Welcome to the Greatest Show on Earth!
The great author and chronicler of all things Florida, Carl Hiaasen, once said, “The Sunshine State is a paradise of scandals teeming with drifters, deadbeats and misfits drawn here by some dark primordial calling like demented trout. And you’d be surprised how many of them decide to run for public office.”
Damn, if he doesn’t hit the nail on the head, eh?
Last week marked the end of qualifying and the beginning of the 2018 election season, a time when political hopefuls – entrenched insider incumbents, well-meaning populists and wide-eyed naïfs, newbies and their political benefactors and strategists – will work hard to gain our trust – and our vote – in races and referendums of vital importance to our future here on the beleaguered Fun Coast and beyond.
For years, well-meaning people have attempted to politely persuade me to throw my hat in the ring and stand for various elective offices. While I sincerely appreciate their confidence, I simply don’t have the stomach for it.
As I like to say, I’m a complainer – not a ‘doer.’
A cowardly critic – a chronic bitcher with a blog – a keyboard warrior – an inane muckraker with an axe to grind – and I have no desire for political power beyond expressing my opinions on the issues of the day, and, as Conrad said, “. . .using the power of the written word to make you hear, to make you feel – before all, to make you see – and, perhaps, provide that glimpse of truth for which you have forgotten to ask.”
That, and nothing more.
In my experience, serious candidates for public office invariably have one thing in common – they share a real ‘fire in the belly,’ an overwhelming drive to compete in what has become a brutal blood sport and win at all costs.
That requires a level of personal commitment, grit and an old-fashioned work ethic that I simply don’t possess.
While there is plenty of time between now and the primary – or the general election in November – to get their message across, there is simply no time to waste – and that requires starting well before dawn and working feverishly until after dark, talking issues, pressing-the-flesh and getting their smiling visage in front of as many potential voters as possible.
Look, I don’t know much, but if you are running for public office this time around and your campaign isn’t issue-centric – you’re doing it wrong.
In the past, John Q. Public could give a damn about the challenges we face (that’s a big reason we’re in the shape we’re in) and oftentimes a smile and a shoeshine could win the day – but this year is different, I think.
While it’s still the ‘candidate’ they’re voting for – I believe it will be less about how the person chooses to present him or herself, and more about clearly defining unique solutions to the age-old problems we face here on the Fun Coast that will win votes this time around.
The folks I talk to are genuinely concerned about the direction our local governments are heading – specifically when it comes to unchecked development, a lack of effective revitalization efforts and the pox of insider influence – something many see shaping everything from our desperate transportation infrastructure needs to massive corporate giveaways and the growing lack of transparency in what should be the people’s business.
In short, anyone in the arena should be prepared with new, innovative answers with a strong focus on problem-solving initiatives – and a plan to pay for them – because it’s going to take both to get voters attention this fall.
Tired defenders of the status quo – or those who were given a chance to serve and squandered it – will be identified as the boat anchors they are.
The majority of candidates won’t receive the anointment and financial support of our High Panjandrum’s of Political Power – so the only option they have left is the grueling process of door-to-door, grassroots campaigning – house-to-house fighting to win over their neighbors and spread the good word of change.
That’s a damn difficult proposition – but it works.
In fact, absent a groaning war chest full of political I.O.U’s, it’s the only thing that can.
Candidates with tens-of-thousands of dollars funneled from the usual suspects – our uber-wealthy donor class and their various corporations, political action committees and shadowy entities – have the wherewithal to cover ground quickly through mass media campaigns – and the only antidote to that is shoe leather and perseverance.
That’s also a difficult proposition in the heat and humidity of a Florida summer.
But when the ‘nut-cutting’ hour comes this August, we’ll see who outworked who – and then our collective decisions will become infinitely more focused.
Until then, get used to receiving the glossy mailouts showing the various candidates sitting comfortably barefoot on the beach, surrounded by his/her family, all uniformly clad cap-à-pie in starched white shirts and comfortable jeans, with a rented Labrador or precocious grandchild carefully staged center frame.
After all, pictures make politics – and with enough money – even a dimwitted incumbent can carefully craft an image that will make the uniformed voter suspend reality and forget the candidates abysmal voting record, alienation, lies and manipulation for the past four years.
Fortunately, we are living in the age of ‘high-information’ voters – people who care enough about the important issues to seek out fresh perspectives and alternative opinions to support what they take in with their own eyes and ears.
