The Great Con Job of “Consolidation”

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.

Bullshit. 

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.

14 thoughts on “The Great Con Job of “Consolidation”

  1. Volusia County has lowered their tax rate by paying for their Fire Services out of the General Fund, which is funded by property taxes paid by ALL county property owners, but only providing those benefits to those who live in the unincorporated area. They get to spread the costs to a bunch of people that don’t get the benefits.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Given the poor service examples of EVAC that prompted cities to establish their own ambulances, I do not think I would want to see them running my city fire/EMS. HOWEVER, it would put an end to the union going to the next city crying poor and saying ante up above the last big contract before we all switch jobs.

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  3. check out Chitwood’s budget-$7 million additional, he is allowing the union to strong arm the taxpayers for 25% pay increase for all in sheriffs dept. The average pay for deputies now is over $59,000. Sargetns now make over $81K. All go up by 25% in one year.

    If left unchecked, the unions will want more and more and more.
    So immoral.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marc,
      I am Sheriff Chitwoods number one critic. This is the fault and cause of voters. Specifically, ammendment 10 giving the Sheriff ultimate control of his own budget. He is happy to pay an extra $38 to satisfy his employees, the question is,”is everyone”?

      The voters voted and allowed this. The ammendment language took away the commission’s authority to decide and gave the Sheriff the keys to the bank, coupled with his great abilities at dishonesty and misdirection to the taxpayers and you have the ability to pillage and rape taxpayers like never before.

      In his favor, he is very much liked and appreciated by the deputies… Five years ago we were losing our deputies after funding their training to Seminole and Orange County. A quick Google search of the Leo affairs forums shows that trend has shifted and Seminole/Orange County deputies are now considering VSO as a more lucrative home base and agency to work for. “Leo Affairs Seminole” and “Leo Affairs Orange” are anonymous forums for law enforcement officers to candidly discuss any issues plaguing their agencies…

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    2. marc
      Ben and Jerry you know the nursing home hippies who sold their ice cream company to Unilever today came up with a new flavor called CHANGE THE BREW who will give profits of that flavor to defund the cops groups and political candidates.Dont we have enough cops dying than to have a corporation going after cops.Teachers make more money than Florida cops up north.You want protection you will have to pay for quality.I personally will never use anything Unilever makes again as they are closing the Israel Ben and Jerry because of Palestine.Wake up dude the media and corporations like Facebook and Twitter control what you read and do.Cops deserve every penny they make.My uncle was a foot patrolman in Manhattan and got shot and the skumbag never got caught but my uncle went back on duty and he died from a heart attack at 44 years old.What about the cops that died at 9/11.Nice to spout behind a phone texting and not a thought of getting shot.I am really curious what you do for a living .I will vote for Chitwood whatever he runs for and hopefully mayor of Ormond Beach or Daytona.

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  4. Let’s not forget about Ormond Beach CC’s desire to put in a new emergency services station and do ??? with the current OBPD building/property. Citizens tax dollars? The city should be collecting from the builders and use some federal funds! Not all the BS they’re spreading….

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  5. I hope you’re not looking to the south for an example of how it’s done—the last year or so has blown the lid off that. Your taxes may be higher on that side of the county line, and your pols more showboaty, but at least you could flush your toilets after Irma! And you didn’t have a tax collector who was a crackpot, LEO-wannabe, ecstasy-popping ephebophile that everybody knew about but nobody cared til he got caught.

    Speaking of your sheriff—a chunk of that budget is no doubt being put toward bringing basic training in-house. Florida’s current system of selling police training to anybody with a checkbook is insane. I get it, they’re being good capitalists, bleeding money from wannabes—but it’s too much of a security risk. Remember George Zimmerman? Plus the universally portable training allows rogue cops to go nomad. Controlling the training will help Chitwood have fewer people who screw up—and if they do then he gets rid of them, unlike your southern neighbor. In case I need to point this out, offloading screwups is fiscally responsible.

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  6. Johnson, Robins and Wheeler are not properly over seeing where OUR money is being spent. And they are supported as being “fiscal conservatives” by the powerful Republican Party of Volusia. Time to primary Johnson and Robins. Thankfully, the RINO Wheeler isn’t running again but the taxpayers need to be watchful on who the Volusia oligarchs will try and replace her with.

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  7. Every home and household has a budget.
    Each county dept. should have a budget to stay within.
    The sheriff’s dept. has no regard for financial responsibility, Recktenwald should reign in sheriff’s dept. budget.
    25% pay rise in one year, not acceptable.
    Financial malfesance.

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  8. and lastly, the Volusia County School sysyem received a “C” rating recently.
    what school system in FL receives a C rating?

    There is so much wrong in this county.
    Highly paid school administrators, teachers, police, fiiremen. city managers, county directors, Board of Ed 5 directors, the Superintendent. The superintendent gets paid 6 figures for a C rated school system. A “C” is a failing grade.

    So sad.

    Time for Barker to do another article on the school system.

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    1. marc Daytona Schools are the worst.Mainland where as an Ormond Beach resident sends their kids is a one or 2 dependent on where you get your numbers..I want an Ormond Beach High School with all the new building .Mainland is a den of amobas and drugs and gangs.Most people where I live send their kids to private schools

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  9. Anyone try to eat at a restaurant recently.?They are closed more days and opened less hours.Drove by Chilis on Williamson near Granada for lunch on Sunday and a sign on the door said closed until 4PM no help.Maybe we need a brand new newspaper in this area as Gannett and Pat Rice destroyed what was a descent one when I moved here 5 years ago and no papers on the driveway anymore and no transparency from Gannett on their subscribtions in Florida.As far as the police go as someone from Long Island watching teachers make over 100k and retire to country clubs with a 120k pension if you want good people you need to pay more than what cops make in Florida to get shot at and I am all forc a raise.My neighbor was a Ormond Beach cop who was on duty on his motorcycle and was hit by a truck and almost lost both legs and had to sell his home and get a desk job at his old Buffalo Police dept to support his wife and kids.Go for it Mark lets get the DBNJ out of here.

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