Why I will not be voting for Sonya Laney

voting-womenMy neighborhood, home and Dunlawton have now flooded 4 times in the past 20 years: 1994, 2004, 2009, and September 24th, 2014.
Sonya Laney did not appear in my neighborhood the day of the flooding nor did she attend the City Council on October 7, 2014 when the failures of the flood mitigation project were discussed. Failures documented by David Harden, not wild eyed citizen activists.
Sonya Laney has not posed one single question about the failure of the flood mitigation project on Ruth Street/Powers Ave or the closure for 12 hours of Dunlawton at our intersection. Not before council last night, not at the HOA Candidate Forum, not on the Bernier Show.  No where.
Now we are learning that a possibly critical berm was eliminated from the project that may have contributed to worsening the flood.  Sonya Laney had no questions about that either.
Sonya Laney has stated repeatedly she has “a construction background”. Her dad, Frank Flagg, who works for the city in a $60K a year part time position, is a General Contractor. She grew up in the construction field, she worked in the construction field.  She is Mayor Allen Green’s God daughter. Allen Green is a General Contractor. Sonya Laney is surrounded by men who know construction.  So where is the outrage and where is the insistence on accountability from these experts in construction?
Guess this most recent failure was just one more of those “honest mistakes” Sonya keeps talking about.  We all make mistakes don’t we?
And I guess we all change our minds on berms too.  Maybe we didn’t need that berm after all.
Why ask why?  Things happen. So what if we all have construction backgrounds and might have some insight into what could have changed about the need for a berm?  Those questions could be awkward for the “The Godfather”, Quentin L Hampton and staff. We certainly do not want to make our city look bad or “be negative”. Let’s just go back to the good old days of 2010.
Either Sonya Laney has a profound lack of curiosity about failed municipal projects affecting her constituents or there is something else at work here.  Either way, I know my neighborhood is screwed.   And should she prevail on November 4th, we can expect more of the same of what we have endured here for 20 years. Flooding and more excuses from our city and from Sonya Laney.
Dianne Templeton Gardner
618 Ruth Street
Port Orange, Florida 32127

22 thoughts on “Why I will not be voting for Sonya Laney

  • October 23, 2014 at 11:20 am

    2 thoughts…
    …remember, all of the issues you are pointing out happened under Bob’s tenure on council
    …in your letter to the News Journal today, you mention that Bob hasn’t missed a council meeting in 4 years. Didn’t he miss when he went to Europe once or twice? Not really that important, just always trying to keep all comments factual. I haven’t researched it, but I remember watching meetings when he said he’d be out of the country for the next meeting.

  • October 23, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Good point Onlooker. Mrs. Gardner does tend to have tunnel vision at times. I would have to question what she has had to endure for 20 years ? Why just recently has she become so vocal ?
    Maybe she should quit the Laney smear campaign and focus on touting why Bob Ford should indeed be re elected and given another term ? Maybe Bob needs to reign her in a bit.
    I have maintained all along that if Mr Ford does not prevail and win, it is due to the events and debacles that occurred under his watch. People want a change. I sincerely hope that he is given another term as it is quite clear that he doesn’t partake in the kool aid and can make up his own mind doing what’s proper for the citizens.

  • October 23, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Well CC …Mrs. Gardner is disappointed. Thought “smear campaign” meant statements of untruths. I believe all statements made in my letter are factual. And I have long complained about the flooding. Repeatedly to Parker. To no avail. Ken Parker’s most creative response/excuse was after the May rain event of 2009-….”the stars were just in alignment Mrs. Gardner.”
    To Onlooker, who I think is actually Bob P…pretty sure you were on council through 2012. And on council for 9 years before that, which means all the really terrible stuff that began to unfold in the Fall of 2012 happened on your watch on council. And on Mayor Green’s watch too. How are you gentlemen not to blame if Bob is? You both had been there much longer. You certainly seem to feel your loss to your opponent was not fair or based on any failure on your part on council all those years. So who failed…you……or Ken Parker and other members of upper management? How do we hold those folks accountable? Do we just hope for the best? Surely you as a long term council member have considered that question many times.
    Seems like to me Bob Ford wants accountability on these “events” and “debacles” referenced by CC and that in demanding that he has somehow become the problem. Not getting that thinking at all.
    And yes, do I want to know where candidates stand on issues and their reactions/thinking/questions about the findings in Harden’s report? I do…don’t you both want to know too? We really thought this flood mitigation project was going to work. To learn of all the “mistakes” was very depressing. And now we have the mystery of the missing berm. And yes…..this is the 4th time my home has flooded in 20 years. Wouldn’t you be angry? Wouldn’t you want answers? This is not some abstract intellectual exercise here for me on Ruth Street.
    Guess I am not understanding your reasoning on several points here gentlemen. Please explain.

