Chronicle Sept 7 2014 Guest Column Commissioner Joe Meek-Claude Strass Letter to Editor click here


“Time to come together and improve community” That was the headline for the guest column by Commissioner Joe Meek in today’s Chronicle (7 September). Is this the same Commissioner Meek who stormed out of a BOCC meeting some months ago when Commissioner Adams was going to speak? Was this a way to come together to improve the community? In this guest column, Commissioner Meek states one of his focused efforts as “working to find ways to reduce government spending”. Where did Commissioner Meek vote in the additional six cent gas tax a few years ago? On the multi-million dollar Ottawa Road extension? imageOn the multi-million dollar Taj Mahal building in Meadowcrest? On the fire tax? On how many taxes disguised as some kind of MSBU? On putting the new one percent sales tax on the ballot? On the…………well, you get the idea. I cannot remember Commissioner Meek voting NO on any legislation that involved raising existing taxes or implementing new ones. But now, he says, he will focus on ways to cut government spending. In the unforgettable words of Vice President Joe Biden – “The leopard cannot change its stripes”. Those in government positions must stand on their record and Commissioner Meek’s record has been consistently tax and spend. Now that the handwriting is on the wall that voters in Citrus County are sick of watching empire building on their backs, Commissioner Meek is going to do a 180 and “find ways to reduce government spending….”. If you believe this, can I interest you in a bridge I am selling in Brooklyn? Let’s bring this into focus. Commissioners are paid $56,000 per year or thereabouts. That is a lot of money, but let’s put it into perspective. That is more than a thousand dollars PER WEEK for a part time job. One might wonder if this “new” Commissioner Meek is engaged in damage control to save his job in the 2016 election. We might even see him voting against some tax increases in the next two years to put on a good front, possibly hoping that voters will forget his six years of tax and spend so he can keep his job – and his grand a week paycheck. After all is said and done, one must wonder what is going on in the mind of the lone remaining tax and spend commissioner, Dennis Damato. The BOCC that was once a 4 to 1 stronghold for tax and spend could possibly become a board of 3 to 1 against raising taxes while one commissioner merely goes where the winds and the polls blow him

Claude Strass