"It is shameful that yet another gap in diligence and responsibility to the taxpayer dollar has been brought to light"

I have looked at your points closer and agree that the city has spent substantial money on R&R. Their has been the development of the reclaim system including the lake storage facilities, which have to this point failed to produce the promised results. I recall and have seen several ongoing projects including the “pigging” of lines in the Shores and relining in the Cambridge area recently.
Disturbing to me upon reflection is the comment at the workshop that the original cost was $90,000,000.00 and now engineered down to 57 million and more possible savings/cost reductions to be found.
It appears clear that like the repaving budget their is no sound basis of the quality of our roads or our utility infrastructure to set a reasonable expectation of the work needed and the cost.
Council is due or past due to see an assessment of our street needs and have a comprenhensive plan presented. That was a motion carried 5-0, so I am sure it will be presented timely, and would expect it before we see a CIP.
I believe citizens and council are due an actual assessment of the water and sewer pipes and facilities. Water pipes and sewer lines can and I am told are being inspected by video. This should be done and reported on before any rate change is even considered much less a plan that would put 60,000,000 dollars of debt on the cities ratepayers and citizens.
It is shameful that yet another gap in diligence and responsibility to the taxpayer dollar has been brought to light. I feel that the immediate acceptance of the shocking shortfall amounts, and thought of poor maintenance is a product of the far too frequent revelations of failure. Dating back to the non functioning water meters that were not manually read, Shores and County billing issues, and lack of a replacement program for aged water meters.
Our council MUST hold the manager to higher standards than we have seen in the first year, the excuse that their were crises and shortcomings has run its time, and the thrill of moving RiverWalk off dead center will be short lived in the light of a tax and utility increases.
Newton White


On 4/4/2014 10:42 AM, Ted Noftall wrote:

Council, and Candidates,
The Woodman Report and its back-up comments  in several short pages of technical and political insight has encapsulated operational defects at both Public Utilities and on Council itself.  We are indeed fortunate to have such  insight  in our community
At the Council meeting on  April 1st  the Manager indicated that his  office would not be in a position to comment on Utility department deficiencies  noted in  Woodman Report until yet another report from  consultants he retained  is received in another  30 to 60 days.   Further delay in either refuting  Woodman’s  conclusions or acknowledging same  and moving to correct them  is a credibility destroyer.
Either the un-safe work conditions and the sophomoric work practices of Public Utilities noted by Woodman occurred or they did not.
 The citizens of Port Orange are justified in demanding demonstrable  and ongoing evidence that the City has competent leadership in all departments including  Finance, Public Works and Public Utilities.  Sadly  the Auditor’s recent comments regarding Finance staff deficiencies,  the near daily debacles in Public Works,  and now the Woodman Report  exposing Public Utility deficiencies  suggest competent leadership does not exist in either of those departments.
Credibility in all three departments is all the more important in light of the Manager’s  un-documented assertion  that Council has failed to invest adequate  R&R  dollars in the City’s water utility system over the past ½ dozen years,   AND THAT  a near  $ 60 million expenditure along with new borrowing and rate increases in the 30% to 50% range are required ……. BASED ON  nothing more than the analysis of his and his  department heads  whose combined tenure with the City  does not span but 3 or 4 years.
IF our water utility infrastructure  system has been short changed,  it will not be for lack of dollars being spent,  but rather from a misallocation of those dollars  being applied to the Mayor’s   obsession  with the   pipe,  pumps,  and ponds that comprise  the City’s un-workable reclaimed system  that currently features give away water to some residents,   and daily pumping into the river – ending  which was the pipe dream on the Mayor’s tail that he began chasing in the first place,  AND WHILE that pipe dream was a noble one ……at what cost,  was never defined, nor has it been  subsequently disclosed.
Port Orange government must start holding itself  to the realization that taxpayers’ pockets are not bottomless,  and that funds available for expenditure are finite,   and that decisions regarding allocation of those finite expenditures must be made in an open and  transparent  process that does not currently exist in  Port Orange.       
In that regard I would again call upon you to instruct the Manager  provide the relevant accounting for those reclaimed water expenditures  to date which the former Manager told me in conversation several years ago were well north of $ 20 million.
I would also call upon you to instruct the Manager to refer his  recommended  $60 million dollar expenditure along with supporting documentation  to the A&B Advisory Board for their review as the Ordinance you passed establishing that Board tasks  its members  with    “review of the City’s  major financial risk exposures”   and  I would certainly expect that a  $ 60 million expenditure be considered major.
Thank you for your consideration of these most important matters.
Ted Noftall

One thought on “"It is shameful that yet another gap in diligence and responsibility to the taxpayer dollar has been brought to light"

  • April 9, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Ted and Newton,
    You raise many good points. I am a senior on a fixed income living alone. My water bill is NOT $45. Trash, drainage and other fees that other communities assess via ad valorem are included. That bill comes every month. You call it what you want. To me it’s all on there and it’s my water bill.
    Was the City lying when they stated that the zero read meter replacements would increase revenues or was that another poor investment. I have heard a story at our clubhouse that we have more meters not working now than when the problem finally surfaced in the first place. Is there a sound number of how many zero read meters are now out there? Would management really tell you?
    After reading the Woodman reports I think perhaps Council should summon some of the feet on the ground for the truth. I and others in my situation cannot afford higher bills for stupidity. I don’t mind paying my fair share but if others are paying minimum bills because of someone else’s ignorance we are All paying their share with a rate increase.
    Let’s collect all of our revenue before we hip shoot for a rate increase. For Pete’s sake how can they ask for more money from me when they can’t demonstrate the decency to properly collect and manage it.
    Should we really pay for their inabilities? Personally I don’t think so. Port Orange will force fixed income seniors out of their homes so investors can scoop them up and make them rentals. I can’t see that as a good future for the community.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.