Clearly, I’m not a political scientist by any means – but I receive calls from various political candidates this time of the year, soliciting my goofy opinions on the issues of the day as they work to cobble together a platform, and I’m happy to help when I can.
But if you want someone to fawn, flatter, pat you on the backside and massage your developing political ego – probably better to rub elbows with the Halifax Power Set – because I’m the last guy you want to reach out to. Trust me.
Look, my take on the news of the day is no more insightful or prescient that anyone else’s (and that includes our uber-wealthy ‘power brokers’) but I’ve been around too long to be fooled by cheap trickery and imaging – and I refuse to be blinded by the sweet serenade of someone who’s in it for the wrong reasons – most of whom will quickly transform into everything they hated once elected to high office, just like the shitheads who came before.
But if you’re in the race of your life to try and make a real difference in the life of our community – to help restore confidence in our system of governance, ensure a level playing field and enhance social, educational, service and civic opportunities for every citizen – then you have my full support.
The positive takeaway is we have some impressive candidates in the mix this season – remarkable people from all walks of life on both sides of the County with a true vision for change.
We’ve got some of Carl’s misfits, too.
We’ll talk more about all of them in weeks to come.
In the meantime, I’ll be here – watching, waiting, and calling bullshit on any political candidate or two-bit operative who tries to pull the wool over our collective eyes and distract us from the grave issues that effect our lives and livelihoods with cheap political assholery.
This election is far too important for that.
It’s time once again to turn a jaundiced eye toward the newsmakers of the day – the winners and losers – who, in my cynical opinion, either contributed to our quality of life, or detracted from it, in some significant way.
Let’s look at who tried to screw us – and who tried to save us – during the week that was.
Asshole: Volusia County Council
Admittedly, I’m one to carry a grudge – I admit it.
One of my innumerable character flaws, I guess.
I’ve really tried to get past this – but it still bothers me – and this bears repeating:
Now that our preening elected representatives in DeLand have purged their spleen in a fit of political pique and exposed their vile hatred for anyone who challenges the status quo of an entrenched power structure – a political protection racket that showers select candidates with hundreds of thousands in campaign contributions in exchange for four-years of lockstep conformity and complete fealty to the Donor Class – they are pointing the finger of blame at their long-suffering constituents.
Did anyone expect anything different?
Despite the weak-minded denials of our doddering fool of a County Chairman, Ed Kelley – a perennial politician who hasn’t had an original thought since he accepted his first campaign contribution – it is clear to anyone paying attention that the majority of Volusia County Council members have developed a virulent case of psychological projection, a political defense mechanism that allows them to abdicate responsibility and attribute all the problems in their sole span of control to the “malarkey” of naysaying constituents.
It appears – with the exception of current political punching bag, Heather Post – council members have convinced themselves that the dismal political climate we find ourselves in is the result of angry social media posts and attempts by Sheriff Mike Chitwood to expose the broken and corrupt nature of this horrible system he inherited following the last election.
Look, you can’t have it both ways.
Our elected officials need to understand that you can completely ignore the needs, wants and concerns of your constituents, shut them out of the process, ignore their input and surprise them with off-the-agenda stunts designed to ramrod sketchy public policies and conceal murky intentions, then funnel millions in public funds to the private profit motives of a few powerful political insiders – but when the light of day finally exposes the machinations of this oligarchical system – you cannot simply blame the victim.
Our elected representatives on the dais of power would have us believe that if we continue to speak out and call attention to this farcical system we have suffered under – a bastardized process that has thwarted any substantive progress in Volusia County for years – then the continued exercise of our First Amendment rights will chase away any “good” county manager candidates, leaving us to select from the “Barney Fifes” of the current executive class.
I’ll take an honest Barney Fife over a shifty shitheel with a pedigree any day of the week.
No, despite what they would have us believe – this one is on them – not us.
For months, We, The People have been forced to stand by and witness this ugly exclusionary process play out – a constituency left totally voiceless, stymied by an internally controlled information black market – repeatedly and openly lied to, then told we were too stupid to appreciate the issues facing us in a weird form of political gaslighting.
In fact, if you look at the classic techniques used by tormentors to psychologically abuse and control their victims you might find some eerie similarities to our current situation:
It’s textbook. And it’s wrong.
