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“You Smirked, Mr. Chairman”: Tea Party Puts County Commission On Notice

| June 28, 2011

Alan Peterson, chairman of the Flagler County Commission. (© FlaglerLive)

It got a little rowdy, a little loud, during Monday’s Flagler County Commission workshop on next year’s budget—the third such workshop in a series of about nine. The workshops are usually open to the public, but closed to public comment. Not Monday. Commissioners decided to give voice to public participation. They got lectured and threatened instead.

“I’ll tell you from the taxpayer’s point of view,” Doug Chozianin, a member of the Flagler County Tea Party, told the commissioners. “Any commissioner who votes for increased millage is going to lose the next election. And I’m going to make sure”—Chozianin was interrupted by applause, cheering and whistling from most of the 100-odd people in the room, many of them standing. Then he said: “You smirked, Mr. Chairman.”

“That’s not a smirk,” Commission Chairman Alan Peterson said.

“It’s not a smirk, well it appears to be a smirk,” Chozianin said. “I am tired of all these taxes and I don’t see any benefit from them. So let’s cut the millage. Let’s cut the tax increases, let’s cut the services that people like us don’t use.”

He did not specify what people like us meant, though it’s generally clear from tea party throngs: older, white, retired, with better health insurance and better off than the average county resident. It’s also not always clear what they’re protesting. In Chozianin’s case, he lives in Palm Coast’s Marina Cove, where his taxes have been plummeting, not rising. His taxes have fallen from a high of $4,003 in 2004 to $1,866 this year. Chozianin’s property tax bill for 2010 is 30 percent less than it was in 2009. His 2009 tax bill was 15 percent less than the previous year. In inflation-adjusted dollars, his tax bill this year is 61 percent smaller than it was in 2004.

Chozianin was preceded by David MacDonald, who told commissioners that his county taxes on his $300,000 house had increased 32 percent in the past two years. But he, too, is paying less, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than he was paying in 2003, while his tax bill in unadjusted dollars hasn’t increased that much, other than falling for four years in a row from 2005 through 2008, and rising some again after that. Compared to his 2004 tax bill, his 2010 bill is just 11 percent higher, and that increase, again, is wiped out by inflation.

Still, MacDonald protested: “My pensions have no COLAs,” he said, referring to inflation adjustments to those pensions. “Social Security has been frozen in recent years,” he continued (after increasing an average of 3.9 percent a year for four years in a row, there’s been no increase since 2009, though Social Security recipients got a $250 supplement as part of the stimulus package that year), “and my investment income has been plummeting. Every dollar you increase my taxes by will come from my life savings or my lifestyle. Most of my Palm Coast friends and neighbors are in the same position.”

MacDonald, a tea party delegate to most commission meetings, said County Administrator Craig Coffey’s request to departments to budget at 10 percent less for next year was not reflected in budget documents, though it “would eliminate most of the need to raise the millage rate, so that would have been a good starting point. As I just pointed out, what you’re being given to review isn’t coming anywhere close to that.” MacDonald was also critical of one proposal to reimburse county employees for much of the loss they’re incurring in their paychecks by having to contribute 3 percent to their state retirement pension. But that was just a proposal.

“You have not heard any enthusiastic idea about using any portion of the pension savings,” Peterson said.

Two other tea party members spoke. When they were done, Peterson asked if anyone else wanted to speak. No one came up, prompting George Hanns, the county commissioner most prone to verbal gaffes, though never with malice, to say: “We’ve heard from the, some representatives from the tea party. Is there anyone else from the public that showed up today besides the tea party?”

That set the crowd roaring, with bursts of “we are the public” and “we are the people,” and a little gavel-brandishing from Peterson.

“Order, order, please no more outbursts of that nature,” Peterson said. “We’ve made a change to our normal rules, please respect the opinions of the people who are speaking.”

Hanns backtracked: “What I would like to express Mr. Chairman, I’d like to hear from other members of the public. We didn’t wish to create Woodstock here.”

A few more people did come up, but only to press the point about increasing burdens on tax bills, health bills and the like. “I don’t know what you have to do with school budgets,” Ron Herman told commissioners (school taxes are set mostly by state law), “but it seems to me almost unbelievable that they can cut almost $2 million, and then give $1 million of that back to teachers’ salaries, increased salaries.” He also proposed reducing trash collection days—the first concrete cost-cutting proposal all morning.

“It’s not necessary to threaten us because we’re doing what we can do, and we’re just as conscientious,” Hanns said later, still smarting from the earlier criticism. “All of us are true Americans who believe in America, believe in Flagler County. I personally worked the last 22 years including the service district in making this a better place.” He added: “Unfortunately we have some people who have a lot of influence on others and don’t always have all the facts. But with your help we’ll be able to bring up some good subjects, and I made a lot of notes here. We do take it very serious, and we are citizens just like the rest of you are.”

“If it makes you feel better you can pick on my ancestors, but I will take it serious, all you say,” Hanns concluded.

Hanns is one of the commissioners whose seat is up next year. Peterson and Barbara Revels are the others. Both the latter were pointedly conciliatory to the tea party.

