Mimi Lash 5.18.12 For the Marion Sun Times


Ocala brings hundreds of low paying jobs to Marion County.  Good news and bad news!

Good news first.  Management for the telemarketing firm will bring in jobs paying above poverty line.  The influx of new employment revenue will pay back the incentive $2.500,000 in just a few decades if all goes well.

The bad news:  Setting up a magnet to draw low income families to Marion County will add to the poverty centers such as Ocala.  Once a vibrant location, Ocala is currently on a down hill economic journey.  A from south Marion near the wealth of The Villages toward delivers an increasing frequency of For Sale signs.  100 properties out of business or foreclosed were counted on a recent trip to Ocala.  Once in Ocala 10 per every few blocks out of business or signs of economic failure shout we need to turn around the economic fortunes of the Urban area known as Ocala.

Thriving employment is in the government sector.  Management in all government organizations are 6 figure with the leader Steve Pervus receiving a cool $600,000 annually plus benefits.  That is well above the $10,000 a month that most government officials are receiving.  Followed by non taxed private companies such as the EDC.  A small private company the EDC is run by Mr Pete Tesh who has been in the $120,000 plus income bracket for years, while he works to bring in jobs that average below $20,000 a year.

Marion County School Board  

Marion County Administration

Marion County Sheriff

Ocala Police Department

Ocala Administration

Central Florida Community College

Monroe Hospital

Try to imagine the cost for every family drawn to Marion County that is in the below $20,000 range.   Child care, food stamps, free lunchs, assistance at the tune of $20,000 per couple is required just to keep alive and housed.

Yes, some workers are already here and $20,000 will provide help covering the basics of life, but for the most part high pressure jobs like call center work is high turn over and a draw for low income families from across the nation.  When word gets out that a move to Florida will qualify a family to public housing assistance, food help, transportation help, shelter help, and other public assistance, the people will come.

Government grants, and other assistantance is the game in bring in more poor to urban neighborhoods.  Grants, from the city, state and county from a failing federal economic system is now considered a viable approach to funding the mase of organizations that are themselves tax exempt and live off government handouts themselves.  Non tax paying status is the key to $100,000 plus incomes for the lucky operators of these companies.

All great organizations but based on a need for additional proverty and grants. 

Children's Alliance

Workforce Connection

Kids Central

Hospitals and other health care groups

Foundations of all kinds.  

Some make incredible incomes being in charge of a small tax exempt private company.

Big example is the Domestic Violence Central organization.  A look at the Tax Report 990 shows the head person receives over $300,000 annually to be in-charge of the local county branches.

Every time you see Tax Exempt or Non Profit rest assured that a look at the required 990 will show stunning income that the rich receive to mind the problems of the poor.

Now you see why an urban area like Ocala would bring in and pay millions for workers that receive less than half of what it takes to live in poverty.

Could you live on $50,000 per month?

That is only $12.000 per week!

Or just a little over $300 per hour.

But remember as you struggle on this meger salary, you also will receive benefits, health, auto, and travel expenses, so while the salary is meager there is hope! 





Just in:  You be the Judge!  Is the CF art in Marion County's new courthouse appropriate?
The art can be replaced by more appropriate images.
County Court Clerk David Ellspermann may be challenged in the 2012 election over this and other festering issue affecting Marion County. 

Post political era to begin with new CF president.  Selection will bring fresh, and hopefully non political CF President.

Known for attempting to set Public Policy from CF educational job, Charles Dessance has stepped down creating an era of education.

The Public Policy Institute of Marion County is an inappropriate political forum for a non elected public official serving as a College President.  The attempt at "Regional Political Clout" has all but dissolved in the post Dessance non political posturing of CF. 

As the leading political forum for Regional Water Policy CF may have diverted from its Core Mission. 

Current Art Committee Selection Committee Members for the Courthouse is Clerk of the Court David Ellspermann a staff member and Judges McCune and Ohlman.  



Fresh new opportunity for the Central Florida Community

Dr. James Henningsen takes over the leadership of Central Florida College 

The College of  Central Florida issued the following press release:

The community will have an opportunity to meet Dr. James Henningsen, the new president of College of Central Florida, at a reception on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at the Ocala Campus.

The reception, hosted by the CF District Board of Trustees, begins at 5 p.m. and will be held in the Ewers Century Center, 3001 S.W. College Road. Community members who would like to attend are requested to RSVP by calling 352-873-5808 or emailing Sticknel@cf.edu.

The College of  Central Florida issued the following press release today:

The community will have an opportunity to meet Dr. James Henningsen, the new president of College of Central Florida, at a reception on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at the Ocala Campus.

The reception, hosted by the CF District Board of Trustees, begins at 5 p.m. and will be held in the Ewers Century Center, 3001 S.W. College Road. Community members who would like to attend are requested to RSVP by calling 352-873-5808 or emailing Sticknel@cf.edu.


In new CF era Ellspermann may change images
Selected after main Art Selection Committee Selections.

Citizens ask for CF to replace highly controversial renderings of Women, Youth and Christian religious depictions. 

