It Was Never About Us

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

–George Orwell, Animal Farm

To the residents of Pelican Bay – It was never about you. 

It was never about any of us.

Earlier this week, we learned what many savvy observers already knew – massive truck and employee traffic associated with the now under construction Amazon megawarehouse is coming to already congested Beville Road.

And there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. 

Now, residents are being told to look at the coming gridlock, wait times, and property devaluation “holistically” – which is bureaucratese for ‘shut-up and accept the inevitable, peons’ – because there is one indisputable fact that governs Fun Coast politics:  What certain people want, they get, and if their version of “Progress” adversely impacts our lives and livelihoods – tough shit. 

Slowly but surely, Volusia County residents are awakening to the realization we are pawns in a much larger game – a weird form of predestination – an accepted doctrine that all events have been agreed to by our “Rich & Powerful” monarchs behind closed doors, those wealthy few with the wherewithal to purchase a chip in the game and know what’s best for the rest of us.  

Trust me. Here on the Fun Coast, you are either in that elite circle – the same five people passing the same nickel around – or you aren’t.

For many, it became evident long ago that our destiny is controlled by all the right last names, heavy hitters who trade malleable politicians like cheap livestock each election cycle – little more than weak-minded elected marionettes who hope against hope that by pleading ignorance to their largely apathetic constituents, the resultant thin veneer of plausible deniability will buy them another bite at the apple to better serve their political benefactors. 

And the pernicious cycle continues.

Last Thursday, some one hundred residents and small business interests along Beville Road learned from Volusia County and Florida Department of Transportation officials that their fervent pleas and protests to move heavy freight and employee traffic accessing the new Amazon fulfillment center away from their neighborhood had fallen on deaf ears.

According to an informative article this week by Eileen Zaffiro-Kean writing in The Daytona Beach News-Journal under the demoralizing frontpage headline, “Residents lose fight over trucks”:

“Instead the group of middle-aged and elderly residents found themselves at a two-hour explanation of how a spot directly across from Pelican Bay’s east gate was chosen for the main access road for Amazon trucks, and what that will mean for traffic on Beville Road a short distance east of Williamson Boulevard.”

But don’t worry, we’re being assured by those on the inside that no one who stands to benefit is “…trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes.”

According to the News-Journal report:

“Planning started about eight years ago for the new access road and other roads that will branch off of it. But many residents at Thursday’s meeting said they felt blindsided by both that network of planned roads and the Amazon project.

Pelican Bay resident Tom Kaczka asked why the access road wasn’t shown on maps at a meeting in August about the area around the Amazon site being rezoned. Local attorney Mark Watts, who’s representing the developer, said that meeting was only about rezoning the specific building site, which doesn’t include the area around the access road.”

Oh.

Sound familiar?  It should. 

I call it the Old Volusia County Shilly-Shally.

Wasting time, running the clock, and prolonging the inevitable is the insidious diversionary tactic that allows our “economic development” types to facilitate preplanned intrusive projects with little, if any, substantive oversight, due diligence, or community input before the massive and unwieldy rabbit is pulled out of the hat with great flourish. 

All perfectly legal here in the Biggest Whorehouse in the World.

For instance, the Amazon project was initially cloaked in total secrecy, known by the mysterious cryptonym “Project Tarpon,” while the true beneficiaries of the backroom wrangling – the uber-powerful elite at NASCAR and Amazon – worked out the details using a perverse bureaucratic sleight-of-hand that has our elected officials voting in the blind on projects of significant regional impact.   

When those elected officials who so enthusiastically voted to approve the development agreement – along with some $4 million in “incentives” for the wealthiest online retailer in the known universe – magically discovered that there just might be some traffic associated with a 2.8 million-square-foot 24/7 industrial warehouse, they feign ignorance of the noxious byproducts of “Progress” and cravenly commiserate with their poleaxed constituents who found themselves without a seat when the music stopped.

Bullshit.

Sorry, Pelican Bay.  You’re screwed.