“In the past when we had a budget committee that looked at every single item of our budget they came up with some good ideas, some of them got implemented, some of them could not,” Revels said, “and in a way, what Mr. MacDonald and his group are trying to do is again look at our budget maybe in a completely different light than the budget committee that we had, and as I said to him and expressed to him, I myself and I’m sure fellow commissioners will be very open to great ideas that you may come up with, something we might have missed, or something that we need to reexamine. But in all of the speakers that have come forward there was one idea that actually could possibly be savings depending on our contract and if we can move it around, but the garbage pick-up I agree with completely. As much as I recycle, I don’t need two garbage pick-ups a week for regular trash. I hardly have any. I think those are concrete ideas and baby steps that might make a difference that we can look at.”

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45 Responses for ““You Smirked, Mr. Chairman”: Tea Party Puts County Commission On Notice”

  1. notasenior says:

    The Tea Party needs to speak in specifics and not generalities. Thank yo for putting their “statistics” to the smell test

  2. Rob says:

    Every time I read about a county or city meeting one might think that the tea party (aka plain clothes division of the KKK) are the only people who go to the polls.

  3. lawabidingcitizen says:

    Here’s a smell test for ya:

    If, as the articles says, … it’s generally clear from tea party throngs: older, white, retired, with better health insurance and better off than the average county resident.\, it’s because all of us geezers, black, white, Asian, etc., tea party members or not, lived our lives paying our own way and are still doing so. Most of us moved to Flagler County because we could live here comfortably within our means and we sustain this county by our taxes and by patronizing local merchants.

    When one of the commissioners asked are there any people here who aren’t in the tea party, somebody in the crowd answered, WE ARE THE PEOPLE and he was right.

    Elected officials instead of celebrating Flagler as a retirement community would rather run around like chickens without their heads spending our taxes on bogus schemes to bring in “industry” and economic development. We didn’t come here for the traffic and crime their schemes have brought. Flagler Beach is a perfect case in point. It is no longer a charming throw-back to the 50’s where nobody ever locked their doors or their cars. Now we need security systems and the traffic is so bad, it’s dangerous to drive on A1A.

    You youngsters live for instant gratification and expect to live as well as those who deferred things until they could afford them. It is yet to be seen how your retirement will go because once the government runs out of Other People’s Money to spend, the result ain’t purty (see Euroland for a preview).

    Disclaimer: Not a member of the tea party and don’t go to meetings.

  4. Bill McGuire says:

    Mr. McDonald was, and is, the designated spokesman for the Tea Party. I spoke as a citizen and asked whether the budget preparation was given any goal to aim for, as is the practice in private industry. I thought that this was a reasonable question that was not provocative in any way. It was ignored.

  5. Barry McDonald says:

    People like us?

    So to belong to the tea party one must fit their demographics?

    It sounds like Mr. MacDonald wants services cut and other people’s pay cut to pay for his poor financial planning. My suggestion, for Mr. MacDonald, get a job. Taxes are necessary to provide services to people and you need to pay your fair share. Florida taxes are cheap.

    I’m tired of deadbeat tea baggers trying to avoid their responsibility and pretending they speak for everyone.

  6. palmcoaster says:

    Tea Party and None Tea Parties I thank you all, for being present at this county meeting. I am not as I said before, a Tea Party member or their cheerleader, but I agree with many of their points asked from the commission. The idea of having garbage collected only one day a week is a good one.Of course I leave in a household of only two people. A family of four with children may need to get a second trash can and a little inconvenience. But tightenign up our belts in this sad economic times is for all. One day garbage and recyclables and one day yard debris.
    Waste of our taxes in useless unneeded pricey consultants should be done away with. Gosh what are they thinking about ? No more Enterprise annual funds. Get your IT officer Carl Laundrie a phone line and a PC and have him contact small businesses outside Florida and lure them with the wonders of our County (golf courses, beach, tennis, sailing, boating, fishing, cycling, walkways, parks and even our small aircraft airport around the block) to move them and re-open shop here. Same for the city of Palm Coast. Get your IT officer to work for that goal.
    Stop outsourcing our tax funded contracts based on lies and instead assign them to local in county suppliers as would be a good way to create jobs and much needed budget revenue.
    Congratulations to Palm Coast that didn’t pay,(I hope so) a consultant for the redistricting….done in house by Jose, and picked by “we the people”. what a waste of our dollars in Daytona.
    No budget increases for court house or supervisor of elections.
    How much cost us the EOC useless web site, server and web site master. For what? In these wildfires all outdated info. for yesterday’s and older updates.
    Better watch out for the airport expansion plans in our pockets… We are still paying the bonds for those Ginn hangars and “Cakes Across Darby” building, aka ” they walked and left us holding the bag”, thanks to the ludicrous arrangements behind close doors of past administrators, commissioners (Hanns one of them) Enterprise, COC and Ginn legal team as looked like we had no county “legal team” for the bad contracs done, though I know we paid over half a million a year for each..
    Are these the contracts that this rocket scientist administrators at a $200,000/year pay package get us. What are we all morons? What do we have county and city attorneys at $500,000 plus a year, to get into these fraudulent contracts that bleed the taxpayers. Who’s in the graft here? Also give us the correct revenues figures…as I can’t believe that thousands of combined ocean front, intracoastal front, salt water canal front properties we all pay the high taxes we do and this county is broke? My house alone pay on a saltwater canal 10 minutes ride from the intracoastal 3,300/year after devaluation in place and a friend of mine in Grand Haven Intracoastal front pays $13,000 down from $17,000 used to pay. Where the money goes? I can’t even magine the even higher taxes of all those ocean front mansions going to the county coffers. Needles to say the taxes those malls or business/apartment owners pay in European Village, Palm Harbor and the other malls. No wonder many go bankrupt and close. Lets keep out the magnifying glasses on these budgets and pleased cut the pork only and will be no need to lay off employees and increase our unemployment. I am glad will be more public Flagler County Budget discussions.
    By the way where is that requested investigation of Commissioner Hanns (good move), on our Flagler County gas gouging at rates up to 10 cents or more per gallon than in Volusia or St Johns?

