Letters to the editor
Highlands TodayCounty commission
Published: July 27, 2012
Published: July 27, 2012
I am writing in support of my friend, Jim Brooks, who is currently seeking election to the office of County Commissioner.
I have known Jim for more than 30 years. During that time, I was the administrator of Walker Memorial Hospital and he was the director of Emergency Medical Services for Highlands County.
We were able to accomplish several things during that time that were of benefit to the citizens of Highlands County. Also during that time, I found him to be a person of high moral character and willing to work for the good of his community.
I think that Jim Brooks will be a good County Commissioner and will work for the well-being of all the citizens of our county.
Three years ago, I retired from the School Board of Highlands County after 41 years of service as a teacher and principal. During that time, I had the privilege of working with Wally Cox when he was finance director and in his current position as superintendant.
Due to his extensive background in finance and understanding of the budgeting process, he continues to make sound fiscal decisions in this struggling economy. Many of these decisions involve personnel, schedules and programs throughout the school system that are extremely difficult to make. Mr. Cox has not side-stepped his responsibility in favor of easier, short-term or popular solutions — a fact we should remember when we vote.
Looking at the broader picture, the responsibilities of the superintendant involve so much more than managing tax dollars. The hiring and dismissal of staff, evaluating and monitoring district and school-based administrators, curriculum leadership, dealing with legal issues, meeting with parents, students and the public, and working on various committees at the local and state levels are only some of the responsibilities.
Having been a member of his team, I have observed him carrying out his responsibilities with integrity and fidelity. He is a professional who is deeply committed to providing our students with the best educational opportunities that can be offered. Wally Cox is a true servant leader.
I believe it is in the best interest of the school system, community, parents and especially our children to begin the next four years with proven leadership. From my years of working directly with Mr. Cox, I know he has the experience, dedication and commitment to continue leading our school system and providing quality educational opportunities for the students of Highlands County.
In my view, the penalties imposed on Penn State by NCAA President Emmett constitutes a rank, mindless abuse imposed upon people and an institution that had nothing to do with the offense charged.
A group of individuals, the management of Penn State, conspired to suppress evidence of criminal activities by one of the coaches of the football team. That individual stands convicted of a series of crimes. No legal action has been taken against the group who conspired to protect the criminal.
Instead, the NCAA has decided to take Penn State football hostage, retroactively delete it from the records — wins hard won by groups of youngsters who had nothing to do with the offensive behavior. These kids, wearing ubiquitous jerseys and bearing only their numbers, took the field year after year to play football.
Losing scholarships and imposing a huge fine can only result in tuition increases for the students and lost opportunities for kids who had no involvement in any activity that is now advanced as the cause for these penalties.
Despite a total absence of nexus, a causal connection between the offensive activity and those who will be impacted by the NCAA penalties — the past and future students and athletes of Penn State — the sports press mindlessly sings the NCAA's praises. Sort of like killing hostages to set an example.