Osceola Politics Heats Up And Whiners Abound! Sheriff's Candidates Reviewed (kinda) and Who's Coming To Ask For Your Tax Dollars?

Posted on | June 3rd, 2016 |  by Carl Cricket in Local Politics

Well, this blog begins the season we royally pee off several locally elected officials but we're going to try to explain our choices;

Sheriff's Office

There are 8 registered candidates for the office of Osceola Sheriff BUT, there are only a few we would consider giving our vote to. Those wanting to be elected are; Rolando Bagnasco, Timothy Devine (yes, again),Luis "Tony" Fernandez, Russell Gibson, Carl Paul Mitchell,Jose Sanchez-Garcia, Dave Sklarek, and Steve Theodoropoulas. Unfortunately, Mr. Divine just wants to talk with voters to convince them why he should be elected. In 2016, you need more than that, including a platform. What are your plans, what will you do differently to improve, ANYthing? Nothing. Nada, not even a glimmer, pretty much his record for the last several elections. We just can't even THINK of him as a candidate!
We have a problem with candidates who reside in the Post Office Box section. First, the election form calls for a specific address yet no one at the Elections office cares enough to enforce the rule. Either way, if Mr. Banasco doesn't want to abide by the rule of listing a bona fide address, then we won't consider him at all. **In the race for Clerk of Court, the current Clerk resides in a P.O.Box as well! That leaves us with candidates. Back to the Sheriff's race, Dave Sklarek has also taken up residence in a Post Office Box but we're concerned how he's hanging on by a thread, or to the last minute to retire from the Sheriff's Office so he can simply sit back and collect his pension and DROP proceeds.
How much is that? Well, get your pencils out. He'll collect roughly $574,000.00 from his DROP account, and then $8,000 per month from his Florida Retirement account. IF elected, he'll draw about $12,000.00 monthly, or about $240,000.00 yearly! Now, in fairness, Mr. Sklarek has done an excellent job watching the budget, expenditures and all that comes with being the Chief Deputy. Still, he's been rough around the edges but it is his race to lose, so we're told. Mr. Garcia is one fellow who has a lot of qualifications and apparent skills. Well qualified, and plenty of skills, Mr. Garcia deserves a look.
Of the three remaining candidates, only Russ Gibson and Carl Mitchell should also be considered. We do not fully accept what Mr. Theodoropoulas claims to qualify himself for the Office of Sheriff. Mr. Gibson resides in the East section of Osceola County while Mr. Mitchell resides in the Poinciana area. Both are well liked and respected, long time employees of the Sheriff's office. If it were possible, we'd like them together as a team and a hands down vote gathering machine. But no, while they are friends, they each see a future with the very same paths. If we were forced to select someone tonight, and we're NOT being forced, Mr. Gibson has many Osceola County connections and for just that reason we would, tonight, give him the edge over everyone running. While some have been whining about a lack of racial equality within the Sheriff's Office, quite frankly, that's just pure bologna and anyone who tells you that is fibbing, BIGTIME! As we grow closer to November we will announce our final election selection!
Next blog comes the Clerk of Court, Tax Collector, and Property Appraiser.

Now that the NFL is, without doubt coming to Orlando, watch for Orlando's and Orange County's Mayors coming to the Osceola BOCC to beg for financial assistance! No kidding. It's already in the works!

God bless you all and thanks for checking in!

Comment from: Ruben S [Visitor]

If we give any assistance to orange county for the NFL, it should be a partnership on revenue received
. 50/50 or no deal.

