Thursday, February 23, 2012
Letters to the editor

Speed limit is simply the maximum speed

This morning as I scanned the Citizens' Voice [column] I noticed that one complainer wanted "the daily rainfall" back in the paper, another urged voters to "remember who changed smooth running uptown corridors into the hideous stop-sign mess we now must endure." I agreed with both of these. I like to know Key West's rainfall amounts and we need lower speed limits, not more stop signs.

I turned to the letters to the editor section, where I read a letter titled: "Reckless cyclists put themselves at risk" by Brain Wise, who is "rather perturbed at the multitude of Conchs who insist upon yelling at me that I need to slow down when I'm doing the speed limit. If they think motor vehicles should go slower in that particular area, then they need to petition the city to lower the speed limit."

Mr. Wise went on to explain that, "the speed limit is the speed limit and therefore the law of the land," and that bicyclists and pedestrians were constantly jumping out in front of him and that he had a 2,300-pound Jeep and bad things would happen if they didn't watch out.

I booted up the computer and searched for "Florida speed limit laws" and received an immediate answer to my query under one of Florida's Basic Drivers Improvement (BDI) courses. "Remember that speed limits show the fastest speed you may drive under good conditions. You are responsible for adjusting your driving speed to the road conditions. If there are other hazards due to pedestrians, other traffic, you must also slow down. The safe speed is the one that allows you to have complete control of your vehicle."

Mr. Wise, you now know why multitudes of Conchs are yelling at you, (you're driving too fast) and I suspect that after yelling at you, they yell at city officials to install stop signs on smooth running corridors where people think they can always drive the speed limit no matter the conditions.

"Reckless Jeep driver puts pedestrians and cyclists at risk" would have been a better title.

Tom Theisen

Key West

Prosecutor restoring integrity in government

Front-page coverage of recent corruption convictions are indicative that [Monroe County] State Attorney Dennis Ward and his brilliant team are restoring integrity back into our county government. Mark Kohl and Catherine Vogel were members of a State Attorney's Office that embraced corruption. My certified pleas to that office to act upon crimes against the people were ignored. I invested many hours in securing the evidence necessary for any interested party to take action. I was never contacted by Mr. Kohl or Ms. Vogel, nor anyone else from that State Attorney's Office.

Successfully prosecuting political graft and theft has been a trademark of Mr. Ward. Protecting and serving all of the people, along with taking down those politicians who have stolen the public's money, is not an undertaking for the faint of heart.

Greedy and power-craving officials have had their hands smashed by Mr. Ward. He has returned our money to us. It is now available for its original intended purpose.

Cleaning up a county where a firmly entrenched culture of corruption had flourished is challenging. Securing convictions against these infamous homegrown crooks, with deep roots in the community, has been an unparalleled accomplishment. It required the enormous courage, energy and commitment of an extraordinary prosecutor.

State Attorney Dennis Ward has proven that he is made of the right stuff. Through his leadership and example, a restorative undertaking has been initiated in the way that the county does business. A government of, by and for the people has taken hold. Let's assure that it continues.

Monroe County needs more men and women who do not have a price at which they can be bought. Individuals with an ethical bearing, possessing the stature to resist the corruptive nature of power, while actually working for the people that they serve.

John Donnelly

Key Largo