I have read in the News Journal with dismay some council members are calling for Ted Noftall’s removal from the Audit and Budget Advisory Committee.
For council members to point the finger at the messenger for incompetent management at our city is unacceptable and utterly shameful.
I have lived in my beloved Port Orange for 30 years and I recall at least two times when an employee has embezzled tens of thousands of dollars from the water and sewer department and lets not forget Family Days. Not to mention in recent years the water meter debacle which caused a loss of untold millions of dollars in revenues to the city. Finally, the straw that broke the camel’s back when the utility purchasing department allowed employees to purchase over $400,000.00 of equipment that was not even approved in it’s budget!. If any employee in the private sector made a $400,000 mistake they would be fired, arrested or both.
These problems have been culminating over years and in my opinion is due to malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance. The lack of oversight by management and council in our City is astounding and it is what has caused these problems, not the citizens who found the problems!.
Now for council members to marginalize the citizens who found these discrepancies is the most disturbing of all. The citizens are to be the checks and balances of our government. These citizens have VOLUNTEERED untold hundreds and thousands of hours WITHOUT PAY. Now for the citizens to be threatened is appalling. We realize the government does not want citizen involvement so we do not find these types of problems, however, it is our civic duty! Government is hoping we go away, and if we don’t then they threaten those that speak out. Talking about checks and balances, when was the last time the city has reconciled it’s checkbook?
The citizens are suppose to attend meetings and get involved in our government. Ted Noftall is very passionate about his city and country. And yes, sometimes his passion can come across as abrasive, however I know from personal experience, it is very frustrating in dealing with our government. Alot of citizens I have dealt with over the last 8 years have become so frustrated and angered with our government they give up! I for one am glad Ted has not given up as alot of these issues would not have come to light in the sunshine if it were not for his efforts. It is unfortunate our city has been so mismanaged over the years that these citizens have found these problems. Now that the city council wants to marginalize these citizens and threaten them is despicable.
The City Council who is the ultimate overseer of our government should accept responsibility for the wrongdoing of our government which has cost the taxpayers millions of dollars. They should not point the finger at the messengers. Remember, when you point a finger there are three fingers pointing right back at you. Our government should be working with our citizens, not against them.
As for the manager and department heads resigning, well, they should. Perhaps it is now time to clean up city government to where it is more responsible in it’s management of taxpayer dollars and to reinstill the trust back in our government.