And the NO VOTE has it!!

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Misty, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. Jim Tucker

    Jim Tucker Beach Fanatic

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    Don't worry we all know who serious media is. This is their most popular youtube vid...

    [video=youtube_share;VtwCze8U8Gs]http://youtu.be/VtwCze8U8Gs?list=UUy9OvqShM61P1RgaWrAh6JA[/video]
     
  2. 30A Skunkape

    30A Skunkape Mr. Small Box

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    We tried. But when your major means of communication are via letters to the editor, limited to 225 words, it is tough. I think the autopsy of the situation demonstrates that we did articulate the message south of the bay and all the articulating in the world in the rural north wouldn't have changed anything.

    As I noted above, the only other thing we could have done different was go door to door for votes. Otherwise, our only other tactic that could have been used, and some wanted to but we didn't because we wanted to take the high road, was to take off the gloves and play dirty. That may have garnered a few more votes, but in retrospect, I'm glad we kept it a clean effort we can be proud of. Unlike many in the 'no' camp, politics isn't our lifeblood, so we didn't see a need to be jerks and divide the county further.

    What would you suggest we could have done?
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
  3. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    Fancy Hands emailed me on Tuesday, Aug. 19th, one week from Election Day. No mention of any on camera stuff, request said an "article", printed questions provided.

    Who got 3 weeks' notice?
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
  4. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    Jim Tucker:

    Considering that I am the only local candidate that posted information here, and how I did in South Walton, I don't think this is where the majority come to look for information. Sure did not seem to help me any. But I would love to know where they do get their information.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
  5. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    And "Fancy Hands" never contacted me nor did any employee of 30a Television. I was listed as a non respondent .
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
  6. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

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    Let me preface what I'm about to say with this. I love the SoWal website! I spend a lot of time on it now that I am single again and alone. While I am sure there are a lot of viewers of the site I feel the impact of those posting here on any issue is minimal at best. It was obviously ignored by all candidates except Danny. I feel sure it has no impact at all on the Northern part of the county. SoWal is a fountain of useful information but is also full of a lot of misinformation, inuendo and blab. That, also, is expected and one can seperate the wheat from the shaff. In retrospect, I do not feel SoWal had the impression on the public regarding the election that I gave it credit for. That is not to take away from SoWal! I still love it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
  7. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    You would be very surprised at the number of readers on the site, especially the forum. As with any platform online or in print, readers listen, learn, ask questions, debate, maybe do their own research, and form their opinions.
     
  8. rapunzel

    rapunzel Beach Fanatic

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    Someone directed me here to look at Skunkape's comments on the referendum. I wish I hadn't because this thread is really disheartening.

    I was one of the original three people to file the paperwork. I feel sure no one thinks of me as arrogant. And yet I see comments that make me think people made this decision based on personally not liking the people behind it.

    We, none of us, had ever worked on a political action committee. From reading the law, filing the paperwork, teaching the bank how to open this type of account, trying to boil the message down to its essential message, creating websites, compiling complex weekly electioneering reports (did you know a cashier's check is cash in Florida?) writing letters, talking to everyone we could think of and explaining as best we could. We spent Fourth of July at Lake DeFuniak painting hundreds of faces and trying to engage north Walton parents in conversation only to hear things like, "you don't understand our hometown values."

    I, along with five or six others, have spent the vast majority of our waking hours thinking about how to communicate the issue, how to most effectively spend the money we raised in small donations from people who love in this community, and how to reach across the bay to build our network.

    Let me go back -- a few years ago I was more in to politics and I realized that I would need to not just be involved in the south Walton community, but also north Walton. I did everything I could think of -- joined Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists, worked on the Morrison Springs Park, volunteered at the open pantry in Bruce, tried to learn the community. I did my best to make friends there, and can tell you no one really seemed open to the idea. I always fly like an outsider.

    When this campaign started I sent a letter to all of my contacts in Walton County, and none of those in the north responded. Two did later tell me that they were scared to get involved. The one person from north county was attacked by his tea party colleagues for being a liar for daring to tell people that 1) there were not lawyers from Birmingham behind this and 2) we did not receive all our money in one $10,000 donation (that was actually the opposition and they spread that lie at the Liberty forum, which we weren't invited to attend). They also would not return our calls for the Red Bay forum.

    Finally, let me tell you my "agenda". A friend of mine from high school moved here with her daughters last year. She came from Columbus, Georgia which has good schools, not great schools. They aren't making any national top ten lists. The schools were a couple of years behind what her daughters had been doing in Columbus. She asked me to introduce her to other moms so she could figure out what to do. There weren't good options--sending them fifty miles away wasn't a option for her. She and her husband took their small business back to Georgia. At this point I was interested in why such a well funded school district wasn't better. I attended a teacher contract meeting and saw a barracuda of a lawyer hired by Carlene Anderson at great expense chew up and spit out the teachers' representative. He tricked the educators into accepting a partial settlement that he realized would obligate them to take the whole settlement meaning no raise and not even the whole bonus from the governor. For the fifth year in a row. Any one in business knows you don't step on the neck of your employees just because you can. If you are a good executive, you want the most competent staff with good morale, you want to retain your highest performers. That was when I began to suspect the superintendent was the root of the problem. I looked at her management of district funds and the fact that year after year she has to borrow from the general fund, I saw that most of the teachers were scared of her and that their fears of retaliation were not unfounded. I saw how much money went to the administrative staff. These are high paying jobs that are only advertised on the school districts website and seemed to be filled by political cronies. These are not the practices of a good executive but the actions of a politician.

    This feeling was confirmed in conversations with school board members who repeatedly used the excuse that they had no authority over the superintendent because she was elected. No one would be held accountable.