Fortunately, smart people with the insider knowledge and understanding of the how, what, when and why the wheel came off our collective cart at the Thomas C. Kelly Administration Center are beginning to echo the concerns of Sheriff Chitwood, Councilwoman Post and others with the guts to defend us from this abusive relationship that has ruined the public’s trust in their government.
In Sunday’s Daytona Beach News-Journal, former County Councilman Doug Daniels both confirmed our worst fears – and provided a cogent way forward as we collectively struggle to right the ship in the aftermath of one of the most disastrous periods in our history.
“Will Dinneen’s departure usher in an era of good government? No.”
“The county’s power structure and its poorly drafted, antiquated charter will remain. When there are only a handful of big-money donors funding political campaigns, miracles will be in short supply, particularly now that the rich have come to display their power not by building public monuments, but by raiding taxpayer funds. We cannot change that, but we can change the charter to provide for an open, transparent government. We can watch them do it.”
Mr. Daniels rightly suggests that Volusia’s sacrosanct charter should be changed to ensure accountability, transparency and fiscal integrity through an independent internal auditor reporting directly to the council – and the people.
He also suggested that we replace this hodgepodge system of management by crisis with a 20-year strategic vision for Volusia County.
I couldn’t agree more.
He further suggests reorganizing the charter to provide a strong elected chairman, with a salary similar to circuit court judges – someone with the “real power” to effectively represent the interests of Volusia County in regional issues, like SunRail.
“With such reforms, you still might not like what the county government does, but at least you would know what it is doing. With an elected chairman, we would have someone who could represent us here and on a bigger stage, and someone we could hold accountable.”
In my view, change is on the breeze.
With a good crop of outstanding new candidates for public office working hard to gain our trust – and our vote – hope springs anew this election cycle.
Clearly, the big money candidates are getting nervous, and they should be.
The political pendulum is beginning its slow arc, hopefully returning power where it rightfully belongs – to We, The People, from which all political legitimacy originates.
So, let our ‘powers that be’ know exactly how you feel.
Let them know that we will not be told to shut up and sit-down by the likes of Old Ed Kelley, “Sleepy” Pat Patterson or any other self-serving politician who has clearly lost the moral authority to lead.
Asshole: Volusia County School Board
With Volusia County residents still reeling from wild revelations of gross mismanagement, open deception by senior officials, neglect of essential services and the stench of corruption that continues to slowly waft from the fetid swamp of county government – one would think that other taxing authorities and public entities would put greater emphasis on communication, ethical clarity and transparency.
In yet another startling disclosure out of DeLand, it seems the Volusia County Council wasn’t the only elective body claiming to have been treated like mushrooms – kept in the dark and fed bullshit – by senior staff on important matters of great public concern.
Last week, the Volusia County School Board – meeting in “special” session – approved a $2 million-dollar, five-year contract with Florida Hospital naming the healthcare provider the “exclusive student education and student wellness partner of the School Board for all purposes and on all levels.”
The agreement ends some 15-months of shadowy, back-alley negotiations by district officials that resulted in an 18-page agreement that gives Florida Hospital all the marketing exposure they could have dreamed for – including naming rights, sponsorship options, districtwide distribution of branded material, and graduate recruitment options, among other benefits.
In exchange, Florida Hospital will provide students a biannual speaker series, internships and a walk-thru of their facilities. . .
In keeping with this new era of government secrecy, school officials apparently failed to even consider a competitive process by including Halifax Health – the district’s other long-time partner – who has provided essential counseling and therapeutic services to thousands of families through Halifax Behavioral Services, volunteer opportunities for students in health-related career academies, and, as the Daytona Beach News-Journal recently reported, “a long list of other benefits” for many years.
Why? Because Halifax Health – a publicly funded hospital – didn’t approach the school district with the sponsorship idea first.
That smells a lot like the typical chickenshit Volusia County Two-Step – a shifty means to avoid accountability once the light of day shines on their latest scheme.
Perhaps most disturbing – but not unexpected – is that we are being led to believe these secret negotiations with a single provider were withheld from our elected representatives on the Volusia County School Board until just days before they were asked to vote on the issue.
I find that frightening – and you should too.
In my view, it is high time our elected officials – regardless of their post – start investigating, identifying and terminating any senior administrator or staff member who knowingly and intentionally withholds material information from policymakers and the public.
Why, because it’s against the fucking law, that’s why.
When public funds are expended ostensibly in the public interest – we have a statutorial right to know how our money is being spent – or what we are giving away to our latest corporate “partner.”
