Readers say not to vote for four-year terms
Well, let’s review. The Ormond Beach city staff recommended that the car wash at Granada Pointe NOT be approved. The Ormond Beach Planning Board recommended that the car wash should NOT be approved based on the fact that it did not fit within the city’s comprehensive plan. Yet, the recently re-elected City Commission voted to approve the car wash proposed by the developer, in an amendment to his original Planned Business Development. Susan Persis, the newly elected commissioner voted against the majority. Commissioner Dwight Selby was absent. With this action, they overruled the city staff and the Planning Board as well as the majority of local citizens. More than 200 local citizens voted on a survey presented by Suzanne Scheiber, that did NOT approve a car wash at this site and instead voted in favor of sit-down restaurants, bakeries and specialty food shops.
When we review the City Commission elections of 2018, we can clearly see that the incumbents, (three out of four of the sitting commissioners as well as the mayor), were well-funded by local developers including Paul Holub. Their opponents fought a good election fight but were out-financed about 5 to 1. Let’s face it. It’s hard to overcome a 5-to-1 war chest in a local election. The incumbents were even able to post traffic-direction signage along Granada Blvd. in their favor a few days before the election.
So, it seems to me that the car wash decision was certainly influenced, (maybe not bought and paid for, but influenced) by campaign contributions.
The next question is this. Will we allow these incumbent city commissioners and mayor to sit complacent for four more years, or refuse their self-serving referendum during the May mail-in ballot?
Editor’s Note: To see contribution statements, visit ormondbeach.org. Under “government” click “election information.” Click “Election Records,” then click “2018 Election Records.” Click “view all” by any candidate’s name. The forms are not labelled “contributions;” they are numbered. Start by opening the top form and continuing down.
I hope that people are paying attention to the May special election. The new questions that will be decided are important. Extending to four-year terms because our neighbors do it that way? I don't think that is much of an argument. What if we're the only ones doing it right? I love the idea of deciding who is and who is not representing my interests every two years. A rotten apple can do a lot of damage in four years, and the sooner they can be identified and removed, the better. And should there be term limits? You bet there should. The failure of having term limits is almost a guarantee of corruption. These jobs should be considered as public service positions for individuals who by their superior intellect, integrity, and proven expertise deserve the public trust. What we get too often are folks who are driven (and financed) by special interests, and who have little or no regard for the average citizen. Short terms and term limits provide us, the folks who live here and have to pick up the tab, the best chance of not getting skinned. It looks like the incumbents are trying to sneak one through while we're not paying attention. Nuts to them!