To: Sonya Laney, Candidate Port Orange City Council

cityHallSonya Laney
Port Orange City Council
You have steadfastly made your ethics  and qualifications  the central theme of your campaign,   and while I remember  a  recent advertising of yours  alleging   “ and that’s all you need to know about Sonya ”  there are a couple of more answers I believe voters need to know to more properly assess your candidacy.
My questions follow in italics.
On repeated  occasions you have listed  the university degrees you have obtained,   the courses you have taught,  and of course the CPA designation you hold.   What I have never heard you mention is the experience you have obtained working for national, regional or even local public accounting firms,   AND  often times when you speak it sounds to me  like you are reciting passages from various text books.
1)  What public accounting firms beyond your own have you worked for,  in what capacity,  and for how long.
2)  What work experience do you have beyond working for your yourself and your Father.  
The ABAB met monthly on  14  occasions  from   June 2013   prior to your resignation on August 7th 2014  Of those 14 meetings you missed 4 outright, and left early  on 2 others. (  The 1st  meeting when your Skype connection ended, and the 11th  meeting when you announced you were leaving early )   That is an attendance record of only  71%   AND if  we convert those 2 early outs into one other absence  you only attended 9 full meetings out of   14  for a dismal  attendance record of 64% on a board dealing with material at which you purport to excel.
1)  What attendance record do you have for the other City Boards on which you sit
2)  What assurance can you give  Port Orange residents regarding your likely attendance at Council if elected.
ABAB Resignation
As you know Ivan Cosimi’s recent promotion as CEO for Stewart Marchman Healthcare  prompted his resignation from  the ABAB on August 22nd 2014 and in his letter of resignation he referenced his  ‘new job demands’  and the  ‘pleasure he experienced working with the ABAB ‘
Your letter of resignation on  August 7th 2014  by contrast  was self-accolading, and totally disparaging of the Board’s leadership, focus and decorum.   You further disparaged members for questioning representatives of the City’s Audit firm and for their visceral attacks on the Kisela administration,  AND THAT board members actions were not in line with the original concept of the ordinance.
1)   Were you aware that the ABAB ordinance  mandated the ABAB  to advise Council on the  appointment, compensation, and retention of the Auditor, and to evaluate the Auditors qualifications, performance and independence, and to review the Auditor’s annual management letter, AND IF SO why were you so un-prepared such that you did  not ask any questions of the Auditor during his appearance before the ABAB
2)   Notwithstanding that you felt other board members were to visceral in their attacks on the Kisela administration, did you pose any questions of a critical nature regarding the financial mismanagement of the City, as best typified by the revelation that City bank accounts were not even being reconciled,  AND  if so what were those questions, and what answers were you given.  
3)   You were critical of the ABAB not following its original concept YET I do not remember you ever putting your understanding of the intent and purpose of the ABAB in writing as I did on several occasions.  IF YOU did so would you please send me a copy of those thoughts.   
Conflict Of Interest 
While you continually reference your ethical behavior;  your acceptance of campaign contributions from Buddy Lacour, your protest that you were not conflicted because you had not acted improperly, your quiet  return of those  contributions, and your subsequent acceptance of even greater campaign contributions from a major insurance contractor with the City causes me to wonder if you understand that that  – the presence of a COI  is independent of an impropriety,  AND that a COI occurs when an individual is involved in multiple interests that create a risk or perception that one’s judgment or action regarding a primary interest  will be unduly influenced by a secondary interest  ( such as approving a contract for an entity from which one has received a campaign contribution ) irrespective of whether that individual is actually influenced by the secondary interest.
1)   Why did you return the Lacour campaign contribution if not because of a conflict of interest.  
2)   On what basis do the Brown & Brown campaign contributions not create a similar conflict of interest.
3)   Since you are not employing the ‘potential appearance of a COI’  as your standard for accepting campaign contributions would you advise as to what standard you are employing as a candidate, and if that will be the standard you will employ if you are elected to Council.  
Your prompt and candid  answers to these questions will go a long way in satisfying voter concerns regarding your fitness to serve as an elected representative of the people.
Ted Noftall


11 thoughts on “To: Sonya Laney, Candidate Port Orange City Council

  • September 29, 2014 at 11:30 am

    When is the debate ?
    The forum held by the Chamber was all fluff.
    Let’s take the gloves off and debate face to face.

    • September 29, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      There is a candidate forum scheduled for OCTOBER 15th at 7:00PM in Port Orange City Hall.

