this case.
Whenever a law is enacted, the general consciousness of the society of the time, though unwritten, is part of the law. With the passage of time consciousness changes so the law is no longer valid, but the justices keep on interpreting the law as written.
This is what is happening, to the advantage of National Rifle Association, with the Second Amendment, and this is what is going to happen with Roe v. Wade. It’s so very unfortunate!
Nand Sharma, Gainesville
Protect every child
Some Republicans say that the reason they support abortion bans or restrictions is to protect every child. They should put their money where their mouth is and provide money for prenatal care, clinics to provide health care for poor families, etc.
John McAvoy, Gainesville
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