Clarification and updates on Marion County
Budget, Tourism under the new EDC/Partnership and Sports issues to be presented to MCBCC. 3157350 Mimi Lash
Ocala and all of Marion County is now under the direction and control of the State EDC and the
Chamber of Commerce as a new private company with state, city and county authority. 2012:The organization started as
Enterprise Florida's EDC and morphed into the North Florida Regional Chamber, then it partnered with the Ocala Chamber and
took in to governmental partners to link with the State of Florida, the City of Ocala, and Marion County Board of County Commissioners.
Now the Ocala Chamber joined with the State of Florida Enterprise Florida's EDC became a Government Authority. Funded
and with official single source authority. All other private business competitors were squashed this appointment of
It is time to sound the alarm. We must stop the Authority
and Subsidies that have been given to this new State EDC Partnership The CEP of Ocala, as they are even taking over county
tourism functions,(TDC functions). This group now has government authority and funding, private business must join this
government company to be involved. This company is now "selected" by the state and competitors are not allowed
in the organization. Only this CEP receives State funding and Authority. All local and state authorities have
selected this private company as the only one with authority. City of Ocala Funding and Authority, and Marion County
Funding and Authority, it is not possible for anyone to compete with this Government Subsidized Authority.
Now this CEP is taking over MC Tourism and Sports from Marion County. No private company can compete with this
Selected Private Company. In the past two years this Subsidized Company has taken over State interest, City interest
and County interest. No private company can compete successfully against this selected company. Real estate, tourism,
sports, development promotion business networking, ($20,000 to be a main player).
the Ocala Star Banner is interested in the Marion County Growth of The Villages in Marion County, Sumter, and Lake and chronic
problems where the EDC/Partnership is in Authority. Promotional business outside the reach of the Ocala CEP are leading
the nation in growth.
It appears that this Ocala
Chamber/EDC Partnership has taken over tourism even from Marion County. Could you tell me when the Board of County Commissioners
will be presented with the Skating Rink proposal by the EDC Partnership? Has the Ocala CEP taken over the Sports Marketing
duties of our Tourism Department? Our MarionCountyCC.com and DiscoverMarionCounty.com or BestFloridaVisit.com for example have had to stand in the wings, unable to compete because of the Ocala/MCBCC/State EDC funding
of the Ocala Chamber now in partnership with the State of Florida EDC/Chamber Partnership.
Great minds could promote Marion County if the playing field was level. Just think, Marion County is
part of the Number 1 Growth event in the entire U.S. and I suspect will be a great wealth factor for the next several decades.
This CEP thing is even eating into Marion County’s Tourism department, having been subsidized into a control of
all businesses and lobbying. This EDC partnership is a takeover of tourism, sports, development and everything public
and private promotional in Marion County except The Villages who grow despite the EDC/CEP/Ocala Official Agency. Just
think where The Villages would be if the EDC/CEP was in charge of their development. Why stop competition and pick one
company when it is success from competition that is proven to create wealth. There is no better way to kill competition
and commerce than picking one company and forcing us to join this government subsidized group CEP in Ocala or else step aside
and go out of business. Welcome to the group cut out of the competition. It looks like the Marion County TDC now
must go to the EDC Partnership to learn what Marion County will do next.
Also, would you please give
me further clarification regarding the sports marketing funding, and specifically if the audit will address this issue.
this is the second year in a row that we are experiencing first in growth in our Villages part of Marion County.
we can develop a Discover Marion County type program that is not directed at Ocala. Many people believe that the best
way to pull wealth from the Villages part of our area is to treat them as customers.
Notice that we have just announced
two new growth areas in the Marion County portion of the Villages. Open development of promotional ideas would benefit
the Ocala area rather than the current no competition selection of the City, County and EDC with the Old Chamber of Commerce.
Perhaps it is time for a breath of fresh air. If we tap into the tourist and growth wealth in The Villages I believe
we can double the wealth productivity in Ocala and all of Marion County.
Exclusive control of promotional efforts seem
to be going to the Governmental EDC partnership in Ocala and that snuffs out all creative private enterprise, as this Governmental
EDC,CEP seems to be taking over all aspects of business in our area.
Giving the Belleview Chamber or any of the
other promotional organizations an exclusive franchise for all of Marion County would be unfair as well. Stopping competition
for the best ideas always leads to poverty in an area. It seem that Marion County BCC are more than adequate to promote
from a governmental point of view for Marion County. It is important to look out 30 or more years and grab ahold of
the strongest Wealth Growth Title in the U.S. Every job counts, and if we can flood tourist in from Lake and Sumter
to our restaurants and other services we will help families across Marion County.
This is really a civilian
program powered by our local media and helped by government. We have lots of economic power if we can just be allowed
to compete. A small group of people are gaining control of even tourism through the subsidized EDC Chamber partnership.
Now they are apparently going to Ireland for tourist when we have Lake and Sumter Crowds ready to spend their money.
