Angels & Assholes for October 21, 2022

Hi, kids!

It’s time once again to turn a jaundiced eye toward the newsmakers of the day – the winners and losers – who, in my cynical opinion, either contributed to our quality of life, or detracted from it, in some significant way.

Let’s look at who tried to screw us – and who tried to save us – during the week that was:

Angel               Hometown Heroes Pat Northey and Steve Parker

On Tuesday, the Volusia County Council honored Pat Northey for her long-time advocacy of the arts and our fragile environment as she rightfully received the prestigious 2022 Tippen Davidson Award from the Volusia County Cultural Alliance. 

According to the VCCA, “The Annual Tippen Davidson Award for the Arts was established to recognize leadership and long-standing support by individuals of cultural endeavors in Volusia County by the Volusia County Cultural Alliance.”

After more than 20-years of elected service – her continuing contributions as Chair of the Volusia ECHO Advisory Committee – and enduring commitment to promoting the county’s network of nature trails (which now span more than 67-miles) the County Council acknowledged that, “…at the heart of her community service is the desire to create a better quality of life for Volusia County residents, ensuring they have a clean and natural place to live with access to a variety of arts and cultural facilities,” in proclaiming October 18, 2022, as Pat Northey Day in Volusia County.

Well deserved, Pat!

Thank you for your significant contributions and tireless efforts to improve our quality of life and safeguard our environment. 

In the brutal aftermath of Hurricane Ian, true “hometown heroes” have emerged on both sides of Volusia’s Palmetto Curtain – resolute servant-leaders lending a hand when and where they can – working hard to keep their neighbors informed of available resources and inspiring a spark of hope in those who have lost so much.   

In my view, Steve Parker – moderator of the incredibly popular social media site “What’s Happening in Port Orange” and the local public affairs podcast, “What’s Happening Live!” – does more than just talk about the issues we face, he gives generously of his time, talents, and sweat to help make life easier for his neighbors in need.

This week, a loyal member of the Barker’s View tribe let me know that Steve has been working tirelessly in the heavily impacted Summer Trees subdivision, a 55+ community in Port Orange – helping elderly and disabled residents in removing flood damaged furniture, cabinets, floors, and fixtures – doing the heavy lifting for those unable to recover from the devastating effects of this disaster on their own.  

God’s work, Steve.

I have always taken comfort in a quote by the great Fred Rogers – better known as children’s television host Mister Rogers, who said:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

Our ‘hometown heroes’ Pat Northey and Steve Parker are two of those intrepid helpers who, through their selfless service to others, bring optimism for our collective future in Volusia County. 

Thank you, both. 

We’re glad you passed our way. 

Angel               New Smyrna Beach Resident Sharon Adams

It is no secret we live in a time when political affiliations are hurled like vile epithets – another sign of our horrible national divide – where even local candidates and their supporters launch the terms “Democrat” and “Republican” like boiling oil at their opponents, as though these labels alone will tell voters all they need to know about a candidate’s character and lineage.    

Us vs. Them.  Red vs. Blue.  Good vs. Evil.  Compromise is weakness.   

Earlier this week, a report by Mark Harper writing in The Daytona Beach News-Journal entitled, “Candidates in NSB race trade barbs after illegal partisan ad,” caught my jaundiced eye.

In the nonpartisan New Smyrna Beach District One race – a contest populated by incumbent Commissioner Mike Kolody and his opponent, Valli Perrine, both of whom “identify” as Republicans – a dust-up occurred earlier this month when a glossy mailer sent to potential voters by the Kolody campaign noted his political affiliation.

That is a violation of state election laws.

Mr. Kolody blamed the error on the printing company – which may be factual – however; according to the News-Journal’s report, Ms. Perrine alleges that Commissioner Kolody has also been “going door-to-door telling (voters) I’m a Democrat. Which is insane in a nonpartisan race.”

The accusations, misinformation, and petty politics did not end there:

I approached him at a farmer’s market,” Perrine said. “I said, ‘What you’re doing is in violation of state law.”

“And he says, ‘You’re a Democrat.’ He started yelling at me … which is crazy because we were standing next to the Democratic Party tent. He’s not really a rational person.”

Kolody didn’t have nice things to say about Perrine.

“I have an opponent who is a very nasty person,” he said. “I sent an email to her saying we should have a face-to-face debate. She refused, saying, ‘You’ve had four years. Go live in the mountains and don’t ever email me again.’” Kolody accused Perrine’s camp of taking some of his yard signs down.

