to Dianne, Pat, Hank
As I read your plea filled e-mail to seemingly unresponsive rulers, I could not help thinking how a person on a desert island might react had they received it as a message in a bottle.
Would he likely confine his thoughts to imagining what a retched country devoid of rights in which you must be living, OR might he in his wildest dreams conclude that you live in the freest nation on earth, possessive of rights that millions are willing to die for to preserve, AND that you and far too many of us have been sitting on our collective fat asses for far too long and have grown so complacent that all we can see anymore is the cheese and not the trap, AND THAT we are not subjects and we need to stop behaving as such.
You ask what are you missing ? What you are missing are the dual realizations; that the only thing it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing, and the only rights you or anyone else will ever retain are those rights you and they are willing to fight for.
Have you reached out to Kennedy and Burnette the two councilmen who couldn’t be bothered to alter their schedules so as to attend your public meeting 2 Wednesday evenings past. Have you reminded Burnette of his outburst akin to a hanging judge in demeaning the attorney representing out of state property owners seeking some relief from city fines for having the grass un-cut and the property they inherited in an estate otherwise looking un-kempt – in his neighborhood, AND THAT HE HAS NOT SAID A WORD ON THE WHOLESALE DESTRUCTION YOU BELIEVE IS OCCURRING IN YOURS.
Have you told Kennedy you are sick and tired of him being a pocket vote for the Mayor and that you are going do all in your power to see him un-elected later this year. Have you told Green lately that his mealy mouthed – we are all investors vision for Port Orange is little more than developer driven destruction of one neighborhood of our City at a time, OR THAT the planning commission that will hear your case this week are his handpicked choices and that he has likely determined its decision before that meeting will ever start.
A wise man cautioned me to never appeal to the better nature of a politician because he or she may not have one. With that advice in mind and considering that the level of deceit and incompetence in Port Orange government is monumental, IT IS patently absurd for anyone to be appealing to Council’s or the Manager’s good nature.
You and your neighbors [ and those being screwed over behind Masci Construction on US1, behind B.J’s on Dunlawton, and at Ashton Lakes and elsewhere ] need to remind Burnette and Kennedy that you will not accept their tacit approval of the wholesale disregard of the City’s own ordinances by ratcheting up the political pressure on these 2 gentlemen. How long would you suppose Burnette and Kennedy would remain mutes if your neighbors were to exercise your 1st Amendment rights by organizing a sign carrying informational protest in front of their homes this Saturday and Sunday, AND thereafter until they found their voice.
AND THAT by the way is not to suggest that Kennedy or Burnette are bad people. They are not, but neither are they doing their jobs and in that regard they need encouragement and direction.
The solution to most of the problems in Port Orange is an un-conditional demand that accountability, responsibility and consequence be restored to Port Orange government – starting with Council.
Until Council begins to exercise its responsibility in more than sound bites and hesitant baby steps, that deceit, incompetence and wholesale screwing over of taxpayers will continue.
At tonight’s Council meeting I hope to see one councilman start that accountability process by finding the personal courage to call for manager Kisela’s termination , another who will second that motion, and yet another who will vote in the affirmative.
If that does not happen and we get more of the old tepid mish mash of ‘ I am not happy with this or that Mr. Manager, you and your staff must do better ‘ THEN THOSE STANDING FOR ELECTION THIS YEAR MUST BE REPLACED.
I hope you will not find offence with this blunt reply but rather you will reposition at least a portion of your time and interest towards the citizen activism that is so fundamentally necessary to preserving our republic. Franklin famously said that eternal vigilance was the price of liberty……. He was not suggesting that Ford, and Kennedy and Bastain and Burnette maintain that vigilance ………. he was suggesting that you and I and our friends and neighbors and especially a free press find the time to do so.
You have been tireless these past few weeks and I commend you and Mike. Win, lose or draw in this struggle I hope you and others will expand your interest level to other matters and other government actions also.
From: Dianne Gardner [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 4:32 AM
To: Kela Lindsay; Kim; Paul Rozar; firstname.lastname@example.org; Margaret Patterson;
Dru Urquhart; email@example.com; Ted Noftall
Subject: check out this letter to Bob Ford..about Masci Construction…wow
..can we ever relate here on Powers Ave/Ruth Street
Dear Neighborhood Team, Ted, Hank and Pat,
RE: letter below from a concerned resident residing near Masci Construction.
From the City Manager’s email log from Bob Ford to Greg Kisela, January 18, 2014.
Why do these scenarios keep occurring within our city and residential neighborhoods and developers? Why does the city repeatedly not protect residential neighborhoods from commercial activities that abut their residences and damage their quality of life and properties? Why does the city allow continuation of lax or non existent code enforcement of violations by businesses in residential neighborhoods?
What is the proper role of city government in protecting taxpayers and homeowners? Why does everything in Port Orange have to reach a crisis stage?
This seems to be public administration 101. Taxpayers and homeowners in the City of Port Orange can only view their elected officials as adversarial and unresponsive to their concerns when these kinds of issues with businesses
and developers go unresolved for so long or are allowed to be created in the first place. There can be no other conclusion. What am I missing here?
