April 17, 2017 at 9:15 am

THE FIX IS IN!

THE FIX IS IN!

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 https://www.lakecountyfl.gov/departments/commissioners/contacts.aspx

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March 28, 2017 at 4:01 pm

AND THEN THERE WAS ONE

And Then There Was One

Lake County is on the Right Track… Almost.

Have you noticed how calm and quiet Lake County government has become since the November election?  Gone are Commissioners Jimmy Conner and Welton Cadwell.  Gone are the name calling, bullying, and consternation.  Gone are the intimidation and backroom deals.

Have you also noticed the ugly, manufactured issues from the Conner campaign are gone?  Lake County has not become a huge sand mine or been overrun by developments.  The environment is not dying and there is still plenty of drinking water.  Everything that was said during that campaign in an effort to keep Conner and Cadwell in office was a scare tactic.

For the first time in a couple of decades, the Lake County Board of County Commissioners has grown-ups in charge.  This calm, even-keeled environment is very refreshing.  New Commissioners Josh Blake and Wendy Breeden are serious people who are really trying to do the best for Lake County and not themselves.  Commissioners Tim Sullivan and Leslie Campione were the wall of reason between the absurdity of Conner and Cadwell for the last six years.  We are sure they appreciate more than anyone to have grown-ups join them on the Lake County Commission.

Then there is Commissioner Sean Parks—the Commissioner who shifts with the political wind, whenever it benefits him.  Commissioner Parks is the reason why Lake County has some of the highest impact fees in the state and probably the worst Comprehensive Land Plan.  He has been an active player in every bad decision made in the last six years. Most of Commissioner Parks’ constituents have something in common—he tells them one thing in private and then he says something totally opposite in public.  We guess Parks hasn’t figured out that saying one thing in private then taking a public position that is totally opposite by most standards is a lie, or a least a double-crossing.

Commissioner Parks’ votes and his record of dishonest private versus public positions make him very vulnerable in the 2018 election.  No one thought Conner and Cadwell would be voted out.  However, it appears Lake County voters got tired of the bull.  A lot of business people have become weary of Parks’ ever-changing positions and values.  If Parks has any hope in retaining his commission seat, he may want to look at the other four commissioners as examples of straight talk and integrity.  There is little doubt—Parks has a lot to defend and explain to the voters in 2018..

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