  7. Yogi says:

    “He did not specify what people like us meant, though it’s generally clear from tea party throngs: older, white, retired, with better health insurance and better off than the average county resident.”

    As the reporter aren’t you supposed to find out exactly what the guy meant? Aren’t you supposed to ask questions? Maybe people like us means working Americans? Private sector Americans? Your reporting leaves much to be desired. Is that by mistake, or by design to get readership by creating [Oh there’s that God like word again] controversy? Thanks for the entertainment.

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      Yogi, the one thing the overwhelming majority of tea party folks are not is working Americans. They’re retirees. And the one thing 99 percent of those retirees absolutely are not is private sector Americans, considering their twin adherence to, and dependence on, the country’s most successful socialist insurance program known as Medicare, and the country’s most successful socialist insurance program known as Social Security. I don’t begrudge them their dependence. I envy them. But their rank and destructive hypocrisy, and your disingenuous diversions, are another matter.

  8. Paul Kelly says:

    Look, it has all been said in the past, regarding this “Tax” issue. The people have spoken: ” Enough Already!” I have never met anyone who thinks raising our taxes is a splendid idea! The more “We, the People”, see and understand the destructive nature of “Big Government”, and it’s constant meddling in the lives of citizens, the greater we will resist you! Progressives will have to find some other way to buy the votes of their minions, other than with the hard earned money of the successful!

  9. Paul Kelly says:

    Pierre, It was your “Progressive” brothers who imposed Social Security and Medicare on the American People! Please do not whine because those of us who managed to survive long enough to collect are now collecting! There was a time when a person could elect not to participate in Social Security. Of course, that didn’t sit well with “Big Government”, so all workers had to join! What happens when you make folks “Dependent” on the promise of money/services is that sooner or later these people expect to have these promises honored! It is not our fault that American Politicians, both Democrat and Republican, chose to spend the Social Security/Medicare funds collected from the people on “Other Stuff”! Excuse us for being “Old” and “Retired”! You might want to blame Father Time for that, because I would love to be 35 years old again, and gainfully employed (like I was at age 35!) Pierre, that’s never going to happen, so I’m afraid I will just have to console myself with my well earned “Socialist’ benefits!

  10. NortonSmitty says:

    When the leader of this bunch whined he didn’t want tax dollars spent on things his people don’t use, i assume he meant the Libraries.

  11. Ol' Sarge says:

    Are we really going to bring the teachers into this?? Yet another reason why the Tea Party represents the worst elitist middle class has to offer in selfishness and lack of concern for a bigger picture. Statistically, EVERYONE is spending more to survive…that is the nature of a recession. However, how dare you complain about giving money back to the teacher’s salaries when they haven’t received their supposedly REQUIRED step adjustment for years…ergo, cost of living has gone up, yet salaries have not. Here is a no brainer for you retirees who think you should not pay for programs that “don’t” benefit you: an uneducated society is a poor one…poor socioeconomic status BREEDS crime!!! So, while the county’s educators leave for greener pastures, your community’s children get a lower level of education. These are the children who will venture out from their $80,000 homes directly to your big gleaming towers over in imaginary land where the greater good is no concern of yours. So, go ahead, continue to offer less to public service jobs, but don’t complain when your neighborhoods become ghetto-fied. I realize you won’t be around much longer, but be smart and invest in the future…I know it’s a big stretch for your self preserving ideologies, but there is a Flagler County that was here before you and will be here after you are all gone. Try and take a glance around, without your nose in the air, and see the bigger picture!

  12. truthseeker says:

    The real bogey man is the enitre property tax system itself. State legislators acknowledge how bad the current system is every session and year-after-year we end up with “patches” that mostly skew it more. They are not solely to blame, however. Save Our Homes is one of the worst amendments to the state constitution. Period. Remember, we voted for it!

    The Tea party talks ad nauseum about the millage rate. In a truly equitable property tax system, the millage rate would be a huge deal. Unfortunately, by the time the millage rate has been applied to the taxable value, under current calculations, the damage has already been done. That, ladies and gentleman, is how we get comparably assessed properties (subject to the same millage rate) with radically different tax bills.

