On Tuesday, We, The People overwhelmingly decided that enough is enough!
After a protracted and incredibly expensive public/private marketing effort culminated in a weird, $490,000 mail-in ballot scheme designed to give the half-cent sales tax money grab it’s best chance of passage – Volusia County voters roundly rejected a strong push by a cabal of uber-wealthy opportunists and their hired chattel on the County Council and municipal commissions up-and-down the Fun Coast.
For the first time in decades, voters sent a clear message to our ‘powers that be’ and their “Rich & Powerful” overseers that there is some shit we won’t eat.
In my view, the only positive to emerge from this incredibly expensive and time-consuming fiasco is that many in Volusia County are beginning to question how much longer we can afford this level of external manipulation of our sacred systems of governance by politically connected insiders who have clearly demonstrated just how pervasive their influence truly is.
Clearly, Volusia County voters are slowly awakening to the real threat posed by this oligarchical control of our government processes – and that should scare the hell out of petty politicians who have now been exposed as little more than two-bit shills for entrenched special interests – while blatantly ignoring the needs and wants of their long-suffering constituents.
Many politicians and hangers-on in Volusia County politics were caught flatfooted on this one.
It seems they never understood the basic flaw in their “No Plan B” strategy that painted them as visionless shit-heels who lack the skills to identify the myriad problems that accompany unchecked growth – or the basic ingenuity to develop workable solutions beyond taxing the eyeballs out of every man, woman, child and visitor.
In the aftermath, our doddering fool of a County Chair, Ed Kelley, is apparently still trying to grasp the reality of his situation:
“It was not anything personal. It was about taking care of the needs we’ve been facing, that we’ve been putting off.”
To those of us who, for years, have been ignored, expected to pay the bills and endure the corporate giveaways, inadequate impact fee structure purposely designed to profit their political benefactors in the real estate development community, and the craven spending habits and favoritism of those compromised puppets we elected to represent our interests – it has been incredibly personal.
I just hope Old Ed was looking at his watch last night as the returns were announced – because it’s not every politician who knows the exact second his career ended. . .
Just do the right thing, Ed – Resign. Step aside. Make way. Slink off to that smoldering ash heap where cheap-jack politicians go once they have been exposed for who and what they truly are. . .
Look, I try to be humble in victory and gracious in defeat – but this one just feels good.
And it should.
For far too long the residents of Volusia County have taken it on the chin – trapped in a system they can neither understand nor escape – struggling in an artificial economy controlled by the same five people passing the same nickel around – where public policy is decided in boardrooms by those with the ability to pay-to-play, then rubber-stamped by politicians hand-selected in backrooms, anointed by “kingmakers,” and financed by massive campaign contributions that skew the political playing field and ensure a handsome return on investment.
Unfortunately, the problems of suburban sprawl, inadequate transportation infrastructure, water quality and the devastating environmental impacts of unchecked growth are real – and they are not going away.
But, this is what it feels like to finally negotiate from a position of power.
That’s what elections are all about.
Now, the true test will be if we can use this incredible grassroots momentum to return accountability to the halls of power and restore the public’s trust in local government in 2020?