A plan would be to build services in The Villages and work back toward Ocala. Everyone would benefit.
our efforts go into Ocala then poverty will continue in the Ocala area. What’s up with Ice Skating?
Also, thank you for supplying information about the apparent $70,000 Tent
that is alleged to have gone to a TDC Director's employer's Ocala property, from MC TDC Boards that the executives were serving
on. It is best if MC can clear up this issue. We must have high ethics per 112.311 Legislative intent
and declaration of policy. "public office not be used for private gain other than
the remuneration provided by law. The public interest, therefore, requires that the law protect against any conflict of interest
and establish standards for the conduct of elected officials and government employees in situations where conflicts may exist.”
Historic issues from the days when EDC Marion County had overtaken the Ocala EDC.com and MarionCountyCC.com
had over taken the OcalaCC.com 2012.
The New EDC Marion County, TDC Marion County®, and Chamber of Commerce of Marion County® are "the New Kid on the Block" showing the way to an old guard that is going broke, actually living on borrowed money much like the
Federal Government. Government Officials notice the high salaries and big Star Banner public relations budgets and are
second guessing giving out any more taxed funds. Private corporations receiving tax funds as operating capital is difficult
to justify especially when the leading Google Search Marion County Representatives receive no tax funds. Sure Ocala
Company officals at the Executive level of the Ocala CC and the Ocala EDC are upset, but they are as desirving of Tax Payer
Funds as we are, here at the Marion County EDC, Marion County Chamber and the Marion County TDC.
appears that taking on the brand name Ocala is something for Ocala Government to fund and Marion County Commissioners are
being asked to represent all of Marion County.
EDC Ocala faces financial difficulties in the face of new competition by new non tax payer funded EDC Marion County, and Marion County Chamber of Commerce. Director and founder or the EDC Marion County and the Marion County Chamber of Commerce is Local retired businessman Don Browning. "Its time to step into the future as a leader of the Economic Action Team and revitalize Marion County's economy" states Browning. For years salaries have grown to match or exceed
the tax payer funding historically given to local corporations just to keep them afloat. Commissioners are now taking a second
look at the efficacy of giving tax funds to local organizations just because they ask for it.
Marion County Voters ask for better representation. Pointing out that Ocala has their own Tax Assessment and
Government, Marion County Voters are now asking their commissioners to consider Marion County first. Ocala is a separate
government and organizations such as the Ocala Chamber, the Ocala EDC and the Ocala Visitor's Bureau have been hijacked by
a few Ocala interest. Marion County citizens are now pointing out that most of the funds given to Ocala interest
actually ends up given to the Ocala Star Banner in the form of ad payments. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent
annually with the Ocala news paper has gone undetected until recently. Additionally extremely high salaries seem to
follow the infusing of Tax Funding. Nearing and often exceeding $100,000 annually executives of the Ocala chamber and
Ocala EDC now find their organizations failing financially. If the local income averages under $50,000 it is easy to
see why promotional organizations will fail if their first order of business is to pay their executives double what others
Both the EDC Marion and the Marion Chamber use all of Marion County as a base. "it
just makes sense to include all of Marion County in an effort to promote Marion County" said Browning in a recent meeting
with Commissioners. Don Browning also has spearheaded an effort to include all of Marion County in the Tourist Development
Promotion effort funded by the Marion County voter authorized tourist tax. Somehow Ocala is able to take over the naming
rights of Marion County and the focus becomes so narrow that we all suffer explains Browning.
Rick Scottarrived on the political scene just in time to save Florida's Economic Future. Changes have already started under the direction of Marion County Commission Leadership of Stan McClain and the new
commissioner reform thinking of Carl Zalak and Kathy Bryant. Old anti growth programs under the DEP such as Spring Political Groups and even Community College anti growth and anti development programs such as Heart of Florida, the economic engine was sputtering, especially under the crushing weight of the DCA. The Department of Community Affairs has
now fallen and along with its demise a revitalization of Florida's economy is possible. Florida was failing economically under the weitght of the Springs Protection Handbook
that was the bible for anti growth elements in city, state, and county governments. Now, at last Florida will have
a chance to recharge its economic engine and hopefully regain fiscal health.
Just in: Herman Cain makes historic stop in Villages, followed by preconvention Romney-Ryan team visit, Marion County Florida. Marion County Commission Chairman Stan McClain welcomed Presidential hopeful Herman Cain. Marion County Sheriff Candidate Dan Kuhn and a host of local GOP officials
filled the hall joining hundreds of enthusiastic supporters. Candidate Cain outlined his points of governance to standing
applause. Red, White, Blue and Green are Candidate Cain's favorite colors. Herman is going to lead America out
of troubled economic and political waters. Thank you Herman Cain for following God's Plan. Marion County gives Herman a Standing ovation reception to send him off to his great announcement in Atlanta.
Mitchel promotes anti-bullying campaign to help Marion County youth learn healthy relationship lessons as anti-bullying
program grows with success.