Despite the incredibly weak excuse by School Board Attorney Ted Doran that private negotiations are common practice in the “corporate world” – Doran apparently fails to realize that he represents our School Board, not IBM – a responsibility that requires open, transparent and morally sound practices to maintain the public trust.
And don’t give me this self-congratulatory bullshit that the board’s “special” meeting was meant to be a “celebration of a historic accomplishment.”
Nobody cured cancer here – you entered into a clever publicity agreement with a hospital system – nothing more.
The Volusia County school district needs to understand that they have a growing credibility problem with their core stakeholders – students, parents, teachers and those of us who pay the freight.
There is mounting suspicion that government secrecy smells a whole lot like corruption and mismanagement – and given what we have just experienced – our distrust and apprehension is well-founded.
Let’s put the blame squarely where it rightfully rests – with those who stood before us and promised to serve with our best interests at heart – our elected School Board officials who took an oath – and assured us they would work hard to develop open, honest and transparent policies and programs that improve educational opportunities for our children and compensate our teachers with a competitive salary and benefits package equal to their dedicated contribution to the future of our society.
Instead, we get more of the same – weird uncertainties born of a mysterious process that leaves us asking, “why?” – and the darker question, “Qui bono?”
Perhaps most disturbing, according to a recent News-Journal editorial, “The vote was unanimous, though two board members – Carl Persis and Ida Wright – questioned the need for secrecy,” then ignored their best instincts and voted with the rest of these elitist assholes who clearly believe our right-to-know doesn’t matter as much as inking a lopsided deal.
So, Persis and Wright knew what they were doing was wrong – and they did it anyway!
(The others did too, they were just smart enough not to admit it. . .)
Just once I would like to see an elected official stand-up for the interests of their constituents – act boldly in the spirit of our commitment to “Government in the Sunshine” and throw the brake when they suspect their colleagues are being prodded down the wrong path by an unaccountable staff.
Instead, we get more of this “tail wagging the dog” brand of public administration from Volusia County “leaders” – little more than backroom collusions followed by public policy by ambush at “special” meetings – a foul process that sours us on even positive outcomes by tainting the process.
Gentle readers, from stalled negotiations with the teacher’s union, to begging money from the cities in some weird double-taxation scheme to pay for a hastily thrown together “Guardian” program that will ask brave men and women to go in harms way to protect our children with programmatic funding still in doubt – to the heartbreak of consistently under-performing schools and nonsensical administrative policies – it is high time we take a closer look at the machinations of the Volusia County School Board, and the Secret Squirrels on its staff that sold us out and alienated a long-time partner, this election cycle.
If history repeats – and it always does – we may find way more than we bargained for when the truth finally comes to light.
With hundreds-of-millions of our tax dollars budgeted annually, Volusia County government entities desperately need an independent oversight authority and a strong fiscal responsibility ordinance that stops these pernicious “deals” that are quickly eroding our trust and depriving us of quality services and opportunities.
Now, there’s a Tallahassee mandate we could all rally behind.
Angel: Bellaire Community Group
Those intrepid souls at the grassroots advocacy Bellaire Community Group recently completed a citizen satisfaction survey which produced some incredibly interesting results regarding how citizens perceive their government.
This is something our incumbent politicians and ‘powers that be’ should print, frame and refer to whenever they question why they lost the election this fall:
Do you think the Daytona Beach Government is interested in what residents have to say?
No Idea 16%
Do you think Volusia County Government is interested in what residents want?
No Idea 12%
Do you trust your City’s Government?
No Idea 19%
Do you trust your County’s Government?
No Idea 17%
What grade would you give City Manager Jim Chisholm? C-
What grade would you give County Manager Jim Dineen? D-
How effective is Daytona Beach’s Code Enforcement? Please indicate with a number from 1 to 10. (Very Effective 1 – Not Effective at all 10): 7
Do you support beach driving?
Level of Transparency (1 Very transparent – 10 Not transparent at all):
Daytona Beach 7
County of Volusia 8
The term of office for Daytona Beach Commissioners is 4 years. Should this be changed to 2 years?
Will you recommend The Hard Rock to friends and family that will be coming to Daytona Beach?
Should County Manager Jim Dineen be fired?
Do you like living in Daytona Beach?
Do you support our County’s plan to raise taxes above rollback for the next 3-years so they can pay off the debt they incurred?
Do you vote?
