Poop in the shoe for holiday weekend

Poop in the shoe for holiday weekend

By publisher Gerry Mulligan, as published in the Citrus County Chronicle July 5, 2020:

For the record, Hunter the dog has not pooped in my shoe recently.

I have taken to feeding him by hand at night while watching television and he appreciates being spoiled rotten. He is also smart enough to know that if he poops in my shoe I will stop with the treats.

But Hunter’s improved behavior does not stop my need to hand out Poop in the Shoe awards for the really dumb things that continue to happen in our community. So let’s get started:

* Poop in the Shoe to County Commissioner Jimmie T. Smith for once again being off target in his criticism of a specific county employee. Smith would like county land development director removed for giving advice to a citizen seeking a special exception.

The first-term commissioner keeps trying to get the director fired, but he doesn’t have the authority to do that.

This time he wanted the director dismissed for something she didn’t even do.

The director works for the county administrator. The county commission can dismiss the county administrator, but not those who report to him. The county administrator can terminate his employees.

Randy Oliver, the normally calm county administrator, went toe-to-toe with Smith at a public meeting when it became obvious the commissioner had not watched a recording of the meeting that got him upset. Smith was accusing the development director of giving bad advice to a citizen, when in fact the advice was given by a volunteer member of the county planning and development board.

You can’t get someone fired for something they didn’t do. And a county commissioner can’t fire an employee — so give it a rest.

Poop in the Shoe to you.

* A Poop in the Shoe special notice to County Commissioner Ron Kitchen for his sarcastic and bullying comment while criticizing Commissioner Smith. “This is why I’m glad there’s an election coming,” said Kitchen during a county meeting.

Fortunately, commission chairman Brian Coleman stepped in and told Kitchen his comment was inappropriate.

Commissioner Smith faces a challenge in the August GOP primary from Holly Davis. Kitchen and Smith often disagree at meetings, except when Kitchen needs another vote and then he figures out how to manipulate Smith to support him.

It’s disappointing that Commissioner Kitchen isn’t also on that primary ballot so voters could let him know what they think of his performance. Kitchen has two more years on his term in office.

Poop in the Shoe to you.

* Poop in the Shoe to those who feel they have the right to confront people who use face masks while shopping in Citrus County.

While our community currently does not have mandatory mask requirements, many shoppers are following the recommendations from Dr. Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control.

Masks are not a political statement, and people should not be ridiculed for taking these precautions. A neighbor complained this week that while grocery shopping he was confronted by an angry resident who disagrees with the use of masks. We all have the right to our own opinions, and the official mixed messages sent out during this pandemic have been confusing. But you are stepping over the line by trying to shame someone who wears a mask based on your interpretation of their political beliefs.

Poop in the Shoe to you.

* Poop in the Shoe to all those in government who have mismanaged the official response to the pandemic as it relates to small business. Citrus County is all about small business — other than Duke Energy — and the economic impact of the business closings has been traumatic.

No local industry has been hurt worse than the restaurant and bar segment, where the information flowing from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation has been a rollercoaster ride toward bankruptcy.

They were all closed except for take-out, then opened for outside dining, then opened 25% indoor capacity; and then to 50% capacity. The virus numbers started climbing so all the bars were closed again. Except you could still sell food. And drink. And then not drink. And then maybe not at all.

Through this mess, the owners are losing a fortune and employees are being yanked back and forth from being furloughed, brought back to part-time, then full-time and then furloughed again.

And have I mentioned the state’s unemployment system has been a total disaster and moves with the urgency of a 10-person committee reviewing the county’s mandatory garbage ordinance?

Poop in the Shoe to the state bureaucrats and the governor for not remembering these small businesses are made up of real people who are being economically destroyed.

* And finally, how about a Poop in the Shoe to the total mess we’ve managed to make in Crystal River. With summer vacations derailed for many, Floridians are flocking to King’s Bay each weekend in record numbers to rent kayaks or paddleboards, or to take a manatee dive tour. Folks missing vacations need a break.

But the end result is that we are killing the goose that laid the golden egg. There are too many visitors at one time and there are actual traffic jams on King’s Bay.

Boats, kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and now these bicycle paddle crafts are so thick at certain times during the weekend that the whole mess comes to a standstill.

The traffic jams are made worse by some of our own locals in big boats that want to demonstrate to the whole world that they have no taste in music. We’re not talking about Jimmy Buffett or good old country music; they play foul-mouthed yip-yap at a volume so loud that egrets take flight for Ozello.

The problem is there is no one in charge. There are no rules other than supply and demand. The rental shops just keep pushing out more watercrafts. Out-of-town manatee dive companies from Tampa and Orlando slip in without permits or permission.

And no one can hear what anyone is saying because of the foul-mouthed yip-yap being played. The music includes foul language that would startle a sheriff’s deputy at a DUI arrest.

Even the mullet are confused.

Crystal River — someone needs to take charge here before word gets out and we kill the tourism industry completely.

Poop in the Shoe to you.

Gerry Mulligan is the publisher of the Chronicle. Email him at [email protected].