What would be the Point Mr. Mayor ??

from:   Ted Noftall     1:42 PM
to Mayor, gkisela, Bob, Dennis, don, Drew
Last evening you mentioned from the dais that at your request we no longer talk outside of Council Chambers.
I was as accepting of your wish as you,  simply because if we were still talking  what would be the point??   
If we were talking this morning I would be telling you that the problem in the  Finance department is one of a lack of competence on the part of the  CFO and the Comptroller.  They have neither  the requisite professional qualifications  nor the requisite  ability to perform the tasks required  to prevent  Finance from lurching  from one crisis to another.   Their likelihood of  providing  a professional budgeting, bookkeeping and financial reporting service,  AND   designing, implementing and monitoring the ever changing controls required to adequately safeguard taxpayer interests   is no greater than their likelihood of flying the space shuttle successfully.
If we  were talking this morning you would most likely tell me that you agree with that statement,    but what would be the point of that conversation,  as  you would go right ahead and do as you did last evening which was to provide cover for your Manager and his incompetents in the Finance department,  as you did with the former Manager and his incompetents for umpteen years before.
TO BE CLEAR  the problem in Finance is not too few well intentioned mid level employees.    Rather it is to many,  working in an antiquated  cross handed make work fashion  that is forever handicapped by the  imagination of the Comptroller.
Yours and the Manager’s  scheme  to bring in a person capable of masking the incompetence of the Comptroller and the CFO,    call that person the ACCOUNTING MANAGER,   and then  expect that person to report cheerfully to those incompetents is no more likely to work in Finance than it would in your construction business or my moving business …. Which is to say not at all.
AND FINALLY Mr. Mayor understand well  that that the blogs which you cannot control as you do Council Chambers will never relent in opposing  the efforts of your incompetent interlopers who have no ties to this community in their shameful forced resignations of mid level employees such as we saw with Tom Cinefro last week.
This City which you profess to care so much about is imploding before your very eyes and you are doing what exactly ??
Manager Kisela said last evening that an employee referenced myself and the blogs on her exit interview and he was correct.  But what he failed to mention was that that same employee also stated on that same exit interview that      ‘she never received adequate support to do her job,   never received sufficient feedback or evaluations regarding her performance, and that there needs to be more training’.    So much for his implying that she or anyone else ever got fully trained.
Now since this employee was assigned the task of performing timely bank reconciliations and since we know that  was not done for most of last year  go ahead and sink my whole  argument by providing a credible explanation as to
Why if the  CFO is competent to do bank reconciliations himself, did not either  make the time to adequately train this employee over several monthly reconciliations,  OR OTHERWISE  prepare those reconciliations himself such that taxpayer interests were more properly safeguarded at all times ???


6 thoughts on “What would be the Point Mr. Mayor ??