    • October 24, 2014 at 7:52 am

      First off, yes, I would be angry if my home flooded once, much less four times. I don’t like that it has happened to you and Mike.
      Next, I believe it’s natural for all candidates or sitting council people to say they want accountability for these issues. None of us enjoy dealing with these negative issues, whether it be finances or flooding. But, where you and I differ is, for some reason, you give Bob a pass on these. Yes, he says things at council meetings like accountability and the like. But, at the end of the day, these things still happened. Are we happy with lip service or do we want real change and progress? I don’t know if Sonya is the best person for the job, but I do know that all of these issues, berm removal, high dept head turnover, lack of internal controls, highering of the last city manager (I believe it was a unamimous vote) ect… happened under Bob’s tenure. He is likely well intentioned, but hasn’t been able to avoid any of these issues. The two things that stick out in my mind about Bob are… 2 budget cycles ago, I recall him voting on and approving the budget, then only 2 or 3 weeks later, hammering Greg K because Bob wanted to make sure Greg knew that he noticed Greg had cut down on the number of mowing days on a certain area of the city to make budget. Why didn’t he deal with that during the budget discussion a few weeks earlier. He also likes to point out people’s shortfalls. I’d rather him bring solutions to the table rather than point out flaws and just report to us what’s wrong. We all know what’s wrong, he’s there to fix things and avoid new issues arising.
      Secondly, he is never able to vote to support most Riverwalk issues because he “doesn’t know what he is voting on”. I see his constant negativity on Riverwalk as being both flat out against it ever getting built under the ownership of Buddy L and lacking knowledge in the development process and the hurdles that private developers have to deal with. The market is a big enough hurdle for Buddy to deal with, Bob makes it basically impossible. His constant road block in front of Riverwalk private development is costing you and I big money as tax payers supporting those bond payments.
      To say it again, like I’ve said before, I respect your thoughts and efforts, we just think different.
      And, this is not Bob P.

      • October 24, 2014 at 4:12 pm

        I really hate being called stupid Onlooker. Votes are usually 4-1 sometimes 3-2 if Bastian sides with Ford. Ford cant block anything, Ford cant pass anything with those odds.
        Put the responsibility where it belongs. With the good old boys who CAN block anything and CAN pass anything they want. I wonder sometimes if guys like you can even count to three.

        • October 24, 2014 at 4:40 pm

          Certainly wasn’t calling anyone stupid. That doesn’t do anyone any good. But, if you’ve paid attention to the meetings, council and CRA discussions, Bob has swayed a portion of the council so many times in delaying votes for more info or making long speeches on things that push other voters (Dennis particularly) into changing their votes. In my opinion, most of Bobs issues are from a dislike for tall condos and a dislike for Buddy himself. Bob has a right to try and sway votes his way, but I don’t feel that any amount of info or any development proposal will ever get Bob to vote for a Buddy L project.
          The concept that I don’t know how to ad or count the 3-2 or 4-1 votes isn’t the discussion point. It’s that Bob can sway weak votes into being scared to committ to the Riverwalk. Theirs more to the council than just voting PO Oldtimer.

