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Tales from the Mark Side: Dear Manatee County commission: Pull your heads out of your butts


We’ve talked a lot about the big lie. About how the historical villains of humanity considered the big lie as an essential tool to manipulate the masses.

The key, they said, was that if you were going to tell the big lie, keep telling it until the masses believe you. And it’s been effective, not only for people like Stalin and Hitler, but for democrats as well.

Well, how does the “big truth” fare in that equation? What happens when you speak the truth over and over again?

Apparently the big lie is much more effective than the big truth, which tends to be ignored. You tell the truth and politicians just shrug it off, but tell a lie and it’s a feeding frenzy.

For example, I spoke the truth over and over again leading up to this past election that saw “Republicans” take full control of our Manatee County Board of Commissioners.

And yet despite telling the truth over and over and over again, it’s been shrugged off and ignored. So, it’s time to remind our elected officials of those simple truths.

The first truth that was told and ignored by this current commission is that it was a chance to show our citizens how a united Conservative board could advance this county.

I haven’t seen a lot of unity with this board. What I’ve seen thus far is a lot of the same that got Manatee County voters behind the last election’s movement to clean house.

And the reason is the second, and perhaps most important truth I said over and over again: Don’t let personality and ego get in the way. Remember who voted for you and why. Remember that it’s not about you.

I’m not necessarily blaming the newly elected board members for this one. From what I’ve read, clearly there are lingering problems that some like Commissioner Jason Bearden are trying to resolve and I have no problem with his move to get Vanessa Baugh back in the chair’s position.

Unity doesn’t necessarily mean agreement, and if any commissioner feels like he or she is being impaired from doing their due diligence for the residents, then action should be taken.

And clearly four thought action was necessary so I’ll leave that subject up to them.

The third and final truth I spoke over and over again to these commissioners is don’t play favorites.

This consideration of Mast as acting county administrator was a blatant good ‘ol boys move that literally turned my stomach given his ties to county developers and three commissioners.

Do you think we aren’t watching? That’s the mistake your opponents made.

I read an opinion piece in another local paper that said Scott Hopes was brought in as administrator, “to clean house, which he did and was pushed out the door.”

That’s laughable.

What house did Hopes clean? The Coquina Beach Market?

He certainly was complicit in the county’s code enforcement scandal regarding the Medieval Fair and the only person punished in that scandal was the whistleblower and surrounding property owners.

The perpetrators of the scandal were promoted. Clean house? Lol.

It was just another example of how playing favorites isn’t in the best interest of the county’s residents. I don’t know a lot about Mast, and I’m knocking the guy at all.

I’m knocking the tired old process that Manatee County voters are sick of and hoped would change. So, I’m glad this commission backtracked, but it shouldn’t take public outcry to enact common sense.

These elected officials, new and old, for the most part are already forgetting all the hard work citizens did to get them elected.

That was my final truth I spoke over and over again: Don’t forget why we elected you and that we would be watching.

In all my years in Manatee County, I never saw citizens step up and work so very hard to make this current makeup of the board a reality as during this past election.

It was an amazing thing to see and I see a lot of them expressing their disappointment. It should be a wakeup call, but I don’t have a lot of confidence that it will be.

Perhaps because it’s the truth and the truth just does not seem to gain traction in politics. The goal was to change that and the only plus side as of today, is there is still time for these commissioners to pull their heads out of their butts and remember what they promised us.

It’s not rocket science. Do the job we hired you to do.

Another truth I spoke over and over is: Being elected a county commissioner isn’t a coronation. You aren’t a king or queen. You are expected to roll up your sleeves and do the work. You don’t sit on a throne. You aren’t special. You are an employee of the people.

And the people are getting pissed.

I’m not saying as Republicans, everyone needs to agree. I don’t always agree with the policies being discussed. Commissioner Baugh can tell you that I don’t always agree with her, but I love and respect her as an American and her willingness to serve this county to the best of her ability as she sees it.

Hell, my boss can tell you he and I don’t always agree, especially when it comes to Hopes.

But I respect both of them and we have way more in common than not. That allows us to have our moments, agree to disagree and move on with our goals of making America and Manatee County great again.

There should be disagreements. It’s a healthy part of our Constitutional Republic.

What’s not OK, is even a hint or appearance of favoritism and/or personal gain. What’s not OK is putting your ego and personality conflicts ahead of Manatee County residents.

What’s not OK, is acting like a bunch of democrats.

We’re supposed to be better than that.

I still believe this commission can turn it around but it will depend on whether or not these commissioners will listen to the big truth and respond to it.

I still believe in Bearden, Amanda Ballard and Mike Rahn despite both Ballard and Rahn being to close to this Mast attempt.

As I said, I trust Baugh even though I don’t always agree with her. I still haven’t had the pleasure of a conversation with James Satcher, but I have no problems with him whatsoever.

As for the other two, they have some work to do to convince me that their reelection would be worth it if it was held today.

All of them can and should do better.

The commission isn’t a clique but it hasn’t moved very far beyond the bad old days of the “mean girls” club.

But they can. These are good people despite some early mistakes.

Just remember this one final truth: You aren’t elected for life. You are elected one term at a time. Make the most of it, not for you, but for us and one term will turn to two and so on.

I know most of this commission personally and two by actions alone. So when I say pull your heads out of your butts, I don’t say it at any one individual. I say it as a collective and I say it with all due respect.

I say it as a reminder. I say it as a warning to be the Conservative you promised to be. I say it because I want to see this commission succeed and I say it as the big truth.

Stay vigilant my friends. We voted this board into office so we could focus on the bigger challenges of saving our nation. We shouldn’t have to return our gaze back to local nonsense when there is so much of it happening in America.

Keep informed and keep sharing our “big truth.”

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