Has City Hall Gone From Incompetence To Fantasy ?

fantesyPort Orange, Fla.  RE: A Liability that must go   October 3, 2013 12:07 PM
From:”Ted Noftall” <Ted@TedNoftall.com>
To:”Greg Kisela” <gkisela@port-orange.org>
Thank you Greg,
I understand better than most the current form of government we have in Port Orange, and have had,  AND I would tell you Sir the taxpayers have not been served well by that government for at least the past decade.
Given our recent history and as regards senior administrators it is not unreasonable for the people and their representatives to have a venue to access their  competency, and provide input regarding any egregious actions or misfeasance .
 In typical ICMA fashion you object to any such venue, and are insistent on acceptance of the mantra that the Manager is an all knowing trained professional and anyone in disagreement with the manager   simply cannot be  “ let out without adult supervision “
The fallacy with that mantra  is that if the current Manager is all knowing, then  so must the last and so will  the next.   I remember well the previous Manager around the time of his announced retirement advising  counsel that his  greatest satisfactions was knowing he was leaving the City in the capable  hands of the  senior administrators he had in place,  and what a dream team the next Manager would be inheriting.
If the previous  manager could have been so wrong about  Pike, Shelly, Barnhart, Treon, Newell, Smith, and Zicker who are no longer with us,  then why couldn’t you be equally wrong about Anderson, or equally likely to hide her shortcomings as was done by the previous manager with those afore mentioned ex-dream teamers  ??
I disagree with that  ICMA mantra but I do commend your forthrightness regarding  the unbending  manner in which you have made your continued tenure in Port Orange an all or nothing sweepstake.
Ted Noftall

From: Kisela, Greg [mailto:gkisela@port-orange.org]

Sent: Thursday, October 03, 2013 8:14 AM
To: Ted Noftall
Cc: Bob Ford; Kennedy, Dennis; don@amlsfl.com; Drew Bastian; DeptHeads
Subject: RE: A Liability that must go
This acknowledges your e-mail.  As you know in Port Orange, all employees, except for the City Attorney and her employees,  work for the City Manager.   The City Attorney and City Manager serve at the pleasure of the Mayor and City Council pursuant to our employment agreements.  Professionally I will not discuss or debate with you the individual performance of any employee.   The City of Port Orange is blessed with great employees.  They care deeply about the community and try to provide the best service they can day in and day out.
Your opinion on my performance is also acknowledged.   I am diligently working through the issues that confront this organization.  I am pleased that many of the issues that were identified when I was hired have either been addressed or are in the process of being resolved.   Saying that, we are continuing to look for ways to improve the organization.  As issues arise we develop a plan to resolve them.
Greg Kisela
City Manager

6 thoughts on “Has City Hall Gone From Incompetence To Fantasy ?

  • October 3, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    hank says:
    October 3, 2013 at 10:25 am
    During the Port Orange City Council Meeting of 10 1 13, councilman Bob Ford noted that operations in city hall had in the past been “loose”. I don’t think Chief Ford could say that operations in city hall have been tighten up. All of this is because there is no administrative meaningful inspection and control of field operations, including the work of directors and supervisors. Like Dagmar in Atlas Shrug by Ayan Rand, the city manager is asleep in the train ride of his organization. Dagmar woke up on her train ride to find serious deficiencies in operations, communication, education, planning budgeting, and blame the problems on her front line workers. Administrative fields now know that the accountability for proper inspection to avoid problems that are discovered after the fact, starts at the top.
    Not only should there be accountability when deficiencies are discovered, there should be confidence that through administrative inspection and control, most of the faults will be discovered by the city manager’s staff, and not by front line leaks or citizens’ inspections, albeit they are healthy for city government.
    For the life of me, I do not understand how the city council expects things to improve, if it does not insist on internal inspections which result in accountability and better evaluations of how “loose” things might be.
    The city of Port Orange has relied on inspections by it supervisors and year end audits, and the city now knows but will not acknowledge that such inspections have failed. Policies were in place, but supervisors were not enforcing them, or ignoring them. Would it not lead a thoughtful person to understand that more is necessary, and that waiting for a competent city manager to arrive in Port Orange would be the same as waiting for a city manger who understands the value and how to implement effective inspections which lead to control of the lazy if not criminal attitudes we have discovered in city operations.
    Is the city council afraid of unions bucking an excellent inspection and control implementation or is the city council afraid to discover new problems which will embarrass the Mayor and tarnish his legend?
    You tell me where I am wrong and why there is no need for an internal inspection, of various field operations and supervisory activities, on a daily, weekly, and monthly schedule?
    hank springer

    • October 4, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      Who’s going to inspect or control anything. In most cases from the top at council and manager level to department heads no one knows anything about what the workers do. It’s like sending your 4 year old to make sure the mechanic is repairing your car correctly.
      The city has a real problem with hiring management with the work experience and specific knowledge in the areas that they are assigned to manage. How can they manage some thing they know nothing about. They don’t trust their employees and won’t listen to them unless they are butt kissers.
      In some cases like utilities for instance they should have promoted from within. There are a few long time employees in utilities with all the tools to pull that department out of the abyss that it was left in by previous management. I predict more problems with the new management. You need to have full knowledge of the field that you manage or you can’t be effective.
      When you hear staff recommends at the council meetings you need to be skeptical. A lot of times staff does not recommend they are told to say that to further the city managers agenda. Council would do themselves a favor by getting the truth out of staff and not listening to administrators.

