Last Friday, we were graced with mega-developer and High Panjandrum of Political Power, Mori Hosseini’s, smiling visage on the front page of the Daytona Beach News-Journal – beaming with pride as he kicked off ICI Homes’ marketing campaign for his new Mosaic “full life” community.
The 1,200 home development joins Latitudes Margaritaville – the Jimmy Buffett-inspired faux-beach community currently under construction on top of our sensitive water recharge areas – bringing the total number of homes and commercial structures in that area to over 11,000 in next five to six years.
That doesn’t include out-of-control growth which has already been approved along the spine of east Volusia from Farmton to the Flagler County line.
As I like to say, “that’s a lot of Walmart shoppers, kids.”
In announcing the big Mosaic grand opening, News-Journal business writer Clayton Park said, “Another big piece is being added to the white-hot development puzzle already taking shape just west of Interstate 95.”
Our own doddering fool of a County Chair, Ed Kelley – a sycophantic bootlicker who didn’t miss a prime chance to kiss Mori’s sizeable ass – was quoted in the article, “It’s going to have a big impact on the area. The rooftops are going to help support more businesses in the area.”
You bet your bippy it’s going to have a “big impact,” Ed.
And not just on roads and water. . .
So – absent strapping every man, woman and child in Volusia County with a money grubbing half-cent sales tax increase – exactly what are you and the rest of those dullards we elected to represent our interests doing to ensure this massive growth pays for itself?
This summer, we will all be regaled with flashlight-under-the-chin scary stories from our elected and appointed officials warning of the traffic gridlock – and the horror of drinking our own wastewater – if we don’t vote to increase our sales tax, even as they refuse to even discuss impact fees, much less consider a moratorium on unchecked development.
You want to know what frightens me?
In 2016, the Volusia County Professional Firefighters Association, a public employee union representing fire and emergency medical personnel, sent a letter to County Manager Jim Dinneen and the Volusia County Council warning that staffing shortages were limiting their ability to provide ambulance transport service to the nearly 80,000 calls-for-service received each year.
“It has now become normal to be at a patient’s side for 15, 30 and even 40 minutes or more, waiting for an ambulance to arrive,” the letter said.
When the serious concerns of our first responders were met with deaf ears in Deland, in February, WFTV reporter Mike Springer combed through reams of data and determined that the response times for Volusia County emergency services have been slowly increasing year-over-year.
In one of the worst displays of arrogance ever captured, when Springer attempted to interview Mr. Dinneen on camera – he became openly hostile, threw up his little hands and refused to answer legitimate questions, or even attempt to explain his administration’s position on perhaps the most serious issue facing Volusia County residents – before stomping off like the petulant shitheel we’ve come to know.
Adding to the incredibly unprofessional scene was a county mouthpiece repeating, “We’re not making any comments, we’re not making any comments” while running interference as Little Jimmy beat his cowardly exit from the hot zone.
Don’t take my word for it, watch it here: https://www.wftv.com/news/local/union-volusia-county-ems-understaffed-to-point-of-significant-delays-for-emergency-services/698628791
On the afternoon of April 12th (just two days ago) the emergency services union made an urgent announcement on their social media page warning, “There are currently no available VC EMS aka EVAC ambulances in West Volusia County.”
You read that right: On Thursday afternoon there were no ambulances available in West Volusia.
Scary? You ain’t seen nothing yet.
Within the last hour of this posting, the Volusia County Professional Firefighters Association announced:
*Announcement* Due to no available VC EMS aka EVAC ambulances in west Volusia County, both Rescue Engine 44 (Pierson) and Deltona Firefighters Rescue 61 are currently being used as transport units. RE44 is the transport unit for a medical call in DeLeon Springs. (Saturday, April 14, 2018, approximately 9:40am)
That’s today – as in, “Right Now.”
What can we do?
Pray and hope for the best, I guess. . .
Or call your county council member and raise primordial hell until something – anything – happens to change this incredibly dangerous situation.
Much of what I write on this blog represents the everyday blunders, mistakes, faults, foibles and fuck-ups of a county government with no real leadership or accountability – and I realize Barker’s View can take on the appearance of a wacky blooper reel exposing one convoluted, almost comical mess after another.
But this is something else.
Ladies and gentlemen – if your family needs emergency medical services this morning, this afternoon, or next week – time is of the essence – and it doesn’t matter how good our local trauma center is if a patient can’t be transported there in time for doctors to make a difference.
We’re talking life-and-death here.
How many people will die before our elected officials come to the realization that another critical county service has gone haywire on Mr. Dinneen’s watch?
I’m asking. Because the place seems to be on autopilot.
While Mr. Dinneen remains employed by keeping our elected officials laser-focused on approving massive “economic development” incentives, tax breaks and infrastructure improvements to meet the insatiable appetite of their uber-wealthy campaign sugar daddies – council members seem frighteningly paralyzed – or painfully oblivious – when it comes to meeting the serious needs of their constituents.
Like ensuring the effectiveness of emergency medical and ambulance services to over 500,000 people.
My God. And these do-nothing assholes have the gall to stand for re-election?
I’m sorry, but how do they look at themselves in a mirror?
I mean, their own families – and ours – depend on this essential service, right?
In all honesty, if County Manager Jim Dinneen is unwilling or incapable of effectively managing this acute emergency – a problem that our brave first responders are shouting from the rooftops to expose – then he should step down immediately and make way for someone with the administrative and leadership skills to ensure the safety of Volusia County residents.
And – perhaps more important – if our elected officials don’t have the political guts to ensure these essential life-saving services – it’s high-time they step aside for someone who will.
Photo Credit: The Daytona Beach News-Journal