In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, it is becoming increasingly clear that this natural disaster was turned into a catastrophe by base political cowardice.
With at least five of our neighbors dead and preliminary damage estimates pushing $131 million in Volusia County, on Tuesday, the spineless Gang of Four – Volusia County Councilmembers Ben Johnson, Danny Robins, Billie Wheeler, and The Very Revered “Dr.” Fred Lowry – were joined by Councilwoman Barb Girtman in blocking a courageous push by Chair Jeff Brower and Councilwoman Heather Post for consideration of a temporary moratorium on future growth and development.
Instead, these craven tools stood firm for their “Rich & Powerful” overlords in the real estate development community and (per usual) opted to kick the can down the eroded and debris-strewn road – once again, falling back on another meaningless political insulation committee to do their thinking for them.
Secreted on the Council’s “consent agenda,” was the rubber stamp of the final plat of eighteen townhomes and three single family lots as requested by our High Panjandrum of Political Power, Mori Hosseini, at his oceanfront Verona subdivision just west of A-1-A in Ormond-by-the-Sea.
To his credit, with contaminated water still standing in many homes throughout Volusia County, Chair Jeff Brower suggested a conscientious pause on new development until decisions can be made on growth management and flood control.
After our Growth and Resource Mismanagement Director Clay Ervin explained to our elected dullards that lockstep approval of the Verona plat was a formality required by state law (?) – a forced “Yes” vote under an unspoken threat of a potential lawsuit – The Very Reverend “Dr.” Lowry tut-tutted that he didn’t want to be “unfair” to the developer before moving to approve the request.
Unfair? A mere tap of the brakes to discuss the issues we collectively face is “unfair”?
With people’s lives at stake?
With residents of Lowry’s own district having food delivered by airboat?
In a valiant (if futile) effort to advance the conversation, Councilwoman Post moved to discuss a potential moratorium on future development at their next meeting.
The only sound emanating from the dais were the squeaks of the clenched assholes of those compromised shills who have, for years, accepted massive campaign contributions from developers, as they nervously gnawed the Naugahyde from the seats of their wingback chairs. . .
Of course, Ms. Post’s motion died for lack of a second.
The mere suggestion went through the craven Gang of Four like an ice water enema.
According to an excellent report by Senior Editor Jarleene Almenas writing in the Ormond Beach Observer, “Her (Post’s) motion, despite pleas from Volusia County Council Chair Jeff Brower to give them an opportunity to discuss this, died for lack of a second.
The remainder of the council felt that this was an issue they should first hear from the recently formed Environment and Natural Resources Advisory Committee.”
In keeping with his role as the Old Guard’s Chief Deflector and Procrastinator – the now wholly compromised Councilman Ben Johnson covered the bright yellow stripe down his back using the current iteration of the Environmental and Natural Resources Advisory Committee – crowing that even discussing a moratorium would be “usurping” the committee’s authority (only the committee doesn’t have any “authority.”)
See how the game is played, folks?
There will always be one more roadblock, one more postponement, one more study, one more expensive consultant, one more hoop to jump through, one more bullshit “committee” to hear from, one more nonsensical reason why doing the right and honorable thing is prohibited by state law, one more motion that dies for lack of a second – and years pass as the bulldozers roar without any substantive movement on the most pressing issues of our time: Malignant sprawl, environmental destruction, and overdevelopment.
With thousands of Volusia County residents displaced due to persistent floodwaters, millions in damage to homes and businesses, and experts in agreement that paving over the natural buffers and wetlands has significantly contributed to the horrific flood damage and deaths seen across the breadth of Central Florida – these sycophantic marionettes remain beholden to their well-heeled political benefactors – running interference and quashing any reasonable effort to stop the spread until commonsense low-impact development initiatives can be implemented.
In my experience, these sellouts have repeatedly proven – in both word and deed – that they don’t give two-shits what We, The Little People have to say.
In my view, with so many of their neighbors suffering, those recent political appointees to the advisory committee should resign – en masse – and tell our gutless elected officials to own their dirty work and foot-dragging.
Because with fetid piles of trash, standing water with the rotting carcasses of wild hogs floating in the swollen swales, and vegetative debris lining residential streets, it is disingenuous to trot out an unwieldy 14-member committee to put more time and distance between this death and destruction and the profit motives of influential insiders who have controlled Volusia County government for far too long.
In my view, this is the textbook example of a morally corrupt and dysfunctional system – and the Gang of Four’s political legacies will forever be tainted with a whiff of the shit.
How do these shameless assholes sleep at night?
My hope is that those incumbents standing for reelection feel the consequences of their abject cowardice at the polls next month.
Don’t take my word for it. Watch the archived video of Tuesday’s meeting – then vote like your children and grandchildren’s quality of life depends upon it.
Because it does.
11 thoughts on “The Consequences of Political Cowardice”
To all you winers and tree huggers on this blog, you cannot stop growth.
There is no climate change and in 9000 years most of US will be in glacial period, covered by mile of ice.