EDC Florida Director Don Browning and his Florida friends in Lake Weir
Kiwanis join with other Marion County Floridians in mounting the Teddy Bear Express. Group travels to Alabama to help tornado
Anti Growth funding in Water Districts is likely a thing of the past. The Public is educating the water district
leaders after nearly 10 years of expanded efforts to educate the public. Turns out it was the Water District Staff who
needed the education. Budgets Cut over 25% handing Ocala Star Banner a major defeat. Anti Sprawl anti Growth Ocala Star Banner has been a No Growth Leader. The Banner's anti economic growth efforts were so effective that they are now feeling the anger of the many workers
out of work.
Florida Water Czar and EDC survey Marion County Voters to ask if they would support harvesting 1/2 of the 1,000,000,000,000 gal/day spring water
that flows out to the Gulf and Atlantic Ocean. Silver Springs and Rainbow Springs together send an average of 1 billion gallons daily to our oceans.
Results of Water Czar survey were overwhelmingly yes!
Residents were also supportive of returning 10% of
spring water to the aquifer in order to beneficially recharge the aquifer. Currently all of the spring water of Silver
and Rainbow is lost to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.
At $1.50 per thousand gallons, Browning estimates that Marion County would bring in about $273,000,000
annually. Water district and state DEP approval would be required.
Marion County tax payers could benefit greatly if the waste of valuable water was ended. Sewer effluent currently sent to the Aquifer
could be sent to the oceans to help protect our drinking water aquifers. Kanapaha Sewer Facility in Gainesville is a good example
of sewer water sent to the drinking water aquifer after processing. Many concerns have been voiced by persons who drink
Marion County Water.
It is important to keep at
least 50% of the flow going to the gulf and Atlantic for environmental reasons, and equally important is the idea of using
10% of the flow to recharge the aquifer stressed Browning.
Stewardship requires conscious decisions on societies use of water. Even if we send all of the 1,000,000,000
gallons daily to the salt water gulf and Atlantic, we should decide. Selling less than 1/2 the flow would eliminate
most Ad Valorem taxes for Marion County residents.
Some services have been dropped because we are unable to compete with the EDC Ocala that is State, County and City funded.
We regrete any inconvience and hope to be able to compete when the Ocala CEP is no longer in authority and funded by
EDC Marion beats out Ocala
EDC in advocating Bio to Fuel Challenge. We have wasted years with the Ocala EDC System, and now Marion EDC is on the right track. Example of what Senator Dean was
promoting with the help of Marion County is the new investment by INEOS BioEnergy move to Indian River County. Learn More...
Executive Board of EDC Marion County challenges Ocala
EDC to return $100,000 of their personal salary until Ocala EDC shows results in reducing unemployment to below 10%. Marion County Executive Director Don Browning takes $ 0.00 salary and this
will continue until unemployment is below 7% in Marion County.
Governor Rick Scott welcomes Big Energy to Florida. EDC Florida number One priority realized. More...
VR Laboratories is newest tech industry to choose Florida. EDC Marion County is learning from successes how to
turn back unemployment. More....
Economic Development Council works at Stopping the EPA takeover of Florida Politics.
By Florida Economic Development Council Director Don Browning.
How the political left draws Federal Agencies like the EPA down on Florida Citizens. Environmental
activist take over grass roots politics with state funding support.
The takeover of education
in Florida, to advance a liberal political agenda.
Ending state funding of political efforts with state taxpayers funding.
There has never been a more effective take over
of a political pipeline than the use of the historic County University Extention system in Florida. It is like Al Gore
and his Environmental Team morfed into a local political Left propaganda delivery system.
Understanding the linkage between UF,
IFAS, Community Colleges and back to UF is to see how non elected college professors and administrators effectively exert
influence over Legislators, County and City officials. The political left has developed an effective community organization
system right under our noses. Environmental control of the Florida Economy is the result that ironically has been wildly
successful and now threatens to kill this "community political action" system.
Florida.org addresses the problem. As best we can.
with the Federal, State delivery system of environmental and social science, UF environmentalist have cobbled together an
incredibly powerful political delivery system using IFAS for political action. Most folks love UF, however UF
is being used for political purposes as a EPA Federal Extension force. There is probably no way to take liberal politics
out of modern education but we can try. Liberals should have to pay their own way and not be able to use our university
system to advance liberal social change.
Reading the IFAS website, it appears that Federal/State/County agents organize
to spread environmental politics to every phase of local life. Health, Water, Agriculture, Land Use, Utility Protection,
Landscaping, Sewage/Storm-water Disposal among many more life issues are firmly anchored in pretty liberal political science
advanced by "experts" never elected or appointed by elected officials. It is our position that funding
should be pulled from all programs that are biased politically.
