Who's voting for Ro?

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by SoWalSally, May 27, 2006.

  1. Beemn

    Beemn Beach Lover

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    To explain; the problem is, when people start off saying " I've lived here my whole life " , that is to tell the rest of us that they know best! Unfortunately that is often not the case. Living here longest does not give you an ingrained knowledge of the environment, nor does it mean you care more about it. What the statement does do, intentional or not, is to say to others....No debate, I know best! That is my concern over the ' been here longest' attitude! It is the same everywhere.
     
  2. DBOldford

    DBOldford Beach Fanatic

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    I understand that Ro won by only one vote in the last election and that there is much concern on the local level about potential conflicts of interest. The aggravation with conflicts of interest, which are defined as one having a direct financial benefit related to a vote, is that no one takes an assertive role in the matter. The County Attorney only advises about conflict when specifically asked, either by the voting member or another member of the Commission or the public (and the latter in a public forum).

    These legal counsels will sit back and watch elected officials vote on issue after issue where they should be conflicted because no one wants to speak up. It happens out here all the time, too. The voting member obviously is not going to question themselves. The other Commissioners don't want to embarass their colleague. And the public usually doesn't understand how the whole thing works.

    One of the former candidates for Commissioner spoke up on this matter and was attacked in all kinds of ways for his audacity. His opponent was hugely and obviously funded by development interests and the other guy lost the election. Subsequently, charges were filed and the parties found guilty of misconduct. But too little, too late. :dunno:

    Occasionally, you will find a developer with a conscience and some ethics. Often, you will find these people the worst Philistines you have ever met. Their interest is short-term and exclusively related to profits. I worked as a consultant to these companies and people for many years and was often revolted by their discussions on development strategy and political support for their toadies. Generally speaking, you shouldn't trust most developers any more than you would most used car dealers. The stakes are much higher, for that matter. Their attorneys should be trusted even less.

    On a more positive note, believe it or not, the largest developers are sometimes the best ones for the community. They are real professionals, who have learned over the years that one needs to leave something on the table and also to protect the quality of life in the communities they are working in. These are the entities that will bring amenities, infrastructure improvements, affordable housing and other positives, including some good jobs for people who will live and work there long-term.

    Good advice: Everyone who does anything has a motive for what they do. Some have an ethic that accompanies and guides that motive. Some do not. Learn to distinguish those with no ethic and deal with them accordingly.
     
  3. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    I think your view is very narrow, Beemn. When I hear the statement, I hear that the person is very familiar with the recent history of the area. Nothing more. Other statements may convey that the person thinks he or she knows best, but I think you have it wrong on this one. No harm, no foul, just call em like I see em.
     
  4. TooFarTampa

    TooFarTampa SoWal Insider

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    Very interesting jhbeebe. While it sounds like Sara Commander is a capable and forthright person, if I were voting I would be honestly concerned about her husband's position in the community. Actually, I'm more interested in what his reaction would be if she wins. The DeFuniak Springs Herald calls itself Walton County's "official newspaper of record" -- what does that mean? Is a regular newspaper or tied to the county in some official way? If it is a newspaper, however small, I don't see how the paper can avoid an appearance of a conflict of interest in coverage of county issues if the wife of the editor is a commissioner.

    If you think I'm overstating, consider this: Would the spouse of the managing editor of the Washington Post ever get elected to Congress? Of course not, no matter how trustworthy each party is. One of the biggest rules in journalism is that "the appearance of a conflict of interest is just as bad as an actual conflict of interest."

    Edit: I want to add that it would seem from his position that her husband is not beholden to any businesses or public interests, which is a good thing. I just think if she were elected, it might not be good for HIS job. How would they handle that? I think it is a fair question when both spouses are in the public eye. Perhaps I am jumping the gun. :dunno:
     
  5. DBOldford

    DBOldford Beach Fanatic

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    This is an important and critical matter. It is not legal for the owner of a newspaper to hold public office. If Sara's husband is employed by the paper as its editor, that is a different matter, albeit a bit awkward. But if there is any ownership, then elected office is not an option. Ownership would mean either spouse, as the law would recognize a spouse as the beneficiary of half of the other's investment in the newspaper, an asset.
     
  6. John

    John Beach Fanatic

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    Interesting thread. A few observations:

    As I understand it, a "newspaper of record" does not denote any affiliation with government. It means that the newspaper prints everything that comes before the BCC, etc., instead of selectively reporting issues "of interest" as does the Sun and Daily News.

    Donna, I sure wish more second-home owners like you would register to vote here in Walton County. I would love to see a greater number of owners in SoWal have this area as their registered place to vote as it would give us (as opposed to NoWal) more representation in our county elections. While I don't know what is required for you to vote here, it sure does seem sometimes that we in SoWal have a situation of taxation without representation.

    Thanks to others for info on the candidates.
     
  7. waltondude

    waltondude Beach Lover

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    Candidates can qualify by petition method until June 19th, 2006 at noon. For those that wish to qualify paying the fee, they have until noon July 21st, 2006. If they do not submit enough petitions to earn a spot of the ballot, then paying the fee will get them that spot. The fee is based on a percentage of the annual salary. Approx $1500 for school board, $2000 for county commission.
     

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