    My suggestion to the Tea Party is two-fold. Keep watch on the local levels and put more pressure on our legislators at the state level. Forcing our legislators to help scrap the current system will go a long, long way towards smoothing out many budget issues at the county and municipal level.

  13. SAW says:

    Also not a tea bagger, but nice to see so many everyday people finally waking up, commissioners as some have been saying in Washington lately ” it’s not the lack of revenue that is the problem, it’s the wasteful SPENDING”.

    Take charge, stop catering to the Chamber, to which many of you belong , and also to the other assorted sub-groups Enterprise Flagler etc. who continue lobbying you. Pay attention to the residents of this county, remember they are the people that put you in office, and they are the people that will also take you out if need be.

    They are sending you a very clear and concise message, you need to pay close attention to what they are saying.

  14. Jordyn says:

    I do not understand how in the article the writer makes a point to snidely say “…with better health insurance” and then the writer posts in the comments outraged that they are on Medicare. Medicare is not “better health insurance”, so which one is it? It seems to me the writer is determined to condemn them no matter what. I am not a tea party member, more a libertarian type, but I applaud all citizens who take the time to attend meetings and make their voices heard. We need more of that in this county, not less, and frankly, the writer of this article knows that too. How about an article with an actual interview with the tea party leader? Go ahead and ask your hard questions; I’d really like to read the answers, and I’m sure a lot of other readers would too.

  15. Layla says:

    I guess the issue with us “geezers” is that we saved for our retirement and much of that is gone now, along with the value of our homes. Nice of you to look into the financial data of those you don’t agree with, Pierre.

    In my own case, I am too young for Medicare, so I have medical expenses, Pierre, lots of them. But the bigger issue is that we planned to make our money last so that we would not be a burden on our children, our communities. We’re not receiving COLAs and when the savings and retirment is gone we have no further means of earning income.

    If the Tea Party nauseates you, that’s your problem. I, for one, am grateful these people are willing to give of their time to attend these meetings and look out for the rest of us. It sure beats standing around and bitching.

  16. Layla says:

    I did not attend this budget meeting but saw the following email from one who did:

    “It seems the commissioners want to raise our property taxes 13.5% to give the county employee’s a 3% raise, and insure they receive 70% of their pay when they retire. It was interesting to say the least. It seems at least one of the commissioners do not consider the folks involved with the Tea party as citizens, which caused quite a ruckus. Then after being reminded that the elections are not that far in the future, he also felt “threatened”. It was an interesting look inside the head of a local politician. I do not know if we had any effect, other than giving them cause to pause on the increase. You all know how politicians work. It does not occur to them that the golden goose is on life support, and they still expect it to continue laying the golden eggs even after it expires. “

  17. real people says:

    my dream before my death to see all of us working for America not for a party, I agree with Pierre and as Conservative as I am and with all due respect to every one the two speakers are set for life they get their monthly check and to hell with every one else, God bless but the rest of us are still trying to make a living.
    America what a country, I love it, we still drive on the parkway and park in the drive way.

  18. palmcoaster says:

    I agree with real people. We need to all unite Tea Party and None and demand accountability regarding the wasteful spending of our hard earned tax dollars and also demand that the wealthy and corporations start paying their fair share of taxes as we all middle class do. As we no only have frivolous spending but also a lack of revenue in our government budgets. We keep on fighting among us other than fighting for one positive cause, the betterment for us all, like it used to be. Lets tax imports to bring back our jobs as 40 million Americans out of work do not contribute to our federal and state budgets via their income and payroll taxes, that is the main revenue on those now..further more to many of the unemployed we have to pay their well deserved unemployment insurance further eroding our budgets. Lets unite and start buying and demand for Made in the USA only products it is worth the sacrifice. Lets get together and invest in American manufacturing plants, after import tariffs in place. We can do it! Many Americans got savings together to buy large parcels of land and developed them for profit with the housing boom. Lets open factories for A/C units, tv set, all appliances , furniture, garments and put our labor to work w/decent wages and benefits and learn from Mr. Ford to keep the peace with their unions.. Look Goldman Sachs got “our stimulus” and now fired 1,000 workers here and is opening those positions in Singapore. Sure were not the Chinese that gave them any stimulus but us here. . Were are the 180 billion stimulus given to AIG? When are we getting that back? What are we all morons..? battling among us, when abuses like this one are taking place. We all suckers buying Apple and other gadgets all made with slave wages in China and sold to us at record high prices. Tax those as well as Goldman Sachs overseas investments…never mind the outsourcing policies of GE on our tax incentives gifted to GE. Jeez, ruins my morning coffee, just remembering.

  19. Johnny Taxpayer says:

    Why bother debating the issue, when you can just attack the person.

  20. palmcoaster says:

    Maybe we should learn from Brazil and the other South American countries new rules against cheap low quality Chinese, Vietnamese imports, undermining their labor force, so import tariffs to be imposed to protect their national industry and jobs, Way to go!

