Bowden has abused his position for years

Dear Editor:

Dr. Bowden’s pattern of abusing his positions with the School Board goes back much further than most of us thought — even before he was superintendent.

The strip club visit took place 10 years ago while out of town on business representing our School District.

There were other recent articles that shed some additional light: “The Florida Senate’s Audit Committee unanimously approved a request from Senator Joe Grueters to expand on an audit released in January that questioned district record keeping, particularly for construction costs. Auditors had analyzed a small sample of the overall costs and found that, of the $75,000 reviewed, the district could only confirm $47,000”....(so, where did the other $28,000 go?).

In the second article, “an administrative law Judge ruled in 2015 that Bowden had showed favoritism to Willis Smith Construction during the bid process and that....did give the appearance of and the opportunity for favoritism.” Bowden was executive director of career and technical education at the the time, and the judge singled him out for being “overly biased towards one applicant.”

“And in 2016, the board learned that the price would be increasing by $5 or $6 million more than had been originally budgeted.” These are just a few additional examples of his pattern of behavior.

And now I understand that some of the School Board members are questioning the report findings that they commissioned by an unbiased third party.

What more has to happen before the School Board ends this continual distraction and drama?

Marlene Merkle


Being asked to vote for the ‘Old Boys’ Network”?

Wow! I’m overwhelmed with these mailers from the “Sunshine State Freedom Fund.” Who are they anyway? It makes me wonder who they are supporting, and why.

We used to call it “the Old Boys’ Network” when the power-brokers in a town made sure all their friends got the good jobs. I think it’s time for some fresh faces on our Venice City Council, not just the people supported by the Tallahassee “Sunshine State Freedom Fund.”

How about Sanacore, Brady and Feinsod for a clean look at Venice for the sake of the people, not just the developers. Unless you really like all that development gone wild, the red tide, the traffic and the sewage spills.

Lynn Jordan


We should be able to discuss issues civilly

Dear Editor:

I would like to make an observation that I have been thinking about for quite a while now.

Florida as well as the country is terribly divided and polarized today. People who used to be friends but who disagree on politics are increasingly saying something that they do agree on.

Wouldn’t it be much better is we could talk together about the issues in a civil manner and see if we cannot make some progress on resolving serious problems rather than just passing them down to our children and grandchildren, like we are doing now?

My observation is how frequently negative advertising is used that is actually unfair to candidates who are not described negatively as well as those who are. A current example is the negative, distorted and nonsense claims made in the political fliers flooding our community paid for by the Sunshine State Freedom Fund in Tallahassee.

I believe, and I hear that other people agree, that those ads should not be tolerated and voters might consider voting in opposition to them. Those kinds of ads encourage the often hateful divisiveness.

I understand that the candidates who are being supported in those ads have asked that they stop. But if anything, their mailings have just increased raising concerns about the motives for this outpouring of what must be huge sums of money promoting certain candidates for the City Council and mayor. What do these intruders in our local election want in return? What special interests are behind this?

Brad Hardin


‘We hated Obama,’ but never resorted to attacks

Since major networks use such vitriol against President Trump, while ignoring Democrat red flags, no wonder Democrats hate him!

Democrats only goal is impeachment from Day One.

Ironically the very things Democrats accuse him of are the very things they are doing, but media parrots their condemnations. If President Trump had a ham sandwich named after him, Democrats would impeach it!

President Trump accomplished many campaign promises but how would you know with his 90% negative coverage? The economy is thriving. September jobs report again showed the economy is strong. Hispanic and African-American unemployment remains at record lows. Unemployment dropped to 3.5%, the lowest in 50 years.

We hated Obama too, but we never resorted to attacking them, as they have with Trump supporters even at restaurants. Conservative speakers invited to speak at universities are shouted down by liberal students and deny their free speech. Huge Trump crowds in Minneapolis were met with Antifa protesters. Who’s going low?

The brouhaha over President Trump talking to the Ukraine president about Vice President Joe Biden’s involvement has been made into an impeachable offense, but if you read the text, it isn’t. They ignore the video of Biden bragging how he succeeded having the Ukraine prosecutor fired.

All 20 presidential candidates want socialism, promising everything will be free. Socialism promises prosperity but delivers poverty, while capitalism brings more people out of poverty. An example is Venezuela. — Esther Rachwal, Sarasota

Boat Parade needs community support

The Venice Christmas Boat Parade is rapidly approaching.

I am not on the Parade Board but I have been in the parade now for seven years. It is my opinion that we have one of the best parades and viewing areas in the state. It is exciting when the folks lined up on both sides of the Intracoastal cheer as we pass. A feeling I will never forget!

Viewing the parade is a wonderful night with your family that costs nothing.

This brings me to my point. I am asking for more support from the crowds, the Boat Parade needs donations. As far as I know, other than donations from the corporate sponsors, there have not been any contributions by the public to support this parade. The boaters that put the parade on do so at their own expense.

Other than a few small prizes and an awards dinner, the boaters receive nothing. Venice Boat Parade does not profit a single red cent from the donations given.

Parade costs include permits, insurance, porta potties, etc. Money left over goes to community organizations such as All Faith Food Bank, Venice Boy Scouts, Venice Youth Boating and scholarships to Venice High School.

Anything helps. For the price of a cup of coffee at a Starbucks, you can support this parade.

The webpage is:

Help us continue to make this the wonderful event that it has become! If you have a boat participate, it is addicting!

Frank Bozek, Venice


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