    It seemed to me the most efficient way to improve school district would be to make it like every successful company and public entity in the country -- a board that has authority over a highly competant administrator who is not having to run for office all the time. 88% of Florida's students are already in hired school systems. I fail to see how coming to this conclusion makes me arrogant. Maybe wrong, but not arrogant.

    What seems arrogant to me is that this issue was never really discussed on its merits. It immediately became a populist message of losing your right to vote even though it would have been a vote to make the politicians accountable, and then personal attacks, and then lies about agendas and funding.

    What seems arrogant to me is spreading your message in two different ways north and south of the county. It seems arrogant say you must elect a superintendent because you can't trust people in the north to elect a decent school board. I think it's arrogant to lie to a room full of first responders about the other side getting an untraceable $10,000 donation knowing it was in fact your own PAC that did that. I think it's arrogant and illegal to send untraceable electioneering materials with no disclaimer about who paid for it full of lies and personal attacks. It is arrogant to shut one side out at forums. But mostly, it is arrogant to refuse to entertain an idea because the people who came up with it live in a different part of your community. It is arrogant to make them feel like they should somehow feel ashamed for bringing the idea up at all, as if their tax dollars are good enough but not their opinions. It is arrogant to reject the messenger instead of the message.

    Finally, I promise that WINGS was a completely transparent and open operation. We were constantly asking for volunteers on our website, Facebook page, and even on this very forum. It was always the same small group who showed up. We did the best we could with the resources available to us. We invited input.

    And speaking for myself, I always tried to be respectful.
     
  9. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    Cuff wrote:
    You haven't lived her long enough to know that most of the smut posted on this board about the candidates (for the most part) is pretty much factual information. You also have to realize who the players that support the smut are. Jay Odom = Cecelia Jones (BCC, elected again). Odom did 6 months in prison for campaign contribution violations. Ms. Jones and her husband are notorious for their campaign ethics or SUBSTANTIAL lack thereof, not to mention the Camacho scandal, veiled threats to voters and other nefarious acts. Her and her husband both have been players on the political scene around here since Moses was a kid and not much has changed about their tactics.

    Catalano (WCSB elected) also = Cecelia Jones.

    Eddins (WCSB elected) = the State Attorney's son who has had his own run-ins with the law, a history of bad check charges, traffic violations, and court records indicate he was somehow involved in paying someone to have someone beaten to a bloody pulp. He is also best known for his associates including Jay Odom and Ray Sansom. You can google Ray Sansom, his political reputation is legendary and anything but stellar.

    I guess all you really need to know about most of the candidates is that Walton County doesn't kick the garbage to the curb and leave it there for pick and disposal, we re-cycle it!!
     
  10. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    When attempts were made on this forum to ask legitimate questions those of us sitting the fence on the issue were insulted, had short yellow bus images and other caricatures posted here by one of your leaders (Bob Hudson) and pretty much told how ignorant we were. Certainly didn't endear me to vote YES.

    That's the lie the Board has told the Community for the last 25 or 30 years. When the shi* did hit the fan, no one held them accountable because accountability would mean the people had been lied to for the the last decade.

    You don't need an invitation to a public forum
     
  11. rapunzel

    rapunzel Beach Fanatic

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    They sent invitations out. Every forum invited participants. Maybe we could have shown up and insisted on speaking, but it was arrogant of them to treat us differently.
     
  12. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    You certainly do if you want to know time format, and other details, at least a response from multiple contact attempts.

    The groups I had contact and knowledge of our participation in wereThe Rotary, South Walton Republican Club, Walton Democratic Women, and the Walton County Education Association - all communicated with us and were organized. The North Walton Republicans was a show-up-and-fly by-the-seat-of-our-pants kind of thing, and it was one of the weirdest public meetings I have ever participated in, especially the end where all candidates lined up in the front of the room like they were facing a firing squad, only to have "ranters" rant instead of asking thoughtful questions in a respectful way. Trust me when I say the other forums did not go like that one!
     
  13. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    Look at it's leader! You obviously do not know Gordon Porter's history in this county.
     
  14. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    Agreed!! But, "that's how they do things round here".
     
  15. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    Oh I do now, and I don't see Walton County being a player economically except in the tourist industry, or academically- we will never be much better than we currently are as long as the politics of the past continue to dominate. Sad, but true.
     
  16. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    And just so you know rapunzel, I did offer to get involved early on when I was totally inclined to vote yes. jdarg and I had corresponded privately via msgs here. Once Bob Hudson got involved she promptly quit msging me back and any questions or responses I asked/made were promptly taken as a personal character assassination on her part.
     
  17. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    And AGAIN jdarg, I don't disagree with you. I know how it works here and I tried to talk to you but you promptly quit answering my msgs and didn't appear to care to know what you were in for.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
  18. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

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    Misty, whether you like the board members or not is immaterial. They are not lieing. Since both the superintendent and the board are elected, the superintendent, who conducts day-to-day operations and decisions and has no fear of reprisal from the SB, can use that ability to do whatever she/he wants. That is exactly what has happened in Walton County. Rapunzel spelled the present situation out very well. It boils down to one elected official being able to ignore the wishes of five other elected ones. Personally, I am really glad I do not have children, grand children or great grand children attending school in Walton County. The administration is able to do whatever it wants, whenever it wants and however it want with complete impunity and that's a travesty.
     
  19. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    And 5 others could have gone to the Gov. for her bull**** and didn't Andy, so don't even go there!
     
  20. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    And for what-ever- its-worth, I wasn't disagreeing with rapunzel. Liking or disliking them isn't really relevant but when I vote I expect my vote to mean something and want the board to do its job, not go along to get along.

    Those I do dislike are almost criminal in many aspects and I think people in general (not singling out anyone here who voted for them) are just downright stupid to continue to vote for them year after year, after year. As jdarg said;
     

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