Bonita Springs has been involved in an e-mail dispute since the disbanding of the city’s Communication Advisory Board. I have been receiving e-mail from various persons embroiled in this dispute.
Included in those topics were references to a position with the title of custodian of public records.
State law requires that position to be elected or appointed. Having been a member of the recent Charter Review Committee, I researched the city charter and did not find that title.
I spoke on this subject at City Council meeting Oct. 7. At the request of city staff, the Charter Review Committee recommended to the council that the Office of Clerk and the Office of Finance be separated.
I asked if any modifications would be made in their respective duties and the answer was “minor changes.” The state law designating that custodian office to the clerk was never discussed.
I was recently informed that attorney/councilman John Spear questioned why this subject was not discussed by the Charter Review Committee.
He and the city attorney were there to “advise and propose” changes to the charter. Neither of these attorneys advised the committee of the state law pertaining to this matter.
I was honored to serve with the ladies and gentlemen advisors of the Charter Review Committee, and if we missed this office, council did too.
Spear is the elected official. He opted for a nonbinding resolution, failing to lead and include the office of custodian of public records in the charter.
ROBERT W. VANDERGRIFT
Jay Ambrose’s commentary on President Barack Obama’s calling out Fox News is correct to the extent that it is ill-advised for the White House to get involved in the fray.
However, the White House has not disputed Fox News Channel’s right to say what it wishes, nor said that White House figures would not appear on Fox News. And it’s certainly not the first administration to go after the press.
Former President Richard Nixon had the Federal Communications Commission look into broadcast television licenses held by the Washington Post.
Freedom of the press and the electronic media requires an unfettered atmosphere; hence, opinions from the far right on Fox News and many AM talk stations, left-leaning opinions from MSNBC and Air America are just dandy.
This counters charges that the press is liberal throughout. And 60 years in the broadcasting business has taught me that most pressure groups are more interested in keeping opposite views off the air than in airing their own opinions.
President, WCLV-FM Cleveland
Bonita Springs and Cleveland
One of the refrains often read here is that “we need less government.”
That, to me, is like saying that we need less weather. It’s so general and abstract as to be meaningless.
Government plays certain necessary roles in our lives. An example of less might be Somalia where they have no government — perfect freedom, but none of the necessary roles of government played either.
When I think of some of the roles played by our government today, many are, in the opinion of many citizens, well played: Medicare, Social Security, the military and Veterans Affairs, crime prevention, court system, interstate highway system, Coast Guard, Homeland Security, etc.
When people cite examples of roles played objectionably by the government, they often point to the post office. Of course, that is an entity in a dying business, accomplished now by contractors delivering catalogs that nobody needs or wants, while the profitable part of the business — rapid delivery of packages — has been siphoned off by FedEx and UPS.
Viewed another way, all roles that require organizations of people are played either by profit-seeking private enterprise, nonprofit charities or government. It’s easy picking to find examples in each category of highly functional and dysfunctional organizations — all being due to the fact we are merely human, with the strengths and weaknesses that implies, so our constructs are equally capable and flawed.
But, we are what we are, we do what we do. To anticipate perfection or failure in any organization of humans prematurely, without specific evidence of it, is naive.
PETER M. ZURIS
Bonita Springs and Rochester, N.Y.