Muslim vs Christian highly charged war images seem to not meet Constitutional guarantees to a fair trial if Jurors are influenced during selection and exposure in the courthouse setting.

Normal non contriversial "Art in Public Buildings" is considered appropriate a fair opportunity for all judicial experience.  Marion County has a chance to set the record straight with the hiring of a new CF president. 


Art titled Courthouse Construction Crew is reinstated in the courthouse over the objections of County Judge Jim McCune.  

Citizens ask, was it a "sour grapes" jesture puting in in the Men's Room cubical off the main lobby?  Teachers showing students art will hardly be expected to stand in the way of the Men's Room entry to view art.

On the other side of the same wall, in the lobby area, there is a blank wall waiting for display.  The question of Clerk of the Court working for the people or is he under the direction of the judges in the courthouse?

Going into a first time republican primary challenge may answer the question. 


 CFPPI was developed to give a counter point public policy input from the private sector to balance the CF Sponsored Political Public Policy Institute and Heart of Florida Political Regional Influence developed with Tax Dollars.

 Keeping on mission may require a sign-off for all future use of CF for political action.

CF Mission: "College of Central Florida offers educational opportunities which are accessible, affordable and high quality. In a climate that nurtures excellence, CF provides undergraduate instruction and awards associate degrees, baccalaureate degrees and certificates; prepares students for careers requiring professional and technical training; encourages student success through a variety of support services; and promotes the economic, social and cultural development of the community."  The non elected nature of the CF presidency position calls for resignation if there is political disagreement with  public policy advanced by CF Officials.  We recommend Public Policy be left to public officials elected to set public policy and private citizens.  Dr Dessance public policy efforts were less as a private citizen and mostly as the president of CF.  We hope CF as a political organization stays in the past.

Ocala Cool takes steps to promote Central Florida to the world via Natures Best Natural Artesian Spring Water.

Central Florida Regional Legislative Collaboration.  Examining public policy issues to improve the quality of life.
Marion County Commission Chairman Stan McClain and Commissioners look at new public policy.
This is the way Elected Officials address Public Policy.  The Central Florida Public Policy Institute supports the new
Silver Springs return to Marion County Florida. 

Marion County's Silver and Rainbow Springs together send a Billion Gallons of the world's finest mineral water out to sea daily.

CFPPI has developed a plan to harvest 10% of the water and reintroduce the clean fresh liquid back into the Floridan Aquifer as Beneficial Recharge.

This will free up the 6 million gallons of processed Sewer Effluent current dumped into the aquifer by Gainesville Utilities.

Additionally, Ocala Utilities will be able to use the high nutrient Storm Sewer Water currently sent to the aquifer for agriculture.

Florida Water Czar Don Browning has developed a 10% recovery plan along with a 1% bottled water plan to revitalize the 

Governor Rick Scott


Economic Recovery Plan

 in his jobs budget. 



Just in: Marion Sun Times Mimi Lash 2011 Associated MST

Tea party picks up ethics issue as Gov. Scott retreats - St. Petersburg Times By Michael C. Bender, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau 

Under attack, Governor Rick Scott's record actually shows considerable results in stopping dysfunctional government.  High on the list is a direct focus on highly dysfunctional Water District's growth and policy policy problems.  Much of Governor Scott's efforts promote fair and balanced job growth efforts.  Ethics by governmental officials is a core principle of Scott's reform efforts.  Fairness to all parties must be a guiding principle when reforming deeply ingrained ethics issues. 

In Print: Friday, November 11, 2011 Mimi Lash MST Report
Focus on Ethics Florida Priority under Governor Rick Scott 

State of Florida Ethics Commission asked to interprete Florida Statute 112.3136 Standard of conduct for officers and employees of entities serving as chief administrative officer of political subdivisions.  http://www.ethics.state.fl.us/ethics/Chapter_112.html#ch1123136

"Public officer" includes any person elected or appointed to hold office in any agency, including any person serving on an advisory body. 

(4)No appointed public officer shall participate in any matter which would inure to the officer's special private gain or loss; which the officer knows would inure to the special private gain or loss of any principal by whom he or she is retained or to the parent organization or subsidiary of a corporate principal by which he or she is retained; or which he or she knows would inure to the special private gain or loss of a relative or business associate of the public officer, without first disclosing the nature of his or her interest in the matter. 

Marion County Commissioners are struggling with conflict of interest issues arising from contracts for goods and services awarded to persons on both the marketing and governing board of the Ocala Visitor and Convention Agency of Marion County.


125.0104 FS, is currently interpreted to allow a conflict of interest as in County Officials awarding their own companies contracts that appear to be in direct violation of Statute not allowing financial gain from official acts.  Governor Scott may have to settle the apparent waving of Conflict of Interest Law by parties benefiting financially directly from their official actions. 

 Florida Statute used to allow special conflict of interest.