We are losing our educational institutions to the
unelected left funded by the political right. EDCFlorida.org is working with the citizens of Florida to block the infestation
of "the Political Left" in county policy across Florida. Every county in Florida is impacted by bogus Earth/Environmental/Social
science from within our educational system. The most ambitious players are Jr. Colleges, commonly known as Community
Colleges. Central Florida Community College's effort to gain "Regional Political Clout is a prime example. Leveraging
influence with the Santa Fe Community College to control UF prestige, almost complete control of regional politics by non
elected persons is achieved.
We are losing our Florida Community College System, as individual community colleges morph into
"Pseudo 4 year Collages" in an attempt to appear academic equals among Traditional Florida Universities.
The expansion of Community Colleges expands the political influence as these grass roots organizations gain greater tax payer
funding. CFCC has created no less than 10 local political control entities over the past decade. These organizations
use State Funding to create public policy that then helps funnel funds and political power to the community college. All
to often elected officials allow this liberal bias to exist as an easy window into the political left during general elections.
This occurs at the federal level in the form of earmarks directed through community college's into the liberal political
community. Using taxpayer funds to hire legislators or their family members gives a community college immediate political
influence and power.
As each of these academic entities grow in political stature we the people loose, creeping closer to traditional
socialist political policy. Elections produce a model for political conservatism while behind the scenes the political
left is creating solid base for socialism in America.
De-funding political programs will help level the playing field. Best
Management Practice requirements are creeping into legislation at all levels of government. Place holders for yet to
be written BMP's are included in federal, state county and city legislation to regulate all levels of life. This system
allows laws and regulation to be written by often liberal authors as best management practices. When an ordinance is
passed it usually now includes a mandatory use of the latest "Best Management Practices". These BMP's are
all to often written by expert liberal professors to promote a hard left agenda. As these liberal professors produce
concepts their writings become law with no further vetting by the people or elected officials.
We must examine the political
use of our educational institutions if we are to save Florida from financial and political collapses. Currently the
only effective way to stop BMP practices is to work to cut the funding to the school. It does seem like a long way around
the barn, as it were.
The Florida EDC believes that over 12% of the Florida Higher Education Budget is directed toward
political rather than educational efforts. As money is short, now is the time to reduce funding these political programs.
urges Governor Rick Scott and all Legislators to line item remove all political funding from the Education budget. Lobbying
for increased political clout must be removed from the state budget. Support of EPA by unelected educational entities
must end this year.
Currently only government water sellers get the go' ahead to sell water. Bottled water locations
usually make important destinations of their water source. Silver Springs and Marion County will be no exception.
Creating a World Class marketing presence with a focus on Marion County is about to come on stage.
Marion County water is flowing out to see wasting valuable resource.
The unique mineral content may bring great wealth to Marion County. Commissioner Stan McClain and Carl Zalak vote for clean industry capturing water that currently runs out into Lake George. If approved the facility
will bring 60 jobs to the area plus put Marion County on the world map.
Mike Amsden learning how to promote Marion County
Clean Bottled Water may bring world recognition to Marion County.
Visit Pro Guard Video for all your security video needs.
New Archerfish video analytics to simplify surveillance.
The Axis of Un-Employment is on the run. Anit Growth forces are losing their sponsors as DCA and DEP fall
under close focus.
We can experience Economic Growth and regain our healthy society states EDC Director Charlie Cardy.
Governor Rick Scott Presents to the Tea Party
Economic Growth Council gives Governor Scott an "A+" on Economic Recovery Budget.
Marion County City Shuns
the Majority, Drops out of County Promotional Branding.
As an example cited by critics, Ocala has now joined with Gainesville to celebrate Marion County
Day. Although 5 times bigger, with Silver Springs, Rainbow Springs, Lakes and Rivers, Marion County is often sent to
the curb represented as "Ocala/Marion County. More often Marion County is below the line as an address for Ocala.
Ocala, Historic, Vibrant, and Friendly is questioning its decision to go it
alone, dropping Marion County from even Marion County Day. Critics point to the falling Ocala population and excessive utility rates
for urban problems facing Ocala. Experts blame the falling census numbers and high unemployment currently at 14%. Once
60% of Marion County, Ocala population has fallen for decades and now is well below 19%. Should Ocala interest be allowed
to represent Marion County is the question asked by the public. Sadly, the current financial downturn of many businesses
in Ocala is represented in the once proud Ocala Star Banner. Together with its sister New York Times Gainesville Sun
the papers now are maned by sparse skeleton crews, and many departments have been stuttered.
A look at Marion County promotional logos show
the isolation of Ocala and the loss of Marion County Branding. Each effort by Marion County Commission has been affected
by the Ocala Coup. A study of the 5 leading promotional efforts for Marion County tell the story.
County residents feel under represented, under served, as the back drop for Ocala leaders.
Marion county funding currently going to the promotion of Ocala will soon
promote all of Marion County. Underserved county residents have asked for more representation.