  • June 25, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Why Should You Keep Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Closer?
    It wasn’t the Godfather’s Michael Corleone who first uttered this well-known dictum. Actually, it came from Machiavelli in “The Prince,” the definitive primer on how to be a dictator.
    Dear Ted,
    Found this on the internet and thought it was worth a copy and paste job in response to your letter to the Mayor.
    I think our Mayor should take Machiavelli’s advice…his current tactics certainly are not working.
    My suggestion to Allen: Think outside the box Mr. Mayor. Get off the lawn mower. It makes you cranky. Take Ted to lunch. Give him a hug. Pick his very large brain. If these methods were good enough for Machiavelli with all his cut throat political challenges and vicious opponents, they might just work for you too. God knows, last night was certainly not your best political evening. Good grief, there is a lady from New Jersey on this blog who attended our CC meeting last night who said our City Council meeting made her feel right at home with the actions of our mayor last night. New Jersey for God’s sake…… We know how you feel about Yankees. So Mayor, please. Try something else. Instructions from the master below.
    Best regards to all,
    Dianne Templeton Gardner
    1. You can learn a lot from people you dislike. Indeed, my best learning doesn’t always come from friends. Often it’s from opponents, adversaries or fence-sitters. They bring a different worldview, perspective and/or ideas on a subject of common interest. There are plenty of times when such a person can help to better my thinking and position on an issue.
    2. You have to keep your enemies close to understand their perspective and interests. One of the persuasion strategies I learned years ago was the importance of creating a highly representative “panel” of usually about six people who would represent the diversity of commitments or opinions on an issue. If I could frame my proposal in such a way to satisfy the self-interests of each of those six, I was well on the way toward success. That demand, of course, meant that each person had to be close enough to me to be well understood. Truthfully, I usually understood my enemies better than my friends.
    3. When your enemies are close, it’s easier for your allies to work with you. Allies are often the least helpful in analyzing your ideas. Furthermore, your allies may have just as much difficulty with your enemy as you, and that’s part of the reason you’re friends. But your allies will respect you and find it easier to work with you if they know you really understand the lay of the land–and how to appeal to your enemy’s self-interest.
    Determining the motives of your enemy involves a significant amount of guesswork. One of the best ways to get to know that person is to listen to how he goes about persuading others. People want the world to be congruous with their expectations and in line with their predictions. So when they attempt to persuade others, they use tactics that would be persuasive to them. Observe them, listen to them and analyze what they say and how they say it. From that you can often figure out their interests and their values.
    Finally, it needs to be said that you can’t keep your enemy close to you unless you know how to disagree agreeably, understand and share at least some of your enemy’s interests or values, are sometimes transparent with your differences and are willing to interact with that person in a social situation. In such settings it’s important to find out what that person wants that you can give them. Secondly, it’s just as important to figure out the resources you have to offer them in order that they’ll give you what you want. Don’t forget that some of the resources each of us has are information and contacts.
    In sum, if you dig deep enough, there are always a few interests and values you share with your enemies. Most of us like to talk about our differences, but in reality we are all far more alike than different. Inherently also, that means that you know how to really converse. But this also implies that you can listen and observe as though that person is the only other person on the planet. Machiavelli is front lobe stuff: keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

  • June 25, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    Hello all bloggers on this website
    Relax, take a deep breath, exhale
    Ted, I like where you are coming from on this post. Your advice and suggestions have some merit. You are offering some solutions. I believe this is what Mayor Green was calling for last night, suggestions to move forward and fix the problem in finance. Unfortunately none was forthcoming from council members last evening. There was some grandstanding on council and a particular agenda to oust the manager seemed to be developing. Almost seemed to be a conspiracy amongst some council members.
    I have worked for the school district for 31 years and have, fortunately for me, been assigned to Port Orange schools for the past 23 years as a school administrator. Speaking from personal experience, Port Orange is a great community, our local schools are the envy of Volusia County. Many newcomers to our area pick Port Orange because of our schools and for the quality of life that exists in Port Orange. In short, Port Orange is a desirable place to live. Sorry if you don’t agree but Allen Green was a big part of developing the community you see and live in today. From what I can see, the negativity that I have been talking about for a long time, has seriously eroded the ability of our council and manager to operate the city the way it can be.
    Back to Ted’s suggestions and comments. Yes, the finance department needs some highly trained, skillful CPA’s to come in and give the department some help. Sonia Laney suggested that weeks ago. For those that don’t know, Ted does, governmental accounting practices are completely different than in the private sector. What would seem like a common sense approach to prudent financial practices to the average tax payer, is completely different when public tax dollars are involved. Like it or not, there are guidelines and reporting practices that must be followed for state and federal regulations to be met. How you meet those regulations is up to individual cities. This is where Ted is correct. CPA’s from private industry need to be brought in, schooled in reporting regulations properly, and balance the books. Why was Ted and Sonya the only ones calling for this weeks ago?
    I have stated a few times that City Manager Kisela was not my choice for manager. However, he was unanimously chosen by the current council so he needs all of our support. Let’s face it. Who wants to be publicly bashed and humiliated all the time. I wouldn’t, would you? There is validity to believing that some in the city have taken the brunt of much abuse. I do believe Manger Kisela probably should not have hired 2 particular department heads but where was the direction from council? Council is partially responsible for what has occurred in finance. Council needs to give direction to the manager. I have also stated that I followed the managers lead more often than I should have. Right now this council is too divided. There is no cohesion. Mayor Green seems to be the only council member trying to build a working consensus. Sorry, but that is the truth. I can understand the mayor reaching the frustration level when he sees all the bashing and vitriol that exists at the council meetings.
    So, here are some of my suggestions: Give Manager Kisela some help from people not associated with government as Ted has suggested. Support Greg in this endeavor and support him as our City Manager. Everyone, please stop with the unsubstantiated allegations. Council members, start working together for the benefit of the 56,000 residents. Put personal agendas aside. Offer positive suggestions on how to make things better. Support our great employees. What happened yesterday, last week, or last year is old news. Everyone makes mistakes each and every day. We all say things we shouldn’t. It is human nature. Learn to forgive, it only changes the future, not the past. It’s ok to be pissed off and please continue to question everything that occurs in government. But let’s do it in a civil, respectful manner. We will accomplish so much more as a team.
    Maybe last night needed to happen. It is the same thing that occurs where we all work and with our families. Things build up, we let it out, we feel bad afterwards. But we learn from that and move on. Let’s make it work for our great city, great employees, and great residents.

