Were There Any Covert Communications Between City Officials About Atlantic Marine?

Dear Robin,
It has come to our attention that a number of face-to face meetings and other communications may have occurred between members of the development team at Atlantic Marine and various City staff and members of the City Council that have not been made public.  We are certainly not labeling such meetings and communications as “secret” or even inappropriate in any way.
The City of Port Orange, however, recognizes that such one-sided (Ex parte) communications can seem unethical and requires Council members to “disclose the subject of the communication and the identity of the person, group, or entity with whom the communication took place which is made part of the record prior to final action. The board member must also disclose any written communication regarding the action, any site visits conducted by the board member, or any expert advice provided to the board member.”  By doing so, the gloss of legality and the requirements of government in the sunshine are met.
We know that both the City and the developer have been ably represented by legal counsel during all discussions, and given that, no promises could have been made nor threats implied that might be misunderstood at a later date.  We are very much interested in records of any such communications that you may have in your possession.
Please consider this a formal request for documents under the Freedom of Information Act.  We fully understand that there may be administrative or other charges involved and will be happy to pay an estimate of such charges in advance.  Please acknowledge this request and comply with it in a timely manner.
We are requesting copies of all emails sent to or from the following email addresses from January 1, 2011 until the date at which you begin copying (i.e. the most recent emails possible):
Thank you,
Mike and Dianne Gardner
618 Ruth St
Port Orange, FL  32127
386-527-1959 (Mike)
386-527-1641 (Dianne)

One thought on “Were There Any Covert Communications Between City Officials About Atlantic Marine?

  • February 4, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    February 4, 2014 at 12:07 pm
    And now we come to grapple with what is wrong in all governmental agencies.
    Even when a lobbyist contacts a governmental official and there is no legal bribery offer of a donation to the candidates next run for office, there is still the obvious opportunity of connections to influence, power, and references to the old boy network.
    Since we are a democracy, and our governmental officials work for the taxpayers, I would dearly like to see all communication with our paid employees open to public scrutiny. Our present mayor is loathed to reply in e mail. But he is always available by telephone and personal contact. And indeed, we never know who is proposing what for city tax payers to get involved with, or what kind of persuasion is being used in private, before our elected officials.
    There is no doubt that our present Mayor prefers to call our citizens “investors” and not tax payers. Indeed, Port Orange Tax Payers have had to put up money for investments which have benefited local team players. I remind you of buying Lohman’s Funeral Home, and the money spent by “city investors” for the LaCour Riverwalk Park.
    Until mandatory open reporting of communication by all governmental employees in this nation is obtained, the advantage in the playing field goes to team players, if you know what I mean. Let us strive to level the playing field for individual citizens.
     Hank springer


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