A Message to Port Orange City Council

In a 15 minute special council  meeting this afternoon,  and with another item on the agenda  you are being asked to  establish  an new “Accounting Manager’ position.  I would urge  caution in considering this request as

  •   The need for this position has not been demonstrated.
  •   The  requisite qualifications and job duties for this position have been established.  .
  •   The massive  reorganization  this position presupposes  have not  been considered  by anyone beyond the  Manager and CFO.
  •   The  need, qualifications, duties, and  reorganization  has not  been referred to the ABAB for its recommendations as was promised.

This  proposal is being made by a Manager with one foot out the door and a CFO who has been consistently untruthful regarding the ability and performance of his department.   That performance has been demonstrated to be horribly incompetent for the past decade  each and every time an audit or review  window has been opened  on that department.
The turmoil  that has ensnarled other departments as dedicated  hard working employees have served notice they will no longer serve under ICMA retreads and others who owe their longevity to a decades old un-stated policy of back room cronyism and manipulation can reasonably be expected to spread to Finance.  When that happens and when  the good people in Finance start spilling the beans as what is really going on in that department  it is more than reasonable to expect that the current CFO  will be its first causality.
It is for that reason I would encourage you to have the Assistant Manager in conjunction with the ABAB begin establishing the qualifications and abilities desired  in a new CFO.
The band aid  solution Manager Kisela is offering in the form of a new ’Accounting Manager’ position is designed to mask personality issues  with the Comptroller and incompetence  issues with the CFO.   Manager Kisela is never going to offer a real solution to the problem in finance. To do so would undermine the whole ICMA  paradigm of placing  incompetents in responsible positions and then insisting everything is  OK  and if that assertion is challenged  insist that everything is getting better.  We  all know  everything in Finance is not OK and it is not getting better.
The root problem in Finance is the  inability of the Comptroller and CFO to perform competently throughout  the accounting cycle  which may be thought of as   Budgeting, Bookkeeping,  and Financial Reporting with generous attention to adequate internal controls throughout.
That inability stems from both personality and competence shortcomings. ( Ironically the personality issue  which is easily  confirmed  in conversation with  former finance employees who were lucky enough to escape to other City departments  is acknowledged without ever being stated in the revised organizational  chart where all personnel  save one unlucky accountant  are no longer reporting to the Comptroller.)
Finance is currently operating as a circle of confusion and redundancy.
 This was demonstrated at  the Jan 2014  ABAB  meeting where it was explained by staff  –  that payroll which is a weekly production in Port Orange   is  touched  by  the Manager or Asst Mgr,   and by every single Department head or Asst Dept head in the  City before it is further processed to varying degrees by  Jamie,  Bridgett, Lori,  Rose and Stella.
 Creating a new position  without  proper consideration and without addressing the root problem  will do little more than expand that circle.   
Port Orange taxpayers pay their CFO and Comptroller  $ 142,832 and $98,522 respectively.   For what I consider to be overly generous compensation they deserve  at a minimum  fully credentialed individuals  with demonstrated ability who are willing and wanting to make Port Orange their home.  Their real home,  Not commute from Palm Coast as does the Comptroller,   and certainly not just rent some apartment Monday thru Thursday  as does the CFO.
To burden taxpayers with yet another  new  position  under these circumstances

  •  Without more properly defining the desired  qualifications and abilities for the  CFO.
  •  And without looking past the current problems that have been exacerbated by the CFO’s inability  to retain  or recruit staff capable of filling existing positions
  •    AND  without  proper consideration as to whether the size of Port Orange finance warrants  the additional costs associated with  a two track  accounting function at the Comptroller level, is not any example of responsible Council action that I would care to endorse.

Ted Noftall

10 thoughts on “A Message to Port Orange City Council

  • June 30, 2014 at 11:50 am

    By all means, this new “accounting manager” position needs to be voted down or tabled for future discussion. The timing is terrible. I for one assume that Wayne Saunders will not remain much longer ( or at least am hopeful he isn’t) .
    I am also hopeful that the Riverwalk proposal is voted down or also tabled. It’s been some 15 years in the works now and with all the turmoil, today is NOT a day to make this type of decision. Green and Kisela are trying to ramrod Mr LaCour and condos down the citizens throats. There is some hope to defeat it with a 3-2 vote.
    It will be interesting to see Mayor Green Jeans demeanor and attitude at this meeting.

  • June 30, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    So, we have department heads who do not reside in the city ? Is this not a requirement for department heads ?
    If Col. Saunders is circumventing this, the buttons should be pushed hard on this issue.

  • June 30, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    I would hope that council would deffer the decision on this till after a new council member(s) are sworn in, or we have hired a new city manager.
    That would also give time to carefully consider the attributes and qualifications for the position, and conclude the pay rate job class study.
    Their is enough upheaval in our organization adding another position and changing the structure is not likely to be productive.

