Endorsements For the August 26, 2014 Election

Republican Nomination For U.S. Congress – District 7 : The U.S. Congress if full of Democrat crooks and Republican crooks who are worthless and are destroying our great Republic.  Sadly, incumbent congressman John Mica is incompetent and does not deserve to be returned to congress.  Sanityandsense.com endorses David Smith for the Republican nomination.  David Smith is a retired U.S. Marine Colonel who has sensible plans to restore integrity and common sense to our great Republic. 

COUNTY COUNCIL – AT LARGE ( All Volusia residents may vote in this race. ) Sanityandsense.com endorses Joyce Cusack as the best qualified candidate for this seat.  Ms. Cusack had the courage to stand up for the People of Volusia County when a corrupt majority of the corrupt Volusia County Council voted to steal private land from law abiding citizens for a ” bicycle trail. ”  Ms. Cusack had the courage to stand up for the People even when a corrupt majority of the corrupt county council attempted to destroy her and her reputation.  Vote for Ms. Cusack.

COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBER – District 1 :  The incumbert, Pat Patterson, is little more than a political parasite living in the rectum of the big insurance lobby.  Our county would be much better off without ”PAC-MAN” Patterson in office.  Sanityandsense.com endorses Voloria Manning as qualified.  Also, Sanityandsense.com endorses Ronnie Mills as qualified.  This website suggests that readers study the two articles about Voloria Manning and Ronnie Mills and then make your selection.  Both Ms. Manning and Mr. Mills are qualified to help restore much needed integrity and common sense to our county council.

REFERENDUM ON EXTENDING ONE-HALF CENT SALES SURTAX FOR SCHOOLS : If there exists any elected group of individuals who are more reprehensible and incompetent than the crooks in the U.S. Congress, it would have to be the Volusia County School Board.  Sanityandsense.com supports public education and would gladly endorse any reasonable sales tax that would help our Volusia County students.  However, the Volusia County School Board has clearly demonstrated that they are totally incompetent to spend our school tax dollars wisely, fairly, justly, or sensibly.  Sanityandsense.com urges a VOTE AGAINST THE ONE-HALF CENT SALES TAX.  Remember, it is not a good idea to give a three year old child a loaded gun to play with.  It is not a good idea to give totally incompetent individuals, like the Volusia School Board, money to mis-spend, mismanage, and misuse !

COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBER – District 3 :  There are three candidates seeking election to the District 3 seat.  It would be irresponsible to endorse one of the challengers over the other since Sanityandsense.com has not thoroughly evaluated the two challengers.  However, Sanityandsense.com believes that the incumbent, DebDenys, has been a major factor in creating additional public corruption in the Volusia County government.  Therefore, Sanityandsense.com endorses a VOTE AGAINST DEB DENYS by urging you to research and then select either Justin Kennedy or David Machuga for this seat. 

Sanityandsense.com urges you study the candidates and issues and then cast an informed vote on August 26, 2014.  Unfortunately, there are several races where there is no qualified candidate.  In these races, I plan to write in a name rather than vote for an incompetent or a corrupt individual. Also, if you are evaluating a race where none of the individuals are competent, it may be best to not vote for any of the incompetents.  For the races involving the judicial system, Sanityandsense.com believes that it is almost impossible to cast an informed vote since candidates are forbidden from stating many opinions by direction from the Florida Bar Association. 

                      R. Van Conoley

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Analysis/Endorsement: DeBary City Council- Seat 3

Dear DeBary Neighbors,

I encourage all residents to vote on August 26, 2014.  I recommend that you vote for Marshall Lee for Seat 3. 

I had the high honor of election to the DeBary Council in 2008, and I am glad that I was able to serve the residents of DeBary.  After I left the Council, it was necessary for me to spend a considerable amount of time helping my wife who suffers from health problems of the spine. 

   Although I have worked for open, honest, and clean government, on all levels, for more than 40 years, my obligations to my wife prevented me from remaining in close contact with our city government.  About a year ago, my wife had an operation that reduced some of her back pain. 