Perrine said her supporters didn’t remove his signs. She said it was Republican Party officials who took them down from in front of the GOP headquarters.

She accused him of parking a vehicle in front of her house displaying campaign messages.

“She is telling people I’m a nasty person who hates women,” Kolody said. “She’s not the type of person you want to have running for public office.”

In a most worthy act, Sharon Adams, a resident of New Smyrna Beach who describes herself as a registered Democrat who claims she does not support either Kolody or Perrine, filed a formal complaint with the Florida Elections Commission.

According to the report, Adams told the News-Journal that she “…isn’t a supporter of either candidate but believes public officials ought to know and follow laws.”

“I do think it’s a big deal,” she said. “Because with everything going on in our country, every little violation matters.”

The notion of nonpartisanship in local races might seem antiquated to some, but Adams said an embrace of the concept is the best way to govern locally.

“I think people ought to be judged not on the party affiliation. They ought to be judged on their qualities.”

Look, I don’t know Ms. Adams personally, and I certainly have no idea about her politics, but I respect the fact that a lone citizen saw fit to stand on principle – and take action to preserve that which is right and fair at a time when local political contests have become a blood sport.

Thomas Jefferson said, “The government you elect is the government you deserve.”

Thank you, Ms. Adams, for having the courage of your convictions.   

Asshole           Volusia County Council

Heliograph signals.

Semaphore lines.

The Cooke and Wheatstone electrical telegraph.

Apollo’s S-Band Transponder that transmitted Neil Armstrong’s first words from the moon.

Hell, last week, I watched a spaceship intentionally crash into the side of an asteroid 6.7 million miles from my Barcalounger in Ormond Beachand the pictures beamed to my television moments before impact were so clear I could count the pea-sized pebbles on its rocky surface. 

Advances in long-distance communications continue to evolve at the speed of technology, but in 2022, I still cannot watch a bimonthly meeting of that shambolic hootenanny that passes for a Volusia County Council meeting without an ear trumpet and an oral transliterator. . .

What gives?

For years I have poked fun at the sound quality of broadcasts from the gilded Volusia County Council chamber – which have a pitch, tone, and consistency just shy of Alexander Graham Bell’s harmonic telegraph – as a way of calling attention to the embarrassing lack of reliable technology (that you and I paid for) at the Thomas C. Kelly Administration Building in DeLand. (Admittedly, the place is often reminiscent of the dark side of the moon, but still. . .)

After struggling through Tuesday’s indecipherable shitshow – which saw our elected dullards, participating residents, and disinterested staff members straining to be heard due to “audio/visual difficulties” that disrupted the meetings live feed – it has become evident that these chronic communications failures simply must be a strategic maneuver to keep Volusia County residents in the dark on the important issues we face.

Is there another explanation? 

I’m asking.

With a recently approved budget topping $1.06 Billion and a long history of technological disruptions – along with the asinine refusal of our elected officials to embrace a public access television channel to allow residents the opportunity to observe their county government in all its glorious inaction – it is patently clear that our elected officials want to make it so onerous for us to watch the sausage being made that We, The Little People get frustrated and go away. 

Jesus.  Enough already. 

What has been a chronic annoyance is now empirical evidence of the gross mediocrity and lack of attention to detail that pervades the executive suites at the TCK building.

Regardless of whether they have the self-awareness to notice, it also reflects poorly on our elected officials, who are left looking like addled buffoons every time a microphone fails, and a flummoxed staff member is forced to equip Chairman Brower with two tin cans and a waxed string. . .

What little I was able to decrypt on Tuesday involved a weird appearance by Daytona Beach City Commissioner Stacy Cantu, who took to the podium to lambast Chairman Jeff Brower for “playing politics” when he appeared at a meeting in Daytona Beach and explained how overdevelopment contributed to post-Ian inundation during a discussion of issues surrounding recurrent flooding in perennially neglected Midtown neighborhoods.   

Yeah.  It’s Brower’s fault. . .    

From the first days of his campaign, Mr. Brower has decried the pace and magnitude of malignant sprawl across Volusia County and has spoken of its detrimental effects on our water quality and insufficient utilities infrastructure.  In fact, controlling explosive growth has been Chairman Brower’s cause célèbre – and his controversial stance has brought the wrath of his compromised colleagues – who are desperate to maintain the status quo for their political benefactors. 

Given the fact Commissioner Cantu has a sworn obligation to address the issues affecting Midtown residents, in my view, her odd performance on Tuesday was the textbook example of political deflection – something not lost on long-time political watchdog John Nicholson. 

