On Volusia: The Character Question (Part II)

I can’t take credit for this – Sheriff Mike Chitwood beat me to the punch – but Volusia County Manager Jim Dinneen is a lying sack of shit.

How can you tell when he’s lying?  His lips are moving. . .

At a recent County Council meeting, Mr. Dinneen told a whopper when he said, “The council needs to stop and remind everybody that when it comes to protecting access to the beach and driving on the beach that repeatedly the county is at the forefront of protecting that.  And we get no credit.  We probably have the most access (on the beach) of anywhere in Florida, and the fact that we try to fight for that – I’m not sure people understand.”

 Jesus.  This guy knows no shame.

At present, Mr. Dinneen and his beach management bureaucrats are wiping egg off their funny faces after being caught in yet another public gaffe when they made the beach blockade behind the Hard Rock some 430 linear feet instead of the 410’ specified by county ordinance.

Not smart.  Really, it’s poor form.

Given that the removal of beach driving has caused an on-going countywide controversy, one would think that the installation of this hotly contested barricade would have been handled with the laser-precision of a surveying instrument – or a frigging Ace Hardware yardstick for that matter.

Instead, it appears the county contractor hired to jet the ugly, chemically-treated wooden utility poles into the sand just eyeballed it – “close enough for government work” as the old saying goes, I guess – while Beach Safety Chief Ray Manchester and Coastal Division director Jessica Winterwerp stood around watching them do it.

This carelessness wouldn’t be acceptable at a Dairy Queen – so why do we tolerate it from highly paid “professionals” on the public payroll?    

I’m asking.  Because for the life of me I can’t understand it – this continuing pattern of negligence is intolerable – and expensive.

This entire exercise to accommodate a semi-private beach for the Hard Rock has been a travesty from the beginning – and has exposed what a supreme embarrassment Jim Dinneen’s lack of effective leadership has become.

The fact is, under the Dinneen administration – with encouragement from the cash-bloated campaign financier and master political puppeteer J. Hyatt Brown and other insiders – our elected officials have done everything in their power to shutdown our century-old heritage of beach driving.

If the calculations of beach driving advocate and county council candidate Jeff Brower are correct, Volusia County has now restricted vehicular access from some 64% of our once free and open beach.

From spending public funds to sue their own constituents and prevent them from having a vote on beach closure issues, to pissing away the tradition as an “inducement” for tacky “theme” hotels, arbitrarily closing beach ramps, increasing fees to price a day at the beach out of reach for many Central Florida families, spending millions of our tax dollars on “off-beach” lots, yet never opening them, suggesting parking meters be installed in parking spaces paid for with public funds and generally dragging their feet on the repair and replacement of storm damaged walkovers – the Volusia County Council’s track record on beach access is abysmal – and getting worse.

In fact, many long-time residents I speak with claim that the worst decision ever made was removing control of our beaches from the municipalities in favor of a “unified policy” under county control.

I agree.

To add insult, our doddering fool of a County Chair, Ed Kelley, who has openly opposed beach driving for years under the guise he supports “beach access” – which means he’s cool with the idea of you schlepping your children, chairs, umbrellas and coolers across four-lanes of heavy traffic from an off-beach parking area, said, “If we hadn’t been diligent and looking after our rights, beach driving could have been swept away completely, this shows that we do care about beach driving and the obligation that is written into the charter.”

If Ed Kelley’s idea of “diligence” is our elected officials sitting around with their thumb wedged in their ass, getting publicly blindsided time-and-time-and-time again by important legislation out of Tallahassee or being caught flatfooted by another of Mr. Dinneen’s “public policy by ambush” surprise announcements – perhaps he should look up the definition of the word – or, better yet, stop squawking about things he knows nothing about.

There is a quote that’s been attributed to everyone from Mark Twain to Abraham Lincoln that would serve Chairman Kelley well in future public communications: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth a remove all doubt.”

Now, Old Ed is telling constituents that their anger over this colossal waste of tax dollars is unwarranted – given the fact Summit Hospitality has agreed to clean-up Volusia County’s mess and purchase new poles (he’s suggesting “totem poles”?) – and poo-pooing their very real concerns that allowing a private entity to install barricades on a public beach could establish certain ownership rights and jeopardize Volusia County’s customary use ordinance.

(Chairman Kelley, I’ll try to phrase this in terms even you can understand:  We, The People DON’T BELIEVE ANYTHING YOU SAY OR DO.)

Of course, the uber-weird shameless self-promoter Councilwoman Heather Post – who has apparently stopped communicating with her constituents by any means other than a canned social media presence – is blaming the “media,” saying they are working an angle to “cause misinformation” and making things “unclear to some in the public.”

Say what?  Misinformation?  

Hell, Daytona Beach News-Journal Editor Pat Rice even left the office – got a little sand on the ol’ Florsheim Imperials – and measured the damn things himself!

(My God.  Did Weird Heather drink the Kool-Aid or what?)

What I find most chilling – and perhaps the one quirk which best supports Sheriff Chitwood’s spot-on assessment of his character – is Mr. Dinneen’s frightening ability to compulsively lie and quibble facts when the truth would serve him – and the rest of us – far better.

In my view, he can get away with a lot of things – but claiming to be a beach driving advocate isn’t one of them. . .

5 thoughts on “On Volusia: The Character Question (Part II)

  1. Please, get over this driving on the beach thing. There is plenty of driving on the beach opportunities around here. No where in the US is there driving on the beach like here. As a matter of fact, constant drone about driving on the beach and bike weeks is keeping Daytona from getting rid of it’s current image.
    Proof, last week, the City of Daytona sponsored a Beer Festival. Good job Daytona in condoning beer drinking.
    Constant droning and consternation about the hotel managed by Hardrock and poles erected on the beach is not healthy to any individual.
    I suggest focusing energy and focus on Daytona City Senior Management, City Council Leaders and inadequate Code Enforcement and the mayor who is not setting a vision.


  2. Get these politicians out of office. Investigate their pocketed payoff accounts. They will destroy our cities economically. It’s been running down for years. Nothing but the speed way Benifits. Our tax money and turned away business for outside industry is being wasted and stolen from us. Our children will suffer the ghost town. Open the beach!


  3. Mark, my understanding is Hard Rock bought the property it’s sittitting on and it does not extend into the ocean (mean tide or whatever). The County gave away your right to drive on that section behind it. And quite possibly the use of it. If you’re fine with giving up your rights without input, fine. A lot of people are not. Been here all my life and remember what it used to be and understand progress. This is NOT right!


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