   After my wife’s operation, I had more time to study the issues of our city government.  I was shocked and outraged when I learned that 3 members of the DeBary City Council were affiliated with the same alleged non-profit corporation.  While this may not be a serious criminal violation, it is in my view, an ethical violation and is clearly not in the best interests of open, honest, and clean government.  When I sought election, and was elected in 2008, I was offered a lot more contributions of cash than I accepted.  Whenever I was offered a contribution, I always asked: ” Are you in a contractual relationship with the City of DeBary or do you plan to enter into a contractual relationship with the City of DeBary in the future? ” If an individual answered yes to either question, I respectfully declined the contribution to my campaign although I was not required to do so.  Sadly, the alleged non-profit corporation with connections to three Council members not only sought contributions to their alleged ” corporation,” but they often asked individuals and business entities doing business with the City to ”donate” to their corporation.  These tactics were unethical and amounted to ”strongarm tactics” by elected individuals who  should have known much better. 

   Marshall Lee is both my friend and neighbor.  Marshall is a man of the highest level of integrity.  My wife and I have known Marshall Lee and his family for more than 12 years.  I encouraged Marshall Lee to seek election to the DeBary City Council in hopes that he could bring some much needed integrity, decency, and common sense to the Council.  Both my wife and I both support and endorse Marshall Lee for DeBary City Council-Seat 3.  Also, Mr. Lee has never spoken unkindly of either of his opponents and has always acted as a gentleman at all times.  Mr. Lee has NOT accepted any money from any political action committees (PAC’s) or special interest groups.  Marshall Lee has never held public office and he usually works a 50 hour work-week. 

   Marshall Lee has a sensible plan to serve all DeBary residents without continually raising city taxes.  I fully endorse Marshall Lee as the best qualified candidate for Seat 3, and I encourage you to vote for him on August 26, 2014.

                             Warmest regards, R. Van Conoley; DeBary resident; Former City Councilman.     August/18/2014

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Analysis/Endorsement : DeBary Mayor

   There are three candidates seeking election to the office of Mayor.  They are: 1) Clint Johnson, 2) Jack Lenzen, and 3) Danny Tillis. 

Sanityandsense.com rates Clint Johnson as qualified.

Sanityandsense.com rates Jack Lenzen as qualified.

Sanityandsense.com rates Danny Tillis as qualified. 

Sanityandsense.com suggests that DeBary voters read and study the three articles written in interview form about each candidate.  Each article is available on this website and are free to all interested readers.  Readers are NOT required to register with this website in order to read these articles.  The articles were presented as a public service to assist DeBary voters in selecting a new Mayor. 

                                         R. Van Conoley

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Analysis/Endorsement: DeBary City Council – Seat 4

   There are four candidates seeking election to seat 4 on the DeBary City Council.  They are: Lita Handy-Peters, Leslie Kinsella, Kenny Knapp, and Dawn Pizzo.

   These four candidates divide along one issue.  For DeBary residents who want higher city taxes and excessive spending, there is only one choice in this race.  Ms. Lita Handy-Peters has a proven track record of increasing city taxes and increasing city expenditures again and again and again. 

   For DeBary residents who want to control excessive city tax increases and excessive spending, there are three choices: 1) Leslie Kinsella, 2) Kenny Knapp, or 3) Dawn Pizzo.

   Sanityandsense.com has no recommendation in this race. 

                                  R. Van Conoley

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Ronnie Mills For County Council District 1 – 2014

  ( Editor’s note: The Volusia County Council is the governing body for Volusia County government.  The Council has five members elected from districts (regions) and two other members who are elected countywide.  District 1 begins in DeBary and all DeBary residents NORTH of Highbanks Road are in District one.  District one continues along the Western border of Volusia County and extends to the Northern border of Volusia County. )  Mr. Ronnie Mills is a candidate for the district one seat.  The interview that follows was conducted on August 14, 2014.  This article is presented as a public service for the citizens of Volusia County. 