Good job Ormond for purchasing a 15 foot high (tall) urban assault vehicle, Not needed, waste of my tax money.
Overpaid teachers and fire people.
WNDB, off the air most of time, what a waste of a resource.
FYI…if you are being bombarded by spam e mails, reply back to them, “If you continue to e mail me, I will sue you for cyberstalking”, It works!
dee dee dee
Yes from the moment Sheriff Mike “Enema Political” Chitwood coined the phrase….
Like the Joker in Batman……
“This Town Needs an Enema”
I have concurred
Still waiting from the FBI
All one can do is throw their hands up in despair🤷♂️
Time for you to move if you dont like it.Tell me who to vote for in 4 weeks.Mail in ballots will be a problem too.All you do is dee dee dee .Tell me who you want voted in .I want no mobile homes or wood frame homes .Anything new that is built needs to be concrete.Know your water table before you buy and if you buy on the beach oh well I went through Andrew .Tell me MARC who are you going to recommend?Saying it nicely not like your post.Would love to know if you work or retired like me 74 years old.
Sorry, but new growth didn’t cause my flooding issues. It’s the aged infrastructure and low built properties in our older parts of town that got hit the hardest. My sister lives in a fairly new home. Her neighborhood did great, had standing water but no homes flooded. House all built up. But my home is in an older part of Daytona and was sitting under water too fast! I though after Hurricane Matthew that Daytona Beach was going to add an outfall to the river from the Nova canal instead of shipping it miles north and south where it backs up with everyone else’s water? Fact is new homes get built higher. New infrastructure drains better. Older homes all sit lower and that will never change. A moratorium on new construction miles away from me doesn’t change the infrastructure, topography or the height mine was built at. Which means I need to move into a new home and leave my dump behind me forever! Don’t take that choice away from me!!!
Hate to disagree with you but most new subdivisions are being built in wetlands and swamps we’re all the excess water used to get sucked down into the ground but now has no where to go except to lower lying areas such as old neighborhoods. They’re called Wetlands for a Reason ! My old neighborhood Magnolia Terrace had flooding in the streets and backyards. The homes there were built in the 50’s and their infrastructure,yes outdated still sucked up the water and as far I’ve seen or heard no homes were flooded. The majority of the homes that are flooded in Daytona are in the Midtown area and around the projects which for unknown reasons built in the lowest areas. Kinda like New Orleans. Now as you say the new neighborhoods are built up higher than the old ones is because they learned from their ancient pasta. And like I said built in the WETLANDS/swamps that feed Our Aquafer!
On the south side of the South Acoma Street intersection with Old Kings Highway in Halifax Plantation, developers clear cut at least 100 acres of native forest. The denuded land can be seen from the Loop, thereby ruining the beautiful drive. About 500 yards south of this intersection on Old Kings Highway is a new stream of water flowing east from the clear cut across Old Kings Highway to the western side of the road. Looks like someone might have screwed up the site plan? How could it be over looked that clear cutting approximately 100 acres of virgin forest might cause undue run off in heavy rain? Why wasn’t a provision made for a needed culvert to channel excess rain under the road? What happens when some bikers hit this new stream? Who’s going to pay for the needed road improvement? All questions that need to be answered by the folks who brought you this new subdivision on the Loop.
I can always depend on John Wong to be the smartest here.Plantation Oaks is a horrible joke that keeps getting bigger and bigger .We have enough problems driving the loop with an inch of rain and everything overflows.This is why I came to the point this week it doesnt matter who you vote for it is all about the builders like ICI and all the others buying both parties .Trump said when he was a builder I donate to everyone to get what I want as he still owes contactor friends of mine money when he told them I dont like your work so this is what I pay.Thats the truth from NYC.
Agreed. Mr. Wong is correct. Partington and his cronies, 2 of whom are attempting to get on the county commission now, allowed this. Again, by voting for Partington you’re continuing the mistake. It isn’t democrats versus republicans; it’s a bipartisan issue for the people of Ormond Beach, and Volusia County who are affected by the idiots that have been doing the damage to our beautiful area.
As I said to my husband, as we were surrounded by water, I hope this storm opens everyone’s eyes for the need to put the breaks on development. They take down all the pine trees which absorb the excess water,. Some readers commends the new developments for being built” higher” but no one tales into consideration the existing homes that are now flooded due to new home development. Drive down Pineer Trail in New Smyrna going east. Coastal Woods, is built up but all the runoff from the rains, floods the neighborhoods across the street. But Grosam could care. The people that live in the flooded areas have been there for years but it’s supposed to be their problem that their houses weren’t but up years ago in anticipation of future development?
Vote smart and responsibly in November. Your homes and lives depend on it.
Nature always takes back what is hers… and will do it again, and again, and again, until people WAKE THE HELL UP and stop building stupid… I have NO sympathy for those building in the ocean…or near it. LEAVE IT FOREVER WILD.. Doing the same thing, over and over, with the SAME BAD RESULTS, is the definition of INSANITY..