Letters to the editor
Highlands TodayCox a proven leader
Published: September 22, 2012
Published: September 22, 2012
Sandi Whidden, a valued educator and SMS principal states, "I have heard people comment that education should be run by folks other than educators. I think that statement is totally irresponsible."
Sandi, this is an issue, because Ms. Fleck asserts just the opposite. Ms. Fleck proposes that an educational expert needs to be superintendent and to vote otherwise is irresponsible. She supports her premise stating that the top districts in the state are all run by education experts.
Florida's top school districts may be run by education experts, but our lowest school districts are also headed by education experts. An educational expert does not guarantee success as defined by our state grading system.
The letter had two illustrations supporting the need for an "educator" superintendent. The first was the CEO of Ford would not do well taking General Patton's place as head of the Third Army. Remember, though, General Patton's boss was Franklin Roosevelt, a civilian: not a military expert. Few recent presidents were military experts yet they were commander-in-chief. They are civilians by design. In the school system, I propose the principal is the "General Patton"; not the superintendent.
The second illustration: the head of Marriott Corp. should not perform surgery. The hospital CEO is probably not able to perform surgery either. We don't expect it. The TV program "Undercover Boss" has clearly taught us all that most CEOs know little of what happens in the everyday world of their employees. A good CEO surrounds himself/herself with the right people.
Mr. Cox may not be an education expert. He is, though, a very effective superintendent of the largest employer in Highlands County. He was voted Superintendent of the Year by his peers. Apparently the state's school superintendents, many with earned doctorates, don't believe a superintendent must be a trained educator. Mr. Cox has made good things happen. He listens. He shows respect even to those who oppose him. He knows how to lead.
Electorate: don't let the "education expert" arguments fool you.
Highlands County School District
SNAP cards explained
I am an American, single and middle aged on Social Security disability. I am required by the government to sign a statement each time I am reassessed for disability, allowing them to remove any rights I thought I had. The statement gives the government permission to question my health and disability to friends, neighbors and family. In return, they give me $718 disability.
Recently, I found an old gas receipt dated Dec. 23, 2008. I paid $1.559 per gallon and received 4.5 gallons for $7. I could drive 115 miles on $7. Of course back then I only received $694.
I lived in a government apartment based on income. That $694 wasn't much, but, boy, could I make it stretch.
Last year, I received a $24 per month cost of living (COLA) increase. With that, the government giveth and the government taketh away. My rent increased from $198 to $206 per month.
My SNAP food assistance was lowered from $35 to $28 per month. This gives me $9 more each month to cover all the COLA increases in the last four years. It doesn't take a mathematician to know that with the price of gas, food, etc. that this just isn't possible in today's economy.
I would like to explain about the SNAP card. It isn't just a food assistance card. Some people choose to have their Social Security checks placed on their SNAP card instead of having a checking account — it's much cheaper. When they swipe their SNAP card, they have a choice of food or their Social Security money. They paid into Social Security, so they can use the money on their card for anything they wish, much like you would use your debit card.
Only food can be bought — not toilet tissue, soap, alcohol or cigarettes – on a food assistance card. The government uses one card for both. To the store and people in line it appears they are using food money, but I promise you they are not. It's sad the store employees don't know and can't explain this. I hope this helps.