Question:  Would you please discuss your background?    Ans.  ” My name is Ronnie Mills and I am 62 years of age.  I was born in DeLand, Florida.  I graduated from DeLand High School and I have been married to my high school sweetheart, Joan, for 39 years.  I have three grown daughters and four grandchildren.  I am a Master Septic Tank Contractor and the owner and CEO of Ronnie Mills Septic Services. ”

Question: What do you consider to be the most important issue ?   Ans.  ” The most important issue is to make sure that all citizens are listened to by the Council and to discuss all ideas presented.  Since I am not a career politician, I am open to listening to all of the citizens and I have been doing this throughout my campaign. ”

Question:  What do you consider to be your greatest strength and your greatest weakness?   Ans. ” My greatest strength is that I have a very successful business background and my business background involves different business enterprises.  This has allowed me to talk with people and allows me to understand many different viewpoints.  My greatest weakness is that I am not a career politician.  I am not accustomed to the many political games that some politicians employ.  I am a straight talking businessman, and I mean what I say. ”

Question: As of August 14, 2014, how much money have you collected for your campaign and how much have you spent?   Ans: ” Collected about $ 4,300.00 and spent $ 2,200.00.” 

Question:  Would you please discuss your position on taxes?   Ans: ”  The Council needs to be extremely careful when spending taxpayer money.  I will evaluate all of the county expenditures and will work to reduce all that are wasteful or excessive. ”

Question: What is your position on the environment?    Ans.  ” I would rather educate than over-regulate.  While I do understand that reasonable regulations are necessary, government tends to create too much bureaucracy that often creates hardships for many small businessmen/businesswomen. ”

Question:  Would you care to address anything else that I have not covered?      Ans. ” I am a small businessman and I will work to reduce as much governmental bureaucracy as possible.  I will do everything possible to support the business community and to create new jobs in Volusia County.  Also, I want to reduce crime in Volusia County by supporting our law enforcement community.  Additionally, my business background will help me in my efforts to bring high technology jobs to Volusia County.  I want to thank Sanityandsense.com for your time.  In conclusion, I want to ask all citizens in District one to vote for Ronnie Mills on August 26, 2014. ”

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Clint Johnson Re-Evaluates A Response

   As a public service for all DeBary residents, I interviewed all three candidates seeking election to the office of Mayor.  Each candidate was asked the exact same questions.  Their answers were written in note form by me on a notepad.  After each question, I read each answer back to them slowly and then asked each candidate if they wished to make any corrections, deletions, or other additions. 

   On July 17, 2014, I interviewed Clint Johnson.  During the course of his interview, Mr. Johnson stated that he had earned a Bachelor’s Degree in business from Stetson University.  Several DeBary residents contacted me and told me that this was not a true statement. 

   On August 9, 2014, I phoned Mr. Johnson and informed him about the situation.  At first, Mr. Johnson implied that I might have misunderstood his answer.  When I reminded Mr. Johnson how methodically and meticulously the information was recorded, Mr. Johnson changed his answer. 

    On August 9, 2014, Mr. Johnson stated that he attended Stetson University, completed courses at Stetson University, and may in the near future complete his Bachelor’s degree at Stetson University.

                                       R. Van Conoley  ( There are no ”trick questions ” during my interview process.  Neither I, nor Sanityandsense.com, plans to endorse any candidate for Mayor in the August 26, 2014, election. )

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Voloria Manning For County Council-District 1 – 2014

( Editor’s Note :  The Volusia County Council is the governing body for Volusia County government.  The Council has five members elected from districts (regions) and two other members who are elected countywide.  District 1 begins in DeBary and all DeBary residents NORTH of Highbanks Road are included in district one.  District one continues along the Western border of Volusia County and extends to the Northern border of Volusia County. )                            Ms. Voloria Manning is a candidate for District one.  The interview that follows was conducted on August/7/2014.

Question:  Would you discuss your background?    Ans. ” I was born in DeLand, Florida, and I am 59 years of age.  I received my high school diploma from Niceville Senior High School in Niceville, Florida.  I earned a college degree from Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina.  I earned a Master’s degree in 2007 from America Institute University located in Illinois.  I was a member of the National Guard and I have worked as a P.E. teacher in the Volusia County School System.  Presently, I am the owner and CEO of Temple Learning Center. 

