The Knights of the Roundtable met earlier this week to get their collective story together on the proposed half-cent money grab that has consumed our elected and appointed officials literally to the exclusion of anything else.
In my view, the bellows for this building political conflagration is Steve Vancore, a professional windbag who has ramrodded successful sales tax initiatives in more than a dozen Florida counties. Now, Vancore’s Clearview Research has been engaged by the Star Chamber over at the Volusia CEO Business Alliance to prepare the battlefield here.
On Monday, Mr. Vancore met with municipal mayors, city managers and county officials to give them a quick course in how to act human and avoid their “natural tendency” to be defensive when their long-suffering, overtaxed constituents call bullshit. . .
According to an excellent article by the intrepid Dustin Wyatt in The Daytona Beach News-Journal, “I would encourage you to lead with the positives. There isn’t anything to be defensive about,” Vancore said at a round table meeting of Volusia officials at the Daytona Beach International Airport. “This is a happy thing for our community. Every dollar of it stays right here.”
A happy thing? Wow.
Talk about polishing a turd. . .
It’s a damnable tragedy is what it is.
The abject failure of our elected and appointed officials to hold their political benefactors accountable for adequate transportation impact fees for nearly two-decades – all while facilitating untold profits for their cronies in the real estate development community by permitting unchecked sprawl along the spine of Volusia County – then frightening their constituents with scary stories about what will happen to their quality of life if they fail to self-inflict a sales tax increase on all goods and services they purchase is an abomination.
But those greed-crazed assholes over at the Volusia CEO Business Alliance – who know well that this tax represents a pass-through from our wallet to theirs in the form of government contracts, road and infrastructure projects – aren’t taking any chances in this wretched race to relieve you and your family of even more of your hard-earned cash – and it’s painful to watch.
If this disgusting exercise has done anything, it has exposed the depth to which Volusia County politicians will sink with the right application of money.
The “referendum” that is being rushed to conclusion just ahead of state legislation which will shut the door on these nefarious money-grabs – appears to be taken directly from the playbook of Idi Amin – because it now bears no resemblance to a legitimate democratic election.
This week, we learned that Volusia County voters will be allowed the unprecedented option of dropping ballots off at “secure” boxes in City Halls – the latest twist in a weird first-of-its-kind “mail in” vote scheme – wholly orchestrated by the CEO Alliance and their consultant at Clearview Research to give this tax increase the best possible chance of passage.
Folks, this is what happens to our sacred systems of governance when We, The People are all that stand between uber-wealthy political insiders and an estimated $42-million in annual revenue.
We become a mere impediment that must be “reeducated,” lied to – and told that higher taxation at the point-of-sale is somehow a “happy thing” – even as those we have elected to represent our best interests prostrate themselves before those who purchased their very souls and now use them like cheap tools to reach their greed-fueled goal.
Photo Credit: The Daytona Beach News-Journal