Shoppers Learn that there is more to Marion County than Ocala. Businesses in South Marion County enjoy a strong economic base from the leading Marion County city of the Villages. Centered in south Marion County along with Lake and Sumter Counties, the Villages lend an economic helping hand to Marion County statistics. Next month we will examine reasons for the Economic Home Run displayed by the Villages.
The Marion County EDC is able to work with all of our vibrant cities.
EDC Marion County City Program Highlights Ocala.
When in Marion County the World Horse Capital, Visit Historic Ocala.
Ocala has a long historic tradition
in Marion County, along with the vibrant Villages, Ocala is an important commercial center.
Ocala, part of the City Families of Marion County
Visit Ocala when in Marion County, Close to the Villages.
5 Star, Ocala Chamber is found at OcalaCC.Com
Ocala CC. Com is One of the oldest chambers in Marion County.
Ocala Tea Party delegation cheers for new Budget.
Governor unveils new Economic Recovery Budget.
Marion County Economic Action Team Member Remember Ocala, Dunnellon, Belleview,
and other vibrant cities when visiting Marion County Florida.
The City of Ocala is an important stop when visiting
Marion County. Centrally located, The City of Ocala is the home of CFCC Marion County's Community College and manager of
the Appleton Museum. The City of Ocala is also home to ihmc Florida's Institute for Human & Machine Cognition, the world class research center with worldwide intellectual
network links. Visit CMapTools for a look at ihmc invention innovation.
Stopping DCA, DEP, and DOT is the right step if we have any hope to return Florida to former
economic health. New appointments at the top send a clear message to Floridians that their state government is joining
the Economic Action Team rather than the decades long team to stop growth. Using the Marion County economic success story of the Villages, Governor Scott set the tone for Florida's coming economic turn around.
Just in:Historic Silver Springs Workshop called by Chairman Stan McClain. Ocala EDC decides not to attend critical Jobs Event. Economic Development Corporation Pete Tesh defers to New EDC Marion County Executive Director Don Browning in important workshop presentation, to decide the future of the Marion County Economy. The New Economic Development Council takes no funding from Government Sources and the leadership is declining all
compensation while efforts to reverse current failure by all economic development experts. Why should the so called
experts collect fat paychecks after years of failure. 14% unemployment is only going to be solved if we understand the
root causes and build a support base of economic growth.
Old paid EDC programs are carrying a lot of baggage collected along the way. After millions have been spent with little to
show for it, the community is welcoming the new ideas of the EDC Marion County, and the new Marion Tourism Council. Under
served by the Ocala EDC and Tourism Bureau, the new Marion County Economic Action Team is up to a strong start.
Historically the only
people employed, and that is often at 6 figure salaries, are the people concerned with unemployment and economic development.
If we have high unemployment and poor economic development it stands to reason that we should not be taking obsene high
compensation as Big Time Experts in Unemployment. The best way for the Economic Action Team to understand the pain of
the unemployed is for them to feel a 100% loss of income. Like
a football coach with a losing record, pay must be pulled and contracts should be tied to performance.
The VFW Retirement Home of Ft McCoy invites you to HorseFest
Horse Festival Coming to VFW Retirement Home
My Ocala presents VFW Horsefest 2011, at Ft McCoy VFW Retirement Home.
2nd Annual Department of FL VFW Retirement Home’s
Veterans Horse Festival Saturday, March 5, 2011 from 11am – 2pm Location: 13005 NE 135th Street,
Fort McCoy, FL 32134. For information call 352-236-0823 Check out Best Florida Visit for details and photos from last year’s event and what is coming
in 2011. The event is FREE and Open to the Public!! Food and beverages available.
Ocala Authorities may revisit parking
policy in Downtown Ocala, in an attempt to become more visitor friendly.
Current No parking for Visitors and Tourist off Silver Springs Florida
is discouraging to visitors hoping to spend in local businesses.
Marion Tourism Council investigates
complaints about Ocala Parking System
Apparently there is no due process, no complaint department,
no room for misunderstanding, no courtroom, magistrate judge or hearing possibility.
If a motorist receives a non moving citation, guilty is the
citations, there were
0 Not guilty
The system is by Clancy Systems International, Inc.
As we work to build a more vibrant Marion County we must create
better systems that attract visitors to our cities.Visitors
to our area, andMarion County citizens deserve better
treatment in our cities. Open, fair parking systems will welcome visitors and tourist to downtown Ocala. Selling
parking spots to local businessmen causes a shortage of spaces to visitors and the system is extremely confusing as we work
to lay out the red carpet to downtown visitors.
14% unemployment is no joke.
Let's take a fresh look at how visitors to Ocala are treated.
A fairer system could help stem the economic slide.
Silver Springs may have EPA rule problems ahead.
Silver Springs may get new management
Stan McClain, Chairman of the
Marion County Commission negotiates an opportunity to bring Silver Springs back under the control of Marion County. This reporter
has worked for years with help of several legislators and County Commissioners to link Silver Springs to our Central Florida Economic Recovery.