When Mr. Nicholson spoke, he pointed out the absurdity of Ms. Cantu’s accusation, saying “She (Cantu) plays politics all the time,” before rightfully calling for politicians to stop placing blame and support a unified effort by the City of Daytona Beach and Volusia County to find a solution to the repeat flooding in Midtown – a recurring disaster which Mr. Nicholson noted has been going for “forty years.” 

I don’t always agree with John Nicholson – but I have long admired his thoughtful take on the issues of the day and near-constant presence at public meetings. 

On this issue we are of a like mind: The good residents of Midtown deserve better.

Later in the meeting, I was shocked (but not surprised) by the result of a tepid and one-sided discussion of a “Toilet to Tap” measure previously proposed by Chairman Jeff Brower in the face of pending state mandates which will forever limit local governments regulation of recycled sewage to augment our dwindling drinking water supply – bureaucratically known as “potable reuse water.”

In the view of many environmentalists, the disgusting process of using treated wastewater to alleviate increasing pressure on the aquifer due to overdevelopment will allow even more unchecked sprawl across the width and breadth of Florida.   

In August, a similar request for action on this critical issue supported by Chairman Brower died for lack of a second. 

To ensure that a wooden stake was driven through the heart of any substantive action that would in any way impede the ability of their well-heeled political benefactors in the real estate development community to haul untold millions out of our paved over pine scrub – lame duck At-Large Councilman Ben Johnson made a motion that the topic of potable reuse water never be discussed by this iteration of the Volusia County Council again.   

You read that right.

Of course, The Very Reverend “Dr.” Fred Lowry dutifully genuflected – kissed the sizeable asses of his political masters – and seconded Old Ben’s motion. 

With Danny Robins and Heather Post absent, Councilwoman Barb Girtman once again ensured a majority for Volusia’s stodgy Old Guard when she voted to ensure the status quo, joining Johnson, Lowry, and Billie Wheeler in effectively quashing any further consideration of protecting our threatened drinking water supply until at least January. 

My God.

By way of explanation for her vote, Ms. Girtman said she could not understand why Chairman Brower chose to bring the matter back up at this time?  (Obviously insinuating he was staging a political stunt ahead of the election.)

Because acting proactively and getting ahead of an approaching issue that will soon affect every man, woman, and child in Volusia County is anathema in a place that now exists to dally, defer, and dawdle. . . 

If that isn’t playing politics with our future – with the health and safety of our children and grandchildren – I don’t know what is.

No wonder our elected dullards don’t want anyone watching. . .

I hope you will remember this perpetual block and stall strategy at the ballot box next month.

Quote of the Week

“Twenty years ago, Consolidated-Tomoka Land Company proposed the annexation on the condition we abolish our city’s strict wetland protection rules. I and other commissioners voted against the annexation when it became clear the will of the people of Ormond Beach demanded we keep the wetland rules to preserve trees, greenspace and flood control. Aware that growth does not pay for itself, our citizens overwhelmingly rejected a massive expansion of our city.

The land would be ultimately sold by Consolidated-Tomoka to unknown developers. Once annexed, the Ormond Beach brand would drive up the price. So would eliminating our wetland rules and allowing a much higher development density. Daytona Beach annexed the Consolidated-Tomoka acres and broke a long-standing boundary agreement with Ormond Beach to do so. Twenty years and two resales later, the current owner of the proposed Avalon Park property will construct 10,000 homes, large water retention ponds and extensive commercial development.

Even if the city had annexed the land, Ormond Beach would now have little or no control over how Avalon Park is developed. We gave up our only effective protection against overdevelopment when the city abolished our model wetland rules in 2010. Then-Commissioner Bill Partington joined a 5-0 vote to adopt the more liberal St. Johns Water District rules, which allow urban wetlands to be destroyed if the developer will purchase mitigation acres for conservation in a distant, rural ecosystem.

As for Consolidated-Tomoka, in 2016, the land company paid a $187,500 fine to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency to resolve allegations that the company, over seven years, illegally dredged and filled 163 acres of wetlands west of I-95 and north of LPGA Boulevard. The EPA concluded Consolidated violated the federal Clean Water Act by altering and filling wetlands adjacent to tributaries of the Tomoka River. The wetland restoration cost was estimated at $1.7 to $1.9 million and Consolidated agreed to the fine with no admission of wrongdoing.

The commission now plans to sell Ormond water and sewer services to Avalon Park. The deal will require Ormond Beach to construct a second sewer plant and will enable high-impact development on our doorstep by a city that reneged on our last agreement.

