Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams told the world yesterday “we can’t pull it off” in regards to hosting the RNC Convention here next month. The message he conveyed was vague and his appearance showed someone who had given up. That’s not the look you want on your Sheriff’s face.

It was a stunning way to start off a new week and it certainly has put Jacksonville back on the map again — with the lefty media throwing Trump and the RNC under the bus. And all the people who looked forward to the convention and getting back to a more normal way of life said, “We just can’t get a break!”

We have been lied to about COVID, told to stand down with our constitutional rights and now we are shrinking back from holding the biggest event of the year to elect the Republican candidate for President. What next? No election in November? No cover for us as we head to the polls?

Sheriff Williams’ excuse was there was a lack of communication between the RNC and his team. So okay — maybe that might be the case. But…a leader will take those conversations internally, walk through the issues, demand resources to keep our city safe and then get to getting! You don’t go to the press about it and create a doomsday scenario for the media to use against the person they hate the most – President Trump.

I like Mike and I am sending these questions to him and asking, “What happened to you? Who got to you? Why did you take such a fearful position? Couldn’t you have chosen a different way to express your concerns?”

I am reflecting on the differences between two Florida sheriffs. Many of us remember when Sheriff Grady took to the microphone and told the rioters and looters to stay out of his city. He led with strength, pushed back against the bullies and thugs, and the people of his community felt safe and had faith in him and his team.

Today the people of Jacksonville do not feel safe. Not because we have fear but because our leaders have led us to that place of fear. We are desperate to be free again to live a normal life and we want our elected officials to do all they can to get us back to that place of living — in faith.

Jacksonville leadership has now managed to tear down our city on the national stage and the people of Jacksonville are embarrassed.

Our President wants us safe and he will do all he needs to do to ensure that happens. Our Sheriff might have given up – but the people haven’t. Our city can be safe and we know Governor DeSantis will call in the National Guard if needed.

We would rather live with the National Guard on our streets for a week than hole up inside our homes shaking in fear and afraid to live again. We can not continue to live in this place of fear anymore. It isn’t normal.

Oh and by the way — Donald Trump rallied in Jacksonville twice. I helped manage the first one in 2015. We pulled the rallies off and they were successful because we “communicated” well and helped the local police coordinate with the Trump campaign. Was it easy? No! Did we fear bullies showing up? Yes! Was communication difficult at times? Yes! But we did it and the people were safe. The police stepped up and did a great job. We believe they can do it again!

Faith over fear — that is what the people need to live again.

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

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