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Bob Barnas responds

This situation that came up with Suzie Clark and me calling her a name is something I certainly regret. But this came out of years of frustration dealing with Ms. Clark.

Over the last three years, Ms. Clark has made obscene gestures to me, verbally insulted me and dumped dirt and string onto the commission dais in front of me, which got her escorted out of the meeting by the police chief.

The most recent incident where, in my opinion, she mistreated the senior citizens at the Civic Center was the straw that broke my back. That is what led me to say something on my website that I maybe should not have said. And for that I’m sorry.

Three years ago at a meeting, before I was a commissioner, I turned to Suzie Clark and offered an ‘olive branch’ saying, “We have to work together for the city.” She laughed at me and my attempt at reconciliation was completely rejected. I still wish our city could stop the infighting, but I don’t think it will happen.

With regard to Scott Jamison’s decision to close the road behind City Hall and my feeling it benefited his contributors, he must remember he is a public figure. The record is clear about who donated to him and the record is clear on the votes he made. Every day in this country politicians vote for and against things. If they benefit a contributor, that’s politics in America.  

I am not saying he did anything unethical or illegal or even unusual. As I said above, that’s politics in America. Although I found it hard to believe that the most important item he wanted to deal with after he was sworn in to the commission last November was the road closing. So let the reader be the judge. Did he make a vote based on his contribution?

Bob Barnas

High Springs City Commissioner

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Thank you

You have tremendously honored me with the opportunity to serve as your city commissioner for another three years. Running unopposed for re-election was certainly a surprise.

My first three years on the commission have been an eye-opening, as well as a rewarding, experience in serving all of the fine folks who call “The Good Life Community” home. I have been blessed to have had the privilege to serve with Mayor Coerper and Commissioners Hardacre, Boukari, Brown and Hills (former commissioner) in representing your interests.

With your support and sense of community, much has been accomplished in making our charming city even better.

However, there is still a great deal to do as we continue to face tremendous challenges in an uneasy economy.

The executive and legislative branches of government in Washington failing to put America first over partisan politics do not help the situation.

Despite the challenges ahead of us, you have my sincerest promise that I will do my utmost by remaining a faithful steward of the tax dollars placed in my trust in carrying out your business. I will do my very best to undertake every challenge and turn it into an opportunity for success.

Thank you again, Alachua. I am humbled by your trust in my abilities.

Robert W. Wilford

Vice Mayor, City of Alachua

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Thank you, Alachua

Thank you, Alachua. If home is truly where the heart is, then Alachua offers everything to capture your heart and provide a lifetime of accomplishment and gracious living. Alachua is a community with abundant employment opportunities and better prospects for all. It is a community that attracts businesses and homeowners for the quaint beauty of our city and the chance to prosper in a welcoming environment. Alachua is genuinely “The Good Life Community” by any measure. Thank, you citizens of Alachua for permitting me the privilege to serve three more years as your Mayor. Gib Coerper Mayor, City of Alachua

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A source of Revenue for the Federal Budget

How to handle the “Sequester” is the news of the day. The question is “What steps do we do to lower the federal deficit?” Raise taxes or cut expenditures?

On the expenditure side, there is no argument that we need to cut wasteful spending. The disagreement is over which expenditures should be considered “wasteful”.

As to the revenue (tax) side, it would be helpful to ask “Where might we find some additional sources of income?” Most ordinary citizens have been paying their fair share. In fact, the fair share that ordinary citizens pay increased Jan. 1 of this year. What about the large corporations who are so often heard to complain that they are over-burdened with taxes? Are they paying their fair share? Here are some interesting numbers:

From 2005 through 2010, General Electric made $26 billion in profits. Their federal income tax paid for that same period? Zero.

Bank of America made $4.4 billion in profits in 2010. To date, they have received more than $1 trillion (that’s trillion with a “t”) in bailout money, federal loan guarantees, and 0 percent or near 0 percent interest loans from the Federal Reserve. How much federal income tax did Bank of America pay on their $4.4 billion in profits? Zero.

In 2010, Citigroup made $4 billion in profits. To date, they have received more than $2.5 trillion (again, that’s trillion with a “t”) in bailout money, federal loan guarantees, and 0 percent or near 0 percent interest loans from the Federal Reserve. Their federal income tax paid on that $4 billion? You guessed it – zero!

In 2009, Exxon made $19 billion in profits and Chevron made $10 billion. Neither of them paid a dime in federal income tax on those profits.

The Internal Revenue Code is now over 72,000 pages long. Inserted into that code are special privileges for large corporations that allow them to escape paying their fair share of income taxes. These laws were put there in return for donations made by large corporations to the campaigns of our Senators and Congressmen. This is not a partisan issue. Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, are equally responsible.

It is clear that we are no longer a government of the people, by the people and for the people. We are a government of the corporations and wealthy interests who control our political process. The question is, “What are we going to do about it?” The time for that discussion is now.

Carlton ‘Duke’ Fagan

Jacksonville, Fla

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Say ‘no’ to cell phone tower

LTE2012The City Commissioners of High Springs will be considering placing a cell tower on top of the water tower which is a high density area. While there are volumes and volumes of research stating the hazard of the cell towers, money (sadly) seems to be the overriding issue.

According to countless medical organization research groups and environmentalists, the hazards can be deadly or at least seriously affects our quality of life. Simply “google” Cell Tower Dangers. Some of the dangers are genetic damage, reproductive defects, cancer, neurological degeneration and nervous system dysfunction, immune system dysfunctions, cognitive effects, protein and peptide damage, kidney damage, and developmental effects. It is believed that it may, in some cases, take years of constant exposure for the damages to surface. The most vulnerable are pregnant women, the elderly, children and small pets. There is so much I could mention here but it would take a considerable amount of space to list it all.

The United State has done the least amount of research. In England an apartment house with a tower on the roof was having an unusual amount of cancer incidents among the residents. It was determined to be the tower. I know there will be those who say that is a lot of “bunk.” While the cell phone companies have a great deal invested in keeping this knowledge out of the hands of the citizens, the research organizations have no financial gain from their research results. To the cell phone companies it is the dollar, to the research groups it is the health and wellbeing of the citizens.

I sincerely hope that the erection of a cell tower will not be approved. We should learn from history. How many times have we heard that something is safe only to find out later that it is indeed extremely harmful? Well we have sufficient evidence now and the choice is clear. Dollars against the health and wellbeing of the citizens of this community and most specifically those in close proximity to the water tower.

While choosing to erect the tower offers great long-term risks of illness and even painful death, the decision to not approve the tower is only a loss of that revenue. Is the money worth the risk? In time if we find out that indeed all the current research is true it will be too late for all those who have suffered.

That will be the legacy of this commission. Please don’t let money be the overriding factor in making this decision.

Leda Carrero

High Springs, Fla.

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