Monday, April 17th, 2017 at 9:15am


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Conner and Cadwell Crony Angling for County Manager Position

On November 8th, Lake County voters gave Donald J. Trump 60% of the vote, sending a message that they wanted him to drain the swamp that is Washington, DC.  Just two months prior, Lake County voters had sent that same message to the establishment in Tavares, when they booted longtime career politicians Jimmy Conner and Welton Cadwell – or so they thought. It’s starting to become clear that despite the change at the top, things are reverting to business as usual in Lake County.

On Tuesday, the county will decide on a new county manager. Despite the clear message from voters, two of the five candidates are longtime county employees. To make matters worse, one of the internal candidates, Jeff Cole, was brought in by prior Commissioners Conner and Cadwell with the promise that he would be made County Manager when the current manager retired.  This would be the local equivalent of President Trump hiring Hillary Clinton as his Chief of Staff!

Looking back, it seems the fix was in from the start.  Unlike the School Board, the county failed to hire a professional search firm to vet applicants.  Why?  Because a search firm wouldn’t have found either of the two internal candidates qualified, given their lack of management experience.  They also limited the search to only applicants with three years of experience in Florida; another move to keep out otherwise more qualified candidates.

Any Lake County Commissioner who votes for one of the internal candidates is going against the change mandate of the last election by ceding their authority to Jimmy Conner and Welton Cadwell.  Even worse, if they select Jeff Cole, they are giving Conner and Cadwell a direct line to influence and undermine every decision made at the county. Lake County needs fresh eyes and new ideas, not more business as usual by rewarding the current leaders of a dysfunctional Lake County government bureaucracy.

Fortunately, it’s not too late. The county has three qualified outside candidates, who are capable of changing the culture and direction of Lake County.  The voters sent a clear message that it’s time for a change in Lake County.  On Tuesday, we will find out if the Commission is listening to the voters, or the Lake County establishment.  Let the Commissioners know that it’s time to #draintheswamp in Lake County.  You can contact the commissioners at

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2 Responses to “THE FIX IS IN!”

  1. Name says:

    Sadly, you are delusional. You make it sound as if Jeff Cole has more power than the 5 sitting County Commissioners. That’s just ridiculous. Literally. There is no way Leslie Campione, or Tim Sullivan, or Sean Parks would vote for Cole if he was tied to Jimmy Conner.

    What is a fact is that Jeff Cole is NOT qualified for many reasons. Here is a man who mishandled the recent “Chuck Finley-Gate” issue. The employee who actually committed the crime of falsifying public record was put on 6 months probation after he thought up and created an in house library card with a fake name, address and Social Security number, while the supervisor of that employee was fired. To make matters worse, the employee who broke the law bragged that after his 6 month probation was over and the incident blows over, he would get the fired supervisors job. Does Cole sound like he’s above reproach? Who would promote an employee that lacks critical thinking skills and committed a crime?

    Another issue Cole dismissed was how insecure the Lake County computer servers are. With all the Russian hacking and the recent city of Dallas computer hacking, you would think it in the County’s best interest to take their computer security seriously. Apparently the Commissioners don’t care about employee criminal activity, or computer security either, since they just used the Peter Principle to elevate Jeff “Peter” Cole to County Manager.

    What you got right was Cole will be a puppet, but not to Conners or Cadwell though, but to the 5 sitting Commissioners. Cole is a bully who doesn’t care about actual substance and competence. He uses management by intimidation to handle employees. He has a weak ego and angers when an employee is more knowledgeable. He prefers boot-licker loyalty over fiscal conservatism and smart practices that can save the county tax-payers money. If that is the kind of manager the Commission wants, they got their man.

  2. Name says:

    Don’t guess it would have been a different vote from hear say. These are grown ups and had a vote. If they have no back bone to vote different then that’s on them. They should get off the board or grow a backbone. Let’s just hope they picked the right man and see what happens.

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