Have you ever had to call police or 911 because you were a victim of a crime or a witness to a crime?
Do you think the city has planned growth well enough to ensure that residents who live here now will continue to enjoy the quality of life?
Are you satisfied that the city is adequately improving infrastructure in our neighborhoods – roads, sidewalks, water, sewer, etc.
Do you think attending neighborhood and other resident meetings is a good way to stay informed and participate in the local government process?
(For more information, please go to www.bellairecommunitygroup.com – or better yet, attend one of their meetings sometime soon. You’ll be glad you did.)
Asshole: “Smart Growth” Advocates
Sorry, folks – I’m not buying it.
And neither should you.
Earlier this week, the Daytona Beach News-Journal presented what should have been a thought-provoking community townhall which posed the difficult question, “What does smart growth look like?”
The forum sounded compelling – so I tuned-in on social media and settled back to listen to the pros and cons of perhaps the most difficult problem to face Volusia County since quid pro quo corruption came into vogue.
Then, I saw that the board was bookended by Maryam Ghyabi – a transportation consultant and sister of the King of the Donor Class, mega-developer Mori Hossieni, and Prince John Albright – CEO of Consolidated Tomoka Land Company.
The only member of the panel with the people’s interest at heart was former Volusia County Council member and area environmentalist Pat Northey.
It looked like one of those “What doesn’t belong” games – where your choices are a Timber rattlesnake, a King cobra, and a potted plant.
The fact is, Ms. Ghyabi, Prince John and their associates have accumulated massive fortunes – directly and indirectly – from the local real estate development game, where ‘growth management’ is defined as physically cramming as much density into a given parcel as possible – and damn the consequences to our natural resources, infrastructure or quality of life.
Look, when talk turns to drinking our own sewerage, there is no more “smart growth.”
At that point, any further stress on our aquifer becomes a very expensive exercise in shitting in our own nest – literally.
Besides, what the hell is there to talk about?
And who would listen if we did?
The Volusia County Council and other local governments have already approved massive residential and commercial development from Farmton to the Flagler County line – including the appropriation of some $15.8 million in public funds to extend Williamson Boulevard – the infamous “road to nowhere” – for the sole purpose of facilitating Mr. Hossieni’s 1,700 unit atrocity known as Woodhaven.
And the challenges faced by New Smyrna Beach – where residents have all but taken up pitchforks and flaming torches to get the attention of those they elected to represent their interests – are quickly ruining one of Florida’s last original beach communities.
Add to that the death of wetlands and recharge areas at Mosaic, Latitudes – and Geosam Capital’s brutal rape of the land west of New Smyrna – an outrage marked by forest fires and a dust bowl that rivals 1934 Oklahoma – and you get the idea that developers aren’t really interested in the environmental protestations of us long-suffering locals.
After all – like gopher tortoises, we’re little more than collateral damage – and they paid damn good money for the lockstep loyalty of sitting politicians with no qualms about permitting them to re-purpose every available acre of greenspace into zero-lot-line slices of the American Dream.
What are we going to do, complain?
Look, I may be a pessimistic asshole – but I’m suspicious whenever these shameless shills on the dais of power allow their political benefactors to slash, burn and clear-cut the land – churning old growth forests and wildlife habitats into environmental abattoirs right in front of our eyes to make way for ugly cracker box houses at a rate of one per month – then lean back at “listening sessions,” massage their chin contemplatively, and act like they’re interested in what those of us who have to sit in traffic, drink our own piss and deal with the fallout think about it.
For instance, after Granada Boulevard in Ormond Beach was turned into a moonscape to accommodate a WaWa and another tacky chicken wing drive-thru – now our incumbent city commissioners are falling all over themselves to hear the opinions of their constituents.
Taking a page from New Smyrna Beach’s Coastal Community Resiliency initiative, Ormond Beach city officials are banking on their oh-so cutely labeled “OB Life” series – designed to restore public trust in an intentionally broken system that whittled away at zoning and environmental regulations – now that the horse is well out of the barn.
It remains inconceivable to me that ostensibly bright public officials believe that We, The People cannot distinguish between substantive public input and a cheapjack political smokescreen designed to divert our attention while the bulldozers roar.
I don’t believe it because it’s not true – these whores know precisely what they’re doing.
I sincerely hope you recognize it too.
If you really believe that the City of Ormond Beach – or the County of Volusia – gives a flaming shit what you think – it’s time to think again.
