Greg, Yours is a Tragic Situation

ted0from: Ted Noftall ….
Thank you Manager Kisela,  I was not aware that a citizen’s right to question or criticize  public officials in this country was dependent on the  ‘constraint or responsibilities ‘  of those public officials including yourself.
Yours is a  tragic situation.  Unlike most who come to Port Orange in search of business or employment opportunities and who struggle for years to find success you were rewarded from day one with a princely salary that would be the envy of all but maybe 1% of Port Orange residents.
In return you were expected to clean-up the internal control deficiencies  that ended the former Manager and his CFO’s careers in large measure through the elimination of employee incompetence,  AND serve all of Counsel equally in an open and transparent fashion.  From day one you were reminded of the pitfalls that awaited,  were you to take up exclusive residence  in  the Mayor’s  camp,  AND the chaos  problem employees would cause were they not transitioned out.
From day one you not only ignored that advise,  you  exacerbated problems in Finance and Utilities through your instance that the  ICMA retreads you  installed were performing competently when that was anything but the case.   You frittered away the opportunity to live and prosper in a great community.  I know because I came here as a young man and give thanks every day for the opportunity and warmth  this community  has afforded me and my family.  As you have come to understand I take it personally when the interests of the little people,  who make up the backbone of our community,   are given the back  seat  to any other interest.
You never accepted much in the way of advice over the past 18 month and it is doubtful you are likely to accept any now,   but were you so inclined  I would urge you to  recognize that the trend in this country is one declining confidence in government and greater demands for  transparency and accountability on the part of government  ….. and that trends like horses are most easily ridden in the direction they are going.   When the first activist in Destin asks you your very first question, and that will happen    give that person an honest answer devoid of all BS.
There is little more than a week for you to impact your legacy past  August 1st..     If  you want to impact it favorably  as regards the three issues raised in my e-mail you chose to answer you know what you need to do.  * End all further appointments because of your dismal track record . * Reinstate Tom Cinefro  and withdraw Julia Wiggins suspension  because  the Kelton report you commissioned is not credible.     * Provide a plausible  explanation as to why clause 4 of the recent Well Field  ‘dirt’ agreement that you negotiated  failed to advance  taxpayer interests  prior to September 1st  2014   AFTER  hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of  fill dirt will be removed and  sold at profit by Halifax,   without cost    compliments of Port Orange  taxpayers  ……  even if that explanation consists of  ‘the Mayor ordered me to do it’.
None of these  issues are going away any time soon.   Why not go out of here being remembered as a stand up guy even if it was for only the last week of your tenure.
Ted Noftall
Concerned citizen

—–Original Message—–
GregKiselaFrom: Kisela, Greg []
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2014 9:55 AM
To: Ted Noftall; ‘nelan’; Hank Springer
Cc: Roberts, Margaret; Bob Ford; Kennedy, Dennis;; Drew Bastian
Subject: RE: Kisela Amused /// Purchasing Manager Screwed
Mr. Noftall: During my tenure as City Manager you have enjoyed at my expense unfettered criticism of me and my administration.  I have been constrained in responding to you by my responsibilities to the  City of Port Orange as the City Manager. As you know this responsibility  ends as of 5:01 p.m. on August 1, 2014.  Please govern yourself accordingly.
Greg Kisela
City Manager


6 thoughts on “Greg, Yours is a Tragic Situation

  • July 25, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    While I generally support the work, wit and wisdom of Ted and the citizen watchdogs, I have to wonder if, or how their involvement will affect the selection of our next CM ?
    Will a viable candidate back away for fear of the same ending as Kisela ? Is the word on the street ” stay away from Port Orange” ? Will the next CM treat the watchdogs in a much different manner ?
    Is is obvious that in house candidate Shannon Lewis wants no part of it on a permanent basis.
    Just a point to ponder.

    • July 25, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      Agreed, to much negative. None of us are right 100% of the time and we’ve all lost money during our life. Time for all of us to look in the mirror and either put our name in for the job or become part of the solution. To much finger pointing!!!

