2 letters: Citizen replies to former mayor's letter

Also, former City Commission candidate speaks on the impact of PACs.

  • By
  • | 1:00 p.m. April 13, 2022
  • Ormond Beach Observer
  • Opinion
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Reply to Fred Costello

Dear Editor:

Fred Costello seems to me to offer private opinion disguised as fact. His allegation that Boyle “attempted to stifle growth” serves as only one of many examples of Costello’s disguised opinions. Perhaps if Costello offered an example of “financial benefits” that did not result from growth we could better judge “fact or opinion”. As far as I can determine, growth has consistently resulted in anything but “benefits." I would find it interesting if Costello specified what he means by “benefits”. Thus far I have not found any.

Costello’s pejorative claim about Boyle not needing a “well-paying job” does not amount to offering a fact. One’s financial status does not have anything to do with the legitimacy of a claim. If it did, everything Costello offers would become fact.

Costello’s “quality of life” allegations could better emerge as “fact or fiction” with supporting documentation. I have no way to judge the legitimacy of either claim without useful documentation. As to “community enhancements," the cost of “beautification of Granada Boulevard” remains open to dispute. I suspect that using native plants requiring less water and maintenance could also offer improvement of our quality of life.

I question if Boyle offered opposition or alternative options. Specifics could help us determine the legitimacy of Costello’s claims. Unfortunately, growth in and beyond our borders results in the same consequences. Living here for 19 years has shown me the consequences of growth — increased traffic, increased utility costs, flight school plane noise, and the passing of the community we moved here to enjoy. If Boyle’s actions make him responsible for Costello’s allegations, then perhaps Costello should admit that his support for multi-story condos would have resulted in a diminished real and visual access to our ocean.

As to whom do we assign “responsibility” for our present city, perhaps Ormond Beach citizens should decide. I reject the view of the North Carolina ex-mayor.

Charles G. Russell

Ormond Beach

Tallahassee PAC’s influence Ormond Beach elections

Dear Editor:

Mayor Bill Partington amassed a campaign war chest of over $60,000 in the 2020 election. That total included one-thousand-dollar checks from six different Tallahassee Political Action Committees. The six PAC websites reveal million-dollar donor bases and extensive contributions.

One PAC, “Living Life With Purpose,” which donated $1000 to Mayor Partington in 2020, reports a working fund of $1,516,622 and disbursements of $529,902. Their website self-describes a “voluntary, nonprofit unincorporated committee of individuals not affiliated with any political party.” Their mission statement: “(1) to promote interests of its members through campaigns and political outreach and (2) to do any and all things necessary or desirable for the attainment of committee purposes.” Local Ormond Beach resident, state representative district 25 and CLO at Foundation Risk Partners, Tom Leek, happens to be the chairperson for the PAC “Living Life With Purpose." 

Major donors to the “Living Life With Purpose” PAC over the last few years: ICI Homes, $25,000; Brown and Brown Insurance, $25,000; Consolidated Tomoka, $5,000; Florida Blue, $36,500; Wallace Burt, $10,000; Disney, $5,000; Daytona Beverages, $8,988.

“Living Life With Purpose” paid Ormond Beach political consultant Michael Scudiero $2,000 on Oct. 12, 2020, and $3,000 on Dec. 29, 2021. Mr. Scudiero was paid separately as a campaign consultant for three winning Ormond Beach incumbents in the 2020 election and recently received a $3,000 campaign consulting fee from Lori Tolland, 2022 Zone 1 candidate for the seat vacated by Commissioner Dwight Selby. Lori Tolland’s campaign donations are now approaching $50,000 after three months of contributions.

Scudiero is the Police Benevolent Association union representative and currently serves on the Ormond Beach Planning Board as does his candidate/client Lori Tolland. Apparently, no conflict-of-interest rules apply where one Planning Board member is paying another board member for professional political consulting services, or when a union representative negotiates against the city while serving on an advisory board for the city.

Lori Tolland’s campaign received a $1,000 contribution on Jan. 13 from “Living Life With Purpose” and another $1,000 from “Foundation Risk Partners, Corp.” on March 8. The statewide network of outside money from PACs (heavily financed by corporate interests) clearly exerts a influence on election outcomes in the city of Ormond Beach. This stream of significant outside money may be technically legal but it is ethically unacceptable and reduces trust in our elected and appointed officials.

Tim Grigsby

Ormond Beach



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