I think most people who are still paying attention have come to the realization that our elected officials on the Volusia County Council aren’t the “best and brightest” we have to offer.
Not by a long shot.
But they know how to take direction, and their malleable situational ethics combine with a high opinion of themselves to make them the perfect tools for the uber-wealthy political insiders who manipulate public policy through the infusion of massive campaign contributions into local elections – and by providing political protection for what passes for county management.
When I began this experiment in alternative opinion blogging, one of my first sorties into county politics was an aptly headed piece entitled, “Qui Bono?” (Who Benefits?) expressing my frustration with Volusia County for its apparent inability to recognize that the base problem with the proposed half-cent sales tax initiative isn’t so much the tariff itself – everyone sees the need for transportation infrastructure – it is the fact that our elected and appointed officials in the county seat have lost basic credibility with their constituents.
I later updated my original screed when it became apparent this money grubbing tax wasn’t going away.
(Find it here: https://barkersview.org/2017/04/11/on-volusia-qui-bono-redux/ )
The bottom line is, We, The People, simply don’t trust them anymore.
And why should we?
Name one damned thing this clique of bought-and-paid-for political Muppets have done that would engender the confidence of their long-suffering constituents?
Go ahead, I’ll wait. . .
The fact is, time-and-time again, the members of the Volusia County Council have proven what they are – a rubber stamp for massive “economic development” incentives paid like clockwork to their wealthy campaign donors – spineless politicians (in the loosest sense of the word) who have no qualms about pissing backwards on campaign promises (remember your emotional assurance to NEVER vote to remove vehicles from behind the Hard Rock, Ms. Denys? I do.)
Add to that the countless instances where our doddering fool of a County Chair, Ed Kelley, and his fellow elected dullards, have bent over, en masse, to accommodate the needs, wants and whims of yet another flimsy speculative developer by giving away the people’s century-old heritage of beach driving and access in exchange for a parking lot and another tasteless theme hotel.
Now that elected officials in all of Volusia’s 16 municipalities have followed the strict edict of those self-serving quadrillionaire’s over at the CEO Business Alliance and resolved to support the county’s half-cent cash snatch – the majority of our elected marionettes on the County Council are demanding that they grovel before the Dais of Power in DeLand and formally beg the Monarchy to put the initiative on the ballot this fall.
(As though wild horses could keep Little Jimmy Dinneen from getting his obscene tax plan before the voters, right?)
Just when you thought these arrogant, morally bankrupt assholes couldn’t sink lower – they reached whale turd depths when they demanded that a representative from each city bow their heads and parade before them, hat in hand, like the slavish vassals they have become, to demonstrate lock-step support for strapping every man, woman and child of the third highest taxed county in Florida with an even heavier burden.
Because they were told to. That’s why.
You see, the High Panjandrums of Political Power that call the shots here on the Fun Coast don’t limit their campaign contributions to just county elections – and if the cities want their share of the crumbs left after Volusia County takes the lion’s share – they will do as they are told and prostrate themselves before their superiors in a pathetic display of “solidarity.”
In my view, the ultimate goal of this shameless scam of a tax increase is to ensure that all the right last names have an even larger pool of our hard-earned cash from which to fund private projects, provide access to their mega-developments, or perhaps erect another phallic symbol to their own self-importance in the form of a glass and steel office building with their name at the top.
I mean, the backroom deals and cream skimming has gotten so out-of-hand in Volusia County that we now need something they’re calling a “sales tax oversight advisory committee” to ensure that our elected officials follow the rules and spend transportation infrastructure funds as they were intended.
Jesus. What are we becoming?
I find it interesting that South Daytona City Manager Joe Yarborough – the longest serving manager in Volusia County – who coordinated this tax sham with the other municipalities – acquiesced to this bullshit and agreed to debase his city council, and the residents of his community, by supporting this repugnant pageant of fealty to Volusia County?
My hope is that our municipal officials will search around the dusty corners of their various City Hall’s and find what’s left of their civic pride and dignity – then reject this lurid display of sycophantic groveling before their masters in DeLand.
My God. Show some fucking backbone.
In my view, this orchestrated display of kneeling before the King’s Court sets the wrong tone and further weakens the independence of the municipalities and their right to self-determination.
To any city official within earshot:
Show some pride, dammit.
I guarantee the act of kissing the county council’s collective ass in an open public meeting won’t convince one more long-suffering citizen of Volusia County – you know, your cash-strapped constituents who work hard at the menial scullery jobs available in our artificial economy – to support the pilferage of one more nickel for our Rich & Powerful overseers.