Is City Staff Pulling Bait & Switch Scams On City Council?

Submitted on 2014/05/01 at 9:45 pm
by Richards Friend

baitNswitchStanding on our necks is putting it lightly. It can’t go on for much longer. Council needs to know how many times they were dumped on. How many change orders they signed for Contractors that are personal friends with the same administration recommending them. Council has awarded numerous change orders for jobs that were never even related to the original bid because staff stated they worked so well with us.
That is not fair to other contractors when completely different projects are awarded as a change order to an existing contract. They never even get a chance to bid. They need a tour of the boneyard of failed projects that they have paid for dearly with tax dollars .
Administrators getting $80,000 a year that can’t even perform the simplest of tasks on a computer does not cut it. They sure are good at putting pressure on the employees though. Primarily the ones that could expose them. Just like when you were here they would be fired.
Perhaps one of the council members that really wants the truth could take a tour with you and get a good education.
I wish you the best.

9 thoughts on “Is City Staff Pulling Bait & Switch Scams On City Council?

  • May 2, 2014 at 3:18 pm
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    I don’t think Council can be blamed for approving a contract not knowing about personal relationships between staff and contractors. If this is indeed so it would equate to bid fixing and tampering by staff. I would suggest that if this knowledge is out there that Council be notified immediately.
    It is certainly not fair to us contractors that miss an opportunity to bid. Piggybacking off of a contract that was initially awarded for another project outside of the initial scope is both unethical and illegal.
    It would be appreciated if you could provide information to put a stop to this. Perhaps myself and others would then have an opportunity to land some food on our tables.
    Thank You

    Reply
    • May 6, 2014 at 10:30 pm
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      Stewart,
      It looks like Mr. Gardner and Council Member Ford answered your prayers tonight. More food for others tables. Change orders were revealed many fold of the original bid with multiple change orders in many cases with no supporting documentation. Council agreed to look at these closer.
      Mr. Gardner was correct it is sometimes difficult to find the info but it is available by navigating the old agendas. I researched and there were so many change orders it was difficult to follow sometimes. There are so many and they seem to be with several recurring contractors.
      Here is a link to one of many that could have been rebid as they double and triple the original bids many cases.
      https://www.port-orange.org/documents/meetings/regular/2012-05-15/items/8.pdf
      Thanks Mr. Gardner and Mr. Ford for your attention to detail!

      Reply
      • May 7, 2014 at 2:33 pm
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        Last night Don Burnette expressed concern about a redundant river crossing line for Daytona. Redundancy is crucial in utilities. We have a lot of redundancy built into our systems here in Port Orange. Utilities being a 24-7 operation is generally expected to never fail. Redundant lines crossing the river is smart. If you only have one and it goes down you are out of business and the streets will have sewage flowing down them not to mention the river or you will have the beach side with no water for a long time depending on what type of line it is. Who knows if there is any motivation other than common sense behind this.

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        • May 7, 2014 at 7:59 pm
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          Programs
          I suppose today is 101 day for me. I could go on for hours on this stuff but I don’t want to lose anyone’s interest. In utilities there are certain basic programs that you should have. Some for regulatory compliance, some for budgetary reasons and asset management and some so you don’t get those nasty little surprises like the metering debacle and some are just plain common sense. In water and sewer plant operations and maintenance we are highly regulated by the state and the Feds. We are inspected frequently and they don’t cut you much slack. They inspect our facilities and our books and records to make sure that our required programs are in place and working. It is suffice to say that our operations and maintenance people are on top or ahead of the game most of the time. It may surprise you to know that the chief water plant operator is the primary person that is recognized by the state and Feds as being responsible for the water quality coming out of the plant to your home or business. Not the utilities director or city manager or mayor or council. He has a real serious responsibility. So you can imagine how They can cause him major problems by doing things like taps during bike week without informing or coordinating with him.
          We have problems in the area of water distribution and sewer collections known as field operations. because some of the programs that I am referring to are not fully in place. I don’t blame the guys that wear the blue shirts. This is a management and leadership problem. In water distribution you need a backflow program. When they finally got busted by the regulatory agency for not having one it was assigned to one of the secretaries at utilities administration. The boss said it was assigned to her because the field ops division head was not capable of doing it. Now he has been promoted to assistant director. You need a valve exercise program so when you have a main break it can be isolated or if it doesn’t work it can repaired or replaced. We got busted for not having one. The excuse for a valve exercise program that we have now is limited to what are deemed as crucial or critical valves. You need a meter testing and replacement program. I think everyone knows where that got us. We do have a hydrant maintenance program. One more thing we need is a leak detection program. Water systems leak but we have no way of seeing what our water losses are because our meters don’t work.
          On the sewer side we need to have manhole and gravity system inspection programs that are ongoing and proactive. If you don’t do this how can you identify and budget for the repairs and replacement work. Our current programs are hit and miss at best. You have to take a systematic approach with these programs. If the citizens, management and council want these programs they have to be willing to pay for it. You will need additional personnel, trucks and equipment. You can privatize some of this. The city is in a position of playing catch up now. Be prepared to spend big bucks due to the negligence that has been going on for years. remember what happened in Ormond not long ago. They were forced by the regulatory agencies to do the work. Don’t get caught with your pants down.

          Reply
  • May 2, 2014 at 7:56 pm
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    Sometimes if a contractor is willing to scratch an administrative employees back that employee might be willing to reciprocate. That’s how business and personal friendships are born. Through mutual advantage repeat business will solidify into preferred business. Mutual personal interests may emerge examples being football, racing, travel or vacations that can further lead to solidify stronger professional relationships. Before you know it, we are one big happy family working together for mutual benefit. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!

    Reply
  • May 3, 2014 at 11:03 am
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    PORT ORANGE SOAP OPERA
    We all know that the Mayor and former city manager were in cohoots for years, ignoring the Sunshine Laws and running Port Orange as their own private piggy bank.
    We also know that as with any city or big business there will be personality differences and conflicts that occur. However, things ran fairly smoothly for the employees and citizens, despite the back door dealings by previously mentioned individuals…this being unknown to the general public.
    This was before Mr. Kisela and his “TROOPS’ arrived. Now it appears chaos reigns in just about every department where he has installed his troop of second rate,under qualified people, culled from the ICMA offerings.
    Reading the blogs daily is akin to watching a soap opera……What will the final chapter bring? Will the good employees prevail? Will the upstanding City Council members step forward and put a stop to the tyranny and charade being perpetrated by Mr. Manager and crew? Or will the show go into production for another season with the final episode being the implosion of this organization?
    STAY TUNED.
    Stay tuned.

    Reply
    • May 3, 2014 at 7:40 pm
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      I think that most people are not truly informed and so they do not understand that sometimes things change. Any person thinking that the city manager or the mayor are benifitting from change orders is wrong.

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  • May 3, 2014 at 7:56 pm
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    I do not believe the Manager or Mayor or any of Council are being referred to. I think it is somewhere in administration.

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  • May 4, 2014 at 2:30 am
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    I think the benefit is going to Pockets.

    Reply

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