Thank you for your thoughts on this.
Dianne Templeton Gardner
618 Ruth Street
Port Orange, Florida 32127
RE: Business Encroachment in Residential
From: Kisela, Greg
Sent: Friday, January 17, 2014 8:14 PM
To: Ford, Bob
Subject: Fwd: Business encroachment in Port Orange residential area
Councilor Ford: did you respond to this or would like us to respond?
It sounds like a combination of Community Development and Public Works issues.
Sent from my iPad
Begin forwarded message:
This is an ongoing problem which appears to be heating up. I responded last night and told them I would be discussing this matter with City staff this coming week. It involves several different problems — potential flooding from the filling of the canal, maintenance of the canal structures that remain, work activities over the weekend and in the early morning hours and screening of the industrial/storage area. I will call early this week.
Good Morning, Mr. Ford . . ..
It has been quite a long time since we last communicated. Unfortunately, the cause of this communication is the same as before, and I find myself wondering if there will ever be an end to the problem.
We have been dealing with, and complaining about, Masci Construction for the better part of four years now. Masci was given a zoning variance, allowing his construction company to encroach on an established residential area. He has been allowed, with no supervision of any kind, to fill in the drainage canal that used to separate the commercially zoned U.S.-1 frontage from this residential area. There is no wall or sound buffer between his business and our residential area.I don’t believe there are many neighborhoods in Port Orange where this is the case.
Mr. Masci has continuously disturbed our quiet neighborhood. He has had his construction workers out as early as 4:00 am loading their trucks (we are awakened by the beep-beep of the trucks’ reverse warnings), then working full on from 7:00 am until 9:30 pm, most often on the weekends (when, I suppose he is aware, no one with the power to stop him is paying attention.) They even worked most of the afternoon this past Easter Sunday.
I must respectfully point out that it is unlikely workers in your own neighborhood would be able to get away with that particular disruption.
Masci has now contracted workers to tamp down additional fill over the no-longer-draining canal — the vibration of which has caused not only a disturbing deep sound permeating the entire day, but has caused some of my neighbors actual nausea and migraine headaches.
Again, I am not picking a fight here, but I am pretty sure this would be unacceptable in most areas of Port Orange — particularly those in which many of your own peers reside. All of this is not even addressing the destruction of what used to be a relatively clean offshoot of Rose Bay — a canal where a three to four foot tidal change was enjoyed.
Masci’s filling in of his section of a county and/or city owned piece of property has ended any and all flow and drainage, leaving us with a very smelly, murky swamp. I suspect it is, or will soon be, the cause of some health concerns. I have no doubt that it will overflow its banks with the first heavy rainstorm, spreading its filth into our yards and homes.
The city of Port Orange has built a reputation on being green and caring about the environment. The city’s website says: “Planned by choice, not by chance, Port Orange blends beauty and opportunity within its 28 square miles. From its tree-lined streets to its parks, this community is the pride of Volusia County.”
It is nice that the city spends so much effort on parks and pleasant median strips, but sad that it lets an area like this fall by the wayside. An area, in fact, only a stone’s throw away from the well-travelled U.S.-1. This is not a situation worthy of pride.
Mr. Oby Walker has been the only resident with the perseverance to complain about this intrusion consistently. It is unfortunate that we have not all bombarded you with emails and phone calls, but of course, regular life often gets in the way of those tasks we find somewhat objectionable.
Please understand that his concerns are ours, and that there is an entire residential area that is being affected by Mr. Masci’s “development”.
I realize that up to this point I have only complained, and not offered any solutions or actual requests. I will address that now . . .
- 1. Make Mr. Masci follow the rules other businesses must follow. Ensure that he only works those hours that he is legally allowed to, and have someone accost the workers early weekend mornings and late weekend evenings if necessary in order to make them stop. Use the laws that are on the books to limit his encroachment on our lives.
- 2. Insist that a privacy wall/fence/structure that has sound buffering properties be erected between his business and our neighborhood. I believe that is also a law for incoming businesses. If Mr. Masci has found a way around that law, eliminate the loophole.
- 3. Approach the drainage problem from a management perspective. Seek professional input and work out a solution, before the next hurricane causes an enormous amount of property damage.
- 4. Look into dredging the canal. Most of the homeowners would be happy to allow moderate sized equipment into our back yards to make this possible. Many years of neglect have left this intolerable mess, and sooner or later it will have to be addressed. We might find the canal drains rather well once the muck and garbage is removed. We don’t know because it has never been tried. …. I have to add a note here . . . every couple of years a handful of city employees are sent out for to spray poison on or cut down the Brazilian pepper trees on the US-1 side of the canal. They spray a little and chop a little, and leave their mess behind. Much of the muck and garbage below the water line is this abandoned vegetation. Added to Mr. Masci’s blockage, it is no wonder the canal no longer flows.
- 5. Hire a company (there are several) or delegate city employees to maintain the proper pH in the canal water. If it won’t drain, treat it as a retention pond and maintain it as such.In the future we will take turns contacting you, however often we find it necessary in order to get results.
I am copying everyone I think might have a stake in the outcome of this concern.
5388 Turton Lane
Port Orange, Florida 32127