In my view, an immediate moratorium on new development and unchecked sprawl until the very real issues of transportation, infrastructure, impact fees, water and continuing environmental insults are resolved is the only “smart” answer to the very real predicament we face.
Frankly, its now or never.
It’s time we stop this asinine “make hay while the sun shines” development strategy that is ruining our quality of life while enriching the privileged few.
Don’t hold your breath.
The status quo is lucrative for all the right last names – and that, my friends, is all that matters in our local Halls of Power.
Angel: MEAC Woman of the Year – Lyndsey Edwards
Earlier this month, Bethune-Cookman’s own Lyndsey Edwards was named the 2018 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Woman of the Year!
What an incredible personal honor – and a true source of pride for the City of Daytona Beach.
This prestigious award is presented annually by the MEAC Senior Woman Administrators to “celebrate the achievements of senior female student-athletes who have excelled in academics, athletics, service and leadership.”
According to B-CU Head Coach Vanessa Blair-Lewis, “She is a young woman of high intellect and strong moral character. We are blessed to have her in our program these past four years. She not only impacted our program, but she poured herself into this university, as well as being a servant leader. Her legacy will live on here, and we hope that other students will model her qualities.”
Congratulations, Ms. Edwards! You’ve made us very proud!
Quote of the Week:
“Our County Council members should be embarrassed by their performance. They were surprised by the state’s requirements over the half-cent road tax. Surprised over the morgue issue. Surprised over the impact fee tax study. There needs to be an independent external audit to find out what other surprises are out there.”
–Pat and Chuck Gleichmann, Ormond-by-the-Sea, Letters to the Editor, “Drain the Volusia County Swamp,” June 26, 2018
The chorus for outside intervention is growing – but will anyone listen?
And Another Thing!
Am I the only one who saw this coming?
Remember way back in December when DeLand City Commissioner, Jeff Hunter, claimed the on-again-off-again boyfriend of a former “girlfriend” extorted some $20,000 from him?
It was clearly trouble on the half-shell – a political cautionary tale in the making.
Typically, whenever a guy my age shows up with a 24-year old sport model on his arm – something is, how shall I say this. . .“Awry.”
As the Robinson’s family robot was fond of saying – “That shit just doesn’t compute.”
According to reports, Commissioner Hunter is accused of serious drug-related felony crimes after allegedly providing prescription opioids to his unrequited love interest – some seven times.
He’s also accused by the court of public opinion of allowing the little head to think for the big head. . .
Apparently, Mr. Hunter wasn’t the brightest drug dealer ever minted as evidence developed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement suggests he left voicemails on his former girlfriend’s (and potential co-defendant in his extortion plot) cellphone discussing how many pills he had available.
That’s right. Voicemail.
Did I mention Hunter met his “girlfriend” while she was doing the wax-on/wax-off thing at a DeLand area car wash?
I mean, this has all the elements of a good Jim Croce tune – or a bad Investigation Discovery special, right?
I don’t make this shit up folks, really.
Of course, Hunter’s attorney, Jason Harr, is vehemently denying any wrongdoing – claiming that the Commissioner, and his impressive 1970’s porn star horseshoe ‘Stache – are merely victims of a weird revenge scheme hatched by his former girlfriend following the arrest of her boyfriend/suspected baby-daddy.
(Whew! This is like one of those hyper-dramatic Spanish telenovelas – I need a program to keep up with the players. . .)
According to news reports, Hunter’s mouthpiece said the Commish went to police after he was scammed out of thousands of dollars by the conniving couple, adding, “He doesn’t want to be a victim. He wants to be an example,” Harr said. “He believes as a rising star in local politics, that he should be an example.”
Damn, I like that. Lawyer Harr earned his keep on that soundbite alone.
Well done, sir.
Look, between us, Hunter may have fancied himself a “rising star” in local politics – but the truth is – a 40-watt bulb outshines most politicians in Volusia County. Still it’s a damnable shame to see a promising career – and the good name of America’s Best Downtown – sacrificed on the altar of middle-age delusion.
As of this writing, Mr. Hunter is refusing to do the right thing and step down to protect his community and constituents from further embarrassment.
Now, we will see if Governor Rick Scott steps up and removes Commissioner Hunter from office until this love triangle, turned extortion plot, turned narcotics arrest can be sorted out by the courts.
Guess Carl Hiaasen knew what he was talking about. . .
Have a great weekend, kids!