Letters to the editor, Nov. 20

Wrong approach

I’d like to applaud the New Port Richey City Council for taking action to help curb prostitution. I hope they’ll take further action to help end oxycontin sales in our neighborhoods. However, there’s a hidden issue with New Port Richey’s new prostitution ordinance: it’s unconstitutional.

Our police absolutely need help in ending the problem, but we also can’t overstep the bounds and expose our city to being sued. The Florida Supreme Court has already held to by unconstitutional a 2002 West Palm Beach anti-prostitution ordinance similar to New Port Richey’s new ordinance.

Meanwhile, I’ve already brought to the council’s attention a prostitution “rule” already in place in Tampa. It uses the same criteria as our ordinance but relies on probation terms set by a judge and the State Attorney’s Office to enforce it. When someone is arrested for prostitution they are given probation and one of the terms added would prohibit loitering within specific zones.

We can solve our city’s issues and be smart about it at the same time.

Jonathan Tietz

New Port Richey

Off target

The NPR leaders can’t think of any better way of spending tax dollars than to encourage the police to entrap poor women looking to sell the only thing they have. They want to lock a woman up for six months, at enormous expense, for a victimless crime, and waste the time of law enforcement over the sexual habits of adults.

They could have spent it on road improvement, beautification, education, healthcare, counseling, addiction treatment, job placement and training, housing or bettering society in any other way.

But being obsessed with women’s bodies and governmental control over what a woman can do with her own body, they have decided to burden taxpayers with promoting a moral agenda not every subscribes to.

I could understand arresting people if they were having sex on bus benches, but really, watching someone getting picked up in a car is offensive? Spending the public’s money on this nonsense is an outrage! How much money are they spending on this ridiculous crusade?

Kristen Lawver


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