All of this is no fun. Shannon says she is not resigning because of Ted Noftall. And so we wonder, why is she resigning? Again we are left with more speculation and some consider suspicion. Wouldn’t it be nice if Shannon would tell us exactly why she is resigning. If it is Ted Noftall, say so. But I guess one would not be considered a team player to be hired in other future jobs if one was to say, the system I was working in at Port Orange was just administratively inefficient, and work ethic corrupt. Probably no other political network would want to hire such an outspoken individual.
But at this time, I really do not know why she is resigning. Maybe we will eventually find out.
I think Ted had a valid point about Shannon refusing to take on the interim city manager’s job. The idea that a person would not take a promotion because of citizens who are watching administration performances does not say much for those in administration.
I would agree that it is tough working in a city such as Port Orange that had neglected internal controls for a decade? two decades? And to take a job to hold the fort down until the next city manager arrives may very well be a career risk unnecessarily taken. The city of Port Orange is now unique among many local governments because it has a group of citizens who are demanding work performance and accountability. If that is the environment everyone is afraid of, then perhaps it is best that all who are not up to the job leave or not take the job.
There recently have been some comments made that public negative criticism about Port Orange City Government should cease. The arguments I have heard are, negative criticism is unsettling, gets little accomplished, and hurts the morale of city workers.
Negative criticism of our governmental agencies by citizens is a fundamental right and is a way of showing displeasure at negative findings. The freedom to condemn and criticize is fundamental to this democracy, and only under dictatorships are negative criticisms not allowed.
Some arguments are sometimes offered that the agenda of citizens offering negative criticism should be questioned. Questioning motives too is part of the democratic process, but does not adequately remove the impression of negative criticism which is founded on facts.
Many of the negative criticism directed towards the city of Port Orange governmental departments are based in negative findings of mistakes found. Such negative criticism was not imagined out of thin air.
Much of the negative speculation and negative suspicions have developed because city management has not adequately explained how and why negative revelations are appearing almost at a monthly rate, nor has city management assured the public that proper controls have been put in place to prevent the mistakes from happening again.
If the city council as a whole would ask for answers from the city manager about the questions that linger in citizen’s minds, perhaps depending on honest answers, speculation and suspicion will lessen.
If the city council does not ask the questions that need be answered, or not receive satisfactory answers to the issues, it is the right for citizens to appear before the city council and ask again for answers. This is what has been happening and it is part of democracy.
The alternative to citizens not asking the questions about negative findings, or not showing their displeasure at negative findings and non-transparency, is to return to the blissful days of ignorance, when all was not well in City Government, but everyone felt happy about themselves and their leaders. We have learned differently and if the reader of this editorial does not appreciate that fact, then more than ever it is necessary to defend the right of citizens to criticize, ask questions, and demand accountability. Others have the right to disagree with some of the criticism, and to offer arguments against such criticism, but certainly it is improper to expect that negative criticism cease. When the issues are resolved I would expect the criticism to stop. If ever there were more need for citizens to be discontented with its local government, it is now