Volusia Politics: Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find.

Anyone who still believes Volusia County residents aren’t overtaxed and underrepresented need look no further than the County Council’s recent two-faced insult to the Great Lords of Karma.

Trust me.  It’s not good to piss those guys off – the All Seeing Eye, Goddess of Liberty, Justice and Opportunity, Mercy and Compassion, Truth and Wisdom, and the Lord of Peace and Devotion.

According to ancient teaching, “These Cosmic Beings, for eons, have evolved to the point wherein they are perfectly suited and fitted, by their consciousness, to be arbiters of karmic situations, and how these situations shall out-picture in the physical world.”

 Heavy Ju-Ju, baby.

The Karmic Board will turn your sorry ass into a fence post for your sins against the weak and vulnerable – just because they can.  I’ve seen them do it on foggy, moonless nights in places like backatown New Orleans, The Battery in Charleston, and in the moss-strewn alleyways of Cassadaga.

For some reason, the Divine Director has always looked on me with great favor – and protected me from all harm.  He knows that while I am a terribly flawed character – I am pure in spirit – and thirsty for the truth.

How we treat others is how we shall be treated, and I fear some will not be so fortunate when the cosmic beings start tallying the score. . .

Being reincarnated as a filthy ditch pig – or a three-legged sewer rat – is almost too much for some to comprehend.

During yesterday’s transportation workshop, county manager Jim Dinneen and what passes for our elected representatives, proclaimed that there will be no Votran bus service to the new Tanger Outlet in the foreseeable future.

However, they benevolently agreed to expand service to the Walmart on SR-44 in New Smyrna, and to areas along Howland Boulevard in Deltona.

Simply a matter of money, we’re told.

In January, the Daytona Beach News-Journal issued a spot-on editorial pointing out Volusia County’s failure to anticipate public transportation needs in the run-up to the Tanger development – and their inability to adjust routes and services when the oversight was discovered.

I guess it wasn’t an omission at all.

According to the Reverend Fred Lowey, what Tanger needs is more luxury parking spots – not transportation for the Great Unwashed. “I’ve been at Tanger before,” Fred said. “They need to have more BMW parking (instead of) bus service. This is not KMart or Walmart shoppers.”

 Hell no!  This ain’t no squalid five-and-dime!

This is the NEW DAYTONA, and Tanger is for people of high-breeding, culture and wealth – 55-and-over Parrot Heads with unlimited disposable income and a yen for a brand-immersive lifestyle – not two-bit strap hangers who want to disrupt the “Tanger experience” by busing out and putting their greasy little hands on the windows and ogling all the shiny things inside.

Screw those ham-n-eggers.  We piss on the poor – those grimy little cheap bastards in their off-the-rack Walmart trash.  They are not Tanger material.  Right, Fred?

Right.

You see, the problem – as Councilwoman Joyce Cusack pointed out in a moment of lucidity – We, The People, didn’t help build the Walmart, or anything on Howland Boulevard for that matter.

What we did is pump $2.2-million of our hard-earned tax dollars into the Tanger project with the promise of “Jobs.”

Remember that, Freddy?

Now, employees and applicants without personal transportation can’t access those jobs.

I believe it’s called bait-and-switch.  We created the jobs – but you must really want them if you don’t own a car.

Per our newest council member, Heather Post, “We haven’t had any outpouring of requests from people who want the service.”  “At some point, will we need transportation out there? I would assume yes, but right now when we are looking at reevaluating the system and we are looking at our super needs, I don’t see (Tanger) as being at the top of the list.”

 You mean, other than the News-Journal editorials, anger and frustration from employees of Tanger businesses, repeat letters to the editor, etc., etc.?

Your right, Heather.  Nobody came up and kissed the collective ass of the Great and Powerful in Deland and begged for public transportation to an outlet mall hawking overpriced seconds on the I-95 frontage road.

Our bad.

We simply expected it as a common-sense amenity for those seeking the employment opportunities the previous county council promised us would come.

For $2.2 million dollars in infrastructure support.

So, the next time you guys decide to throw millions of dollars of our money away on economic incentives cloaked in the bullshit façade of “jobs creation” – don’t be surprised if your constituents have something to say about it.

 In addition, Little Jimmy and the council approved the $970,000 purchase of property near the Ocean Center (where?  It’s that big shuttered building over on Atlantic Avenue where your kids graduated?  You know, home to the Reptile Breeders banquet and something called “Truck Fever 2017”?  Never heard of it?  I attended a Jimmy Buffett show there once – in the mid-80’s as I recall. . .).

To quote Heather Post, was the land purchase a “super need?”

No.  Not really.

According to Little Jimmy, “It’s more of an opportunity than a need.”

(Which, by the by, is the same shtick I’m going to use the next time the half-cent transportation sales tax is discussed by our nouveau riche Clampett clan in Deland.) 

Where I come from they don’t call that an opportunity – they call it speculating with someone else’s money.

It seems the County Council did what the Daytona Beach City Commission couldn’t – they grossly overpaid for a vacant lot near Main Street.

But why?

According to our own Councilwoman Billie Wheeler: “One of the reasons this is a good idea – it gives us control over what’s going on there.  It could be bought up by someone else and not be advantageous to the city or county.  Parking is always an issue in that area.”

She’s right.  After all, what is a government entity without control?

That property could well have been purchased by some business interest – or an entity that, I dunno, might have wanted to develop some form of commerce or industry while keeping the parcel on the tax rolls.

We wouldn’t want that now, would we?

Apparently, the county is now venturing into a property management gig as well by renting out these massively expensive public parcels during special events – something Little Jimmy told the council will produce as much as $50,000 in annual income.

Mr. Dinneen then provided the elected members with nap mats, cookies, and warm milk; before telling the story of three little pigs who developed residential projects using differing building materials, and a giant who lived at the top of a beanstalk with a goose that laid golden eggs at the first of every fiscal year.

When did it become Volusia County government’s job to set the real estate market in and around the perennially neglected Main Street area using our tax dollars?

Am I missing something?

I suggest to anyone who owns property on the beachside to just hold on – eventually the city or the county will come along and pay you twice what it’s worth.

You know, so folks don’t have to park “up the street and around the corner” when they pack in for the next quilting bee at the Ocean Center.

 

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