Question:  What is the main concern that motivated you to seek this office?           Ans.  ” I am aware that our country went through a serious recession/depression in 2008.  Today there are still many people in need of employment who lost their jobs in the 2008 recession.  I want to help these citizens and all citizens of Volusia County by bringing 21st. Century high technology jobs to our area.  ”

Question:  How will you create these jobs?      Ans.  ” I would work with other Volusia County Council members and seriously consider the possibility of tax reductions to encourage corporations to relocate to Volusia County. ”

Question:  You have made statements about crime and fire department protection.  Would you please repeat your positions in this area?      Ans. ” I will work very hard as a County Council Member and make extraordinary efforts to reduce crime in Volusia County.  While there are no excuses for criminal activity, I believe that unemployed individuals are much more likely to become involved in crime.  Therefore, my ideas for job creation will help our tax base and also reduce crime at the same time.  In addition, I support a rapid response for both police and fire calls even if it means that responders must cross over city boundaries. ”

Question:  You have made some statements about public education. Would you please expand on this?   Ans.  ” I want quality public education for all Volusia County students.  Also, I do not believe that college is a goal for every high school student.  Therefore, I shall use my influence to encourage the Volusia County School Board to expand the number of vocational training programs available to our students. ”

Question:  What is your position on the environment?       Ans.  ” Clean water and clean air are priorities for me.  I will consider any reasonable budilding permit that would bring jobs into our area as long as the environment is protected from pollution. ”

Question:  You have made statements about the homeless.  What exactly is your position?    Ans.  ”  I am concerned about the growing numbers of homeless people in Volusia County.  I believe that the best solution is to teach the homeless to help themselves.  My comprehensive program to create more jobs would help everyone, especially the homeless. ” 

Question:  Would you care to address anything else that I have not covered?          Ans.  ” All of my life I have cared for the sick and the needy.  I will help the sick and the needy and everyone else if I am elected.  Presently I am an elected commissioner on the West Volusia Hospital Authority.  I would like to thank Sanityandsense.com for your interest and your time.  I ask all citizens in District one to vote for Voloria Manning on August 26, 2014.  ”

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Marshall Lee For DeBary City Council Seat 3 – 2014

The following responses were provided by Marshall Lee to a questionaire. 

Question: What do you see as the two most important issues currently facing DeBary and how would you deal with these issues?                         Ans. 1) Our city must construct a new Police/Public Safety Station.  Presently, the Volusia Sheriff’s Office which provides our law enforcement services is operating from an old and out-dated building in DeBary.  Our new police facility should contain quality 21st. Century technology and should be in compliance with the suggested federal guidelines.           Ans. 2)  Sensible growth and development that conform to our city guidelines is essential.  Also, development and growth on the vast acres of land south of Dirksen and east of 17-92 must be engineered for traffic safety, environmental concerns, efficient flood control, sufficient parking spaces, and be in compliance with the long term growth plans of DeBary. 

Question: Property tax bases are in recovery.  What changes do you propose in the delivery of city services that may have been previously curtailed?      Ans.  It is true that the U.S. and Florida’s economy have greatly improved since the tragic recession of 2008.  However, the federal government sets monetary policies and banking regulations.  Unfortunately our federal government has mismanaged it’s financial responsibilities and the economic data points to another national recession in the near future.  Therefore, I believe that our city should not add any new city services.  We should reduce our city debt, so that in the event of an economic downturn we can avoid raising taxes.  This, in conjunction with budgetary control, is the responsible course of action. 

Question:  Now that Sun Rail is in operation, what steps do you propose to ensure that the Sun Rail station will be an economic hub for South West Volusia County?   Ans.  With a large amount of acreage available for development in close proximity to the DeBary Sun Rail station, I am hopeful that the landowners will appear before our city council with building proposals in the very near future.  I have already spoken with county leaders about possible construction projects.  I will use my leadership on the Council to promote construction projects that are safe and fair for DeBary citizens and in compliance with our building codes.  I also believe that utilizing advertising around our Sun Rail facility can be a new source of revenue for our city as well as promote economic activity.

