Port Orange mayor lashes out at watchdog group

PORT ORANGE, Fla. — The mayor of Port Orange is lashing out at citizen government watchdogs, saying they’ve created a caustic environment that’s responsible for the resignations of five city department heads.
But members of the citizens group said their volunteer work has only served to help save the city millions of dollars.
Mayor Allen Green agrees that the citizens who’ve kept a very close eye on City Hall have brought legitimate issues to light, but he believes they should have brought those issues to the department heads instead of their elected City Council members.
A small group of a dozen citizens who call themselves Port Orange Activists have managed to successfully fight City Hall after digging through city records and uncovering government waste that cost taxpayers millions.
One of their biggest finds was that the city installed new water meters that were not measuring water usage.
No one with the city noticed for months.
But when it came out City Manager Ken Parker and Chief Financial Officer John Shelly were forced to step down.
A year-and-a-half later there is a new round of five resignations.
The resignations come after the same citizens exposed the Utilities Department overspent a water meter contract by $400,000 and then tried to hide the mistake.
But Green isn’t giving the group a thank you letter.
“They’re not necessarily good citizens,” he said. “Some of them are self-serving issues. Let me be real clear about that.”
“How so?” asked Channel 9’s Lori Brown.
“Well, if you don’t want to raise taxes, as an example,” said Green.
“So the citizens are self-serving in the sense they don’t want to raise taxes?” asked Brown.
“That’s only part of it,” said Green.
Green wouldn’t say what the other part was.
Mark Schaefer, a citizen who exposed some of the problems, said his group just wants hold officials accountable and make the city better.
“Don’t attack the messenger,” he said. “It’s not that they wanted the city manager to step down, they wanted him to step up and take care of the problems in the departments.”
Green said he blames himself for the city manager’s departure. He said he should have stepped up and supported him more in the face of all the criticism.
via Port Orange mayor lashes out at watchdog group | www.wftv.com.

17 thoughts on “Port Orange mayor lashes out at watchdog group

  • July 2, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    ” . . . .But Green isn’t giving the group a thank you letter.
    “They’re not necessarily good citizens,” he said. “Some of them are self-serving issues. Let me be real clear about that.”
    “How so?” asked Channel 9′s Lori Brown.
    “Well, if you don’t want to raise taxes, as an example,” said Green.
    “So the citizens are self-serving in the sense they don’t want to raise taxes?” asked Brown.
    “That’s only part of it,” said Green.
    Green wouldn’t say what the other part was. ” . . . .
    And there we have the emperor in public display with no clothes on. He will name who are good citizens and non team players, but he will not tell all, “… that’s only part of it….” Thank you activists for unraveling the real Mayor Allen Green to the public. — hank springer

  • July 2, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Criticism of the mayor is fair. Over the last 30 yrs there has been one constant, Alan Green. So for him to say that there is somehow some other group of people responsible for the issues facing the city is INSANE! I have to also add that no one elected these watchdogs to speak for the citizens of this city. We elect council members to represent us and individuals reserve the right to be heard but they in no way should appear to council as representative to any majority opinion. While they have performed stellar work uncovering the cover ups some of their opinions, politically speaking, can be notably from the fringe.

    • July 2, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      Rod, your analysis of the activists is true to a point. They may not be speaking for the silent majority. And yet, I would think they may be speaking for the silent majority, if the silent majority knew and got concerned about affairs in city government.
      If the activists are on the fringe, then so are all the real estate agents, developers and supporters of Buddy LaCour, who appeared at the CRA meeting to advocate giving Buddy LaCour 10 million dollars. In Green’s mind, those are the good citizens, and I cannot argue with that. But I can argue with being called a bad citizen because you want to keep taxes down and bring such opinions to city hall and be condemned for doing so. This is no trival matter when a want to be dictator makes attempts to silence negative criticism of him. So be prepared. When Green votes to raise taxes he will be blaming the activists for the tax increase, not all the loss revenue in recent years due to financial ineptness on behalf of the city administration. –hank

  • July 2, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Hank I agree. The fact is most people are unengaged and uninformed so they let others formulate their opinions for them. And just for the record when I say the fringe I mean when some, not all, of the activists speak to their more macro political beliefs. I will say that while I may disagree most of the time with them politically I think they have all done a great job obtaining information and making public the irresponsible behavior of city leadership.
    It was quite interesting to see all those in support of Buddy LaCour being only those who stood to gain financially from the project, some of which are running for a seat on the council I might add. Do you think the mayor is trying to stack the council with building contractors??
    As for assigning blame, the mayor always blames others. He is the top of the political food in city politics but yet somehow not responsible at all for the current political environment in Port Orange. When will the pressure cause his resignation?

