It seems that Commissioner (Ron) Kitchen needs to take a break and gather his thoughts before attacking the manager of Gulf To Lake Properties, also known as the management real estate holdings of Citrus County’s foremost developer, Stan Olsen.
Mr. Olsen had a vivid imagination. Black Diamond was an old abandoned rock quarry that most people saw as a liability. Mr. Olsen saw it as a world class golf course and development. He retained the world-renowned golf course architect, Tom Fazio, who only takes jobs if they have the qualities of becoming great courses and he can work with the owner. So it didn’t stop there as he got a top rated course that has no similar competitors and added (as I recall) three more courses and developed one of the premier developments in Florida and the country.
Mr. Olsen bought many other properties in Citrus County and again came up with novel developments. So it’s really counter productive for a commissioner to criticize the manager who runs his many holdings for his heirs.
It also very peculiar that a commissioner, who I believe voted to purchase Meadowcrest, now says one commissioner pushed it through so he was a sheep, and now it’s all the manager of Stan Olsen’s holding company. Typically one does due diligence, but I guess Kitchen didn’t as the one commissioner who didn’t either pushed it through. The BOCC is supposedly comprised of competent leaders who are well-versed in business transactions. It seems Kitchen is not. And as the manager said the county is still using it.
In regard to buying Rock Crusher, it did seem a reasonable idea. Unfortunately someone else beat them to the draw. I don’t know why the manager would have any reason to lie about saying he never brought it up with the county. It was a new commissioner it seems thinking out loud before the commission. That’s what a commissioner should do and is required by the Florida Sunshine Law. There are not supposed to be back-room deals. It was a reasonable idea she had. That’s not a crime.
I believe Commissioner Kitchen owes the manager a public apology that the Chronicle can print. This type of behavior does not score points with firms considering moving to the county. A commissioner should never unload on any person. That does absolutely no good.