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In a recent article by the Jax Daily Record I was stunned to see this statement by the new DIA Director, Lori Boyer, regarding the Landing plans AFTER IT IS DEMOLISHED:

“Boyer said the 2015 Landing plan coordinated by the DIA board and drafted by Wakefield Beasley & Associates and Urban Design Associates of Atlanta could be used to guide its planning.”

Did you know…Sleiman Enterprises was a big part of the 2015 Landing plan and that plan was pushed aside even though Sleiman Enterprises was willing to spend their own money to redo The Landing and support the plan. The Administration told them to take a hike.

Now the DIA is looking at the 2015 deal that Sleiman Enterprises was held captive from undertaking.

Why?

My personal answer: Cronyism.

According to Wikipedia, cronyism is the practice of partiality in awarding jobs and other advantages to friends or trusted colleagues, especially in politics and between politicians and supportive organizations.

You see my friends, if you didn’t support the Mayor during his election, you don’t get the permits, the jobs or the appointments. You get nada. Sleiman Enterprises supported another candidate for Mayor and now they are out!

I know because it’s how politics works. I had my own experience with this practice.

When Mitt Romney was running for President and before he was the party choice, I was approached by a Romney crony. She asked me to endorse Romney on behalf of the First Coast Tea Party. I was the co-leader of that organization at the time. I told her I could not do that. I was not going to speak on behalf of our tea party members. She leaned in to my personal space and said, “Billie if you don’t endorse him now…when he becomes President you will find yourself on the outside with your nose pressed to the window wishing you had done so. That’s how politics works.”

I didn’t do what she asked.

And the night Romney lost to Obama, I had a picture of her in my head with her nosed pressed to the window looking in at the Obama team. I wondered how she felt that night.

My friends, politics and politicians are nasty (even the good ones at times) and they will do whatever is necessary to win — for themselves and their financial supporters.

My gut is telling me — something is happening behind the scenes with the Landing deal and we may see a heavy dose of Cronyism showing up soon.

Stay tuned. Keep an Eye out on this one.

And…you are always welcome to join Eye on Jacksonville inside our room. All are welcome. No need to press your nose to our window. Be a part of us and send us stories, give us feedback and share our articles online. Your help is appreciated and needed to keep us going and motivated to keep on with our mission to “Promote Integrity & Transparency and Expose Corruption and Cronyism.”

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

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