Living in a Bubble

Published: Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 11:20 AM.

It starts at home as most things do because if your house is not in order, how can you help others? Gulf County like a lot of mill communities was forced to live in a bubble that did not recognize anyone or anything that was not connected to the Paper Mill since the 1930’s. Ambitious people that failed to adhere to the whims of the mill were suppressed and in some cases removed. The political landscape was 100 percent mill approved and controlled as that was all there was except a few merchants who depended on mill employees for business but for the most part it was all entwined together.

A rude awaking occurred at the closing of the mill which I will describe as more of a shock and left the community devastated. Past employees had to reinvent themselves to survive including some leaving their home behind to find employment elsewhere. This was by all accounts the perfect storm politically for some locals to take advantage of. The politics and elected did not change much and as I write this, I think it is much worse.

One clear issue that both County and City Government has made and is still making is proper employment of vendors.  Instead of the local government being about the Joe Company it has taken on a new diabolical role for supporting Special Interest that it has given millions of dollars to in contracts. Some of these contracts are without competitive bidding and oversight. The local government has blinders on for the best value and most qualified contractor for the citizens. They continuously make the same mistakes hiring the same old Special Interest whose trail is littered with controversial projects like Americus Ditch, St. Joseph Shores and St. Joe Water Treatment facility. They also make excuses for them and defend them as if they are on their payroll.

We need to elect people who have values and principles to protect the people and not take advantage of the tax payers as they currently do. Let’s get rid of the problem and not live in a bubble.

Jim Garth

Not Living in a Bubble

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