Knee Deep in the Hoopla: County Chair Ed Kelley leads cheers for Daytona Hard Rock Hotel at expense of beach driving behind it

"Say you don't know me or recognize my face -- Say you don't care who goes to that kind of place. Knee deep in the hoopla, sinking in your fight -- Too many runaways eating up the night. Marconi plays the mambo, listen to the radio -- Don't you remember? We built this city -- We built this city on rock and roll..." 
-- "We Built This City," No. 1 hit song in 1985 by Starship from the album, "Knee Deep in the Hoopla," that also featured two more No. 1 singles: "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" and "Sara."
Headline Surfer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Twenty-one years after Mickey Thomas and Grace Slick of Starship rocked the World's Most Famous Beach before tens of thousands of college Spring Breakers during the heyday of MTV, it's 74-year-old County Chair Ed Kelley who is now knee deep in the hoopla in leading the cheers for a Hard Rock Hotel on the beach, but at a price.

What's the sacrificial lamb? A further reduction in beach driving, which goes against pledges made by then-candidate Kelley during the 2016 election cycle, in which he repeatedly pledged he would not make further cuts in beach driving, which currently stands at only 17 miles left of drivable stretches of the nearly 49 mile-long Volusia County coastline. This latest action, expected today will reduce it by at least another nearly 500 feet.

And he's not alone. The controversial hotel approval could see unanimous passage, depending on how two other newcomers voted in during last year's elections cast votes today: District 2's Billie Egger Wheeler of Daytona Beach Shores, who insisted during the campaign she was a strong proponent of beach driving, and Heather Post of District 4, who also campaigned in favor of leaving cars on the beach.

And as shocking as this sounds, even Jotce Cusack, the lone vote from the previous council to vote against two hotel projects that would have reduced beach driving by a mile, told the Daytona Beach News-Journal, she's willing to reconsider her position. 



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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area in Central Florida, via Specializing in breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters with dozens of journalism-industry awards in print & digital mediums. Frederick is enrolled online at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's pursuing a Master of Arts degree in New Media/Journalism (graduation in March 2018). Frederick earned his BA in Political Science/Public Admin. (concentration in Writing) from Central Connecticut State University, in 1984, where he recieved the President's Citation for "academic excellence & outstanding campus/community service." Prior to myriad duties as publisher/award-winning journalist of Headline Surfer, 2008-present; Frederick was city hall reporter for the Palatka (FL) Daily News, 2007-2008; city editor of the Taunton (MA) Daily Gazette, 2005-2006; cops & courts/legal affairs writer for the Daytona Beach News-Journal, 1996-2004; and cops & courts reporter for the Rockland (NY) Journal-News/Gannett Suburban Newspapers, 1989-1996.