  • June 30, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    You people are so sad in your pathetic lives. You hate everything and every corner is a conspiracy all targeting the hapless uneducated citizen. You rail against the financial mismanagement, yet you scream coverup when the city considers a new position to create a check and balance.
    You scream favortism when a developer might get half of some future tax base increase. Yet some of you live in developments which were created with the simular tax advantaged projects.
    You cant even argue the merits of a project. Instead you imply insinuate and accuse that the numbers are phony. You impune and directly attack individuals and accuse them of manipulating facts. I doubt you can even understand a pro forma.

    • July 1, 2014 at 10:15 am

      We know butt hole Bob is Pohlman. We would prefer butt kisser next time Bob.

    • July 1, 2014 at 10:39 am

      So Bob you support welfare obviously? Because this is welfare…big time welfare….. First time TIF has been shared with a developer in this city……taxpayer dollars going to a wealthy developer……I do not support welfare..except for the truly needy…Buddy does not fit that criterion for me….I do not want to subsidize a developer..have you read up on TIF and its misuse in other areas of the country???…might want to check it out…not a road we want to go down..
      ….am guessing you are benefiting in some way from an association with Buddy or the chamber or you are in a related industry……how about some full disclosure from Bob on who writes his paycheck??
      So.. look Bob…..give Buddy your tax dollar..do not give him mine..
      …your strategy of attack on us is time honored…demonize your opponent…we are “malcontents”, “pathetic”, “naysayers”, “conspiracy driven”…this kind of oppo attack is well known..
      ..ain’t gonna fly..this city has some real issues..we just had a mass of resignations….for many good reasons..and more are coming…and more scandals…..not driven by us…..driven by internal conditions in this city…lies, deceit and coverups….did you read Dick Kelton’s report??? …lame and weak as it was, it did acknowledge there were problems…..and that was written by Kisela’s hand picked guy…..doesn’t that concern you a little…? Nah…just trust the mayor and give Buddy the money….all will be well…

    • July 1, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      Bob, thank you for those most profound thoughts on the problems in city Government. Can I assume you mean there are no problems to address. Any way, it is foolish of me to even reply to you. Perhaps you are really a pro activist making a poor argument to make the activists look even better than they are, in the scheme of reform in city government.

  • June 30, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    butthole bob you sound like you might be a contractor, a realtor, or a real estate developer. Who Knows maybe your a contractor and a politician. One thing for certain if you are not a crook, than you are certainly an idiot. Without a doubt if you believe the shit you are spouting you are certainly not on the inside, because if you were you would see things that might change your perspective. Anything that is on the up and up, and anyone who knows what there talking about can break things down into sound bites so that most anyone can wrap their heads around it. I say lets do what Scott Stiltner said and put this to a citizens referendum vote. Leading up to that there can be a workshop where someone that knows what they are talking about can communicate the pros and cons and the bottom line intelligently. Let the people decide. Power to the people!

  • July 1, 2014 at 6:08 am

    We didn’t call you Butthole Bob…you called yourself that.

  • July 1, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Last night at the Riverwalk CRA meeting The developer put on a good show starting with the dog story Which was a real tear jerker. Then they paraded a load of real estate people through that sounded like used car salesmen. Then they ask us to rely on not (phony numbers) but sales and tax projections. These kind of projections in our current economy and projected future economy have to be viewed with some skepticism. I would like to see an independent objective presentation on the legal and financial repercussions given to council and our citizens so we can get both sides of the story.
    I do want Riverwalk to come to fruition. I don’t like high-rise condos but that’s a done deal. I guess I’ll just have to get over it. After the meeting I did come away with a little bit better feeling about it and learned a few things. I want the tax payers to get a fair deal. If we are getting into the TIF to developer business how are we going to be fair to other developers? Are we opening ourselves up for legal problems when other developers show up with their hands out? Do we really want to start down this road?
    Here is one way to look at the debt/equity pro forma component. We will be in debt to the developer and will be paying that debt out of our equity which at this point is essentially the projected tax revenue generated by this development. And yes there is a debt/equity component used in pro forma. You can spin this any way you want. We heard talk about a halo effect and that this will be the beginning of major redevelopment of the Ridgewood corridor. I guess that would be nice but the way things are now I’m not quite buying it yet, but I am hopeful. Just look north in S. Daytona and Holly Hill Big condos no other changes around them. If this does increases property values in the area it means some of us will be paying higher property taxes. At least we might get a nice park and I like that. It is understandable that people don’t want to jump off the high dive into the shallow end of the pool on this project and that’s their right.
    I may have a sad pathetic life. I don’t hate anyone or any thing. I don’t like the word hate or anything that it symbolizes. I don’t believe that there is a conspiracy around every corner Although if you have been paying attention there have been a few shady things going on as of late inside the city. I’m not taking a radical hateful stance on this project. I want it to succeed with an outcome that we can all be happy with. I am a skeptic by nature but I try to stay positive. I have mixed feelings about it. I’m trying to keep an open mind and rationalize all of this by looking at it from different points of view.


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