    • September 29, 2014 at 7:56 pm

      Dear Concerned Citizen.
      Please see below as to how to submit questions to the Candidates Forum.
      Dianne Templeton Gardner
      Candidates Forum
      Posted on Thursday, September 11 @ 10:43:20 (5 reads)
      Alliance of Port Orange Homeowners Association
      Candidates Forum
      7:00 PM
      Wednesday, October 15, 2014
      Port Orange City Council Chambers
      City Center
      Listen to the views of candidates for Port Orange City Council. Submit your questions in advance to Questions will be preselected by a committee of APOHA members.
      Alliance of Port Orange Homeowners Associations Alliance of Port Orange Homeowners Association Candidates Forum 7:00 PM Wednesday, October 15, 2014 Port Orange City Council Chambers City Center
      View on Preview by Yahoo

      • September 29, 2014 at 10:38 pm

        Will be in attendance.
        I just hope this group asks the tough questions, not the fluff questions that were asked at the Chamber of Commerce forum. It will not be a debate with the hardball questions being asked.

        • September 30, 2014 at 3:43 am

          Dear CC,
          If you would send me your email I can send you what I sent. Or I can do it this way. And thanks to Ted Noftall for his forensic audit of her attendance. Good job Ted.
          I cut and pasted from what I sent HOA below:
          1.)Two candidates running are not listed as property owners on the Volusia County Property Appraiser’s Website. They are Sonya Laney and Larry McKinney.
          How can they make decisions considered to be fair and legitimate when they are not payers of ad valorem taxes themselves yet are spending my property tax dollars? Mr. McKinney is a renter in Ashton Lakes. Or at least his mom is. Ms. Laney lives at her husband’s house on Riverside Drive in Port Orange. Her name is not on the property.
          2.) Mrs. Laney had originally taken $1000 in donations from Buddy LaCour on 6-18-14. Buddy LaCour is the developer of Riverwalk. She has just refunded that money to him as of 9-8-14. Could she be asked to speak to this and what her thinking was about this donation refund? This supposed change of heart about a donor who will repeatedly be coming before Council seeking funds looks disingenuous at best. At a minimum it was a short term loan that certainly went far to get her campaign started. To suspicious types like me, it looks like a wink and a nod to a developer and obvious supporter that help will be there from her once she gets elected. And since she refunded his money, she will not have to recuse herself. A bad managed series of events for a woman who talks constantly about her concern over ethics and the appearance of ethical behavior. Why did she take the money in the first place?
          Thanks so much. Both is these issues are really bothering me. I did not agree with the $5 million in TIF taxpayer dollars just given to Buddy on a 3/2 vote by council.
          Best regards,
          Dianne Templeton Gardner
          618 Ruth Street
          Port Orange, Florida 32127
          Her very nice response below:
          From: Gloria Flahault
          To: ‘Dianne Gardner’
          Sent: Monday, September 29, 2014 5:35 PM
          Subject: RE: Candidate Questions. I have two questions.
          Thank-you so much for submitting your questions. I will be turning them over to the Committee. We are looking for questions that are not candidate specific as we will asking all of the candidates the same questions.
          We are pleased to hear from you and hope you plan to attend.
          Gloria Flahault, Secretary
          Gloria Flahault
          Original Message —–
          From: Dianne Gardner
          To: Gloria Flahault
          Sent: Monday, September 29, 2014 8:08 PM
          Subject: Re: Candidate Questions. I have two questions.
          I understand…I hope my questions can be some how phrased for all candidates…I do think it is important that candidates be home owners/taxpayers in the City of Port Orange.
          Maybe all candidates could be asked about refunding of donations.. I have never heard of that before unless a donor was determined to have a criminal history unknown to the candidate when the donation was accepted. Or a question about under what conditions would you recuse yourself on a vote.
          Thanks for reading my email. And thanks so much for the forum.
          Dianne Templeton Gardner

          • September 30, 2014 at 6:44 pm

            Interesting reply, I received the same answer from her. They want general softball questions that don’t generate controversy.
            I like your questions and want answers.
            Possibly Q&A from audience ? Oh no, doubt they would allow that to occur.

  • September 29, 2014 at 11:32 am

    What is the thousand bucks from Nevada ?
    Who that be ?

  • September 29, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    The thousand bucks from Nevada is from a corporation owned by Hyatt Brown.
    Either Sonya had no clue that Brown and Brown does insurance work for the City, or she has the morals of an alley cat.
    Unless the contribution was arranged by Mayor Green the same way he obtained the $3,500 from ICI for his other patsy Bob Pole-Man. Either way she is a bad news bear.

    • September 29, 2014 at 10:41 pm

      No clue ? She is a candidate of the power brokers.
      Wait and see if Mori Housenni contributes.

  • September 29, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Great info Just Like Old Times, thank you for doing the leg work on that. Appreciate you keeping us seniors informed.

  • September 29, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    Bob Ford has one month to make things happen.
    Based on the primary election, he is swimming against the current. He needs to have his voice heard outside of his own district. Ride around and look at the yard signs at homes in other districts and large subdivisions.


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