125.0104  Tourist development tax; procedure for levying; authorized uses; referendum; enforcement. 

Section 4. (e)  The governing board of each county which levies and imposes a tourist development tax under this section shall appoint an advisory council to be known as the “  (name of county)   Tourist Development Council.” The council shall be established by ordinance and composed of nine members who shall be appointed by the governing board. The chair of the governing board of the county or any other member of the governing board as designated by the chair shall serve on the council. Two members of the council shall be elected municipal officials, at least one of whom shall be from the most populous municipality in the county or subcounty special taxing district in which the tax is levied. Six members of the council shall be persons who are involved in the tourist industry and who have demonstrated an interest in tourist development, of which members, not less than three nor more than four shall be owners or operators of motels, hotels, recreational vehicle parks, or other tourist accommodations in the county and subject to the tax. 




County Tourism Agency chairman Asks Marion County to change its name to Ocala Visitor and Convention Bureau.  Many in the rest of Marion County are in disbelief.  Marion County Chairman Stan McClain stated that he is troubled by the many issues swirling around the Marion County agency Ocala Visitor and Convention Bureau.  There is a need to clarify the apparent conflict of interest Florida Statutes have us in as we exercise our official oversite duties of a county agency.
 County commissioner Kathy Bryant commented, "Ocala is the County Seat and is the logical destination for tourism promotion."  "We find that few tourist plan to visit a "county seat" on their next vacation."  "Governmnet buildings are not high on the list of leading tourist distinations nationally with the possible exception of Washington DC."  Stated Best Florida Visit director Don Browning.



State Representative Charles Van Zant 
Florida House of Representatives, District 21 Marion County At the Home of
Doctors Riadh & Manal Fakhoury hold reception for Charles Van Zant

Welcome graphic

Voters begin to question the use of all the Marion County TAX Effort to promote Ocala's tax district.  Does the Ocala Logo really say Marion County.

Many think Ocala County Florida is the logical outcome of the current Ocala Branding of Marion County. 

Many citizens have grown weary of the excuses for favoring the Ocala Economy over the Marion County Economy.  Does it mater in the long run?  

The Ocala Taxing District gives little to Marion County residents outside the city limits.   Marion County EDC has caused quite the stir.

Do we really need to spend an extra $175,000 in salary to a single person working for the Ocala EDC? 

Given the last 10 years, it appears Ocala alone benefits from Ocala branding.

When will Marion County be valid enough to have its own name promoted to the world?  Would a change to Ocala County complete the deal?

Ocala Marion County Commission Branding Selection
Ocala picked as the best name for Marion County promotion.

The People's Think tank.  Finding solutions for everyday political problems.  Rhetoric from a grass roots prospective.
As Central Florida Median incomes drop it takes more "Average Families" to keep Full Employment in the Econmic Development Ranks.  Leading Marion County is the Department of Economic Development headed by Dr. Lee Niblock Administrator of Marion County.
Mr. Rick Michaels currently is directly empowered by the Marion County Board of County Commissioners to promote Economic Development along with the Tourism Development Effort of Marion County.
Ocala Takes Over 
The renaming of Marion County as Ocala for branding purposes is coming to an end apparently.  TDC Marion has developed a strategy to prove empirically that Marion County cam be branded.  Apparently the forces that convinced the Marion County Commission to adopt "Ocala" as the Brand Name for Marion County Florida has lost its influence.
Ocala EDC headed by Mr. Pete Tesh also may lose funding according to reports from inside the Commission.  Automatically budgeted for funding, the private firm Ocala EDC needs County tax funding to keep up the almost daily advertisments in the Ocala News Media.  Clearly the Ocala EDC needs funds more than the Median Family Homeowner as 100% employment of just the director requires nearly 20% on the $1, Million Dollar Budget.  the Director's Salary is reportedly $175,000 and that requires a considerable portion of the Ocala and Marion County taxing district contributions.
Home Owners can Give More 
According to the most recent MSTU reports, the Median Income of $40,000 divides the lower income population from the more well-off population of Marion County.  With higher unemployment and home mortgage foreclosure numbers increasing it is estimated that the lower income level homeowner group who will likely benefit more from the Ocala EDC efforts will be forced to contribute perhaps as much as 10% more as their group demographic shrinks.  Some in the lower half of the median homeowner group are beginning to question the proportionately high income levels of the EDC officials.  Mr Tesh receiving $175,000 and EDC Board Chairman Mr Pervis $600,000 range saleries are often considered an unnecessarily heavy financial burden on the lower half Ad Valorem tax group.  It doesn't always follow that the lower income group pays less in Ad Valorem taxes but the 25% of adjusted gross income defines housing expenditures per family.
Marion County Questions the need for a second EDC 
Despite the support for renaming Marion County Ocala, Commissioners are beginning to hear questions from tax payers questioning the need for a second EDC if the Marion County EDC program funded by the tax payers is effective.

Solutions from the Citizen's Point of View
Put on your thinking cap, join the fun!

Marion County citizen effort to address systemic problems through understanding and logic.  Classical reasoning based on local discussion.  An exchange of arguments to arrive at truth.

Understanding our home, history, and impacting our future.  Linking with political leaders of our day to achieve a better tomorrow.

Florida Leaders