Question:  Describe your vision for the town of DeBary in the next five years.    Ans.  Since DeBary is a residential community, I believe that in five years DeBary will still be a residential community.  I am not an individual who is opposed to growth.  However, I am opposed to irresponsible growth and urban sprawl.  Growth must be planned very carefully.  In the area across from the Sun Rail station, I believe there is room for several new restaurants and upper scale housing projects.  I would be happy to see the development of several small laboratories that employ 21st. Century technology.  I would also like to suggest incentives for businesses to occupy the industrial buildings that are currently unused in our area.  As a city councilman, I would look forward to working with our residents and interacting with developers that would bring new projects to enhance the lives of our citizens and improve the tax base for our city.

Question:  What steps, if any, will you propose to decrease the reliance of septic systems and convert to a central water system?       Ans.  Clean water and air are priorities for me.  DeBary is a city where some residents are served with county water while others use well water.  I would like for all residents in DeBary to have access to our county water supply.  I would also like for all residents to eventually have access to a highly efficient waste water treatment system.  Unfortunately, our present debt obligations must be properly brought under control before we seek to expand our infrastructure in this area.  I would support the concept that our government should only issue new building permits when the developer agrees to accept the costs of installing county water lines and efficient waste water systems.

Question:  Name a specific issue that we have not addressed that you feel is important to your constituents in DeBary.  Explain why.      Ans.   My wife, Mia, and I have an 11 year old daughter who attends the public school locally.  While it is the responsibility of the Volusia County School Board to establish school policies, there are state regulations in place whereby the Volusia County School Board is mandated to seek input from both the general public and the cities.  I believe that the Volusia County School Board is in need of some ideas that would help to modernize and restructure the school system without raising taxes.  Our children and grandchildren are society’s most important asset.  Our schools are still employing 19th. Century ideas in the hopes that they can solve 21st. Century problems.  While I would not be required to do so as a DeBary Council Member, I would like to interact with the Volusia County School Board in hopes of improving public education for all of our students. 

  Editor’s Note:  Mr. Lee and two other candidates are seeking election to Seat 3 on the DeBary City Council.  All DeBary voters may vote for the candidate of their choice for seat 3 on August 26, 2014.  Also, all DeBary voters may also vote for the DeBary Mayor and for seat 4 on August 26, 2014.  This article is provided as a public service for the residents of DeBary.

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John Bogle and David Stockman

   I enjoy studying and learning new things every day.  My fascination with mathematics and biochemistry has slowly been pushed to the side in recent years and replaced with studies in international economics and international finance.  With five university degrees, I surely do not need to acquire any additional university degrees nor do I see any value in studying one more ”professor written ” text book.

   As a retired person, I enjoy investing some savings in the stock market.  I found that the old Wall Street saying that it is ” better to be lucky than smart ” would often apply to me.  However, after the 2008 recession/depression, the stock market seemed to become a ”game” that became more difficult and complex.  I view the stock market as sort of a game and I enjoy winning much more than losing. In order to become a better investor, I have read hundreds of books about stocks, finance, economics, and investing over the past ten years.  Some were worthwile and some were less than worthless ! 

   I would like to recommend two recently published books that provide sound and factual information about finance, economics, and the stock market.  The first book is titled:  ” The Clash of Cultures – Investment vs. Speculation ” written by John Bogle.  John Bogle is the founder of the Vanguard Group of mutual funds where he served as chairman and CEO.  Time magazine named Mr. Bogle as one of the four investment giants of the twentieth Century.  His excellent book was published in 2012.

   The second book is titled: ” The Great Deformation ” and was written by David Stockman.  Mr. Stockman’s book was published in 2013.  Mr. Stockman was was elected as a Michigan congressman in 1976, and joined the Reagan White House in 1981.  He served Mr. Reagan as budget director and was a key architect of the Reagan Revolution.  He later worked at Salomon Brothers and then Blackstone Group. 

   While the smartest person in the world can not predict where IBM, or any other stock, will close on the next trading day, these two financial geniuses clearly explain how our economy and markets operate and how our markets have evolved.  Their arguements are so well reasoned that these two books reveal what the economic future will be with a very high probability of accuracy.  

                                  R. Van Conoley

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A Wise Saying – 112

” Stubborn and ardent clinging to one’s opinion is the best proof of stupidity.”            Michel de Montaigne ///     R. Van Conoley ( Possibly I might modify this wise saying as follows:   ” Stubborn clinging to one’s opinion after it has been scientifically refuted is a sign of psychosis. ”

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