  21. Binkey says:


    You did not plan well enough if your money is not lasting. Get a job. Stop expecting a free ride off of state employees back. You are not above working.

  22. Bob Z. says:

    If someone thinks that teachers are getting a 3% raise next year, and insure that they will get 70% of their pay in retirement, they are sadly mistaken. My wife teaches and she will have to contribute 3% of her salary to the her pension (even though it was promised to her when she accepted the position…maybe the associated lawsuit will correct that injustice) but she will get her step increase, which amounts to just under 2%, so she will be making less money. In regards to her retirement, it is based on a formula you can find on the FRS web site: she will get about 40% of her salary after 25 years and pay for her health insurance. So as I have said in other topic responses, please do your homework before you post here.

  23. Dorothea says:

    The tea party is clueless, witless, and the worst thing to happen to this country in this decade. Any voter should know that commission chairman, Alan Peterson, has a reputation for being the biggest penny pincher ever when he served on the Palm Coast city council. In fact, he got himself elected to the county commission for his reputation.

    This tea party band of nitwits gets permission to speak at a meeting where public input was not on the agenda and behaves like a bunch of rowdy sports fans. To add to their performance, they publicly get up and lie about their dire financial straights because their taxes have been going up, which they haven’t.

    Living in their expensive homes, they think that garbage collecters should get fired and garbage should rot in the sun so they can save a few dollars on their not increasing taxes. I’m sure they never gave a thought to the garbage collectors who are struggling with their $80,000 mortgages while these tea party phonies are living in luxury in their $350,000 homes.

    Maybe the silver-haired foxes could sacrifice one less trip to the beauty salon and one less early bird special so that our younger workers can keep their jobs and in doing so, contribute to the social security and medicare fund that most tea party people are currently collecting..

  24. elaygee says:

    Old welfare recipients complaining about taxes. (If your over 77, you’re on welfare as you got back ALL your Social Security contributions plus interest since age 65)
    Government insured Medicare beneficiaries yelling “Keep your government hands of my Medicare”
    Retirees with hundreds of thousands in savings and investments complaining that they have to spend some of it to keep living the life they had when they were working.

    The Greatest generation turned into the most self centered generation in our history.

  25. BW says:

    Another example of this Tea Party being anything other than ridiculous. Interestingly enough, I also own a $300,000 home here since 2004 and have actually seen my taxes go down slightly each year. In fact, I have never seen them unreasonable either. This Mr. Chozianin actually owns a home and a boat slip behind that home according the Property Appraiser’s website. Total taxes being about $2500 last year. Pretty reasonable especially compared to other parts of the country and I’m sure has never been a surprise that wanting a and having a boat slip would incur a cost. In fact, his tax bill is less than mine.

    This idea of simply yelling about having to pay taxes and spending was interesting at first. BUT you can only yell about spending so much until people start asking for your input about specifics. The Tea Party and none of it’s members can ever truly do that. Rather it seems more important to just be able to yell about whether someone “smirked” or not. They have consistently backed and wanted horrible candidates that are radicals voted in. Their most recent effort has given Florida the worst Govenor since I’ve moved here . . . Rick Scott. This Tea Party group is nothing more than bored people that want people to think they are significant. Their efforts are not about anything other than themselves. They are out-of-touch, uninformed, easily mislead, and nothing more than followers rather than leaders. In short . . . a watse of anyone’s time in media coverage or any listening to.

  26. Layla says:

    Wow, talk about a pile on! Anybody posting here been to a Tea Party meeting? You are attacking these people because they are showing up and asking questions of their elected officials? SHAME ON THE LOT OF YOU.

    Don’t lecture me or anybody else about paying my taxes. I am one of the 49% of the populace who is still doing that. And last I heard, we still have freedom of speech in this country.

    Stop trashing every thing and every body in sight and you might be listened to. And as for the Tea Party? Attend a few meetings, offer input and see what you think before you attack. At least THEY’RE DOING SOMETHING. They are NOT attacking you. Politics as usual on this board. Just listen to the HATE, HATE, HATE. How’s that hope and change working for you?

  27. Layla says:

    BINKEY: I’ve worked all my life, since I was 16. There is a limit to the Golden Goose whether the hate mongers posting here want to believe it or not.

    What are ANY of you doing to try and improve the situation other than tear others apart and BITCH, BITCH, BITCH. God, I hope none of you are my neighbors. You don’t know the meaning of the word.

    You ought to be ashamed, the LOT OF YOU. These people don’t need to get “permission” to speak at these meetings, Dorothea. They are citizens and that is their RIGHT, just as it is your’s.

    I say again, I’m PROUD to know there are citizens in my community interested enough in their community to attend these meetings. Thank you, Tea Party.

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      Layla, we don’t have time to waste editing your comments for rudeness and baseless personal attacks, as we’ve had to do with yours. You even attacked one of the commenters for not using her name while hiding behind one of your own. This isn’t one of your tea party brawl rooms, or a county commission workshop public comment period where you can spout off whatever you please without accountability. Read the comment policy. You want to address issues, advance the discussion, dispute facts and policies, challenge and explore ideas, you’re welcome to it. If you want to be uncivil, there’s plenty of other venues for that. Not here. And please: spare me the First Amendment claim. Tea party histrionics hiding behind First Amendment claims is about as legitimate as the wife-beater hiding behind Ephesians 5:21-23. Those methods won’t wash here.

