Here’s a riddle for you: Which has more common sense and public approval, Flagler Beach City Commissioner Kim Carney? Or a pile of rocks?
Anyone who has driven A-1-A through the quaint beach community lately has noticed the growing number of cairns – rocks carefully placed one atop another to form a small tower of stacked stones.
Since prehistory, cairns have been built by societies and individuals for a variety of purposes, from trail markers and navigational aids to sentimental memorials and personal commemorations.
And sometimes, they are constructed by tourists and locals in small beach towns just for fun.
Last week, my little niece and I took the coast road from St. Augustine to Ormond Beach, and as we passed the short stretch in Flagler Beach, she pointed and smiled – noting how “cool” the rock formations were as we tried to count them driving past.
She wanted to stop, get some ice cream, and check out the cairns. You know, actually visit the community and contribute to the local economy in some small way.
How unique is that?
When she asked who made the interesting structures, I responded that it was most likely beach walkers having a little fun with the erosion protection rocks. But then I thought to myself, maybe these strange structures are some mysterious monument to the abject stupidity of government intervention in the natural process – and the mean-spiritedness of some small-town politicians?
After all, the Brainiac’s at the Florida Department of Transportation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers believe that doing the same thing over-and-over again while expecting a different result is good public policy – and a sound use of our hard-earned tax dollars.
“Let’s see, we piled granite and coquina stones at the dune line to prevent erosion – and Hurricane Matthew took our rocks – and half of A-1-A – with it. So, what should we do?”
“I know! Let’s pile more granite and coquina stones on the dune line. Good idea!”
The Corps of Engineers is currently “studying” beach renourishment options, and the initial design phase won’t be finalized until the middle of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season. . .
Naturally, whenever people actually attempt to derive some level of pleasure, relaxation, or enjoyment from their public beach invariably the “Fun Police” arrive on-scene and put the kibosh on that shit.
Enter Flagler Beach City Commissioner Kim Carney.
In a recent Daytona Beach News-Journal article entitled, “Stone stacks piling up in Flagler Beach,” Commissioner Carney is quoted, “They’re getting too high, they’re too distracting.”
“The height is just getting out of control.”
“People aren’t even supposed to be over there,” Carney said of the stretch of S.R. A1A where most of the cairns have appeared over the past several weeks. “It’s a construction area, it’s posted ‘No Trespassing.'”
Out of control? What a nit-picking asshole.
“I believe those rocks are there for a purpose, and they’re not being used for that purpose,” she said.
At what point do certain elected officials transition from public servant to boarding school rector with a God complex?
Especially one that is up for re-election. . .
Politicians like Kim Carney wouldn’t know fun, or a bright idea, if it bit them on the backside – let alone their role in governing a small tourist community. But they damn sure know how to throw their weight around and crush anything they don’t understand.
For example, does anyone remember Commissioner Carney’s wholly inappropriate involvement in a sexual battery case involving James McDevitt – the son of long-time Flagler Auditorium Director Lisa McDevitt – who pled guilty in 2015 to violently raping a woman in Flagler Beach?
In an excellent editorial on the sordid ugliness by Pierre Tristam in FlaglerLive entitled, “The Inappropriate Commissioner Kim Carney,” wrote:
“Carney is a friend of the 22-year old’s mother, Lisa McDevitt, and has led fund-raisers on her behalf. No one begrudges that involvement. But Carney went much further. She sought to discredit the victim of the rape and elicit a story from FlaglerLive to that effect, while also attacking the local judicial system and the victim’s advocate system.”
Did I mention that Commissioner Carney sits on the Flagler Auditorium Governing Board?
Because she does.
The fact is, Kim Carney represents everything I despise about small-minded, self-serving politicians. In important issues, such as a violent sexual assault – or matters as insignificant as a budding tradition of building small stone cairns on a quiet beach – she feels the need to insinuate herself.
Look, you may think I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill – and perhaps I am. But often it’s the seemingly trifling matters of governance where we uncover the dark side of those in power.
And intentionally attempting to discredit and bash the victim of a violent sexual assault is reprehensible – regardless of who, or what, you are.
In my view, people like Commissioner Carney are bullies – politicians who find fault and threaten the full force and might of government – simply because they can, and that is counterproductive and unacceptable.
When I told my niece that someone wants to take down the cool little stone sculptures we saw, she said that person was a “doody-head.”
I hope those trespassing rock-stackers, the voters in Flagler Beach, remember Commissioner Doody-Head’s ridiculous pettiness on March 7th.
(Photo Credit: The Daytona Beach News-Journal)