      • October 24, 2014 at 4:45 pm

        to Mr. Onlooker. I think you bring up some points which deserve consideration. I too in the past have been a little disappointed that Bob Ford when serving on the city council for the past 4 years was complaining about problems but not always putting the hot iron to the other 4 city council members by advocating resolutions which tend to fix the problems. I would have liked to see positive resolutions which three of the council members would probably vote down, and I would have been happy to remind those three council members of positive steps which they had voted down. Bob Ford did offer suggestions and some of them were carried out and agreed upon by other council members and the city manager, but perhaps were not passed in resolution form.
        I could reiterate Bob Ford’s suggestions which were put into effect if you want, but I only take the time now to point to how Ford wanted a report from the former city manager on progress in the problems the former city manager was expected to fix.
        I think most if not all of the problems which showed up in the 4 years of Ford in the district one seat had origins of beginnings before Ford took his seat on the city council.
        I recognize this fact; It is easy for me to make statements like I am doing, because not being a politician I need not worry how statements without the authority to carry actions out, can be used against me, since I am not going to run for any elected office. It is easy for me to say that this election is about “them vs us”, the “we are family crowd” and the average citizen, because I have no fear of
        being polarized into a “negative, angry, complaining” elected official who often has had his resolutions voted down by the majority of the city council. What a hell of a tremendous defense would have to be put forth when running for re-election if one needed to defend why 95 percent of one’s resolutions were voted against by the majority of the city council.
        I can differ with Bob Ford on specifics , Ted Noftall on details, the Gardners on strategies, and even the chamber of commerce on their alliances showing up to condemn the city’s activists if I may call them that.
        But consequences of my advancing solutions do not get judged with the standard of a majority of the city council having voted them down.
        In this coming election, which I already have voted in, I have had to weigh Bob Ford’s performance against how Sony Laney says she will perform. Sonya will not be angry at mistakes and that scares the hell out of me. Ford is compassionate for the citizens while Sonya tells a citizens’ group that in requesting officials for a traffic light at an intersection they should be respectful and courteous in presenting their request. Yes Bob Ford has not gotten a traffic light for Crane Lakes, but Mayor Green warns that studies have to be done and it is difficult to get a traffic light, and Laney says be respectful when asking for a traffic light.
        Bob Ford to me has cared for the principles I care about. OMG that sounds like the Clintons, or the far left, but nevertheless it is true. I expect that with Bastian, Stiltner and Ford as a majority on the city council, we can expect some positive resolutions to come about which will go towards the area of city culture reform and accountability. It is very doubtful to me that Sonya even imagines going in that direction.
        I hope the citizens give Bob Ford a chance to change things at city hall through positive resolutions which will be supported by a majority of the city council.
        I do not want a majority of the city council to think that people who want to keep down taxes are not good citizens, accountability means harassment, and if you want something from city hall don’t get angry and disrespectful, and remember that mistakes do happen and will happen.
        So, I have already voted for Ford. I earnestly hope Ford wins, but if he does not, we who want accountability, as you Mr. onlooker seem to want, will still be around to put the feet of the council people to the fire. Let me summarize: if you think Bob Ford and Bastian have not produced on their watch, what do you think about Green, Kennedy and Burnette? Sonya has already made it clear to us that she will not be like Ford and Bastian but will be more like Green, Kennedy and Burnette.
        And let me add: Hank Springer is not Bob Ford. Neither are the activists, Noftall, Gardners or even more middle of the road people like Newton and Schaefer. Bob Ford is his own man, and can speak for himself. Perhaps Mr. concerned you should ask Bob Ford about the specifics which you think he is responsible for. Unlike the runner up who quit and Sonya Laney, Bob Ford would probably answer you.
        I speak for myself. – Hank springer

        • October 24, 2014 at 6:29 pm

          The manner in which Mayor Green addressed the citizens of Crane Lakes was typical of him and UNACCEPTABLE ! It is obvious that he was in bed with another powerbroker / developer in Berrien Beck. Let’s delay the traffic signal a bit longer until someone gets killed. Let’s argue over cost.
          Why on earth didn’t another council member address the Mayor’s demeanor ?
          Call him out ! His condescending behavior toward citizens has gone on way too long. Yes, it’s a public meeting run under Parliamentary rules, but another Council member censuring the Mayor on the record is long overdue. Bob Ford – are you up for it ?

