Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages… Welcome to Volusia’s Théâtre de l’absurde!

This week’s théâtre de l’absurde that passed for a meeting of the Volusia County Council exposed just how far those stalwarts of the status quo will go to maintain their tenuous grip on power at the Thomas C. Kelly Administration Complex.   

Not pretty.  But smashmouth politics never is.

It also became glaringly obvious that the Old Guard’s strategy going into the August primary will be to use any means necessary to continue the procrastination and obstructionism that allows those speculative developers and home builders with a chip in this very lucrative game to make hay while the sun shines.

Even a jaded political watcher like me became disheartened as the hours droned on with absolutely nothing of substance having been accomplished for the long-suffering residents of Volusia County.

Yeah.  Don’t give me any mealymouthed tripe about that token election year tax rollback hype – anyone who didn’t see that “throw those peons a bone” horseshit coming isn’t paying attention.

Even that whackadoo, our self-anointed éminence grise The Very Reverend “Dr.” Fred Lowry, saw it as a short-lived election season sham when Senior Writer Jarleene Almenas quoted him in the Ormond Beach Observer:

“Rollback is awesome,” Councilman Fred Lowry said. “But next year — I won’t be here but I don’t see that happening.”

Me neither. . .

I’m talking about all the important things that didn’t happen this week as county staff – with the help of a highly practiced political disruptor who got under Chairman Brower’s skin with the skill of a practiced dunk tank carny – led our elected dullards through the weeds like a lumbering odd-toed ungulate with a ring in its nose. . . 

I must admit.  It was impressive to watch.    

Unfortunately for the rest of us, while tens-of-thousands of asset limited/income constrained working families struggle to make ends meet, feed themselves in an era of rampant inflation, and place a roof over their children’s heads on a warehouse worker’s wage, once again, our elected dullards kicked the can down the dusty political trail on the growing affordable housing crisis.     

On Tuesday, Volusia County’s Facilitator of Growth and Mismanagement, Clay Ervin, trotted out another prevaricating dog-and-pony show – complete with monotonous PowerPoints and strategically confusing acronyms, all wrapped in non-committal bureaucratese – that gave the appearance our ‘powers that be’ care about workforce housing. 

They don’t.       

When I heard gassy terms like “Create an environment supportive of new affordable housing development,” and “Discuss and receive direction on possible development of a trust fund,” “Using state law to waive impact fees” (because we’ve seen how well that works out long-term) I realized it was more mumbo-jumbo geared toward creating yet another political insulation committee.

Then it became frustratingly clear that nothing of substance would happen quickly – if ever. 

After making absolutely certain that nothing they voted on would have any lasting impact on the problem – the Volusia County Council voted to accept what will become another five-year plan – which, if they started working on the myriad issues today (they won’t) it will be 2027 before their “plan” begins to gel. 

Another waste of paper containing a long-winded “report” to take-up more space in some musty dead record morgue in the bowels of the Thomas C. Kelly Complex. . .


When talk turned to the formation of the much-anticipated reanimation of the long defunct Environment and Natural Resources Advisory Committee – designed to make recommendations on minimum environmental standards to protect what’s left our greenspace – the focus became vetting potential political appointees – not conservation.

This isn’t exactly the National Security Council.  Just another time-buying and politically motivated obstructionist barricade erected on the path to substantive progress. 

Look, absolutely no one on the dais gives a damn about who serves on these committees, so long as they are of a like mind with the needs, wants, and whims of their political benefactors – and they care even less about the lukewarm “recommendations” coming out of these time-wasting charades.

Just another waste of time while the bulldozers roar. . .

The next civic atrocity came when Councilmen Ben Johnson and Danny Robins attempted to paint the August 13, 2022, Wildlife Corridor Workshop at Ocean Center as a political hit-job – then came razor-close to having this important information-sharing session postponed until after the November election.

(Anyone see a pattern here?) 

Please don’t take my word for it.  Down a strong antiemetic, block off nine-hours of your life you will never get back, and watch it for yourself here:

Whether you agree with the “establishments” scorched-earth strategy or not, it was a highly effective way of cutting into a few of their political opponents while prolonging the process to ensure nothing of substance changes. 


