It’s Wednesday, so let’s get right to it.
First: I wore matching socks to Tuesday’s County Commission meeting. Low bar, for sure, but we’re in the middle of moving and my life is in disarray.
While we’ve moved into the new place, the old place still looks like it did shortly after I arrived 18 years ago. I am the worst person to move, which is one reason why I resist it. I get attached and moving means a memory with every scrap of junk I discover under the dresser. It’ll take me a week to clean out the closet.
Meanwhile, Deb’s new kitchen is totally set up which means, of course, I can’t find the salt. And true story: After the blog was put to bed Monday night, I was in the mood for popcorn. Could not figure out the microwave. Hit every button, nuthin’.
Popcorn is comfort food, and I was in dire need of some comfort. So, I grabbed the unpopped bag and headed back to the old place because, by golly, I know how that microwave works. Perfectly normal at midnight. Nothing to see here.
By the way, we’re saying goodbye this week to the original Just Wright Citrus World Headquarters on the shores of Big Lake Henderson with photos of the property, such as today's of the orange grove. I hope whoever follows us has the same appreciation for the beauty here as we did.
And, with that, two thoughts from County Commission:
— Commissioner Diana Finegan threw us for a loop right off the bat by announcing she was pulling the resolution that calls on the governor to call out the military to repel an “invasion” of illegal immigrants.
As Just Wright Citrus and several others pointed out, this resolution seemed less a statement on immigration and more a partisan kiss up for the Republican governor and swipe at the Democratic president.
Finegan, to her credit, acknowledged that others have differing opinions. She promised a resolution without “partisan” language.
The resolution on Tuesday’s agenda, which is making the rounds in Florida counties pushed by Republican organizations, is blunt:
“...On behalf of the people of Citrus County, we call on Governor DeSantis as Commander-in-Chief to call out the militia to suppress and repel the invasion that is occurring on our State by way of the United States southern borders, through contiguous neighboring border states, commercial and/or private air travel, and via bodies of water which delineate our state boundaries.”
Finegan said a lot of people are concerned with illegal immigration and she wants to be the “voice” of these folks. She later suggested a “majority” of citizens want the county to take a stand on illegal immigration. Hmmm. That seems a...stretch.
She promised a nonpartisan resolution that calls on everyone involved, Republican and Democrat, to do their jobs to stop illegal immigration.
Not sure what to make from this move.
Finegan wants Citrus County to have a voice on the issue, though I’m not sure why. I mean…what’s next? A Citrus County resolution on supporting Ukraine?
Public interest clearly exists. Exceptional Facebook response from Just Wright Citrus readers on Tuesday’s blog about Finegan’s resolution. Great discussion and debate, with very little of it veering off track. Super appreciated.
But also wildly diverse. Some say illegal immigration costs our citizens jobs. Others say that’s nonsense. And still others urged Commissioner Finegan to focus on actual county business and drop this resolution idea altogether.
We’ll see where this goes. Still feels like a distraction. Here’s why: The County Commission can’t do a dang thing about illegal immigration. It’s entirely out of our sandbox. Other than offering an opinion, which is essentially the purpose of a resolution, it means nothing.
‘Nuff on that.
— Reluctant to get into this because the math is confusing, but the three commissioners who voted for a property tax increase are looking for ways to couch it with the public.
They’re finding the path difficult. I’m beginning to gauge frustration in the community with commissioners, but it’s scattershot, like a full Sunday page of Sound Off: taxes, roads, traffic, code enforcement and a general lack of focus.
This group desperately needs a win. Groundbreaking ceremonies for C.R. 491 widening and the new animal shelter are feel-good moments for public officials but they rarely register with citizens who aren’t around for the Big Picture conversations and thus don’t see the fuss. They just want the road built yesterday.
That’s the dilemma commissioners find themselves in. After laying groundwork today for future ribbon-cuttings, will they be around to participate?
Jury’s out whether the collective grumbling results in exceptional candidates with vision for 2024. We’re all experts but few actually have workable answers.
Challenges, challenges, challenges. So many challenges. Let’s focus, people.
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Mike Wright has written about Citrus County government and politics for 36 years.