A Big Workshop on January 25, at 7:00 pm will bring the community together to discuss how the springs
should be managed. Be there and bring a friend. We must VET the take back of Silver Springs.
The old attraction marketing concept is long past. Now Silver Springs can be the center of regional interest in Eco Tourist opportunities.
See Browning Art and Discover Marion County for examples of why people will flock to our area if we take
advantage of this opportunity.
Even bigger than the positive potential for Economic Development, there is a potential risk
with the new EPA Standards and "end of the pipe" pollution responsibilities.
The financial risk must be understood and a protection for Marion County, must be put in place, before
taking on Silver Springs.
on bringing forward a potential stewardship outcome of one of the most important assets owned by the State of Florida.
Director of Marion County Springs Protection, and EDC Marion County, I would like to bring forward an developing list of concerns that we see as possible unknowable risks. There is a
cost/liability concern of EPA Environmental risks, from utilities that could cost in excess of $100,000,000. We believe
the potential cost/benefit risk for Marion County must be considered carefully before going ahead with a lease of Silver Springs.
Current FDEP and Water District rules are without nutrient standards, and that easy system
could be "out the window", and new EPA numeric standards may end up costing the holder of Silver Springs lease,
millions of dollars in regional up grades. Without utility friendly Total Daily Max Loads, who knows what new standards might cost the lessee holder of Silver Springs. End of the pipe concerns are real with
the utility drainage use of Silver Springs as the "Flush End of Pipe for several utilities. Public Safety issues
around flooding and direct Drain Well pollution must be resolved with the EPA standards in mind, before we move forward.
Chairman Senator Alan Hays spent considerable time last week grilling FDEP leadership and estimates of potential costs were
all over the place, with a spread of $1.5 Billion to over $4 Billion in costs to cure "end of the pipe" nitrate
standards from EPA. We must consider the potential cost of the "Springs Takeover", in light of nitrate standards
and potential new regulation from EPA, that even a County would have to abide by.
There is a reason the current lease between FDEP and Palace Entertainment
has been taken down off the Internet. There is a 120 day full compliance clause that would likely be triggered by the
current court ordered EPA nutrient standards. NGO's and Government Agencies are bringing regulation faster than Private
Enterprise can keep up.
It is possible that the current Lessee Palace Entertainment, a multi nation
conglomerate, is making a run for the exit ahead of a EPA Standards shut down. Palace may be hoping Marion County will
take their place in the proverbial "noose". Currently, FDEP as staff for the Trustees of the People of Florida
would be left holding the bag. That is much better than Marion County tax payers. The Trustee is the Florida Cabinet. Because the State of Florida owns Silver Springs, we would
need a shield from EPA liability. EPA Nutrient Rules would require a Utility Discharge change costing Hundreds of Millions
if not Billions here in the Heart of Florida and across Florida.
Positives, as outlined in your presentation to the Public and the Marion County Commission.
* Economic development boost, Likely. We agree, an Economic Boost, would likely
result from properly operated Silver Spring Property. Six Gun Territory era promotion is past, and very old line, we
call it "towels by the pound" style promotion. Silver Springs is poised as a positive modern regional revenue
generator. Eco tourism branding of Marion County will promote wealth and commerce in Ocala, Belleview, Dunnellon and
all of our other cities, as well as the much larger Rural Developments. We agree Marion County can do the best job of
promoting Economic Development.
EDC Marion County will contribute recommendations as suggestions are flowing in hourly since the Silver Springs proposal announcement.
At the very least we must have a local bill that gives Marion County Legislative and Executive protection from
unacceptable financial risk.
high risk concerns: The Trustees and FDEP must protect Marion County by supporting a local bill.
Potential Risk from Regional Point Source Pollution. New EPA Clouds on the horizon. All bets are off. In
poker parlance, "it may not be a good time to push All IN".
* Revenue promotion
opportunities are real, however we at the EDC Marion Council see a high down side financial risk associated with the
years of poor infrastructure that is using Silver Springs as a drainage path. Dilution is the answer to pollution is
often heard as a mantra, and the 1/2 Billion Gallons flowing from Silver Springs allows many area utilities to discharge
into the Floridan Aquifer and flow out to the Atlantic Ocean via Silver Springs and the St Johns River. The DEP Total
Daily Maximum loads has been allowed because surface water bodies are large and the Floridan Aquifer is extremely large. EPA
is being drawn into Florida because of the 1972 Federal Water Quality Act, and experts are speaking of Billions of Dollars
that will be needed to comply with nitrate levels.
Example to Consider:
Wells emptying just a few miles up stream of Silver Springs. We estimate that each of the 28 wells could cost $1- to-
$7 million to process.
Alachua Drainage System emptying into the Alachua Sink and the aquifer is
described as a Lime Stone Pipeline to Silver Springs and others. We could easily be responsible for the "end of
the Pipe Discharge Standards". At a Senate Meeting last week in Tallahassee Senior FDEP official Jerry Brooks described
the potential cost in the billions of dollars for compliance with the proposed EPA standards. See $73,000,000 solution
for waste water of just a single plant. State wide estimated numbers are reaching $4.5 billion to meet a standard, if
a standard is set in Florida.