  • July 2, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Lori Brown seems like the only reporter that will ask the right questions. But she did not press the mayor what the other part is. I love the part of self-serving citizens that don’t want their taxes raised! Do we want to pay more taxes so they can waste it? Will Lori interview citizens on the blog to see if we are not necessarily good citizens? My husband and I have worked all our lives, raised 2 children, have 3 grandkids, have been married 41 years and lived in Port Orange all our lives. My father was born and raised in Port Orange (1931), went to the old Port Orange Elementary, Daytona high school (Mainland). How dare Allen Green say we are not necessarily good citizens! I prefer to keep my hard earned money in my pocket instead of giving it to city government to waste it. We are looking at paying for the big mistakes the city has already made, I would hardly consider it self serving to want to keep the money I worked my ass off for.

    • July 2, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      Hey just wait a minute anonymous, you haven’t lived here 75 years like Allen Green when US 1 was nothing but a dirt road. You family is not a land barren and the original southern plantation owner of the Port Orange Green Plantation. Your not a Port Orange historian that has buildings and civic auditoriums named after you when you are still alive. Your not a big contractor who’s son gets city paving contracts. Your not a demagogic figure that is a law unto himself like Allen Green. So according to Green you only lived in this community that he believes is an extension of himself for a short time. Allen Green thinks you have no rights and you need to shuy up and stop being a trouble maker and if you need an opinion he will give it to you. If you will comply with his will without question then after 41 years he might acknowledge you as a team player.

  • July 2, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    This sleeze bag has been slinking around at city hall the last couple days in finance and public utilities going behing councils back and directing the city manager like his marionette on how to shore up his regime of obfuscation and sweep as much dirt under the rug so that he can control everything from behind the scenes. The rest of city council really needs to step up and fulfill their fiduciary responsibility to their constituency and get rid of this narcissistic old madman.

  • July 3, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Talk about non-transparent government. If the Mayor believes that any of these citizens that have uncovered a tremendous amount of government waste and costly mistakes has any “self-serving interest”, other than wanting to keep taxes low, then man up and speak to it publicly. He has also stated to the media that certain councilman have over stepped their authority and interfered with department heads. He should name them and give specifics, and do it now. If you have something to say, and it’s important enough to drop coded hints to the media, then speak up and provide supporting facts! Isn’t that what the taxpayers should expect and deserve? This interview put the Mayor in a really bad light and speaks volumes about underlying problems.

  • July 3, 2014 at 1:52 pm


  • July 3, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Did anyone notice the Port Orange City website is now GREEN instead of orange. Should the city be called City of Port Green! Mayor would love it.

    • July 3, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      Yes, I noticed it is a puke color “Green” now and it looks like shit. I liked the old orange colored website. May as well change the city logo to a rotten Green apple with worms coming out of it. We can change the city name from Port Orange to Port Puke Green. No, I have a better idea, lets just keep the logo as it is and get rid of the puke Green mayor.

      • July 3, 2014 at 6:54 pm

        Just another poor choice – wonder who the driving force was on this one ?
        The green is terrible.