06/03/16 @ 01:15

Comment from: Peter Olivo [Visitor]

Ok, so we have the NFL coming to Orlando, name me one reason why any of those fans would come to Osceola County and spend any monies, what do we have to offer, I would rather see our tax dollars spent right here in our own back yard

06/03/16 @ 13:06

Comment from: J Seagul [Visitor]

I know it's not possible to remove the emotion from the voter's decision making process but what should matter is solely the qualifications of the candidates. Anyone who would begrudge another for attaining success and the associated financial security he earned for doing so is wrong. As far as the dig about living in a P.O. box..If you got a huge amount of mail the post office would expect you to do so as well! We should be grateful that Chief Sklarek, instead of retiring with his pension, has chosen to continue to serve. If you compare all the candidate's qualifications without looking at the names it is strikingly apparent that Chief Deputy Sklarek is the only candidate that has the experience running a $65 million dollar budget.
No doubt with 750 employees you would expect, as in this case to see a few disgruntled ones. Sklarek has a large group of supporters in and out of the Sheriff's Office. All these folks plus Current Sheriff Bob Hansell are not wrong

06/03/16 @ 13:37

Comment from: Mike Fisher [Visitor]

Well to be fair in your reporting and to site the truth Without slanting your story to favor one over the other. Russ Gobson and Jose Samchez are both collecting government retirements. Russ is collecting retirement from the same Florida State retirement system that Chief Sklarek is and Jose is collecting a federal retirement after retiring from DHS. So to be fair dont single out one without pointing out the truth about the other two. And I'm not knocking any of them for collecting a retirement. They have all earned it. But you try and spin it that only Skalrek is doing that and would be benefitting from it. They are all seeking a new job. And in fact Skalrek and Gibson would have to hold up on collecting their retirement earnings if elected. Sanchez would not beause its a federal retirement. Educate yourselves and vote on qualifications and experience then the choice is easy. It's actually overwhelmingly easy.

06/04/16 @ 12:09

Comment from: Carl [Visitor]

YOU are correct, Mr Fisher and we all apologize for us missing that information! We continue to stand behind Mr. Gibson for his years of experience, both at the county jail, as a road deputy, and as a detective who investigated various reports of crimes. Being a part of the community is also important, not just where you reside, but all activities throughout the county.
As for collecting a retirement check, anyone collecting one has clearly earned it, including the DROP program. We apologize for any misunderstandings.

Mr. Olivo, we had asked a question regarding the "Trail Ride" and wondered why Orlando's Mayor, Dyer was actually invited to lead the Ride. We received a response explaining that Mr. Dyer lived in Osceola County for a number of years so he was included. Admittedly, with exception to politics, we would disagree with his leading the 'Trail Ride' while so many REAL, and HONORABLE cowboys & ranch hands are living in Osceola County, and have lived here for many more years than Orlando's Mayor! Politics.
Now, regarding the NFL's Pro Bowl game, we're hoping the information received is out of line. However, we're being told that Dyer and Orange County Mayor Theresa Jacobs are intending to ask the County Commission for approximately $1 million to go towards the Bowl game. They MAY even approach both cities. Watch the coming agendas to see if they come as Osceola's Commissioners, for the last 8 years, have been a very soft touch!

Thank you BOTH for the question and correction.
Carl

06/04/16 @ 15:49

Comment from: Mike fisher [Visitor]

Carl, I guess you failed to see (or don't know about) Dave Skalrek's time as a road Deptuty, Field training officer, Corporal, Sgt and Lt during which time he served in Patrol, Jusicial Sercices, Investigations and Special Operations. He was the lead trainer for the agency, SWAT team member, leader and SWAT team commander. He has supervised and managed in patrol and criminal investigations (detectives), all this before ever becoming the Chief Deputy, one main reason he was selected to take that spot by Sheriff Hansell, who also has endorsed him. And as far as being part of the community and community service outside of work, you must have failed to see the countless hours Mr Sklarek has put into volunteering with special Olympics athletes, coaching youth sports and mentoring young men and women. And if you look at all 8 of the candidates information, not one except Mr Sklarek actually show they have done any real community volunteering outside of work, at least until they jumped into politics. Look, Ive known both of these men for over 20 years and worked with both of them and know better than most what their real experiences are at work. They are both honorable men and I consider both of them friends, but when you vote you need to vote with your head not your heart. And when you endorse/back someone (as it appears you are) and claim it's based on experience you should do your homework on that experience and look at the total body of work, experience, community service and education. While I clearly appreciate Mr Gibsons experience, If you use your head and compare the two side by side it is undeniable that the experience, qualifications and proven leadership of Mr Sklarek is the best of any candidate in this race and I'm a registered democrat, so party line does not come into play here. Mr Gibsons experience does not rise above that of a Sgt and as a Sgt you have limited exposure to any management functions or other working aspects of the agency to make/gain the experience needed to make the right decisions as the leader of 700 plus employees and a 65 million dollar budget. When you say experience counts do you mean that, or are you ignoring real facts? Again please do some real home work on actual "not perceived" experiences these candidates have. That applies to all of them not just Mr Gibson or Mr Sklarek. Of course if you are backing Mr Gibson because of party line or personal bias then say that, we would all feel better knowing you are actually avoiding the facts than to say it's based on experience. I appreciate the healthy debate.

