Positive step toward the future

 To the Editor:

Understanding the importance of sustainability isn’t anything new for the city of Kissimmee.

In 2017, I signed two initiative to support green energy and over the past several years the city has installed electric vehicle charging stations, replaced inefficient athletic field lighting with LED fixtures, deployed hybrid-electric sanitation vehicles that rely less on fossil fuels, made structural modifications to improve the energy efficiency at facilities, and implemented various automated HVAC systems to lower energy consumption.

On Tuesday, Feb. 5, I requested the Kissimmee City Commission to approve a partnership with Kissimmee Utility Authority to power 100 percent of its facilities with solar energy, beginning in 2020. Kissimmee will be the first city in the state of Florida to have 100 percent of its facilities powered by solar. The partnership between the city of Kissimmee and KUA allows the city the opportunity to secure a fixed energy rate for the next 20 years, independent of the fluctuating costs associated with typical power generation. This agreement does not require the city to make any capital investments or long-term commitments. This is a positive step toward the future as we decide to use clean energy, and is a decision that will benefit the city and its residents for many years to come.

 Jose Alvarez

Mayor of the city of Kissimmee

 Takes issue with Choudhry’s letter

To the editor:

Osceola County Commissioner Peggy Choudhry's letter to the editor (March 30 edition of the News-Gazette) seems to state that Osceola residents will reap some tax benefit because visitors would pay the tax increase on retail purchases.

I would like to know what math she is using to come up with that statement. The vast majority of Osceola residents can’t afford to shop in Orange and Seminole counties to avoid evermore taxes, so they will bear the brunt of the increase, not tourists, unless the commissioners are going to lower some other tax. We don’t have any clear accounting of how our 5-cent per gallon tax increase we approved last election is being used or even how much has been collected, and yet they still want more. Clean up the waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption in the county government and the rest will take care of itself.

Tim Schneider

St. Cloud

 Public notices should be in print

To the Editor:

Editor’s note:The following letter is in response to a public notice feature that ran in the March 9 issue of the News-Gazette.

Yes, Yes, Yes!  It is absolutely crucial that public notices appear in print for all the reasons you cite, especially reason No. 3 (Public notices must be publicly accessible), which impacts me personally (65 and over/no computer). I appreciate your activism and passion about this issue. I respectfully point out that all the people covered in item No. 3 are the same individuals whom your paper has deemed unworthy to use the "Letters To The Editor" platform by virtue of your email only policy. I understand that you have every right to make policy that favors editorial convenience over public discourse in the press. Isn't it ironically contradictory for a single newspaper to consider us both important enough to be informed yet too unimportant to be heard?

Jean Olson

Kissimmee