  28. Dorothea says:

    Layla, there were specific negative comments made on this board regarding the dire results of tea party political activity. Instead of responding directly to those comments, you chose to rant in generalities about the taxes YOU pay, freedom of speech and the pollitics on this board. That is just like the tea partiers’ comments made at the commission meeting. The speakers made lots of noise, while unable to identify anything that is specifically wrong with the budget and chose instead to complain about their taxes, which they grossly exaggerated.

  29. Nancy N. says:

    palmcoaster, do you know what would happen to the price of consumer goods in this country if we did what you suggest with tariffs and basically forcing people to buy American? Inflation would make the Carter years look like a picnic because goods produced in this country would cost so much more.

    And Jordyn…Medicare i’m sure sounds like fabulous insurance to the millions of people in this country with no insurance at all.

    And lawabidingcitizen….have you looked around this community lately? It long ago ceased being a retirement community and became a bedroom community for Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Daytona. That’s why our school district has grown exponentially in the past decade as many families with young children have moved into the community – including mine.

  30. some guy says:

    Right or wrong the county is not looking to RAIS taxes just the milage as to kep the same amount of $ commining in. BUT what will they do when our home price starts back up I dobt they will lower the rate as quickly or at all. Plamcoaster why do you have such a bone up yours for the Airport?? Ya never seem to miss a chance to put out false info on it. WE the taxpayers of this County do not suport it or pay off its loans ALL of the $ to run it is generated at the air port or in Federal funding not County tax $$. AND it does not take you 10 min to get to the intercoastal you go way over the no wake limit next time you go out look at the wake you make.

  31. Binkey says:

    Layla I have worked since I was 12 and continued working even after my retirement. I pay my taxes and do not begrudge others the right to make a living. Begrudging someone a 3% raise to compensate for the state backing out of their agreed to contribution of 3% is not wasteful on our county’s part, it is being responsible and acknowledges the gratitude and support these people deserve.

    If you cannot make it on your current income, you have to either increase your income or decrease your expenses. Decreasing your expenses is fine if you are not affecting your standard of living. If you can’t do that, get a job.

  32. Layla says:

    Clarification: I said Shame on the lot of you, didn’t call anyone a nitwit or a bad name, and I’m in the wrong? I suggest you read my posts again. I suspect what irks you is the “thank you” to the Tea Party. These people do not wear sheets to their meetings. They are a cross section of citizens, just like the ones posting here.

    Elaygee: Did you hear anyone at that meeting yell, “Keep your government hands of my Medicare”? I wasn’t there, I thought I’d made that clear. Have you heard anyone in this forum say that?

    “The Greatest generation turned into the most self centered generation in our history.” I’m going back to “shame on you”. Judging by your comments, I’d say your’s has nothing to stand up and crow about. That greatest generation paid the ultimate sacrifice for you. They pulled this country through a depression and fought World War II to keep you free. You would not have what you have today had it not been for those sacrifices. Selfish? Never. They worked for everything.

    Binkey: Did I say I begrudge others the right to make a living? No, that is not what I said at all. What I was intending to convey is that with fees constantly going up, we are going to run out of rich people to pay those taxes and increases soon. The problem here is that we simply cannot afford this, especially now. What do you say to those who have lost their homes, jobs and just don’t have the money for another tax increase right now? What do you say to those to whom being able to pay their utilities is a luxury? I would say that your last sentence will have to apply to all of us, even the teachers. When the economy is better we can go to plan B.

    We all have our stories, backgrounds. That should be a plus to the community and not a negative. I’d like to think that we all worked hard for what we have. I don’t think anyone of us deserves to be attacked because of our age or our income. I suspect there are many in the Tea Party still employed, some even working in government.

    To anyone who takes the time to attend these meetings and offer your input, I say, “thank you”.

  33. notasenior says:

    Tea baggers are opposed to socialism until you talk about their social security or medicare benefits. This was evidenced by the tea bagger protesting the health care plan who told the reporter she wants “the government to keep out of health care and leave her medicare alone.” So much for an informed electorate!

  34. palmcpaster says:

    This is for Nancy…and yes we need now import tariffs to recoup our jobs and preserve them. You are being lectured over and over again against those necessary tariffs as will increase prices. That is incorrect as we are already paying the high prices on the current cheaply made non quality imported goods. What tariff on imports will do; is to stop the greedy enrichment of these outsourcing corporations benefiting now from slavery wages (US$130/month no benefits) overseas, while sticking it to us as at the a price as if was made by a unionized American worker with proper benefits. Are these wages what you want for our American workers? Right now Apple and others, keep the huge profit from slavery wages. Look at Apple 6 years ago the price per share was around 30 bucks today is over 330….as slavery is very, very, profitable and here most morons buy those slave made gadgets. Shame on Steve Jobs, sure he knows what goes around, comes around by Divine Justice.
    Same with hundreds of other manufacturing corporations. Tax imports NOW!