Twenty years ago, I kept an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the laws of my city in voting against annexing the Consolidated-Tomoka land. I would cast the same “no” vote today.”

–Former Ormond Beach City Commissioner and Civic Activist Jeff Boyle, writing in the Ormond Beach Observer, Letters to the Editor, “Truth Retold,” Monday, October 17, 2022

Earlier this week – despite the serious concerns of residents still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Ian – the Ormond Beach City Commission approved by majority vote the controversial Tattersall at Tymber Creek project – described as a 129-home subdivision located on 84-acres at the northwest corner of Tymber Creek Road and Airport Road. 

On Tuesday, the first reading of the development order passed following five previous denials on a 3-2 vote with Mayor Bill Partington and Commissioner Troy Kent voting to deny the request.


The next time you find yourself sitting through three cycles of a traffic light on Granada Boulevard, ask yourself – if the roles of power were reversed – with the specter of Avalon Park, that gargantuan “City within a city” looming on the horizon, and numerous high-density sticks-and-glue apartment complexes already approved – would you rubberstamp another development in Ormond Beach?

Me neither.

Vote like your quality of life depends upon it.  Because it does.  

And Another Thing!

“Beach driving is one of Volusia County’s most distinct features. It’s also one of its most enduring controversies. Larry Arrington, who as Volusia County manager in the late 1990s oversaw the establishment of no-driving sections of the beach, died Oct. 5 at age 72 after an illness.”

–Reporter Mark Harper writing in The Daytona Beach News-Journal, “Larry Arrington, former Volusia County manager and consultant, dies at age 72,” Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Following his retirement from a life in public service, Larry Arrington understood the growing animus and “trust issues” facing local government when he admirably founded The Civitas Project, which he described as:

“The mission of The Civitas Project is to help create a sustainable, good society to the extent humanly possible. This is done by building civitas through quality initiatives including education, leadership development, conflict resolution, informed research and commentary, and well-designed and facilitated collaborative labs that bring people together to develop strategic consensus about responses to complex public problems.

Our main goal is to practice deliberative democracy and to promote balanced and informed public reason about the collective challenges we face. We seek to build moral and transformational leadership capacity and quality political institutions.”

Earlier this week, I found the project’s website has been abandoned – I assume because the lofty goals and principals Mr. Arrington envisioned are no longer “humanly possible” in this fetid slit trench that passes for “governance” in Volusia County. 

To be clear, I did not agree with what is now being touted as Mr. Arrington’s “biggest accomplishment” – the removal of vehicles from sections of Daytona Beach – something I still view as craven capitulation to what the Orlando Sentinel described at the time as, “…the ambitions of deep-pocketed developers and powerful business interests.”

Mr. Arrington pushed the removal of beach driving by labeling our long-standing local tradition as “dirty, dangerous, and damaging,” – then drummed up support for his “beach driving is bad for tourism” push by using the same marketing research firm that has received public funds to tell our policy makers what they want to hear for decades.

In my view, the campaign crafted by Mr. Arrington was complete bullshit – but it was supported by all the right last names – and served as effective camouflage for the real reason our movers-and-shakers wanted vehicles off Volusia County beaches. 

In reality, limiting beach driving and access was a well-orchestrated plan by a few influential insiders – some of whom long ago declared bankruptcy and fled the Daytona Beach Resort Area with a sack full of cash and broken dreams in their wake – to establish a de facto private beach for the Ocean Walk development, which was among the first “panacea projects” we were told would cure all our civic and social ills from malignant blight to head lice and pave the way for a “new Daytona Beach.”


I do. 

How has that worked out for us nearly 23-years on?

Well, much of the East ISB gateway still has the appearance of a stagnant third-world shithole (I know, I know, change is coming, just wait another year or two…), the long-neglected Main Street entertainment district hasn’t significantly changed in decades, and what remained of the iconic Daytona Beach Boardwalk will soon be leveled to make way for another “luxury” hotel.


Although we disagreed on beach driving, I admired Mr. Arrington’s efforts to establish The Civitas Project and his ardent promotion of contemplative deliberation by policymakers, inclusiveness, and citizen involvement in our democracy to foster a more “balanced and informed public reason about the collective challenges we face.”

Unfortunately, Mr. Arrington’s vision of moral and transformational leadership no longer has a place in Volusia County government – replaced by a politicized farse of a policymaking process – a dysfunctional shitshow – controlled by compromised sellouts incapable of compromise or consensus, an ongoing embarrassment to the residents of Volusia County and a cautionary tale for our more successful neighbors in Central Florida. 

