to Hank, Pat, Bob, Dennis, don, Drew, Mayor
Hank, Pat, Interested,
Allow me to clarify somewhat.
The Civil Service regulations regarding sick and vacation buy back that were changed in 2010 only applied to annual buybacks. Buybacks at separation were not changed ……possibly because the former Manager was only a year or so away from separation himself.
Hence the only un-authorized monies paid for sick and vacation buybacks since the one year suspension expired were those paid at other than separation, AND that were not covered by personal service or collective bargaining agreements.
The monies paid that were completely un-authorized for all recipients were the payments to the ICMA pension scheme.
The current Manager is about to step into you know what if he attempts to reclassify his termination of the HR Director into a resignation because accumulated sick leave is not paid under the former.
KUDOS TO HANK. You observations are right on the money. The lack of accountability and responsibility starts at the top with Council failing miserably in supervising both the City Attorney and the Manager, The Attorney and Manager continue that example by failing to hold any other employee in the organization accountable and responsible for anything.
Your criticism of Councilman Ford is valid in so far as the truth is undeniable that Council is not acting timely, forcefully or decisively on any issue you care to examine, and he is member of Council. Beyond that however he is as thoughtful as he is principled and would probably earn a 8 or 9 out of 10 on the Ted meter and that is pretty darn good. Ford cannot do it all on his own. When he speaks on an issue, if his thoughts find favor with other councilmen they need to step up to the plate and say so in the form of a motion in support of what he is advocating.
I share his arguments in opposing implementing Amendment 11 in Port Orange because you cannot fix an inherently un-fair and broken system by injecting further inequity into it. How exactly does the argument that we all should all pay slightly more in property tax to pass an additional deduction on to the Prop11’ers, benefit the property owner who misses the Prop 11 requirements by a year or by a dollar. Do we really want that property owner paying higher taxes ??
Property tax is a lien on ones property that never goes away. It is no less insidious today than it was in the time of King John. What every member of Council needs to embrace fully is a cold turkey end to spending on government perks that ordinary property owners do not enjoy themselves, AND LOWER property tax for all residents including the Prop 11’ers with the goal of eliminating property tax in the City within the next 5 years.
Submitted on 2013/07/18 at 6:03 pm
It is disappointing and amazing that there is no one on the city council, and I include the city manager in my observation, who is ready to take the bull by its horn and turn the city government of Port Orange upside down on its head. That is needed, immediately. Nothing seems to have changed in Port Orange City government, and that includes numerous audits which are talked about and discussed, and promised to produce problem solving procedures, in the weeks, months, years ahead? Or never?
I guess it is up to Ted Noftall and other citizens like him to censure Mayor Green for not acting like a team member, and immediately inform the city council of the special financial deal, the city attorney, Mr.Parker, John Shelley and Mayor Green knew about, but of whom not one, —- not one of them walked over to the batter’s box, and like a true team member, informed the other city council members of what was imminent. The mayor said he did not want to exasperate the situation, and had been worrying about shooting himself in the foot, by acting wrongly. What a sorry excuse for not acting at all.
And we come to the next question the city council members force us to ask: What the hell is going on, and why are city council members afraid to act decisively, forcefully and immediately. Again, a city manager is making money payments to retiring city workers, which as far as I can see, the authorization to do such has not been passed by the city council.
Is Parker, Green and LaCour still running this city? Who is? How is it, and why is it, that Ted Noftall looks like the shining light to straighten things out, and no one on the city council seems to be able to force the city government to change its ways.
Bob Ford complains and points out what is wrong, but I see no requests by him for immediate action. What I usually here from Bob Ford is something like this, “I would like the city council to look into this problem and come up with recommendations, because this is truly wrong”.
Every week when the city council meets, we should be hearing about a new procedure or process instituted to change the climate at city hall. There is enough to work on right now, as Ted Noftall outlines for them, and no need to wait for the endless series of audits, which may even go to audits auditing former audits. Or perhaps we should start a work shop and “work shop” the problems to death.
I for one would start on censuring Mayor Allen Green for not acting as a team player and informing the city council about the deal the Mayor knew was being put together by Ken Parker, John Shelley, with input from the city attorney.
People, have you ever seen such tactless planning where it seems that the city council can’t put anything to rest, and in fact brings forth new problems showing us how ineffectual the city council is? What in the world is going on, and which foot are they now afraid of shooting? Is there some kind of new world order in the back room, holding back the forceful arms of city council members?
Is this all about oil? Why can’t the city council show us that things are really changing in the Port Orange City government? Maybe this will all blow over, if people like Ted would just stop clamoring for action and go away. If you wait long enough, “This Too Shall Pass!”
sincerely, hank springer
- Interested said on
July 18, 2013
Ted and Hank, please tell me if you will include Councilman Ford in returning funds? He received payments for sick leave when he retired. How far back are you going to go? Are you going after Drew as well? This is not something that is brand new to the city it has been going on for years. Any vote to have action taken against Parker or anyone else should include the 2 councilman that received money for sick leave as well. I’m sure neither of you will ask for that action but you if you go after one you go after all.
