Fred Lowry uses VCSO district groundbreaking for self-promotion, but silent on low pay for deputies & sergeants

Fred Lowery speaking and self promoting in DeBary, FL / Headline Surfer®Dis 5 county councilman does bidding for influential Daytona insiders who comprised 80% of his campaign funding while dissing media asking about transparency

DEBARY, Fla. -- The newest member of the Volusia County Council has already shown his true colors when it comes to transparency and the opportunity to stand tall for under-paid Sheriff's deputies and sergeants who were negotiating with management in good faith last month when the county declared an impasse -- walked away from talks.

And the church minister has shown by his own hypocritical actions that he's all about himself and not those he's supposed to show empathy and leadership for, including the 250 Volusia County deputies and sergeants, who along with their union, Teamsters 385, were jilted at the bargaining table by the county, which by declaring an impasse has stalled negotiations with funding reserves depleted.

How?

Consider the following expenses the County Council committed to in 2014 and early in the new year:

• The $20 million handout to the billionaire France family for the "One Daytona" retail-entertainment village planned across the street from Daytona International Speedway.

• The County Council's politically-motivated Waverly Media investigation, which includes $121,000-plus for investigator Jon Kaney and perhaps several hundred thousand more in damages a circuit judge is expected to order the county to award to Ted Doran in response to the illegal subpoenas Kaney tried to compel him and others to consent to when he had no legal standing to do so.

• Paying higher than fair-market value for nearly half a dozen parcels of land for off-beach parking at a cost of several million while also raising beach tolls.

• Committed spending at a cost of tens of millions being lost from the general fund for years to come for Sun Rail, approval of three new CRA districts for Orange City, Edgewater and New Smyrna Beach as well as severe cost overruns with the Ocean Center.

Lowry's self-serving interests have not gone unnoticed. Just ask Volusia County Sheriff's deputies and sergeants.

"You can't fault the sheep for being led astray by the herder," veteran k-9 Deputy Josh Vedder told Headline Surfer® in response to Lowry using the groundbreaking as his self-promotion pulpit. "All you can do is hope the sheep are intelligent enough to recognize the herder might actually be a wolf."

Lowry has said nothing about the county declaring an impasse last month with the Teamsters union representing 200-plus deputies and sergeants like Vedder looking for decent pay. The VCSO pay is less than that of 150 agencies throughout the Sunshine State.

Then last month, the county's management table declared an impasse -- meaning they've formally walked away from the bargaining table and won' return until a third party -- a negotiator -- is brought in to help the two sides work out their differences.

An impasse can take up to two years, and though pay increases are often retroactive, the rank-and-file employees will have to make do with nothing in the interim.

An impasse is often used as a stall tactic deployed by government to put off pay increases its administrators and elected politicians know are inevitable and may cost taxpayers more in the long run, but buys them time.

Lowry on Thursday posted four large photos of the groundbreaking for new a Sheriff's district station in DeBary on his Facebook page "Fred Lowry Volusia County 5," and wrote of the event earlier in the day: "Congratulations DeBary! We broke ground for a new VCSO Administration Building. Cudos [sic] to Sheriff Ben, Capn[sic] Ray and all DeBary council and Mayor Clint! Job well done!!"

Lowry, however, failed to mention that he had absolutely nothing to do with the groundbreaking. He did not participate in a vote no was he involved directly or indirectly in the funding of the new facility.

The groundbreaking would have been the perfect opportunity for Lowry to stand tall for law enforcers, but instead he was all about management, referring to the sheriff and district captain, other politicians and of douse, himself.

Lowry, elected in November, has not only demonstrated he's all about himself, but on his very first day on the job showed he's anything, but transparent.

Headline Surfer® posted a comment on the his Facebook page during the overnight hours before his swearing-in ceremony earlier this month simply asking him to explain how he could demonstrate transparency as an elected leader when 80 percent of his campaign funding came from influential Daytona Beach insiders insiders, despite the fact his district 5 is on the other side of the county comprised of Deltona, DeBary, Enterprise and part of Osteen.

And this is how Lowry responded, a couple of hours after his first day on the dais: "I can see that you are not interested in sincere talking but more about spewing your venom that I have seen. I tried to be cordial and open to you as much as I could and this is the second time you have been accusatory and ugly. If you want to talk with me any further it will not be on my timelines for you to use."

Lowry continued in his rant: "You can contact me thru my county office like anyone else." Headline Surfer® is not certain what Lowry is referring to as an initial confrontation in stating "this is the second time you have been accusatory and ugly."

Lowry should look in the miror and practice what he preaches.

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.