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.