          • October 24, 2014 at 6:35 pm

            I had asked all city council members to publicly distance themselves from Green’s statement on TV that people who want to keep taxes down are “bad citizens”. Not one of them did. When we get a majority of council members in the council who are really for the people, by the people, and of the people, I will expect them to not let this mayor get away with how he treats citizens, which is different from the way he treats developers. Have you noticed that? — hank

  • October 24, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    Like God father like God daughter. Do we really need another Green on the council, I think not.

  • October 24, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    OK, I gotta ask – is this the REAL DEAL or photo shopped ?
    If indeed the real deal one needs no more definitive proof to NOT vote for Ms. Laney.

    • October 24, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      Its the real deal CC. Had tons of independent verification.
      Mrs. Gardner

  • October 24, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    That seals the deal. A vote for Laney is a vote for Green. The legacy must end. We can’t afford any more of his shannagins. Maybe he can move on to Bunnell where he would be a much better fit. Oh and please don’t forget to take Sonya with you.

  • October 24, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Has anyone read Sonya Laney’s flyer? She states that “Bob Ford is known for intimidation and his cozy relationship with poison-pen bloggers, leaving the city in shambles.” Asking citizens “Do you really want three union sympathizers on the city council when union contracts come up for negotiation?”
    “The era of Bob Ford is over”
    “A reputation of intimidation and bulling”
    “Liberal spender who claims to be conservative”
    “Friend of poison-pen internet blog squad” and many other comments
    Then she states she is an “Authority on Accountability” (did she get a degree on being an “authority on accountability” or what would make her an authority on anything?)
    Authority- the power or right to command, officials with power, influence resulting from knowledge, prestige. a person cited to support an opinion; an expert. (Webster’s Dictionary)

  • October 24, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    Chief Bob Ford is a passionate and honorable man who fights for the citizens no matter what. Sonya makes excuses and aides the cover ups and deception that has finally surfaced in the past few years. Please don’t blame Mr Ford for demanding explanations and accountability. This man is a true leader.

  • October 25, 2014 at 12:30 am

    Sonya’s employees despise her. Well at least 2. Sorry to be a nark girls…..truth is truth….watch where you speak it.

  • October 27, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I have worked with Sonya for 6 years this month and I can speak from experience that there is no one in her office that despises her, as a matter of fact, it’s quite the opposite. Sonya is a great person and as a employer she treats all of her employees with fairness and respect. She is an extremely hard worker and her ethics are beyond reproach. I think it’s quite cowardly to write something so derogatory and not use your name, especially when it hurts other people.

    • October 27, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      Ethics, I’m so tired of hearing about her ethics. What would be nice to her from Sonya is her stance on the issues at hand, and not about being a CPA.

    • October 28, 2014 at 7:39 am

      Sounds like a Warren Pike letter of reference.

    • October 29, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      Brenda I agree with you. If that is the way you find Laney, I can accept that. The problem for me is that Laney is so willing to be a team member for Mayor Green.
      I too have difficulty with some opinions which are offered anonymously. just so ya know may have good reason to post his/her thoughts without his/her real name. But then again, we can disagree with the assessment or opinion without calling just so ya know a “coward”.
      In my evaluation, because you give your name, and have worked for her for 6 years, I believe you and doubt the anonymous writer, until I hear more from anon.
      Parker worked hard and was liked by me, but he did not adequately do his job.
      Pike worked hard and was liked by many, but he failed at the minimum standard for being a director.
      Ford is for the people, and Laney is for Green and all his special financial interests.
      Alas, some people will vote on how like able a candidate is. What will be will be, and I appreciate your comments. — hank
      –thanks, Hank

  • October 29, 2014 at 2:14 pm


    • October 29, 2014 at 6:55 pm

      Jan , YOU and your fellow Crane Lakes residents need to be relentless. Show up at every damn city council meeting and use up three minutes of time. Wear them out. The squeaky wheel gets greased baby. You had a huge turnout for ONE meeting ! Bring 40 Crane Lakes residents every Tuesday. Pound em, hold their feet to the fire, don’t let it be a non issue in their feeble minds.
      I believe you have City Council support, you need to post up the Mayor and hold his fanny accountable.


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