In my jaded view, the growing frustration surrounding this paralysis and destructive in-fighting is why of the 93 candidates seeking election in Volusia County municipal elections, 17 ran unopposed and were automatically elected. 

According to an excellent piece by the great veteran reporter John Bozzo writing in Hometown News, “The number of unopposed candidates rises to 26 after a county judge spot and every open seat on the Soil & Water Conservation Board and West Volusia Hospital Authority Board are included.” 

Anyone want to take a dip in the shitpit of Volusia County politics?

Me neither. . .

10 thoughts on “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages… Welcome to Volusia’s Théâtre de l’absurde!

  1. Hope your grandchild is doing well.After reading 2 days of a meeting by those running in Ormond at the Ormond Beach Senior Center last week Jarleene posted donations.I read all their agendas and ironically those with the least donations cared the most for our county. I swear the more a candidate puts up signs the least chance they have of getting my vote.Those people are the good ole boys and girls with big bucks.Cant believe DeSantis is backing Lowry.Just saying.Good news today mills rate may go down because property went so high in value and higher taxes would kill us.Nothing changes same bullshit just a new day.


  2. Follow the money! Jake Johansson has already raised over $88,000 for a PRIMARY election. Guess where the bulk of that money came from. Visit Click on Candates and then on campaign funds. Choose time period from January 1, 2022 through today’s date. Watch that money pour in from the despoilers of our once-beautiful county. Then check out the other candidates endorsed by the Volusia County Republican Exec. Committee:
    Troy Kent, $52,712 (7/16/22)
    Rob Littleton, $44,556 (7/16/22)
    Mike McLean $18,066 (7/16/22).

    For some contrast there are four NO NEW TAXES candidates endorsed by the Florida Republican Assembly:
    Doug Pettit – At Large – $24,715 (7/16/20)
    Ted Noftall – Dist. 3 – $0
    Ken Smith – Dist. 4 – $9,667 (7/16/22)
    David Sosa – Dist 5 – $5,546 (7/16/22)

    Easy way to take back control and bring some common sense to our county! Remember this info when you vote in the primary on August 23rd!


    1. Sally guess we never heard the results of Nikki Frieds ethics investigation on not claiming almost a million in income on her paperwork before taking her job.700k coming from a house from her married fiance of 2 years who is very heavy in the marijuana industry.Even her fathers address in Ft.Lauderdale is an address for a marijuana company.


    2. Sadly that isn’t the whole story. You are forgetting money spent on behalf of the apparently low-budget candidates. I and many others (including you perhaps) got those texts and links promoting the presumably grass roots agenda — but it sure looks like laws were broken, because the PAC was not found so of course its donors weren’t either. So not all is as it seems.


  3. Ah Sally….we know where former US Naval Captain Johannson got his money because of the legal requirement of campaign finance reporting…but what about messer Pettit who has ads running paid for by a mystery political PAC??? (ironically attacking Capt Jake as the big money candidate?) The dollars you see for messer Pettit are only those reported by his campaign, and only tell part of his story. The only reason to use a PAC in a local nonpartisan race is to hide Pettit’s big money supporters and their unlimited contributions from our view!!! Hypocrisy at it finest!!! New Smyrna doesn’t need someone like this at the county level dictating to us!!!!


    1. Yep – and that PAC did not show up on either the state or county reporting websites the day those text and links were sent. Smith in District 4 seemed to be a beneficiary of these shenanigans as well.


  4. In fact the side that isn’t playing fairly and using “any means necessary” is the one with texts not having required disclaimers or identifying information stating who’s behind it. That is “any means necessary” because it’s not allowed. And that text was all about a pro-Brower agenda. Not a side to be defended until the truth comes out and they’re fully transparent.


  5. Volusia Couny sounds like Soros is here doing his thing.What a shame I cant take so called facts as facts when we have pacs and corruption.Remember when I first moved here and Derrick Henry was fired by Charlie Crist and quit his job as an assistant principle and a fine for playing games with mail in ballots and you idiots in Daytona elect him mayor 3 times.I may just not vote in the primaries as I am disgusted with all the shit but will watch Crist and Fried tonight on WESH at 7 PM.


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