- Pat said on
July 19, 2013
Note: to Mr or Ms Interested:
The issue is: About 2 years ago, due to the poor economy the city council took action to cancel the payout program for unused Sick Leave payments to city employees.
At some point after that, Mr Parker restarted that payout program without any legislative authorization or input by the City Council (the governing body). Thus, any reimbursement should only apply for the last year or two. Perhaps we can recover that money from the insurance or surety bond that we may have for monetary losses caused by the misconduct of a public official. And let the surety company pursue the players involved.
- Hank Springer said on
July 19, 2013
Hank to “interested”.
I guess Pat has answered your question about how far back the issue goes.
As far as I am concerned, if Drew or Bob should have to pay back any money, I would not shy from asking them to do that. It might interest you to know, that I have voiced my disappointment with Mr. Ford concerning two aspects of his council activities:
1. I did not agree with his voting against approving proposition 11, and I have told him that I am going to hold him to that standard of money dispersal in other areas where financial help or
waiver of certain fees might arise. That includes the YMCA, boy scouts, golf course, or his interest in revitalizing the Ridgewood ave. The people in the State of Florida voted their approval that elderly, senior citizens, who are indigent, be afforded financial help. Mr. Ford said no to that proposal for Port Orangs, and I will hold him to that fiscal standard for practically all other financial considerations which will come before him.
2. I am tired of Mr. Ford complaining that all the things that are wrong have to be sometime in the future considered by the city council to take action. I want him to stipulate now, what action he thinks should be taken to rectify what he knows is wrong. I have written my opinion about these two issue I have with Mr. Ford on my web site http://www.port-orange.info
a. Regarding Mr. Bastian, I have written that I will be watching to see that Drew is fair with the public when fire department issues come up in the city council. I am watching Mr. Bastian’s comments and votes in the city council, and am not happy that he voted against approval for proposition 11.
3. I will be meeting with Mr. Parker sometime in the near future, and we will have a one on one dialogue in which I hope to learn some thoughts of his on general issues and problems, which will be off the record, except for any thoughts of his which he might like me to repeat on my web site. I hold one exception in regards to our talk being off the record, and that exception is to ask Mr. Parker if he feels that he has some money to pay back to the city of Port Orange. Perhaps he will answer that one question, and go on record with me with his answer. Otherwise, in my general discussion with Mr. Parker, which I hope to restrict to what and how he is doing in his retirement months, and his philosophical thoughts about national and Port Orange issues, I think Mr. Parker and I can speak to some of those issues, without going into detail. Mr. Parker has expressed to me that he has admitted that many of the problems we have discovered in Port Orange City Government, were his responsibility, and he takes responsibility for them, understanding that he had trusted his administrative supervisors and staff to carry out their duties. I think Mr. Parker and I can discuss some general aspects of our local and national policies, without going into details, and such a frame work of discussion will be very beneficial and provide me with valuable insight.
4. — hank springer
- Bob Pohlmann said on
July 19, 2013
Please keep in mind that a few years ago, when the economy was at its worst, the city asked all the employees to forgo the sick leave and vacation leave pay out program. The PBA agreed to not seek vacation/sick leave pay outs, the general employees union agreed to not seek vacation/sick leave pay outs, and the non union employees agreed to not seek vacation/ sick leave pay outs. Only one group of employees refused to cooperate with the city. That was the fire union. I believe our current District 3 Councilman was a part of the negotiation team at that time.
Bob Ford said on
July 19, 2013
Hank, there is some misinformation circulating about sick and vacation leave payouts. I finally secured from the City Clerk the 2010 changes to City Civil Service rules. These changes basically capped how much sick and vacation time that could be accrued and eliminated the yearly sick leave and vacation buy back program. This civil service change, however, did not eliminate the vacation and sick leave for individuals retiring or resigning from Port Orange service. Mr. Parker received his payout in accordance with the civil services rules.
From: Ted Noftall [mailto:Ted@TedNoftall.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 9:44 PM
To: ‘Hank Springer’
Cc: ‘Pat Nelan’; ‘Kisela, Greg’; Bob Ford; Dennis Kennedy; email@example.com; Drew Bastian; Mayor Green
Subject: Un-authorized Payments Need to be Returned !!
Even by Port Orange snafu standards I believe 2 watersheds were crossed at last evenings Council meeting.
- The Auditor from CRI who conducted the payroll fraud investigation stated that she was unable to find legislative authorization for the special ICMA payments the City has been making for select employees, and
- The Manager announced that legislative authorization does not exist for some or all of the sick and or vacation buy backs that have been made for the past year or more.
If these statements are true then taxpayers in Port Orange have been defrauded well in excess of a million dollars.
Two things need to happen
First taxpayers should no longer be taxed for these programs in the annual budget, and not one thin dime more of these payments should be made UNLESS and UNTIL Council authorizes these programs through enabling Ordinances.
Secondly those employees who received those un-authorized payments, including the former City Manager who was their largest recipient, should be called upon to return those payments.
Hank you have had a cordial relationship with the former Manager and I am wondering if you would call upon him to see if he is amenable to returning those un-authorized payments he received from the taxpayers of Port Orange