      • July 26, 2014 at 10:48 pm

        Mr. Onlooker, I value your opinion as a possible learning experience, but alas, once again I see we are at odds.
        The notion that negative opinions have useful values is under assault. The remedy suggested is to look into the mirror and remember that all of us are not perfect. We are reminded that we too make mistakes and can lose money. Thank you so much for bringing us back to reality. Perhaps some of us forget that to err is human? I do not think this is the problem or the solution to all the negative ions floating around this city.
        Mayor Green too wants to get to the bottoms of things without pointing fingers which is an almost impossible task in detective work. If by chance Mr. Onlooker you want accountability, you will have to zero in on who made a mistake (which mistakes we all can commit at times, granted) but perhaps the name does not have to be published, unless publication is needed to reinforce a policy of reform for all workers in city government. I am all for finding out who made the mistake and why that person made the mistake. If administrators do not have the information how can they prepare to prevent the mistake from happening again?.
        I think Mr. Onlooker that perhaps you prefer that city administrators find out who are making mistakes, which granted we all do at times. I think where we probably part in agreement is that city administrators have not been looking (and it does not take hard looking) for mistakes in operations. And thus negative findings somehow come tumbling out to the public’s attention, and you conclude that the public should not be pointing fingers with all these negative observations. I would agree with you that the public should not have to be pointing fingers. We are paying supervisors and administrators to deal with the negative revelations and point fingers if they need to. But, because city administrators and supervisors have generally not performed satisfactorily, it is the right and duty of citizens to step up to the microphone and point out where the problems are.
        I am reminded of the exchange on Meet the Press between Congressman Conyers who was defending Bill Clinton in the Monica no sex affair, and William Bennett. Congressman Conyers said that we should not be judging Bill Clinton because we are not God. Mr. Bennett responded, “Well said!”
        Tell me where I am wrong and I will let you have the last word.(for now).

    • July 25, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      concerned citizen you bring up a good point.
      I think what will be needed from the city council is their thoughts on what kind of candidate they would want. When picking that last candidate I think they focused on financial reform abilities and that is still a top priority, but more than that, what is needed is a city manager who can reform the entire work culture of city government.
      It seems to me that in an effort to reform and have true internal control and inspections, there are still negative findings to be revealed, and I suspect some city workers and the Mayor do not want that to happen. I say mayor, because although he is always saying that he wants to get to the bottom of things it seems that the bottom is never reached. Perhaps the city manager is not pushed enough by the entire city council to get to the bottom of things, or perhaps the bottom keeps falling apart.
      I can imagine a no nonsense city manager and I will explain, but I am not sure if any city manager is available for what is needed. My ideal city manager in this city’s predicament would be a no nonsense boss, trouble shooter if you will, who will let it be known to all employees that changes will be made based on the desires of the city council. This does not mean that many have to be fired, but first of all, those city workers who know of faults within operations that have not been fixed should come forward in private to tell the city manager what needs to be fixed. This kind of trouble shooting city manager to land on the ground running would need two trusted aides to carry on interviews. These two trusted aides would speak with every city employee. These two trusted aides would then on behalf of the city manager spend time in city operations to see that the policy and reforms put forth by the city manager are being put in placed and enforced. Those workers who for some reason can not adjust to a new culture in city operations will probably make mistakes and be disciplined or fired.
      A union perhaps may balk at such a city manager taking over. A union can bring up their grievances during the next city contract. As far as I can tell, the only one on city council who would not want such a complete reform of city government would be Mayor Green, because of his desire to leave politics with a good legacy. As far as I can see, the only way Mayor Green can leave politics with a good legacy is to preside over a true reform of city governmental operations. But that may be tough for the Mayor, because I do not think all of the negative issues have been fully aired.
      The issue of city hall not collecting the revenue from Halifax Paving is a big issue. Just because the mayor works in construction is not a fact that perhaps he is somehow implicated in the laxity of the city getting the revenue it deserves, but it is a fact in my opinion, that the Mayor having worked in construction for many years, would have, and should have as mayor for the “investors” been aware that money can slip though one’s fingers as easily as dirt. The mayor gives a lot of advice when issues of construction, building and such comes up, and understanding his expertise as a business man in the construction business, I would have thought he would have been concerned about this aspect of doing business with a company in the construction field.
      I know that many of us who have construction work done on our homes are aware that we need to watch that we get what we pay for. I had an extension put on my home in Selden LI., and watched how the sub contractors started to put in a floor that did not have extra anti moisture and cold resistance material laid down below the flooring. This my father in law with one leg, a heart condition, demanded for his new residence with us. I told the sub contractors that perhaps they better stop with the flooring because the added insulation had not been put in place. They told me they took orders from their boss . The contractor did not call me back, and since the two working for the subcontractor had now put in 1/4 of the floor I told them that I expected they would be ripping it all up and starting again when their boss finally called me up. The two decided to walk off the job. The contractor came to our house screaming at me that I had no right to tell his men to quit and walk out on the job. The whole family sat down at the dining room table, and my father in law savvy in construction terminology reminded him of what he wanted and why he wanted the extra insulation below the floor. We finally won, but my contractor said that he did not want in the future to talk to my father in law, because Joan and I were the homeowners and we were th only ones he was interested in talking to.
      And so I wonder if Mayor Green failed at watching out for our “investment” money during the years he was our construction mayor.


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