By Letters to the Editor for Thursday, Feb. 16
The article “District snubs its own ban on land leases” wrongly portrayed a long-standing land leasing program at the South Florida Water Management District.
While our program meets state requirements and has adequately served the agency’s needs for many years, the district is reviewing and amending its leasing policy. Contrary to The Post’s coverage, our governing board is engaged in this effort and chose not to delay several leases already approved while the policy underwent review. Here are the facts, and our plan:
As a custodian of public land, the district leases some of its properties as a cost-effective strategy for land management, providing public benefits ranging from best management practices that protect water quality, exotic plant control, aquifer recharge and tax revenue to communities. Leases often come to the district as part of negotiated land acquisitions. Others are part of a strategy to generate interim revenues for management activities until the lands are needed.
At the board’s direction, the district’s leasing policy, last substantially revised in 2005, has been evaluated over the past several months. We have sought input from stakeholders. Next month, I will bring the board recommended revisions to the agricultural leasing policy. These recommendations, which would greatly expand competitive bidding and public noticing and require board approval prior, are designed to enhance transparency and public access while maintaining this viable and cost-effective land management program.
Assistant executive director
South Florida Water Management District
West Palm Beach
State attorney race a primer on value of term limits
The Feb. 5 column by Randy Schultz (“How Florida Democrats keep GOP in control of state”) was illuminating, and it demonstrates why term limits are justified at all levels of government.
Mr. Schultz indicated that “one can assume that (Palm Beach County State Attorney Michael) McAuliffe is bolting mostly because he faced a tough re-election fight from his own Democratic Party.” Mr. Schultz indicates that Mr. McAuliffe’s challenger, former state Sen. Dave Aronberg, was being backed by County Commissioner Burt Aaronson because Mr. McAuliffe charged County Commissioner Jeff Koons with extortion, a charge Koons didn’t contest. Possibly, Commissioner Aaronson expected Mr. McAuliffe to ignore corruption by Democrats.
Commissioner Aaronson’s actions demonstrate why politicians for life must be term-limited, as they lose sight of why they were elected – to serve the people. Commissioner Aaronson is term-limited after 20 years, and I look forward to his replacement remembering that those in office are public servants and not just politicians, whether Democrats or Republicans .
SANFORD L. PEARL
Palm Beach Gardens
Romney rich on others’ backs
Regarding the article, “Romney tax returns end GOP storm,” a letter-writer defended Mitt Romney’s right to success and wealth. However, when is the right abused? Is it a person’s right to make millions while destroying companies that provide jobs for regular people? If anyone thinks for one minute that a private equity company helps business or the community, you don’t know one thing about private equity companies.
ROCCO L. POMPA
Ludicrous to compare West with valiant MacArthur
I read remarks in The Post comparing U.S. Rep. Allen West’s decision not to run in his current district to Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s decision not to fight at the surrounded island of Corregidor, Philippines, in 1942. Instead, Gen. MacArthur abandoned the island and the remaining American and Filipino forces to the Japanese.
Rep. West compared to Gen. MacArthur? This is almost comical at least and an incredible stretch of the imagination at best. Rep. West seeks to save nothing other than his political ambitions, which he clearly sees as fading with pending redistricting. Gen. MacArthur was clearly not a coward, but a general with the responsibility of thousands of lives and a war to win.
The American forces faced certain slaughter on Corregidor. Rep. West merely faces anonymity. This comparison is an insult to Gen. MacArthur’s legacy, career and character. Rep. West hasn’t the military acumen, accomplishments or character of arguably one of the greatest military minds of all time. Rep. West is not a “tactician” or “warrior,” as many uniformed and vitriolic voices have opined, but a calculating, self-serving blowhard intent on his own Washington survival.