Winners & Losers: Richard Clark, Stephen Joost and Nelson Cuba
Politician A is a crook! Politician B is a political insider and therefore an even bigger crook! No, no, you don't get it... A's former company was totally mismanaged and screwed up! Oh yeah, well... B is an old stodgy career politician, at least A is new! Sound familiar? It's too bad there's no alternative who's also worth voting for. Well, on to the ups and downs of the week...
WINNER: Steven Slater, who fulfilled the secret fantasies of many workers who have to deal with spoiled, petulant customers with terrible attitudes. A former flight attendant with JetBlue, Slater used an aircraft intercom system to curse out a problematic passenger before grabbing a beer, sliding down the emergency chute, and going home for the day. He was later apprehended by law enforcement. Anyone who flies frequently can relate that other passengers can be an unruly, awful bunch. So this flight attendant served up an oversize helping of smackdown. Mr. Slater, you remind me of Terry Tate – but for customers. Woo-woo!
LOSERS: All candidates who use robocalls. This morning I answered my phone to “Hi, I'm Rick Scott, an-- CLICK!” Clam it, Rick! Have a human call me or don't even bother. Robocalls from schools for informational purposes, or from law enforcement for disaster awareness are one thing. When used for political campaigns, they're quite another. A telephone is by nature a two-way device, one that is meant as much for speaking back as it is for listening. What sort of arrogant snot thinks they can call cell phones and waste people's anytime minutes for the purpose of advertising their irritating message with no possibility for feedback? Gag me with a stick. I'm going after Mr. Scott for my wasted minute!
WINNER: Mayor John Peyton, for clarifying the obvious fact that Nelson Cuba is a “jackass” in a recent conversation with two JSO officers. Peyton is now being taken to task over his comments to the officers, which included some information about why the City needs budget cuts. Folks, don't kill the messenger – Peyton is doing the best he can in a city hit with cuts that started on the state level, and are affecting a government with lots of people who believe they are entitled to things that were never “theirs” to begin with. Mr. Cuba has a well-earned reputation as a highly determined jackass, and has a way of going all flaming warthog on anyone who doesn't agree with his position.
LOSER: Joshua Troy Imm, 26 year old son of Putnam County Sheriff Joshua Hardy. That's Sheriff, not deputy, dispatcher or water boy. It seems that Putnam County's number one law enforcement officer has a son who is utterly out of control – recently caught with a bag full of drug paraphernalia, he was soon out on bail. The Sheriff was not aware until being approached by the bonding agency which believed Imm was violating his probation. Sheriff Hardy promptly had his son's bail revoked, and Imm was marched right back to jail.
WINNERS: The City, for opposing a silly facade with columns facing the old courthouse, which would cost $250,000. Granted, it's “not much” compared to the $350 million already being plugged into the project, but costs do add up. The total cost of the renovation on the old federal courthouse is $20 million. State Attorney Angela Corey's $700,000 walkway actually makes more sense, because at least it has a useful function and keeps prosecutors from getting attacked by the people they're sending away. We really need a return to the days when government watched every nickel and dime, and the foremost concern for government buildings was cost, rather than domes and columnar facades.
LOSERS: Jacksonville City Council VP Stephen Joost and Councilman Richard Clark, who can't keep it together long enough to attend a whole meeting. Last Tuesday night, they skipped out of the twice-monthly public meeting to go wine and dine with Jaguars reps at Ruth's Chris, and in the process missed 10 votes and the accompanying public debate. This, right after the vote to approve the Everbank renaming – and to give up on the city's portion of the sponsorship money. Listen guys, the meetings aren't exciting and no one said they were, but all of the other councilmembers managed to stick it out, and so did many people from the (mostly unpaid) public. It might have been a long day and they may have been tired, but so was everyone else who showed up. Joost and Clark really should apologize to the Council and to the public at the next meeting, and assure us all that it won't happen again.