Aungst Pays $5,000 And Sends A Message - Ex-Clearwater mayor Brian Aungst paid $5,000 in order to settle a pending city council matter about his voting on a condominium project while buying a condo unit as a personal investment.
Some folks saw this as an ethical issue (as an elected official).
What was interesting about the recent city council discussion on this matter was that one council member wanted to lower the amount from Aungst to $1,000 and another city council member, who has a law degree, said it was no more important than someone jaywalking.
Amazing, both statements. Of course, the one with an alleged legal mind, should have also stated that perhaps this is a precedent that future and current council members could follow. And, when you think about it, why not use inside information and influence to make a quick profit on all the development happening on Clearwater Beach!
Message to future city council members?
Of course, I do not believe Aungst did much different than some other city council members who work business deals where they have some involvement and vote on the issues at City Hall. This is simply a matter where each elected official should inform the city attorney of each potential voting conflict and receive legal opinion from the city attorney whether to vote on the issue.
At the end of the day, the city attorney would be the decision-maker, and thus, offer protection to elected officials who would try to avoid any form of misconduct.
Drive Carefully - If you drive across the Sand Key Bridge, I suggest you observe the speeding limit of 30 mph. Why?
On the Sand Key side of the bridge you might find a friendly Clearwater police officer with a radar gun pointed at your car. If you are speeding, and that might be as slow/fast as 42 mph, then you might notice a police officer standing in the middle of the road waving for you to pull over to the side. Ticket.
This is where you would be given a speeding ticket. (In excess of $150.)
This is where it could get more interesting.
For instance, if you are asked to show your registration paper, you might fumble around and show an old piece of paper (outdated). Your registration, on the other hand, is the small white paper that once had your vehicle tag sticker attached. Some folks take off the license plate sticker and toss the remaining white paper. Bad thing to do.
The fine for not keeping the white registration sticker is about $70. Thus, your unfortunate 42 mph stop could result in a fine of over $200.
However, there is a bit of good news. If you go to the county courthouse they would only charge you $7 instead of the $70 for a replacement sticker (registration).
Does this sound like something to avoid?
Drive slow on the Sand Key Bridge … and, for that matter, everywhere where there is a posted speeding sign.
Hillary Rates George W. - I know that most of you folks will find this amazing, but Hillary Clinton stated in a Harlem Baptist Church (so much for separation of church and state) that the Bush administration would be rated the worst in history. Wow.
That was amazing utterance since Hillary's husband had been rated one of the worst presidents … and she was the one who pushed national (tax increase) health plan that was rejected by Democrats and Republicans.
I guess anyone can talk politics in a church on holidays. Federal exemption of some sort, I guess.
Here is the question Hillary has avoided and not answered for many years:
How did a Rose Law Firm file under subpoena end-up on a White House desk?
No answer, said Hillary. Yet, the law file was under legal search for years.
Criticize Bush? Yes, anyone can take shots at the president - including Hillary Clinton. Of course, she is not saying this stuff since she wants to be the first woman president. No.
Can you imagine trusting Hillary as president of the U.S.?
Iran - Does anyone believe comments from Iran's leaders that they are merely trying to develop nuclear energy while creating "hot" uranium?
In a recent online poll, over 90 percent of voters did not believe Iran's leaders' comments about nuclear development.
It is difficult to explain why the United Nations would not take firm action against Iran due to its development of nuclear weapons. Iran is a threat to world peace.
Perhaps one day France will respond to the growing threat from Iran.We can only hope that such a day is not after some nuclear disaster. Maybe this is why Albert Einstein pushed (in his letters) for the U.S. to not share nuclear knowledge with small nations. Einstein saw a three or four member alliance controlling nuclear knowledge, with the U.S. leading the way. Einstein thought this would be the best way to protect the world from this new military weapon of mass destruction. Never did Einstein think such a terrible weapon could be developed in his lifetime.
Roscoe Tanner - Some of you tennis players might remember hard-serving Roscoe Tanner winning tennis tournaments in the late 1970's.
Tanner is best remembered for his winning the Australian Open and coming in second at Wimbleton. Tanner did not earn the type of money earned in today's "Grand Slam" tournament events, but did earn over $2 million during his playing days.
Tanner fathered a daughter and did not make all of the child support payments prescribed by the court. Not a good thing.
He has run into trouble more than once during his retirement from tennis … much of it due to child support payments. The latest trouble of Roscoe Tanner had him placed in a Pinellas County jail.
It is a sad commentary for this once great tennis player.
The money is gone - his job opportunities are limited - and he is serving two years in Pinellas County jail.
What surprises me most about this story is the lack of support by the professional tennis community.
O.J. Simpson had support from the NFL, still receives a monthly $25,000 check fully protected from creditors. Perhaps this is an example of where professional sports agents sometimes fail their clients who make big money during the short period of time.
What could be next for Tanner? Teaching tennis at a local tennis club, if he is lucky.
Fortune Magazine's 100 Best - Fortune Magazine ranked the top 100 companies to work for in America. Only four companies made the list from Florida.
1. Baptist Health Care, Pensacola - 4,003 employees
2. Baptist Health South Florida, Coral Gables - 10,796 employees
3. JM Family Enterprises, Deerfield Beach - 4,114 employees
4. Publix Super Markets, Lakeland - 129,412 employees
Tax Compliance - According to the Tax Foundation, the cost of complying with the U.S tax code in 2005 cost U.S. taxpayers $265.1 billion.
Tax compliance costs 22 cents per dollar to U.S. taxpayers.
This is an amazing fact and should cause many people to wonder why our legislators avoid this issue. Imagine the cost savings if there was a simple flat tax?
Bottom line? People would keep more of their money - just in compliance savings.
Does anyone care?
Probably not, but they should.
Realism - Air castles are fine - until you step out of the door. - Unknown author.
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