­­­An editorial by Gary Nager

Dear Mr. Nager:

Regarding your editorial about Will Weatherford in your August 27, 2011, edition, I wanted to point out a small error.

While I think that Will Weatherford is a great leader and will be good for Pasco County and the State of Florida, he will not be the youngest Speaker ever in Florida. That position was held by Doyle Connor, in 1958, at the age of 28.

While Connor was Commissioner of Agriculture, my father, who was at the time the County Agricultural Agent for Lake County, had many dealings with him and I met the commissioner on several occasions. He was also a fraternity brother of my brother-in-law at the University of Florida in the 1950s.

I enjoy your Neighborhood News.


Daniel M. Norris

Wesley Chapel

I received a few comments regarding my editorial about Dist. 61 State Rep. Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel), which appeared not only in our Aug. 27 Wesley Chapel issue, but also in our Aug. 13 New Tampa issue.

Mr. Norris’ letter was the only one which pointed out that Weatherford will only be the youngest Republican Speaker of the House in Florida’s history, not the youngest state Speaker ever.

Most of the other comments I received were regarding the, well, ebullient tone of the editorial and the fact that I said that as the head of the State House redistricting committee, Will and his committee could use redistricting to help his party in certain voting districts, despite the fact Florida voters passed Amendments 5 & 6 to the Florida Constitution in 2010. Amendment 5 stated that “Legislative districts or districting plans may not be drawn to favor or disfavor an incumbent or political party,” but more political folks than me (including a group called “Fair Districts Florida”) have said that the amendments only diminish the party in charge’s power over redistricting. It doesn’t take that power away entirely.

I have written many political editorials over the years, but they’re usually associated with an upcoming election because politics is neither my specialty nor in any way my passion. My intent with the editorial was to try to convey the really good feeling I had that day listening to Will speak, despite the fact I’m a registered Republican who endorsed President Obama in last year’s Presidential election.

And, I believe that what I felt about Will pervaded the room at Saddlebrook Resort on August 2, and many I spoke with afterwards — Republicans and Democrats alike — seemed to agree.

I promise, however, that as we approach the 2012 elections, I will spend some time with the future Speaker and outline more clearly for you what he believes his accomplishments have been in office and what his plans are to help our state and local economies going forward.


Our 2012 Reader Dining Survey & Contest!

Please note that this is the first issue of 2011 inviting you to take part in our annual Reader Dining Survey & Contest. Not only is the contest a way for you to win some great prizes, it also lets local restaurant owners know how Neighborhood News readers feel about them, their food and their service, especially in these tough economic times.

We also ask those who do submit entries onto the contest to please try to remember that Wesley Chapel restaurants are those located north of County Line Rd. on Bruce B. Downs Blvd., on S.R. 54 from Lexington Oaks to Morris Bridge Rd. (near I-75) & all of S.R. 56.

In other words, Bonefish Grill and Remington’s Steakhouse are both Wesley Chapel restaurants, while Five Guys Burgers & Fries and Bruster’s Real Ice Cream are New Tampa-based eateries. In addition, while Amici Pizza is very close to Wesley Chapel on S.R. 54, it is located outside of zip codes 33543-45, so it isn’t technically in Wesley Chapel.

We know it’s hard to keep track of which places are located where, but we hope you’ll do the best you can to keep things straight when you enter.

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