  • July 3, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    This is an example of why the Port Orange Manager In Transition FCCMA management team has imploded. Notice the recently resigned Public Utility director’s updated profile. Bear in mind he resigned recently during a revelatory inquiry by the Human Resources Department here in Port Orange that has been hushed up and that was revealing similar offences against his staff that he was found to have perpetrated before he resigned at a previous Utility Director position in Palm Bay while on paid administrative leave.
    This individual did not even apply for the Port Orange position, does not have the required employment application on file, and there is no evidence that the City of Port Orange has performed a background investigation on him. Greg Kisela that has now resigned, previously summoned this “Manager In Transition” from the FCCMA retread pool and supplanted legitimate internal and external candidates that legitimately applied for the position and were recommended by long term senior Public Utilities staff that remain here to sort out and clean up the debacles that Greg Kisela and his MIT team have left behind.
    Notice in this recently resigned public utility director retreads updated resume that follows where he takes credit for receiving two prestigious Water Plant State Awards that were earned by staff members in Port Orange that he abused during his short tenure here. These awards reflect hard earned accomplishments during 2013, a period that Jason Yarborough did not even work for Port Orange Public Utilities, which was awarded to the dedicated staff in Water Production earlier this year. This is an example of the moral destitution of these FCCMA Managers In Transition which is one of the main reasons why the City of Port Orange’s management team is imploding from the Lifesaver City Manager on down,
    Jason Yarborough
    Public Utilities Director, Utilities
    Hi, I’m Jason Yarborough. Welcome to my profile!
    Jason Yarborough’s Bio:
    Jason Yarborough is a Credential Manager through the International City/County Management Association with over 18 years of local government management experience in various positions including 7 years as a city manager and 6 years as a utilities director for a city of over 100,000 population. Under his leadership, the organizations he has served have won numerous state and national awards for performance excellence and innovation. He obtained a Certified Government Finance Officer designation from the Florida Government Finance Officers Association in 1997. Jason has local government experience in strategic planning, consensus building, budgeting, revenue enhancement, debt and financial management, performance optimization, environmental management systems, and utilities operations.
    He received a Bachelor’s degree from Loyola University, New Orleans, LA and a Masters of Public Administration degree from the University of West Florida. In addition, He has completed the Harvard University Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government.
    Jason Yarborough’s Experience:
    Public Utilities Director at City of Port Orange
    September 2013
    Accomplishments: o Awarded the Florida Department of Environmental Protection 2013 Operations Excellence Award for Large Water Treatment Plant o Awarded the Most Improved Class A Water Treatment Plant Award by the American Water Works Association- Florida Section
    Community Manager at Barefoot Bay Recreation District
    September 2011 – September 2013
    Special District Services, Inc. (SDS) creates and manages special taxing districts throughout the State of Florida. SDS was organized to meet the growing demand for urban services and provide a public financing vehicle to serve community infrastructure and service needs in a timely and cost-effective manner. Currently, SDS has the community management contract for the Barefoot Bay Recreation District (BBRD) which provides community services for over 9,000 residents through its 84 employees. Accomplishments: o Obtained the first successful grant award for the District. o Created a grant acquisition program that funded approximately 50% of the District’s capital improvement program. o Instituted an employee recognition program that significantly improved morale.
    Utilities Director at City of Palm Bay
    August 2005 – August 2011
    Accomplishments: o Awarded the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies 2010 Gold Award for Exceptional Utility Performance. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in implementing the nationally recognized Attributes of Effectively Managed Water Sector Utilities. o Awarded Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s 2009 Water Plant Excellence Award (Large Plant Category) in recognition for regulatory compliance, high level of maintenance, and continuous improvement. o Started the department’s environmental management system, which resulted in the department becoming the first utility in the nation to have all divisions and sections simultaneously ISO 14001 registered on the initial audit. This management system institutionalized the cultural value of continuous improvement within the department. o Orchestrated application with the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund resulting in No. 1 ranking over all other Florida water utilities for American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds. o Oversaw the installation of 497,212 linear feet of water line resulting in an additional 6,220 new water accounts. o Initiated an optimization committee comprised of internal staff that made operational changes resulting in an overall reduction of electrical consumption for total water treatment by over 31%. o Reduced operational budget by $1.1M without diminishing level of service to customers. o Negotiated with state regulatory agency to obtain a 20-year permit for water withdrawal and an increase of 22% of water withdrawal over the previous permit.
    City Manager at City of Groveland, FL
    1998 – 2005
    Accomplishments: o Formed utility district to protect future growth areas for the city. o Executed eminent domain taking of two water systems and a wastewater system (valued at $3.0 million) in the Groveland Utility District. o Improved internal controls in finance department resulting in a decrease in the number of negative audit comments by 50%. o Secured USDA funding for new wastewater treatment plant. o Resolved dispute with adjacent city over utility service districts, resulting in improved relationship with neighboring city. o Initiated community and city council visioning and goal setting sessions.
    Assistant City Manager/ City Clerk at City of Mary Esther, FL
    1996 – 1998
    Accomplishment: o Created an aggressive grant acquisition program resulting in funding of $2,665,000.
    Jason Yarborough’s Education:
    Harvard University Kennedy School of Government
    2007 – 2007
    University of West Florida
    1992 – 1994
    Concentration: Public Administration
    Loyola University New Orleans
    1988 – 1992
    Bachelor of Arts
    Jason Yarborough’s Interests & Activities:
    Water and Wastewater Utilities, parenting, cooking, reading, mobile devices

    • July 4, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      Wow I could NOT see him in the role of a City Manager anywhere.

      • July 4, 2014 at 1:28 pm

        No, but he could be the new poster boy for Golden Corral Buffet!

  • July 3, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    No More Special Interests, No More Allen Green, No More Greg Kisela, No More Range Riders, No More Life Savers, and No More FCCMA Manager In Transition retreads!

  • July 4, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    No, Mayor Green, I am not I favor of any type of tax increase . The city and it’s leaders have squandered, lost, misappropriated to much of our tax dollars over the past three years.
    So now you expect us to kick in more to make up for the numerous errors in fiscal management ?
    You continue to make a fool of your office when conducting an interview like this.


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