  • October 4, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    This is to the “Concerned Citizen”. It is obvious that we all know who you are. Our Department has suffered enough as of late. Just an FYI talking to yourself and then answering yourself is a sign of mental illness. Mr. Yarborough has not even had a chance yet. His credentials listed in the Orange Peel are quite impressive. What credentials do you possess? Your writings are not of a concerned citizen but that of a bitter disgruntled employee that was not selected as the Public Utilities Director. Get over yourself and either be a part of the team or go find a team you can lead elsewhere. It’s time to put up or shut up.

    • October 5, 2013 at 7:31 am

      To concerned employee: It is obvious that we know exactly who you are. Perhaps you are one of the reasons for the suffering. Your ignorant response to my comments only confirm them. Paper credentials mean nothing if you can’t do the job. This might apply to you.
      My credentials are that of a concerned citizen. I pay your paycheck. I am not an employee. You should get over yourself and watch how you talk to the people that employ you. It’s time for you to shut up kiss some butt and be a good little employee. City employees coming on here and saying things like you have to citizens should be disciplined or terminated.

  • October 5, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    The funny thing Hank, is that this current city administration and senior management team loathes front line leaks and citizen inspections. As a matter of fact, suspected internal leaks that inform the public are met with reprisals. Front line employees that are proud of their operations and work are more than willing for the kind of positive exposure that transparency provides.
    If people are doing their jobs, and doing them well the public eye will validate that and be more than willing to reward value. You have to question anyone in upper management especially the CEO that feel that transparency is a personal assault on them. If your candle is burning bright, why would you want to hide it under a pot. You would want to put it on a hill and let it shine bright for all to see. .

  • October 6, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    I am a retiree in Port Orange and I have been following the blog on the administrative time issuance fiasco that has been recently an item of concern for some time. I watched last Tuesday’s council meeting, and after much consideration of what I heard regarding the Roger Smith settlement and what was communicated at that meeting, I have a number of valid questions that I would like to ask, and get the feedback of others citizens on.
    It was communicated that Ken Parker was questioned by police and gave testimony that although he did not specifically authorize the administrative leave that Mr. Smith issued to his subordinates, he felt that Mr. Smith’s intentions were good, and that he truly believed that he did have that discretion.
    It was also communicated on Tuesday at the meeting that Mr. Parker said he was aware of the administrative leave that Mr. Smith had previously issued, and that back in 2012 he spoke to him about it and told him to desist from issuing anymore leave. Mr. Parker did not reprimand , terminate, or expose what Mr. Smith had done at that point in time. Seeing that no disciplinary action was taken by Mr. Parker at that time toward Mr. Smith, and that shortly thereafter Mr. Smith was assigned to Public Works as the Interim Public Works Director, and the issuance of administrative leave according to records had ceased and desisted from that time forward, what exactly was Mr. Smith being investigated for, or why was he forced to resign?.
    Parker’s statement that he told Mr. Smith to stop issuing the time back in 2012 while not taking any disciplinary action against him and making a statement to the police to this effect is prima fascia evidence that by implication and practice Mr. Parker had given Mr. Smith full amnesty for any transgressions that had occurred prior to 2012. Since their were no additional incidents of the transgression of administrative leave issuance, conventional wisdom and logic would lead to my following questions.
    1. If Parker’s statement was that he knew about Mr. Smith’s issuance of administrative leave why did this become an issue in the C.R.I. payroll audit?
    2. If Parker Knew about Mr. Smith’s issuance of administrative leave back in 2012 and effectively gave him amnesty back then why was Mr. Smith forced to resign?
    3. If Parker knew about the administrative leave back in 2012 and did not reprimand or terminate Mr. Smith for it why did the city conduct a police investigation on Mr. Smith?
    4. If Parker knew about Mr. Smith’s issuance of administrative leave back in 2012 and effectively done nothing about it doesn’t that mean that Parker is responsible for all of this?
    5. If Ken Parker knew about Mr. Smith’s issuance of administrative leave back in 2012 and gave him a free ticket on it back then what immediate action is the mayor and city council going to take against Ken Parker to see that he is held fully responsible, punished, and makes full financial restitution for what was communicated on POG TV last Tuesday night?
    Do we need to establish a citizen’s committee to review all this that is made up of prominent citizens that really want to get to the bottom of all of this?


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