    • June 25, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      Mr. Pohlmann, I regret speaking prematurely and including you in a list of advocates of transparency such as Bob Ford, Drew Bastian, Ted Noftall, Hank Springer, The Gardners etc.. You have totally contradicted yourself in everything you have said in this most recent post of yours. You have obviously been out of commission for some time, and are apparently a very bad judge of character and the prevailing evidence. If you were privy to some of the first hand evidence that numerous suppressed individuals are, and you had one iota of honesty in your being, you would be regurgitating for your endorsement of the mayor and the city manager. Do you by any chance have multiple personality disorder?

    • June 25, 2014 at 10:56 pm

      Unsubstantiated allegations! You have to be kidding us Bob. Millions of dollars of mistakes are in the record. Go back to watching the Mets on Tv. –. I don’t think you have been taking notes of the city council meetings where citizens and the budget and audit board are reporting substantiated facts.

  • June 25, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Dianne how about cutting through the crap and establishing a positive two way transactional analysis with those you consider your enemies based on the law of commonality? The Machiavellian philosophy is too political and disingenuous unless it is a prelude to transcendence and a new paradigm that embraces everyone and all based on the law of communality. To live your life based on the edicts of Machiavelli by so disingenuously engaging your enemies and holding them more closely to yourself than your friends, and to do this add infinitum would get old after some time. Just ask our poker playing city manager who is now aging 10 years for every one. If you live your life that way then your life must be a pseudointellectual façade with no hope of a better way. We need a new paradigm that is holistic and healthy physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for everyone.
    My philosophy is to honestly try to turn my enemies into my friends and establish a two way positive transactional analysis with them based on the law of commonality, and if this is not possible because they are committed to destroying me and making the masses life miserable and they are so dualistically polarized to reject the law of commonality and transcendence than I vanquish my enemies or go down on my shield like a Viking who will be honored in the halls of Valhalla where the brave will not be forgotten. This is the way of the hero, and based upon your projected sense of intellectualism, I would suggest you read the works of Joseph Campbell to give you a more transcendental understanding and synthesis to your polarized intellectual perspective and world view.. The law of commonality takes a lot of integrity because you need to be willing to evolve and let go of outdated ideas, temporary material securities, and intellectual delusions in order to embrace a new paradigm.

  • June 26, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Machiavellian philosophy as it pertains to this particular situation would merely be a narcissistic strategy used as a form of manipulation to make your enemies feel more comfortable with you while you maintain a superior position and have no intention of productively working with them or compromising with them in any serious manner. It is used as an attempt to pacify them while you continue to work against them.
    Simply understanding each other is not enough to work cooperatively for positive outcomes that both parties are happy with. I’m sure that Ted and the mayor understand each other quite well, I was introduced to this philosophy in management courses that I have taken.as a way to manipulate employees. It is used as a way for the person in the superior position to come out on top and get their way and still come off as the nice guy while they are putting the screws to the other person involved…..
    As you can tell I damn sure aint no philosopher.


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