Thursday, February 21, 2013

Where's Johnny? Day 2

Day 2

Recapping. We are hunting for the offices of our State Rep. John Tobia, of House District 53. He has told us that before public forums we should "stop by my office" if we have a controversial issue of special concern that he might be unprepared to answer without warning, that he has an "open door policy" to the constituents. Yet we still can't locate the office.

I called at 9:20 a.m. and I was told by a very nice young lady that indeed the office is located at 8060 South Highway A1A, almost near the county line. I wasn't dreaming last night. He did, in fact, decide to put his office at the furthest reaches of the county. As is his right, as a public official, to hide his office as far as humanly possible, away, from you the taxpayers of Brevard's District 53. Are you some sort of communist who would challenge him on this basic human right to allocate your money to place an office essentially stay-cation distance from you? What's wrong with you?

So, with this information in hand, I am going to be posting video of our stringer "Nigel Von Nigel's" trip to the office of State Rep. John Tobia (R-the extreme south end of the barrier island, almost to the Indian River County line).

The excursion begs the questions. 1. How in hell is one expected to find the office from the road if there are no signs? 2. In that the office bears no identifying sign, but in fact a "for rent sign" in front, is it indeed his office or is it a fake? 3. Why has it taken this long for him to even open an office in that he was elected in November? 4. If he hasn't opened an office at all, where is the money going? 5. Why would a reasonable public official familiar with terms such as "accessibility" "transparency" and "open door policy" which he has used to describe himself, place his office at the lonely end of the barrier island roughly five miles just north of Sebastian inlet? 6. Why, if this indeed, is his office, is it not staffed in late February, during the middle of the week? Day 3

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Where's Johnny? Day 1

Day 1 Feb 20, 2013

I wanted to find or speak to my State Rep. John Tobia before he went back to Tallahassee to represent my interests. I wanted to drop in and say 'hi'. And in my G-mail I see he has thoughtfully sent me an invitation to a Town Hall meeting scheduled for Feb. 27 in Palm Bay. Yay! Wherein he and Senator Thad Altman (R-Viera or Suntree or Rockledge depending on the source), want to "address our concerns".

The last time I was at a meeting where he "addressed citizen concerns" Tobia admonished us, chided us more the like, to at least approach his office ahead of time so he and the other elected officials didn't feel all blindsided and whatnot by questions and so forth. (Even though some of us handed in 13 copies of our concerns we would be discussing two weeks ahead of time) My concern was then and is now, for voting rights in the state of Florida. And I wanted to know what he was going to do about helping to straighten our our elections systems here? And specifically whether or not he would vote to support more monkey business with the votes? Because in my mind, that's not a good thing, to support more electoral Shenannigans, changing the state constitution and so on to benefit only one party. Just bad, and so to please-please, John, don't!

So, address in hand from his web missive, I got started in my quest to reach out to him ahead of time with a personal visit-like, to be fair to the man, after all, who works so hard protecting my rights? And like any garden variety bumpkin these days I consulted the Google, and found something curious. The address 8060 S. Highway A1A doesn't exactly conform to any known address on Google. I even got fancy and went street view just to be sure!

But I guess that shouldn't really surprise me because, his last office was located here (left) about five miles north of his "current address", according to his website when Tobia was living outside the district. To clear that last bit up, see? He moved into the new District 53 in order to gain access to we, the voters of District 53, who were only too happy to vote him into office. Because, well, we're really swell folks. (And no, we couldn't find him there either during the "transition" phase. Dol gone it.)

Look obviously this is all my fault. After all, John Tobia teaches government at UCF. He knows what's what, and the rest of us, are just small people, silly really, not quite as important. He sort of referenced this at the legislative delegation meeting a few months back, how, he "doesn't comment all the time" on what the wee folk say because "frankly not much impresses" him. His words. Anyway, I figured it must be something I am doing wrong. So let me check his official web site, not just this missive he sent me, and see what it has to say. You know how things get screwed up, with transposition errors and so on, why, it's a regular mess. So lets just go ahead and check the official source, his Florida House of Representatives web site.

Well, I'll be durned. Here it is again. That same address. Not once, but twice! Recapping now: that's the one time (wait for it) followed by yet another time (!) that it was written out, just plain incorrect!