06/04/16 @ 20:20

Comment from: Carl [Visitor]

After all of your comments, as slanted as they are, we support the candidate whose credentials we appreciate. We have NOT heard about Mr. Gibson's off the cuff temper, nor have we heard about him screaming at other employees. We have heard that of other candidates, therefore we support Mr. Gibson who, we believe will do his best for Osceola County.
Sorry if you don't support our opinion, however, you've already expressed yours twice. Enough said.

06/05/16 @ 21:10

Comment from: Carl [Visitor]

Mr. Fisher, we forgot to suggest you check the blog prior to this one. While there were two, we favor one for the given explanation.
That's enough on this item.

06/05/16 @ 21:38

Comment from: Huh? [Visitor]

Mr. Fisher it appears that you don't handle healthy debate well at all it seems like you are on a rant because someone disagrees with you. I commend you for posting under your name but I worry if I was you about posting stuff that can be interpreted as negative towards the other Sheriff candidates. If one of them wins they could hold these rants against you.

Sounds like Mr. Sklarek's record Is able to stand on it's own so why the need to berate Carl and tell him what to do and how to do it. I hope you don't treat people that way in your day job.

06/11/16 @ 11:53

Comment from: Mike Fisher [Visitor]

To "Huh?" So when did pointing out facts and truth to an opposing viewpoint turn into "berating" or "ranting". The definition of a debate is "a method of formally presenting an argument in a disciplined manner". I called no one names or went on any rant. I simply stated facts to an opposing view. I have my opinion as does Carl, and I appreciate his. I'm also clearly brave enough to leave my real name as well. Plus I'm a big boy so please don't " worry" about me. And as far as my day job I do quite well and treat people great, I hold them accountable and demand the truth. So thanks for your concern "Huh?"

06/11/16 @ 13:28

Comment from: Huh? [Visitor]

Mr. Fisher I feel your post was a rant since it was ONE LONG paragraph with some of the same things repeated and lots of grammar mistakes and typos. College essays require less word count then your post. I've learned from my years on this earth when I receive a message like that which goes on and on that it means the sender is writing from emotion.

We will agree to disagree on what you consider are "facts" when I think they are more of your opinions slanted as Carl mentioned. I'm glad to hear you treat people great but then you say you "hold them accountable and demand the truth" I don't know what you encounter when on the job so I will reserve judgement on that statement. I respect and want to thank you for your service to Osceola. I just feel how you "debate" could reflect badly on Mr. Sklarek.

06/12/16 @ 11:45

Comment from: Larry [Visitor]

Funny how Mike Fisher defends his boss, Sklarek, no matter what. Fisher's a bigmouth who pushes his weight(no pun meant) around trying to create support for his mentor, Sklarek. I just wonder what will happen if sklarek was to win the election. Where will Fisher end up? Or should I wonder which rank will he hold.....Didn't the Sheriff's office, about 12 years ago have a similar cast with Aycock and his second(actually the way the guy acted it should be 25th) in command. But hey, every winner gets to pick his his staff. Too bad because the current staff, minus a few, is fairly good. As for Mr. Sklarek, isn't he a family man? I'm told he's divorced but that has got to be incorrect, right?

09/26/16 @ 00:42

Comment from: Peter [Visitor]

Wonder where Mike Fisher is working now. OR maybe he's just sucking his retirement check. Either way, it works for me.

05/02/17 @ 01:44


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