Rather than live up the values and vision Mr. Arrington championed, it is increasingly evident that the raison d’être of Volusia County’s controlling Old Guard is to strategically procrastinate on the pressing issues of the day while a select few feed greedily on what remains of our natural places – then fight like rabid badgers to remain in power.

Rather than govern, these hacks now exist to kick the can down the dusty political trail – and block substantive discussion of the intractable issues we face – putting time and distance between meaningful public policies and commonsense regulations to allow maximum profit for those influential insiders who hold the paper on their political souls.

Now, Larry Arrington – a statesman, leader, and important voice for good governance – has been silenced too soon.

That’s all for me.  Have a great ‘Unsanctioned Truck Event’ weekend, y’all! 

8 thoughts on “Angels & Assholes for October 21, 2022

  1. surprise…nsb story makes it to Barker…ormond id a shit show, but nsb is not far behind…Perrine is and has been a real estate agent and together with the “cabal” of man haters that are her support group is also supported by Real Estate Board, Chamber of Commerce, and tells fibs about her support for developement here…as is the “republican” running for zone 2 commission..also a real estate agent for Pat Collado, being supported by the McHenry family of republican donors aka the largest RE groups and developers in NSB…check out Ms Perrines donors…and McKennas donors


  2. Biketoberfest a useless bunch of people coming to Daytona as we try to clean up ..Now we have unsanctioned Trucktoberfest starting today thru Sunday.Chitwood has his men all over the beach and signs or zones they can be allowed to drive in.Unfortunately both events are a shit show for Ormond Beach too as yesterday at 2PM We waited in both directions on Granada between 2 and 3 traffic light changes to move.We will get all the loud trucks with drunks driving and tailgating and having no mufflers and morons driving.Henry and Partington these events affect both cities and ready to get the hell out of here again when it destroys your weekends and going out to eat .If Bridger was not a three time loser I would have voted for him as Partington ignores it all it makes money only for the saloons on route 1.


  3. How appropriate for Pat Northey to receive this award in the County Council Chambers where she voted in favor of environmentally destroying developments that will diminish our quality of life, SunRail that is an endless money pit that will cost us millions every year and will take from our much needed local and county road projects, and Higher Taxes. She sure has determination, we have to give her that. What more could anyone want from a public servant? And to think she is receiving an award for the wasteful spending of our tax dollars. Pat Northey is right there in with the group of establishment politicians who have catered to the developers, real estate investors, and the uber rich power brokers who could care less about us or the environment and she has done far more harm than good. Some of the best advice I was recently given is “don’t be fooled by false prophets”. Funny how some get a pass and others do not.


  4. The bikers are more polite than the truckers. The bikers are always welcome, in my humble opinion.
    Jake Johansson just sent out a e-mail last Wednesday with his head buried up Stacy Cantù’s butt. He LOVES her. He also said that the “toilet to tap” brouhaha was bullshit. No chance it was going to happen here. Guess he doesn’t read this blog.


    1. Hello Jon hope you are having a good day.Went to the Grind for Brunch today and was packed so we went to Lulus on beachside.Trucktoberfest never happened .We saw no trucks or traffic all the way to the Main Street Bridge to take home.Chitwood and Young are the best.I would vote Chitwood for Governor in 2024 when DeSantis runs for President.Beach was totally dead today and no traffic.It takes people who know what to do to do it and we are lucky we have them.Beach and homes got trashed from the storm.Lots of blue tarps.Have a great day.


  5. Can’t Do Cantu, just another finger pointer missioned to deflect focus, from important matters, involving the ‘right’ last names!
    If i recall she knew nothing about the Amazon Fulfillment Center being built across the street from her?


  6. If you own a home or are a landlord who owns a rental, a property tax increase is coming your way Jan. 1, 2023.
    How, if amendments #2 and #3 passed, by passing these a property tax decrease will be given starting next year to several preferential occupations in Florida, not the rest of us.
    As such, our property taxes will rise significantly.


    1. No matter where you live Marc when the price of my home tripled in Ormond Beach or my old home in a country club in Palm Beach I sold for 300k is now listed at a million and it does not have current building standards the home insurance will go nuts as the roofs of 1800 home are ready to go.I understand why the costs of insuring a home like my old ond must go up.Charlie Crist ad he will lower property insurance is like senile Biden. Lots of damage from Granada to Main Street on the beach today lots of blue tarps.


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