I have a good idea that a lot of Pasco residents here in the Sunshine State are trying to find out about the candidates for each of the seats on the 2016 ballots: Right now, my 2016 reckonings is the hottest article on my site for views and all.
Sad thing is, as I've noted on that article, there's little information about the down-ballot candidates. The local news is at best shaky - the Tampa Bay Times does not list any Pasco campaigns on their recommendations - outside of any headline-worthy scandals, so the suggestions I've put out there for voting for the Mosquito Control Board are quite honestly mere suggestions.
WHY I make a big deal out of the Mosquito Control Board elections is because it's a quirky kind of office to see holding open elections for seats - I don't see other counties holding elections for this - yet perfectly Florida in its focus - mosquitoes are a serious health issue down here - that it deserves mention.
It didn't help that in 2010, when I began blogging more current event politics on this site, that there was a serious amount of campaigning for the seats. I'm talking massive: The open seats each had like three or four candidates running, for some measly little part-time office that I was told met maybe three or four times a year. And by massive I'm talking tonnage of yard signs: a plethora of signage that even Presidential campaigns don't generate (was there a sign discount going on with the local printers or something?). There were twenty yard signs - I don't even think I'm exaggerating - for some guy named "Skeeter" compared to one sign for Rick "No Ethics" Scott.
For something happening in the midterms, in the middle of a Great Recession, to see no other yard signs but for Mosquito Control was a bit insane.
This is a photo from back in 2010 in front of the West Pasco Government Center where they host the Early Voting during the last two weeks before the big Election Day. Take a close look. LOOK AT ALL THE YARD SIGNS. I can tell you more than half of those signs - There's Griffin right up front! - were for the Mosquito Control Board.
The driveway ends at a roundabout where cars can drop off riders and stuff. There's a memorial there, and there is always an insane amount of signs there too:
This photo was taken early in the 2010 Early Voting cycle: I remember a day or three later there were so many yard signs there that someone decided to stack them atop each other to form a barricade. It went three signs high. It tipped over in a strong breeze. It was hilarious.
So anyway, in my reminiscing, today I had a reason to drive back into Pasco County for my dad's 80th birthday. I drove by an Early Voting line at the Land O'Lakes Library (shout out to my peeps) where it went out into the parking lot, so yeah it's busy this year. I realized hey, I haven't been back to the West Pasco Center in ages so I might as well swing by and see how crazy the signage is this year. It wasn't too far out of the way for me to drive.
Well, this is what I saw today:
There's the Roundabout for 2016. And... and... there's almost no signage compared to 2010. That driveway up to here had few yard signs lining the path.
What the hell happened?
I circled it, twice. I didn't see ANY signage for the Pasco Mosquito Control Board. I even asked the volunteer sign wavers hanging out in front of the building - at the safe 75 ft. distance from the doorway - why there wasn't any Mosquito Control Board signs, but nobody knew.
I guess Thomas Wolfe was right: You can't go home again.