If its any consolation, you are not alone

In the aftermath of a recent do-nothing deflection dubbed a “smart growth workshop” some wholly compromised members of the Volusia County Council are now telling us our concerns of water quantity and quality degradation associated with the out-of-control sprawl our elected officials across the region continue to rubberstamp is an overreaction

You read that right. 

Of course, while we waste time debating the obvious with them – the bulldozers continue to roar across the width and breadth of Volusia County.

Get it? 

I damn sure hope so. . .

To them, it is just another spineless method of procrastination – allowing time and distance between necessary environmental regulations and growth management strategies and the current malignant sprawl that is making their political benefactors obscenely rich churning our natural places into more sticks-and-glue cracker boxes “starting in the $300’s.”

But lying to their constituents is a dangerous game for sitting politicians. 

What happens when We, The Little People finally awake to the fact that those we trust to steward and manage growth and resources have so perverted the truth while running interference for their puppeteers that they have destroyed the public’s trust in government? 

When the death and destruction of wildlife, the gridlocked traffic, topography changes, toxic soup that was once the Indian River Lagoon, dried up lakes, soiled springs, and the massive sprawl we see with our own eyes no longer comports with the “happy talk” being flogged by our elected and appointed officials? 

What happens when it is too late?

I urge everyone to read the campaign finance reports here https://tinyurl.com/3khvk4wt – examine who the fatback developers and special interests are supporting (the why should be self-evident) – then vote like our quality of life depends upon it. 

12 thoughts on “It Was Never About Us

  1. One of your best yet Mark. Thank you for keeping this issue squarely at the forefront of your readers, local politicians, and the wealthy insiders tied to corporate interests.

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  2. Uhhh… and the Daytona Beach commissioner who actually lives in Pelican Bay wasn’t savvy enough to ask questions and demand answers — and voted for the Amazon project! She didn’t have to — the newest commissioner wasn’t buying it. With representation like that….

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  3. You can tell the developers are certainly pushing Stimpy(Robins) re-election. Wouldn’t put it passed a lot a backroom deals there being the white RINO’s fledgling ! And Amazon is putting an entrance/exit just west of Pannagio’s DME complex .

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  4. Great comment Mark .Last Thursday I left my development Chelsea Place at 5 PM and no accidents and headed east to meet people for dinner on east on Hand Ave .It took us 20 minutes in heavy traffic to get to the first intersection Clyde Morris.Avalon did not break ground yet but sludge like Plantation Oaks is continuing to build more homes right on the viewing are of the loop and wants 295 more plus what Partington is letting him build which is over 2500 home and now another developer wants 500 more homes in that area .This is not why I moved away from Palm Beach 6 years ago .Got all the crap I had down their here now.When i see the ballot I will take a week of studying these people as what we have now is bullshit and donations to builders for favors no matter what party.Partington bend over loser.

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  5. Please-Ormond Beach residents-take note!! At least 2 of the idiots from our CC dais are running for county council and they should not have that job either!! If you think we’re running out of water now…with all the building going on in Daytona and the water supplied by Ormond, …. Need I say anything more?? Don’t forget to vote in November!!!

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  6. Looks like Robbins, Tramont and Johansson are certainly leading the auction of bought and paid for’s!

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  7. Hmmm. Sounds like the East Side is getting a taste of what we’ve been living with on the West side for years. Oh, we can’t fix your roads, the Monied Ones…er, the East Side needs it more. 😑

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  8. HooBoy….Remember a couple of years ago when there was a hue and cry to extend sanitary sewer to Ormond by the Sea? Outlaw septic tanks. For the “benefit” of the environment?!? Yeah right. The real reason, in my opinion, was the oligarchs wanted to built more high rises in Ormond by the Sea but couldn’t do that unless they had public sewer. Kind of hard to built a septic tank big enough for 200 unit high rise. These clowns will do anything and say anything to screw “We The People.” These incumbents need to be voted out. The next group need to be voted out. And the 3rd group need to be voted out until these clowns finally realize “We The People” aren’t going to take it anymore. VOTE ALL THE BUMS OUT. Thank you Mark.

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