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.
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  • August 7, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    Or Daisy Duke Lazy Worker as Bob Pohlman likes to call me….I’m behind Ted Noftall all the way. If someone were to organize a boycott of City Hall I’d be glad to picket and hold up a sign supporting Ted. Tell me where and when.

  • August 7, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    I think some people might be intimidated supporting Ted Noftall if they fear the divided city politic but I think it is important to stand up and be counted. Ted Noftall is a good man and a good citizen. He has principals and cojones. He recently stood up for a city employee that was being scapegoated by the Kisela regime. Kisela has moved back to his past lover Destin but Ted Noftall is loyal to Port Orange. We need more true citizens like Ted Noftall and a few less Kiselas and FCCMA passer throughs. I am a supporter of Ted Noftall and I think we all need to show up in droves to support him when they have a hearing to determine whether there is cause to kick him off the budget committee. Ted, I just want to let you know that there is a majority contingent of Port Orange citizens and employees that support you. I think that you have two council people that support you and after the first of the year I think there will be three.

  • August 7, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    There will be no hearing. They City couldn’t fight the battle without egg all over their face. It would be a waste of time and taxpayer money. I believe new board appointments are up in September anyhow. Someone wrote that paper for Burnette and he simply read it. He shoots from the hip once again. Kennedy tried to vote before he was finished reading. I feel sunshine! Someone’s rear end is getting warm. Burnette is sure lucky he is running unopposed. 4 more years Hooray!!! I think Mr Pohlman had a word that fit the description of Burnettes performance. I won’t use it because he promised to remove it from his thesaurus.

  • August 8, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    City Council considering legislation to silence citizens comments on legislation before city government
    If You Liked This Story, Please Share!
    The Atlanta City Council is considering a piece of legislation—to be taken up by the Committee on Council at its Feb. 18 meeting—that would severely limit the right of citizen taxpayers to comment on issues and items before City Council and its committees.
    NPU-B. Chairperson Andrea Bennett
    BuckheadView found out about this legislation today (Sunday, Feb. 17) through an email from Neighborhood Planning Unit B Chairperson Andrea Bennett, who addressed members of City Council with the following letter on behalf of the NPU-B board.
    The following is the unedited text of Ms. Bennett’s letter to members of City Council, objecting to the legislation as being considered:
    Dear Councilperson,
    A week ago we received an email entitled “Legislation Amending ‘Remarks from Public’ Code Section 2-136 of the Code of Ordinances for the City of Atlanta.” We were advised that this will be taken up on February 18, 2013.
    I am writing as Chair of NPU-B to express our board’s serious concerns about one aspect of the above legislation.
    We fully appreciate the difficulty Council and its committees face in trying to expeditiously handle the city’s business while balancing that against the right of citizens to speak out. Reasonable time limits on public comment at committee meetings make sense, and we don’t oppose that.
    However, there are far more realistic ways to accomplish that in lieu of imposing a complete ban on public comment. For example, the council could impose a monthly time limit of 10 minutes by any one person.
    Unfortunately, the proposed new ordinance proposes a sweeping ban on all public comment. In particular, subsection (f) states:
    “(f) Comments shall not be permitted for items that have been referred to and heard before the Zoning Review Board or the subject of a public hearing for a land use change to the Comprehensive development Plan.”
    This is unreasonable and unnecessary. For the reasons set forth below, we do not believe subsection (f) of this proposed legislation is appropriate.
    (1) First of all, there is no indication that this is an ongoing issue or a significant impediment to the conduct of the Council’s business. In short, this is a solution in search of a problem.
    (2) The language is too broad. Under the proposed subsection (f), public comment will be denied in every situation if there has ever been any previous hearing where the public has technically had an opportunity to speak.
    (3) The proposed change places an unreasonable and unfair standard of diligence on the public. It is difficult for the public to track the time and order of appearance for matters such as requests for land use changes at CDP meetings or hearings before the ZRB. Often these hearings are deferred or changed, and it is not practical for lay members of the community to attend with little or no notice.
    (4) The public is frequently unaware of staff recommendations prior to public hearings or committee meetings, and thus has no real opportunity to respond.
    (5) The site plans, conditions and other elements in the applications under consideration frequently change without the public being advised of same. Thus there is no chance for comment or review.
    (6) The legislation as currently drafted would unfairly favor applicants who are represented by attorneys and other professional consultants who can closely monitor the process and appear on short notice. This works to the prejudice of neighborhood interests.
    (7) The City’s zoning and development process is complex and difficult to follow for a lay person and for neighborhoods. No other jurisdiction in metro Atlanta limits public comment to this narrow stage of the process.
    This was a major issue in connection with the Lindbergh shopping center development last year, which hinged on a developer’s request for a land use change under the CDP. The quarterly hearing passed with little notice and was further complicated by the representation made to the NPU that the developer would be deferring its request In fact, the applicant showed up and pursued the change, essentially bypassing the NPU and other public input.
    Strong opposition was subsequently voiced when the city council’s CDHR committee met to finalize the requested land use change. Had that not been permitted, the views of the city’s residents and NPU’s would have been eliminated from the process.
    In summary we strongly recommend that the proposed legislation, and in particular subsection (f) thereof, not be passed. At minimum, we urge that this item be taken off the February 18 agenda of the Committee on Council so that further discussion with the community and other possible solutions may be considered.
    Thanks so much for your consideration of our views and your hard work on behalf of the City.
    Andrea Bennett
    Chair, NPU-B

  • August 8, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    If we citizens do not vote to change the political balance of power in Port Orange and disassemble the Allen Green – Don Burnette political coalition I think we may be heading in the direction of the following article and away from open and transparent governance by the people:
    City Council should not silence citizens
    If you’re headed to one of Hattiesburg City Council’s Monday work sessions, don’t plan on saying anything.
    Last week, City Council voted 4-1 to suspend the Citizens Forum portion of its Monday work sessions for three months, while it works to restructure that section of the meeting.
    Ward 3 Councilman Carter Carroll said the forum had turned into a “beef box.”
    “The purpose of Citizens Forum was for a citizen to come forward and talk about an item on the agenda. We’ve just gotten way too far away from that,” he said. “It is just a beef box. It’s a place to go vent. If you want to come to the steps of City Hall and vent, I’m happy to let you vent. But this is a place of business.”
    We get it. Tensions have been high at City Hall, following the mayoral election mess, and city leaders have gotten an earful from both sides. But is silencing the citizens really the way to make things better?
    Ward 2 Councilwoman Deborah Denard Delgado was the lone vote against suspending the forum. She said criticism comes with the political territory.
    “In terms of suspending it because we don’t like what our citizens have to say, is not the right thing to do,” Delgado said. “It’s the nature of the beast. We chose this life. We chose politics.”
    We agree with her – and wish a majority of council members would have shared her view.
    Mayor Johnny DuPree, who has endured his fair share of harsh criticism, said people have a right to speak out.
    “This is a country of free speech, and I don’t have to necessarily like what people are saying, and I often don’t like what people are saying,” he said. “But they have the right to say what they want to say.”
    We have no issue with council looking at restructuring the forum. In fact, we support the idea.
    Before the forum was suspended, after signing in, residents were given the floor for a maximum 5 minutes. Council did not respond to the comments made.
    Recently, the forum has turned into a platform for personal attacks against council members and the mayor. There must be some decorum.
    But couldn’t the restructuring have been done without having to suspend the Citizens Forum?
    The relationship between Hattiesburg residents and officials is already strained, and council’s decision will do nothing to improve things.


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