"We are talking about thousands of loads … Is any of this above board?"

dirtTrucksThank you Margaret,
The far more serious matter arising at that evening   was the Mayor’s announcement that he would not allow the people to question their representatives in an open meeting as to how a fill dirt contractor became indebted to City taxpayers to the tune of  $ 500,000.
We are not talking about a 90 dump loads like  were diverted to a project in South Daytona earlier this year,  And in which the contractor reimbursed the City with a check.  Rather we are talking about thousands of loads.
IS  any of this above board, or  is it all above board ??
Is this yet another failure of internal controls, or was it caught and properly reported and allowed to continue, and if so by who ??
We do not know because the people were denied the opportunity to inquire.
That is a problem …….. Do you have a proposed solution ???
Ted Noftall

From: Roberts, Margaret [mailto:mroberts@port-orange.org]
Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2014 10:20 AM
To: Noftall, Ted; Kisela, Greg
Cc: City Council; Lewis, Shannon; Fenwick, Robin; Jones, Matthew
Subject: Public participation
Mr. Noftall, On June 30, 2014 after the meeting you made comments as follows::
The public was not given the opportunity to speak on the issue of the account manager.
The council discussion resulted in the city manager indicating that he would bring back a job description for the city council’s consideration.  It is my understanding that the city manager has intends to provide the city council the job description and a budget amendment before the city manager adds the new position of account manager to the city organization.  You may wish to watch for the July 22 agenda items as referenced herein and request to speak at that time.
Margaret T. Roberts
City Attorney/City of Port Orange, Florida
Phone 386 506-5525/Fax 386 506-5530

From: Ted Noftall [mailto:Ted@TedNoftall.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2014 12:32 PM
To: Margaret Roberts (mroberts@port-orange.org)
Cc: gkisela@port-orange.org; Bob Ford (rford37@cfl.rr.com); Dennis Kennedy (dkennedy@port-orange.org); don@amlsfl.com; Drew Bastian (db2070@cfl.rr.com); Mayor Green (agreen@port-orange.org)
Subject: Was State Statute breached.
Good afternoon Margaret,
On Monday evening past Council made several important decisions on two important matters in a 15 minute special meeting that one could argue was designed so as to preclude public comment as it was closely followed with another scheduled meeting
You attended that meeting in your capacity as City Attorney in which the Mayor stated he would take  ‘no public comment  as this was a business meeting’
In so doing I believed the City failed to comply with State Statute regarding the right of the people to be heard on all matters on which their representatives are deciding.
If you concur I would ask that you propose a remedy  which in my mind would be acceptable  if action on these matters were delayed  until the public was afforded an opportunity to  be heard and another vote taken.
Thank you
Ted Noftall


4 thoughts on “"We are talking about thousands of loads … Is any of this above board?"

  • July 8, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    The Mayor suggested we call upon Department Heads rather than council. Perhaps a call to Public Utilities would render the answers to your questions. Is this not the same contractor that ripped us off before at the lakes? This is absolutely ludicrous! Who in their right mind could support raising revenues. We can’t keep track of what we have now. The more we give the more they will waste proportionally. Something has to give. And hopefully no more wasting of our fixed income seniors tax dollars. Accountability is the only answer to stop the bleeding. It is just one blunder followed by another on our nickel.

  • July 9, 2014 at 8:25 am

    I just reread the Halifax Paving documents the Mayor referred to at the 15-minute “mini-meeting” on June 30th. WOW! That’s a lot of missing dirt–about 7,000 trucks worth at 20 yards a truck.
    What’s even more interesting is that the new agreement with Halifax reads more like a Restitution Agreement than any Amendment to a Contract that I have ever read. Restitution implies wrongdoing and Halifax certainly admits that it has been derelict in paying the City what it is owed (over $488,000 at the end of 2013 and climbing still). The fact that they owe us a half million dollars means they either:
    1) took our dirt with our permission (borrowed it) and fell behind on the payments, or
    2) took our dirt without our permission (stole it) and got caught.
    I’m not sure which is worse. If the City knowingly or unknowingly let the contractor get that far behind in their obligations it indicates, at best, gross mismanagement or extreme incompetence. If the City unknowingly let the contractor walk off with 7,000 loads of dirt it indicates, at best, gross mismanagement or extreme incompetence. It’s hard to imagine that much dirt being moved over that long a time (since before 2005) without someone at the City giving their permission or at least a wink and a nod.
    The question is who, and when, and why. Of course, if we ask these questions we will be accused of being “negative” and focusing on problems rather than solutions. Oh well. Before any solution can be found we need to define the problem and if the pursuit of reality produces negative results then that is just the way it is. Reminds me of President Harry “Give ’em hell Harry” Truman. He said he never gave anyone hell, he just told them the truth and it felt like hell.
    Problem is, when you make people uncomfortable, they strike back. It’ll be interesting to see if this snafu can somehow be blamed on activists meddling where they don’t belong. Watch out.
    Mike Gardner
    618 Ruth St
    Port Orange, FL 32127

    • July 9, 2014 at 9:10 am

      “Gross mismanagement or extreme incompetence” over a long period of time in the City of Port Orange ?
      How dare you even consider this ?


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