Priority No. 1 in our news coverage is continued investigative reporting on the growing crisis in Edgewater government

Henry Frederick, online news publisher / Headline SurferBy HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer
People, Places & Things

EDGEWATER, Fla. -- The long-held American standard set forth in Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address of “government of the people, by the people, for the people” is blatantly being trampled on in the City of Edgewater.   

As such, the No. 1 priority for this award-winning, 24/7 internet news outlet is the commitment to ongoing intense investigative reporting on Edgewater's suspect governance until the city elders clean up their act or outside intervention becomes necessary. 

What has occurred in the last several weeks in the way Edgewater has conducted the public's business is nothing short of shameful, unethical and in some respects, criminal.

While some aspects of corruption are obvious on the surface, it is the amassing of less obvious illicit acts that can cause irreparable damage because they often go uncovered until it's too late.

Anecdotally, at least, there appears to be a rogue government in play operating within the formal structure of the municipal government that already has cost millions in lost taxpayer revenues.

The shocking events of the past several weeks could compromise the delivery of essential services like police and fire rescue, never mind the rapid erosion of public trust in Edgewater government. T

hat rogue government -- the three-member alliance of council members Gary Conroy, Megan O'Keefe, and  Amy Vogt, appear to have a stranglehold on policy that satisfies personal agendas, that if left unchecked, threatens the very foundation of Edgewater government's purpose: Conducting the people's business with transparency at the forefront.  

Rogue Edgewater Council members Gary Conroy, Megan O'Keefe & Amy VogtAnecdotally, at least, there appears to be a rogue government in play operating within the formal structure of the municipal government that already has cost millions in lost taxpayer revenues. The shocking events of the past several weeks could compromise the delivery of essential services like police and fire rescue, never mind the rapid erosion of public trust in Edgewater government.

That rogue government -- the three-member alliance of council members (shown above left to right) Gary Conroy, Megan O'Keefe, and  Amy Vogt, appear to have a stranglehold on policy that satisfies personal agendas, that if left unchecked, threatens the very foundation of Edgewater government's purpose: Conducting the people's business with transparency at the forefront.  

And with each twist and turn, the overt acts of this rogue government within the government has become more telling in reckless action and wanton disregard for the citizens. Consider, the ugliness of the Oct. 28 special meeting, with the agenda specific to one item of business: Consideration of restoration of full pay and benefits for a previously-terminated employee. 

It soon became obvious there was an undercurrent of discontent despite the unanimous vote of the sole agenda item that quickly turned to termination of City Manager Tracy Barlow with a verbally-hostile tone and the denial of citizen participation.

And that draconian action led to citizens mobilizing for a verbal showdown with the council trio of Gary Conroy, Megan O'Keefe, and Amy Vogt in jettisoning the city manager with Mayor Mike Ignasiak and Councilwoman Christine Powers vehemently opposed.

Then with hundreds filling every seat inside with the overflow filling much of the outside entranceway, the citizens let their elected leaders know of their unhappiness. And while the elected leaders were collectively more subdued with some offering to work harder to earn back the trust, they were unknowingly played for fools.

That's because they were not told that earlier that very same day, of the action taken to place Dave Arcieri, the director of public safety on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of a complaint by one or more subordinates in the police department.

Even worse, Arcieri, a 24-year employee, was informed of his fate in a phone call from Interim City Manager Donna DeWees to his bedside in the ICU at Halifax Hospital after hitting his head in an accidental fall at the firehouse that resulted in a concussion. 

And as our reporting, today will show, the overall operation of municipal government is in chaos.

Henry Frederick Picture

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 since 2008. 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 close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.