Going with the premise that I am still wrong, because I know I am going to get an earful about how wrong I am, how I failed to do thus and so correctly, (move the mouse here, clear cache memory from the browser window, update your Adobe Flash Player) when I finally get through to their offices in the morning, let me just continue in my quest to find the error of my ways, operating under that warm comfortable zone called "John's right and I am stupid". Because, I am not a professor, and John Tobia is. It must be me.

So address again as a starting point I went to the one source that will surely pinpoint this 8060 South Highway A1A, Melbourne Beach 32951.Yes sir and ma'am, I went to the Brevard County Property appraiser's website, and did a site search using that address! Here I thought all would be revealed.

G^% d&^^ it all! What in the hell am I doing wrong? Sorry. (whew) Let me compose myself here. (Ahem) Starting again. Think outside the box! That's what they always say, isn't it? "You've got to think outside the box!"

Let's go at this sideways a bit. It's late and I can't get him on the phone. But, if I don't get to his offices before 9 a.m. he's in a "meeting" until 11 a.m. and then between that time and 2 p.m. he'll be "at lunch" where-after he'll be in another "meeting" and so, it will go until long about 2:15 p.m. when he will be "gone home for the day."

I know, I can surely rely on the "district map" function on his "official" Florida House of Representatives homepage. So, here we go. I am relieved. Why in heck didn't I think of this before I started? It will have the district drawn out on it, and there will be a bright red X over the spot where I will find the district office of one John Tobia. I feel good, don't you? Can you feel the hope and optimism? Okay here we go...

What the %$#? Are you kidding me? What is this, Flight 19? Seriously? Are we being serious here? This is like all the way over on the other side of the state! Why didn't Mr. Tobia tell us at the Brevard Legislative Delegation meeting months ago, that we were all supposed to be living in Pinellas County? That we had gone to the wrong meeting? It would have saved all that confusion. I guess now, what Mr. Tobia is saying, without saying it ( because as we all remember from high school the best chemistry teacher was the one who never-ever-never, even under pain of death, explained what he was doing on the board, he just plowed ahead) that we should all pack up and move to the other side of the state so we can vote in the right district and go to the right meetings (But should we bring the name "Brevard" with us? Should we bring the "Great Seal of Brevard County" as well? Help us Oh John Kenobe. Will a vast chunk of people in Pinellas take our place like the Body Snatchers? How will it work?)

But stop. Stop for a second. Okay, slow your breathing. Calm down, let's all get in a big circle and hug (virtual can you feel it? I send my warmth rays out to you) and begin again.

Hey wait a second. What if, I actually wanted to just go to the "spot" where his office is supposed to be, and I waited for it to "get there" in the quantum physics sense? Maybe this is a "train to Hogwarts" sort of deal. I live in Palm Bay, which I am told is the "heart of the district" where most of the people live who "voted" for John Tobia...magically without going to Pinellas. How long would it take me to get to the very spot, where Google tells me it is, (which it isn't)?

Thirty minutes? Thirty ^%$ing minutes? Oh, I'm sorry. It's thirty-seven minutes. Because, I as a voter living in Brevard/Pinellas must first in my quest, head north for six miles, go over the Melbourne causeway, three miles, then head south again for another ten or so miles. And there are actually two places I must check because Google really is in error, folks. They give me the landing spot of 7200 block south A1A (Sebastian Beach Inn), when in fact, what I am looking for, if it exists, is actually way down by Aquarina in the 8000 block of South A1A.

Which is a really cool idea if you want to be accessible to the voters, is to place your office geographically speaking, as far as humanly possible from the majority of them, and still remain within the district. I mean, there's a three-mile mote essentially between your non-existent office and virtually all of your voters. The barrier island is so slim where John Tobia's non-office doesn't exist, that virtual voters there - who are not seasonal drop ins - can literally leap-frog over each other into major bodies of water, and drown. That's planning, folks. That's keen strategy at work, and this is the kind of forward-thinking, "get the hell away from me you dirty Hobbits" mentality that so endeared him to us, when he deigned to move into our district, so that we might vote for him... and perhaps just touch the hem of His cloak. By try, I must, to speak with the great lord, whatever the cost.

Defeated for now,  I close this out for tonight. Ready to take up my quest, tomorrow.