  35. Popo3984 says:

    I think we need to mark these tea baggers as terriost as they want to cut all services including police any fire and use the platform that we can’t afford it well guess what we can and how dare any of yous be mad about my pension and try to take mine away while all of yous get one already from up north you know what I got an idea any of you that want a reduction in service ok that’s fine just don’t expect us to show up when u call 911

  36. palmcoaster says:

    I think in most national issues to be resolved we are by majority in the same boat. The fact is that negative misleading wide shown propaganda poison many.
    If most of us want:
    To preserve an economic secured America with decent paid jobs for all and a fair living that protects our families and their future.
    We want us and our fellow Americans to afford medical and dental treatment.
    We want good education for our children and youth. Not only for the wealthy.
    We do not want our tax dollars used to police the world or to be gifted to our so called “allied’s”
    We do not want our environment polluted, while our non renewable (oil) resources are stolen for export.
    We do not want to be gouged at the pump, pharmacy or the grocery (unlimited futures commodity trade)
    We do not want to be profiled by our race, religion or culture.
    We want freedom of speech and all our constitution provides for all.
    We want our National Guard back home to protect our boundaries and us, not serving overseas interest.
    We want our soldiers back home working in our decaying infrastructure using the war wasted trillions, no more.
    We want the America it used to be for all.
    Then we just need to unite and demand for it and stop battling each other, to the joy of special interest. If we do nothing, nothing will change. If we rebel and demand for change, some of our goals, if not most will be achieved. C’mon guys!

  37. truthseeker says:


    You, sir, are a hypocrite. You finger-wag at Layla for having to edit her “comments for rudeness and baseless personal attacks”, yet let numerous posters use the term “tea baggers“. That, sir, is at best laughable; at worst, totally condemnable. Do you even know what “tea bagging” is? I have a sneaking suspicion you, or the ignorant dolts who post on this website, do not. I suggest you look it up. A word of caution: it is highly inappropriate and disgusting.

    I suggest you rethink your snarky, holier-than-thou attitude when it comes to this website’s comment policy, lest you actually enforce it upon ALL who so choose to post here equally.

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      truthseeker, you protest a little too much. Layla can make the sort of generalities you’re fond of about liberals and socialists and the rest of us vile pinkos all she wants. What neither she nor you nor anyone else may do is insult commenters directly, or pull comments in the sort of directions some tea party folks are fond of doing at, say, public meetings. Which brings me to the term in question, which appears to get tea party members in a wad. The urban dictionary defines it this way: “multiple meanings. 1) one who carries large bags of packaged tea for shipment. 2) a man that squats on top of a woman’s face and lowers his genitals into her mouth during sex, known as “teabagging” 3) one who has a job or talent that is low in social status 4) a person who is unaware that they have said or done something foolish, childlike, noobish, lame, or inconvenient. 5) also see “fagbag”, “lamer”, “noob.””

      I don’t find any of these definitions objectionable, let alone “inappropriate” or “disgusting,” including the second. And I always thought the teabagger application that teabaggers objected to most was the fourth, not the second. But about that second one: Since when is a rather mundane, mildly enjoyable and, come to think of it, as culturally universal an act as masturbation (or, these days, playing with one’s iphone, which most people do in public, even in public meetings, particularly public meetings attended by teabaggers)–since when, I say, is such an act “inappropriate” or “disgusting”? Unless of course you have something against sex, which is fine, but that’s like having something against, say, American beer (also perfectly excusable, but not to the point of imposing the preference on others).

      People who object to the sexual connotations of teabagger often derive the objection from the homosexual application of the word. Homophobes don’t like to be associated in any way with terms they think apply to homosexuals. They fear that they themselves may become gay somehow, or that they’d suddenly develop an inordinate taste for Rogers and Hammerstein, or pumps, or discover that Gore Vidal makes sense. So really what we’re talking about here is as much a denigration of sex masked as propriety as it is a form of anti-gay bigotry, neither of which holds appeal for reasonable persons. (That homophobic reaction to the word has been an unspoken undercurrent of its denigration, but let’s let that pass, our hands being, so to speak, full.) It’s unfortunate that tea party folks are so self-absorbed that they think the word teabagger has not only one application, but one they themselves have decided to judge by their own parameters, and theirs alone, as you do: “inappropriate” and “disgusting.”

      Why so enthusiastically sell short the reference to “foolish, childlike, noobish, lame, or inconvenient,” let alone the wonderful “lamer” and “noob” derivatives, which neither I nor H.L. Mencken were aware of.

      You’re right in one sense. What seems to me inappropriate and disgusting is one association of the word teabagger with tea party folks. But only in the sense that it demeans the word teabagger. That Turkish delight is now forever corrupted by its association with a fanatically dull and destructive ideology, a sort of Kama Sutra anti-matter, which might make any attempt at teabagging, unaided by a little blue pill, a bit difficult. Where’s Bob Dole when you need him? Certainly not at a tea party meeting. Even Republicans have limits.

