Report Card Grade: F
DAYTONA BEACH -- All that's missing from term-limited County Councilwoman Pat Northey's latest newsletter is the fine print: "Political ad paid for and approved by Patricia Northey, candidate for Volusia County Council at-large seat, 2014 elections."
Northey's February newsletter is colorful with green, blue and red headlines along with a snapshot of herself that looks like something photoshopped in a West Volusia version of the Garden of Eden -- Northey, hands at her sides and dressed in an untucked blue county government shirt, khaki pants and sneakers like she's Jeremiah Johnson ready to take on Bigfoot or perhaps an "extra" in a Ewell Gibbons Grape Nuts cereal commercial.
But to be brutally honest, she just looks plain lost in her own vast wilderness. Ironically, she prides herself as the "Queen of Trails" yet she's standing in overgrown vegetation with no clear path that shows whether she's coming
But it's Northey's long message -- symbolic of 20 years of jumping from one county seat to another -- that shows how out of touch she really is in dealing with Volusia County's myriad problems -- third highest taxed of Florida's 67 counties with the third lowest revenues produced.
It's painfully obvious from the onset that her message is nothing more than an A to Z of organizations she's been involved with or the movers and shakers she's interacted with as she desperately tries to hang onto a seat on the dais.
The cold reality is though the seats for county council are non-partisan, Northey, a liberal Democrat term-limited in her Deltona seat, is running for the at-large council seat held by fellow Democrat Joyce Cusack, the lone African-American on the dais.
It's unprecedented, even in the ugly politics of Volusia County, that a Republican or Democrat try and unseat an incumbent in their own party. But after 20 years, Northey is the epitome of the career politician. A third candidate has since entered the race: Webster Barnaby, a conservative Republican, who also is black and nearly midway through his first term as a Deltona city commissioner.
Butt Northey does't get into any of that. Nor does she make any reference to the huge financial assist she's gotten in campaign fundraising from Republican Party booster and millionaire Mori Hosseini of ICI Homes, who wants county passage and public funding assistance for an I-95 connector off Pioneer Trail in unincorporated Volusia County between the Port Orange and New Smyrna Beach municipalities where he wants to build a massive luxury residential-retail complex.
Hosseini has bankrolled the campaigns of first-term Democrat Council member Doug Daniels of Ormond Beach, and Republicans Pat Patterson of DeLand and Deb Denys of New Smyrna Beach, the latter two up for re-election this year.
Northey and Daniels give Hosseini four of the seven votes on the council for what he hopes is eventual passage of his "Woodhaven" conglomerate.
So cranking out nine-page newsletter the Ormond Beach -- any . She starts with an aptly-named "2014 Goal Statement" and then proceeds not to actually state any such goal. Just drivel.
Northey writes: Last month I shared with you an annual recap of priorities and projects undertaken in Volusia County. As many of the projects are completed or well on their way to completion, it is time to consider new projects and set some goals for this year. I asked you to tell me what was on your mind; what was important to you for this year. Many of you responded.
She follows that up with a one-liner, all in caps with an exclamation point to boot in big brown letters:
But she never actually states what, if anything, was on the minds of her constituents. If, indeed, they did respond as she claims, she doesn't cite a single example.
Then she goes into the future generations-speak with more drivel: As a County, Community and as a Region we have been talking about how we will look in the future; what kind of place our County and Central Florida will be for future generations. With that in mind, I offer the goals below as my personal effort in sustaining a Volusia County that we will be proud to hand off to our children and our grandchildren.
Then, here's the first gold coin for you for staying here this long. Northey issues a challenge:
This brings the reader to just the second of nine pages of this seemingly never-ending campaign speech disguised as a newsletter.
She gets into some detail as to her priorities beginning with jobs and the economy, but again, waxes poetic without outlining a clear course of action or details -- just more government speak: Jobs are job one and we need to take advantage of every opportunity we can to put our residents back to work. It appears that we have turned the corner and economic indicators are generally up. This is good for all of us. Continued investment in our County Economic Development department is critical. Along with our in house efforts, Volusia County committed to another year of funding for the public private partnership organization known as TEAM VOLUSIA. This organization’s mission is to work with the County in creating good paying jobs.
She then wades through issues like Sunrail and water quality in generalities before her hypocritical double talk holding down the cost of government through the county budget: We have set our annual calendar of budget workshops; strategic planning initiatives and workshops for this next year. I will continue to look for ways to reduce the cost of governing. And I will look at other opportunities for consolidating services and/or contracting for services that will save, you the taxpayer, real dollars.
She supported County Manager Jim Dinneen's spending plan that increased the cost of government including pay raises for all county employees. She also supported increases in fares fior Votran bus services, the lifeline for the county's poorewst residents who rely on public transportation to get to and from work, shopping and doctor's visits.
Link to Northey's 2014 Newsletter: http://www.volusia.org/core/fileparse.php/4142/urlt/Council-Update-February-2014.pdf
Headline Surfer® emailed complaint to Supervisor of Elections Ann McFall: