Mayor Curry’s video announcement of the passing of the gas tax sent spikes under my skin. I wanted to give him a little CEO Coaching on the delivery of the message. But, alas, as you have been informed, Mayor Curry’s Administration has no desire to hear from Eye on Jacksonville. And it appears he has no desire to hear from the taxpayers either.

During his video message, he was all grins about the increase in costs for our fellow neighbors. The irony is he thanked all the citizens who called their City Council member. Do you believe all those citizens were calling and saying “Raise my taxes?” We think not and even a UNF survey stated 58% of those surveyed did not want their taxes raised.

Here are the facts: Every person who drives a car just got handed a gas tax increase of 6 cents – doubling local gas taxes to 12 cents. And if you don’t drive, the costs of everything you buy will increase as this gas tax is pushed down to consumers. And let us not forget about the inflation caused by Democrats in DC and be aware that the costs of goods is going to skyrocket. But hey — that’s okay — we will have a new and improved Skyway Express thanks to this new gas tax increase.

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The reason Mayor Curry was so happy is because he won the political game. And that is what it was for him. A game. Politicians work deals and make back room promises and that is no big secret. They hate to lose and will do whatever it takes for the big win.

We have no idea what deals were cut and who will be the winners of special incentives on these projects but we do have one question for City Council Member Aaron Bowman? Why would you use your courage and speak these truthful words against the gas tax AND then vote for it? You called it a bad bill. If it was a bad bill, why did you turn on your constituents and vote for it? What happened behind the scenes? We would love to hear from you and you can reach us at (904) 910-5024.

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Listen to Aaron Bowman state: This is not a good bill

My friends, we have been here before. In September 2010, the First Coast Tea Party showed up at a City Council Meeting to express our displeasure about a proposed tax increase. More than 200 people showed up. It was dire the Mayor said. We had to do it. Even after one of the tea party’s financial experts reported it was unsustainable to keep spending and throwing money at pet projects. They ignored him and everyone else. They raised our taxes.

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And years later, we had to raise them again to help bail out the pension fund that was a part of the Tea Party’s report and was deemed unsustainable. We were laughed at. We were mocked. We were right.

We don’t want to be right. We are not in this as a political game. We should not be fighting against politicians in their political game. We should be working together but it just doesn’t seem possible in Jacksonville especially when they ignore you and UNF polling and cancel you from communication.

Sigh. It’s just another day in Jacksonville and while you think about moving to counties nearby – you stay and fight for your hometown. You remain a thorn in their side and wait for the next game they have up their sleeves. And believe me once they taste victory — they go for the next kill. They just can’t help themselves.

All we can do is fight for what we believe in, keep educating each other about what’s going on and vote in a strong conservative for Mayor who has Jacksonville’s future in mind and not their own political future. That person is out there and we are hopeful a gold escalator can be found for him or her to come down and announce “I’m running for Mayor and I want to make this city great once and for all.” We can only hope that person is praying about it and will answer the call.

That’s my opinion. We would love to hear yours.

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Billie Tucker Volpe Founder of Eye on Jacksonville and Leadership Consultant to CEOs/Executives

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