Jim Dinneen must act now
OK, we've now heard Act 1 from County Manager Jim Dinneen.
The county must raise our tax rate immediately or disaster will follow. Isn't this the expected script that we're always faced with by our bureaucratic system? It's self-serving and I'm just tired of seeing the same approach played out and supported by our elected officials.
Act 2 will be a scripted and in our face defense of the TRIM proposal demanding that critics produce any and every proposal that pushes against an increase.
It's the "we can't lay off our police and firemen" or what about the "seniors that will lose their lunch" or the best of all dramas ... "look what you're doing to the children." Any critic will be demonized ... that's the script. Watch it unfold. That's not what we voted for in 2012.
Anyone with experience in business or an ounce of fiscal knowhow realizes every budget is constructed with surplus. We all know that under the previous council leadership, Volusia's governmental bureaucracy was dramatically expanded, funded by the property boom years. It's time now to bring that governmental growth back into reality. Our property values do not support the budget/expenditure level.
It is self-defeating to continue these tax rates. If the rates remain where they are, we will not see economic growth. No economic growth means future decline -- not just no growth. Businesses and retirees will not covet a Volusia County address. They'll locate elsewhere. Our current business and retiree population will move out. How can any tax increase see the light of day?
The very folks that we must demand immediate action from are the budget construction key people.
Mr. Dinneen must be instructed and tasked with producing a budget that is 5 percent lower than the 2013 budget. Five percent is not dramatic and not harsh. Five percent is doable. Five percent is the beginning of a return to a government size that the property bubble didn`t exaggerate.
Mr. Dinneen knows where the excesses are located. Mr. Dinneen knows which managers in the county organization are least productive and easily able to offer even the slightest 5 percent contraction. If Mr. Dinneen is unable to lead this effort or produce a budget 5 percent lower, he should be replaced by a manager who is able and committed to what we need.
Tom Coriale, Daytona Beach Shores
Congratulations again, Dan
Congratulations again to Dan Smith for hitting the bulls-eye with his Aug.15, column, "Same old tune, fiddle and guitar."
I agreed with him on the power of guns to keep the peace in his Jan. 11 column and I agree with him again on stopping beach tolls and bringing back the most powerful slogan we've ever had that this is indeed "The World's Most Famous Beach."
In 1949, I was invited on a trip to Florida. It was shortly after I had completed a 300-mile, eight-day trip on horseback from Ohio to Chicago as a cowboy entertainer. I immediately accepted because "The World's Most Famous Beach" was on the road to Key West. What a thrill it was to drive on this great beach of legends. Beginning in 1967, my family visited Daytona every year and stayed at a small motel on the beach. When I was offered the vice president's position at Russell and Axon Engineering in 1986, it was a no-brainer to move to Daytona Beach.
It greatly saddens me that the Volusia County Council has purposely destroyed "free beach driving" and the "The World's Most Famous Beach" slogan during the last 27 years. While it's true politicians have power and speakers have influence; it is the writers that change minds. Hopefully, Dan's article and these personal reflections will prove powerful enough to change the minds of the rich and powerful in Volusia County.
William A. Cummins, Port Orange