We’re being manipulated.
The ‘powers that be’ in Volusia County are up to their old tricks – those Master Magicians – who practice the sleazy legerdemain that distracts our attention through deft manipulation of the narrative, diverting focus from the fact this overstuffed bureaucracy is getting their hands even deeper into our pockets.
For instance, The Daytona Beach News-Journal, the shameless propaganda organ of our “Rich & Powerful” (the newspapers descriptor, not mine), has continued to flog the tired idea of “consolidation” of area fire departments and emergency medical services – using the sham that if Volusia County taxpayers want lower property taxes, then creating another massive government entity is the only way to accomplish it.
I am going to say this as clearly as I can: Do not let anyone take away your municipal services.
By their own admission, the News-Journal’s editorial board knows nothing about the challenges facing Volusia County emergency services – only those first responders who suffer within it do – and anytime Councilwoman Heather Post has attempted to pull answers from our six-figure Director of Public Protection Joe “The Blue Falcon” Pozzo – she has been strategically blocked by her “colleagues” who use parliamentary roadblocks and open hostility to shut her down.
Why is that?
Here’s a concept the News-Journal should embrace: Perhaps editor Pat Rice should get off his ass and practice some investigative journalism – do a deep dive – ferret out the reasons why sitting elected officials consistently hamstring Ms. Post and block her every attempt to get answers – rather than being content with regurgitating the pap and fluff of another government paid consultant’s report.
Some self-serving politicians ask why I refuse to call and seek their thoughts before I form an opinion on the issues that affect our lives and livelihoods here on Florida’s Fun Coast.
The answer is I am no longer content to be handfed sugar lumps by entrenched insiders – or be complicit to the same lockstep acceptance of the status quo that is ruining our once great hometown newspaper – and Volusia County government.
You shouldn’t either.
Now, with a $1.1 Billion budget set to be voted on by the Volusia County Council Tuesday evening – complete with a supporting tax increase which will speed up the groaning cash conveyor that feeds this bloated hog – our newspaper of record conveniently resurrects the specter of “consolidation” of well-managed, community-oriented, and operationally effective municipal services into some godawful amalgam.
After numerous “studies” have failed to convince area residents that the gross dysfunction of Volusia County government – or something like it – is somehow better than the quality services they receive from their municipality – now, one more time, the News-Journal is suggesting county officials commission yet another high-priced consultant to take an “…arms-length look at all facets of the emergency-response system.”
Want to guess how that “study” will shake out?
My God. How stupid do they think we are?
I have asked this before, but why is it we never hear about a contraction of Volusia County government – pairing down this gluttonous brute which has consistently made its residents among the most heavily burdened in the state?
Despite what our elected and appointed officials in DeLand tell us – I promise you that “right sizing” Volusia County government will not result in Armageddon.
Regardless of what those compromised dullards on the News-Journal’s editorial board would have us believe – creating even larger, more unmanageable government entities is not the answer.
Invariably, any economies of scale are lost to the inherent bureaucratic inefficiencies, service delivery is reduced for smaller consumers who no longer have a voice, as the behemoth gobbles resources and builds massive facilities, management gives way to fiefdom building, and our “representatives” ultimately increase taxes and service fees to satiate the hungry colossus – all while local control becomes non-existent – and the unique character and identity of established communities is erased in favor of the “bigger is always better” myth.
I suspect this great con job will go away Tuesday evening – the exact second the Volusia County Council passes the proposed tax increase on a 5-2 vote – and the Gang of Four begin the process of rehabilitating themselves, magically transforming from the irresponsible tax-and-spenders they are, to the image of the staunch “fiscal conservative” they want to portray for reelection.
Please stay focused on that which is important – your family’s quality of life hangs in the balance.