linemen pick up debris
BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN FINALLY! — Workers pick up debris in DeLand left in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. Debris collection has been slow-going across West Volusia, with piles on streets for weeks.

It would be neat if politicians were real problem-solvers. By that I mean that they should solve real problems.

Unfortunately, real problems are difficult. It is challenging to reduce taxes, trim back bureaucracy, keep noses out of private affairs, and provide essential services. Politicians prefer to solve easy, make-believe problems.

The County Council has make-believe nailed. Having never had anyone come in and shoot up a meeting, they have decreed that there must be metal detectors and searches before you can attend. Note that I said “you,” since obviously this would not apply to the privileged classes.

There you have it, though: an easy solution to a make-believe problem. Like I said, real problems can be hard. Politicians who want to be seen doing something look for easy problems to solve. They found one.

Now, it would be different in Deltona. There, they had a known felon, City Manager Jane Shang, regularly attending the meetings. They knew they had a crime problem there, so it would have made sense to require the city manager to be searched.

That does not make it sensible, or necessarily legal, to search people for the county meetings. They have a nonexistent problem. That is the kind the County Council is best at solving.

Unfortunately, they do not do so well with real problems. Consider waste disposal. For the County Council, that means getting rid of taxpayer money. We might call it wasteful disposal.

It has been more than a month since the recent storm blew through. The county charges for waste disposal; indeed, they charge enthusiastically for it. On the other hand, enthusiasm wanes when it comes to collection. The piles of limbs and brush have been sitting out by the street, untouched, for weeks.

Or consider traffic. There is a problem they not only fail to solve, but make worse. Every new development they approve brings more traffic. The county solution is proportionate share. That means asking the developers to pay for left-turn lanes into their projects, and it really does not address the problem.

Unfortunately, waste and traffic are real problems. The County Council does better with make-believe problems.

From this year’s tax notices, I can tell what they are thinking over there, as the detectors search for your pocket change — close our eyes, chant “la la la we do not see you,” and let the county manager count the money.

— Andrews is a DeLand-area attorney and a longtime government critic. For purposes of the column, he finds it convenient that there is so much government to criticize.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here