Currently FDEP has been able to insist utilities are not point source pollution generators. Marion
County could receive the clean up bill as the end of the pipe owners. Very Dark Cloud is over us all and we suggest
that you protect Marion County Tax Payers from Financial Risk we currently can't judge.
* Kanapaha Sewer plant for the city of
Gainesville is permitted to discharge 6.7 million gallons of processed sewer effluent daily. Again that goes in a 400
feet and is reportedly mounding to the surface. That processed sewer water has had nitrates reduced to 10 parts per
million or less, however we are currently passing Springs Protection laws to reduce 1 part per million nitrates. Taking
responsibility for Silver Springs which is the end of the pipe could cost tens of millions of Marion County Tax Dollars to
resolve to EPA standards. As you recall, we don't know what the standards would be and we don't know what the obligations
of the county would be.
* The current holder of the lease has been in default of the 120
day performance clause for meeting current Environmental Problems, and the reason FDEP has not required compliance is the
cost would be astronomic to handle the flow off 17 acres of parking. As you recall, oil floats and currently it is going
into a canal and flowing over a weir directly into Silver River at the Silver Springs Bowl. DEP must handle these issues
at the new EPA standards or at least carry the risk of cost to Marion County.
is not clear whether current buildings that have been allowed to deteriorate for decades would be allowed to be replaced so
close to the Springs under EPA standards. Remember, currently there are no standards and FDEP usually allows county
governments wavers however those rules appear to be changing under the EPA. Under court ordered EPA rules these inspections
would be very different.
Marion County Florida announces a new dynamic voice
to the world. Under the leadership of the EDC Marion County, Citizens have launched a new branding of Marion County.
The "Ocala" Brand just told 20% of the story, explains EDC Marion director Don Browning, "We will tell
the full story and include the other 80% of Marion County Treasure.
Senator Hays takes the lead in
Tourism Discovery Silver Springs a spring board to Economic Development. "An entire generation of children have missed out on
the opportunity to see Silver Springs". EDC Marion County;" We must return this wonderful attraction to the people, currently it is an eye sore of neglect and disrepair".
Marion County Parks is better able to deliver a repeatable positive visit for tourist and local citizens than an international
company with headquarters in San Diego and Spain. FDEP has dropped the ball on monitoring the lease that has been violated
time and again. Let's use the Rainbow Springs model to bring Silver Springs back to life as a tourist destination.
Marion County Economic Development Council, Director Don Browning ® All Rights Reserved.
Marion County Commissioners seek new partners! 80% of Marion County was under served. New marketing ideas
needed. Like a Start Up Company shooting for the stars, we believe our idea for service will succeed. A new Brand
that represents all of Marion County is needed.new thinking is needed. Ocala/Marion County is mired in high unemployment. It
is time for bold action. Ocala and the Community College set public policy for many years and now we go to the next
level in describing the treasures of All of Marion County. Ocala is a wonderful place, and Marion County is much, much
more. Gainesville will be allowed to do their thing. The Villages, right here in Marion County are the new national model for Economic Development. EDC Marion will serve the great citizens
of Marion County through their Commission. Our Marion County Commission is poised to make a difference in the lives
of Marion County Citizens.
City promotional programs
will still be able to use their own branding such as Ocala, however the Marion County Commission will represent all persons in our
great county. We love Ocala and the Community College, however Ocala is not the Board of Marion County Commissioners.
Incorporated areas will be allowed to tag on "Marion County" to to continue their branding. The
new All Marion County Economic Action Team is targeting the current problem economy with the full support of the business
community and the citizens.
Marion County Commissioners
feel secure enough to finally take control of the Economic Unemployment Situation so troublesome to many of our families.
Non elected persons have controlled promotion and Regional Political clout to the detriment of Marion County. 20,000
persons out of work says, "Try a new Strategy".
Marion County funds are driving a program all partners must stand back. Ocala no longer gets first billing as, in charge of
Marion County. If Ocala comes first in all promotion then we must change our Commission to the Ocala/Marion County Board of County
Commissioners, declares Bob Burton of the EDC
The Riff between Marion County EDC and Ocala EDC widens. Of the 300,000 plus Marion County Population, Little Ocala at under 60,000 voters have been getting all funding
for promotion. The Marion County voters outside Ocala ask to be heard. We are not governed by the Ocala/Marion
County Board of County Commissioners, however all Ocala EDC and Ocala Tourism Board promotion is labeled Ocala/Marion EDC
and Ocala/Marion Tourism Council. Ocala is not Marion County, Ocala is but one of our fair cities that choose a separate
form of government. Long Live the Marion County EDC.