  38. Dorothea says:

    Palmcoaster, most Americans agree with you and the polls show that fact. However, where you find the tea party, that is where you find the obstructionism. Did you listen to the President’s news conference yesterday? Obama specifically mentioned four or five bills that promote American jobs sitting in the House of Representative that Republicans are not letting onto the floor for a vote. They have been too busy promoting a reactionary social agenda to worry about job creation. Who is responsible for failing to raise the debt ceiling? The legislators raised it 18 times when Bush was president. When those social security checks stop coming in August you can blame it on the tea party.

    How is the tea party responsible? The Republicans are so afraid of getting challanged in a primary by a tea party candidate that all the tea party House members have to do is whistle and the non-tea party Republicans come running like dogs to a bone. This political activity on the part of the tea party has moved to the state legislators and now the tea party is coming after local governance. So yes, we should all get along, but not to the absurd and dangerous tune of the tea party.

  39. Nancy N. says:

    palmcoaster, do you really think that when their profits are eroded by the higher costs of producing their product domestically that all these giant companies like Apple are going to sit back and just say “bummer, I guess we aren’t making as much money now?” No, they will raise their prices to preserve their profit margins. To put it simply…when everyone in the economy starts raising their prices, then it causes a spiraling inflation cycle because it costs a business more to produce their product…they raise their prices to compensate…the people that buy from them raise their prices because their costs have gone up…and it starts all over.

  40. palmcoaster says:

    I totally agree with you Dorothea!! These Rep…kans let Bush raise the debt ceiling every single year in office, but not to Obama this second year. Their only agenda is not to create jobs and resolve the deficit and repair the damage done to our economy and help Americans, NOOO, their agenda is only to make sure that Obama is “One term President only” like that old bag Senator Mitch McConnell stated.
    When a I say that we need to unite is because except for their extremism, even few of the Tea Parties goals are our None TP same goals as well. Not all just some. If we continuo this all out war among us fueled by the special interest benefiting from it, we will not be able to achieve the betterment for all. What we have now is “divide and conquer”.
    Regarding Nancy’s concern about a potential gouging if we place import tariffs to recoup our jobs…well well. If the tariffs are high enough they will have to manufacture here and then the anti gouging laws could be in place also along with some “we the buyers boycotts” and that will do wonders to keep the greedy in check. The problem is that in the last 40 years we have not unite to achieve common goals, we just let the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and this is not only in the USA is worldwide. The ones in control graft -associate with the corporations and the wealthy to further squeeze the ones below. Maybe you feel okay now because your are not yet at the lower middle class or poor level…better watch it, as if you let them, they will get to you too after they will be done with the lower tiers.

  41. palmcoaster says:

    Oh my, I learned some unexpected meanings for tb…rs, that I was sincerely not aware of. Looks like our good old English is subject to changes with evolution and some of us are kind of slow to catch up.
    I really never thought or intended the one slang meaning for that description and never really researched it! Thank you for the discovery Pierre.
    Now when it comes to double meaning and or double talk, then if we will all be as easily offended as Truthseeker for some incorrect slang use of common English words, none of us will ever be able to enjoy good double chocolate “fudge” maybe just not to be impersonated in certain way,….as long as we eat it and do not pack it… should be okay right, Truthseeker? Not our fault the assigned popular disgusting insulting racist slang connotation to a sector of our community, of some good English words that we have to use daily. Is all in the eye of the beholder. I know well, not to imply the undeserved connotation ever!.I hope I am not misunderstood on this issue.

  42. BW says:


    I have talked to several Tea Party members here. Listened to their rhetoric and arguments outside of the area, and the plain and simple truth is that . . . they don’t get it. 1950 happened, but we are now in 2011. Things changed and they ain’t going back.

    The one thing I will agree with you is that, yes, people do have a responsibility to question election officials. And, yes, unfortunately the majority does not. BUT the bigger issue is that one can not demand elected officials to not compromise. In fact, the last time there was a firm stance to not compromise politically . . . our country ended up in the Civil War.

    This idea that these are simple issues is extremely naive. Social issues, budgetary issues, etc. are extremely complex. One side does not have all the answers. In fact, if one side did have all the answers . . . why are we faced with the issues we have today especially since that party (which the Tea Party is Republican) had control and the ability to set things straight. Unfortunately, the Republican control from 2000 to 2008 more than double and crashed the entire economy. The Financial Modernization Act (aka GLB act) created by two Republicans created the “too big to fail” issue. So we have a political party that has repeatedly hurt the well-being of all because of their shameful arrogance yet we should believe they have the answers.

    What is truly shameful is anyone who stands behind any elected official not working through compromise and open-mindedness to arrive at the best solutions. It is also shameful for those who participate in these groups and constantly attack others who may not agree with them or call out their skewing of facts or outright lies. That’s the real danger. In fact, what really baffles me is that the majority of the people involved in these groups seem to be intelligent and normally reasonable people; but when it comes to politics and issues . . . they act like 2nd graders. I actually think 2nd graders could come up with better proposals for solutions.

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