David Dunn-Rankin

David Dunn-Rankin

I love corresponding with our readers. Reader G. responded to a column I wrote recently as follows: 

“A few weeks ago there was an article by you about the authorizing of sex shops in residential neighborhoods and I was surprised. I clearly remember when my Senator wrote and cosponsored a new proposed law that would allow home businesses in residential neighborhoods and it would not be under the control of the city or county. 

“I wanted to know more. I thought it might be good, but maybe I read into it what I had hoped it was pertaining to. I read up on this proposed bill and contacted my Senator every which way possible, but to no avail. 

“I tried to contact my Senator who has an office in Leesburg. No answer. I contacted the hot line directly to his email in Tallahassee. No answer. I called his office in Leesburg and left messages too. I have tried and tried. No answer — ever. 

“Who is my Senator? Senator Hawkins. Where is Senator Hawkins and why can’t a constituent get time? 

“There is nobody home. Government is a one-way street here in Florida. Maybe if you own a newspaper, they might call you back. Don’t know how many people read your paper but it is surely getting bigger. I am hoping people get involved. 

“The Senate Bill is 266 and it clearly states that the local cities and counties cannot interfere and it forbids them. Now the city can say there is nothing they can do about it when you complain. The county can also say it is not under their jurisdiction either.” 

Thanks, G. I understand your frustration. Trust me, state legislators don’t return the local newspapers’ calls or emails either. You may notice that many local officials gladly write a regular column in our paper helping the public understand local government better. Have you ever seen a column by your state legislator or state senator? There is a reason.

We have arrived at a place in this country where we are divided into the political nobility and the rest of us. The political nobility is our state and federal elected officials and the money behind them. 

The American ideal has been stood on its head. Instead of our state and federal elected officials being first and foremost public servants, they are first and foremost allied to party and power and it is we who are the servants to them. 

Much of the political money funneled to the nobility is so darkly covered up it is just about untraceable. Our elected officials in Tallahassee wrote laws to make it difficult for the public to know just who is funneling money into our locally elected state politicians’ pockets. 

G., I believe there is a role for government — efficient effective government — and it is usually most often found at the city and county level. That’s why I write so often when the state takes power away from the city and county and writes a “one size fits all” rule that centralizes power in Tallahassee. 

It is a lot easier to get a county commissioner or city council member to respond to an email or a call. Heck, they often can’t go out to the grocery store without some constituent bringing up an issue. 

The question is, what is the public’s answer to this unresponsive, uncaring political nobility in Tallahassee? I have some thoughts, and I would be curious what our readers think. 

Share your thoughts: David@D-R.Media.

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