After years of declining population
percentage Ocala's EDC is called on the carpet by the 80% PLUS population in Marion County outside Ocala. Millions of
tax payer funds have been wasted in a failed attempt to Brand Ocala. Like all of our great incorporated areas in Marion
County, Ocala will have to pitch in with the majority population when it comes to grabbing all the funding for promotion.
Actually, it is the Villages of Marion County, Lake and Sumter that is the
regional economic success keeping Marion County afloat. The Villages ask very little and provide a great deal to the
economic welfare of Marion County.
Unable to vote for
the officials leading the Ocala EDC, Marion County's public is solidly behind the new Marion County Commission's Economic
Marion County EDC Director
Bob Burton feels that just 50% of the funding given to the Ocala EDC would be enough to successfully bring back the Marion
done a great deal to rejuvenate the Ocala/Marion County unemployment picture. An economic powerhouse, the Villages/Marion County Economic Action Team is providing the economic success of the Villages while buying
time for Marion County officials to reverse Ocala unemployment. Along with the villages, Del Webb, On Top of the World
and other economic engines are leading Marion County out of recession. Without the Villages economic engine, Ocala would
have little chance at a timely recovery from the current economic woes.
The new Economic Action Team under
Marion County Commission Chairman Stan McClain's leadership will finally create branding for Marion County. Dr. Lee
Niblock recently announced plans to develop a new winning strategy to market Marion County.
Step 1 is to stop the growing regulation promoted by some non elected officials
hoping to reduce growth in Marion County. Private enterprise long termed sprawl or unfettered growth by the Ocala news
paper is an important component for a successful recovery in Marion County.
Step 2 is to Stop the discharge
of high nutrient processed sewer effluent into the vast aquifer at Alachua Kanapaha sewer plant. Redirecting the nutrient
rich effluent to agriculture, will allow the tourist industry to recover based on our world renown springs.
Step 3 is to Conserve 10% of the fresh water
now spilling into the Silver River and Rainbow River. 1 Billion gallons of fresh clean clear water is wasted daily sent
to the gulf and atlantic. Redirecting just 10% or 100 million gallons of this water as beneficial recharge would save
more water daily than all Marion County uses.
Step 4 is to use new housing starts, agriculture
and tourism to attract new manufacturing and high tech industry to the Marion County Economy.
Lake Weir Kiwanis and Gammons Charitable Foundation pull together to help family who's home is destroyed by fire, less than 2 weeks before
christmas. An emergency shopping session gathered essentials and now the serious work begins.
Word Goes out: Gammons Charitable Foundation called in by Lake Weir Kiwanis
County Sheriff and Marion County Firefighters Rally in response to Sunset Harbor Fire.
in need, all possessions are lost. Ron Beal President of the Lake Weir Kiwanis is coordinating clothing and housing
for the family.
Marion County EDC
Ocala/Marion County Commissioner's Effort, comes under pressure. Marion County tax payers outside
Ocala have no voting control over Ocala Officials or their spending.
Is the Board of County Commissioners the Ocala/Marion County Board of County Commissioners? For all of the people
who chose not to live in Ocala, there is no Tourism Promotion of their Marion County.
The Marion County Economic
Development Council, backed by the Marion County Board of County Commissioners, is dedicated to ending the 14% unemployment.
Now is the time for a fresh approach to marketing the Marion County brand. The last few years have been a gigantic
waste of money as shown by the almost non existent economic recovery. We have a new world and great talent in Marion
County. Citizens complain that a Jacksonville contract can never be successful in promoting Marion County. The
Public Relations firm selected to promote Marion County Florida, created an Ocala Brand that ignores the rest of Marion County.
It now appears that Marion County is going to drop the Ocala/Marion brand. Perhaps Marion County/ Ocala/ Dunnellon,
Belleview style brand could be considered. Marion County is little more than an address in many of our local Logo's.
We don't have to name everything "Ocala". If you want to
promote Marion County then ask the Marion County Commissioners to kick into gear. If you want to promote an individual city
then go to their commission and ask them to promote their brand. Our Commissioners and our County Administrator are
all for Marion County. Don't ask them to live as the Ocala/Marion County Commission.
Come on boys, lets
get to work. Governor Scott needs our help. Let's put some folks to work.
Marion County Board of County Commissioners is no longer "Ocala/Marion County"
Board of County Commissioners is aware that individually they did not run for election in the Ocala/Marion County Commission.
will have to fund their public relations efforts without taking over Marion County's efforts such as the Marion Tourism Effort.
At the very best, Ocala will have to be behind the "Slash as in Marion County/Ocala
if any County money is used.
Citizens are demanding that their County Commission use county funds
to promote the Marion County Brand.
Marion County is establishing
a Nation Wide Business and Tourism brand. Ocala and Dunnellon along with other incorporated areas will benefit with
the success of the Marion County taxpayer funded brand.
High Tech opportunities abound.
Private enterprise is king in Marion County, Gov. Scott is on board as well.
the opportunities and joys associated with Marion County Florida.