Small town thinking prevents jobs growth

In Response to an article Hard Times Ahead in Retail, Novemebr 27, 2008, This was published on July 8, 2008 in the Hernando Times Section of the  St. Petersburg Times.


Re: Times Editorial, Clear plan needed in Hernando to reverse economic woes Two and a half years ago on September 29th2006 my opinion was published Re: County Leadership remains stuck in the 90’s I praised Mr. Michael McHugh for a presentation to the Commissioners which at the time showed insightfulness and the need for leadership. Here we are again discussing how this county is going to create higher paying jobs by bringing in businesses and providing them with qualified educated workers. I must admit that I had hope and confidence at that time that Mr. McHugh would accomplish this objective. To my dismay, he hasn’t. If the best we can do is bring in companies who bring with them 10 to 20 paying jobs this county is in trouble for many years to come.

It has been said before, this county can not depend on residential construction, real estate, and government employment alone to support our infrastructure and services provided. Lowering impact fees to stimulate the economy in Hernando is a ridiculous suggestion placed before the commissioners. Homebuilders, Developers, and Real Estate Brokers and Agents are the only ones who will benefit from this rip off at the expense of the taxpayers and the government; why don’t they lower their profits and commissions to stimulate growth.


The real problem in Hernando County is planning and foresight. This county faces many challenges in the future. To accomplish what is best for the Families and Businesses of this county requires a group of non-partisan leaders. We need leadership, with vision, and the will and constitution, to walk the talk. We need insightful leaders who will make decisions for the betterment of Hernando County as a whole. Decisions based on realistic objectives and goals that fall within the constraints of the Counties Comprehensive Plan. We don’t need politicians influenced by local lobbies we need Independent Leaders in this county. We need leaders who oppose sprawl and encourage managed growth. We need leaders who can go outside the county, state and country to bring in companies who create more than 20 jobs.

Hernando County has educated workers who leave the county because there are no job opportunities available in the county for them to stay. We are no longer a retirement community we are a younger family tax base who is in need of more than minimum wage job opportunities and who are burdened with the long commute to Tampa or St Petersburg.  Our children in this county who learn a trade or continue on to college; most likely leave after completing their education because of the lack of job opportunities in Hernando County or if they don’t leave they become minimum wage employees with no opportunity for personal growth.

It is time for the focus to be placed on building a tax base that is provided with opportunities for employment in other industries and services other than real estate and minimum wage retail and service jobs.


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