Is Sonya & Mike really on several City Boards together ?

ted0Thank you for your kind words Dianne,
And let me say at the outset that Don Burnette have never given me any reason to suspect even for a moment that he is anything other than an honorable husband and father to his family. His pronounced Amen in an elevated voice complete with his blessing at the start of Council sessions other than those at which he has requested the clergy to perform can certainly be taken as indication that he is also a devout Christian. That is his likely persona, AND it is certainly the public persona he wishes accepted.
That being said I would hope he is disgusted with the events of Christmas day, And embarrassed not only by his close involvement with the two participants, but by their highly visible association with both the City and the CHAMBER. I would likewise hope that he did not have any knowledge of any marital improprieties prior to election day, AND I would call upon him to set the record straight in that regard.
His close involvement with Mike and Sonya, is deserving of scrutiny for another reason beyond illicit relationships, AND that is he is Council’s liaison to the CHAMBER which receives taxpayer funding and which served as the political arm for Sonya’s campaign in the most recent Council election, AND THAT IS SOMETHING, THEN VICE-MAYOR COUNCILBURNETTE WAS FULLY COGNIZANT OF.
His ready willingness to curry political favor with the CHAMBER as Sony’s wing man in their sneak attack to remove me from the Audit and Budget Advisory Board for refusing to sugar coat the incompetence that was the Kisela administration brings into question the priority he has placed on taxpayer interests relative to his own political interests. I would say Councilman Burnette has some explaining to do regarding his relationship with, and the actions of the CHAMBER.
I agree that the CHAMBER operations and its contract with the City are in need of serious scrutiny IF THAT organization is going receive continued taxpayer funding.
The CHAMBER’S closed proceedings despite receiving taxpayer funding have assisted Mayor Green mighty in corrupting Port Orange government to the very core, contributing as it has as the primary source of crony appointments to the many ‘volunteer’ boards Green controls, and to the many pocket votes he has managed to get elected to support him on Council.
If the 2 CHAMBER stalwarts from the Christmas morning embarrassment alone were dropped, I would bet 6 or 8 board positions would open up, so pervasive is the CHAMBER presence.
I am less than confident that Burnette will have taxpayer interests foremost on his mind when the CHAMBER contract comes before Council again considering the last time it was discussed the only thoughts he shared were ” No Comment “
Funny how two little words can speak volumes at times.
Ted Noftall
for responsible government – 2016

From: Dianne Gardner []
Sent: Saturday, December 27, 2014 8:16 AM
To: Ted Noftall
Cc: ‘Donald Burnette’
Subject: Re: Twas the Night Before Christmas ……
Dear Ted,
My speculation is that at least two on council at this point have found that their faith in Sonya Laney to have been profoundly misplaced. Surely this relationship just revealed was unknown to them. My guess is that folks who trusted Sonya Laney and her “judgments” would have made different choices in how they approached various issues, not the least being the ABAB board and its value to our city.
While I have often disagreed with Councilman Don Burnette over policy/issues….and he knows that…we have “talked” by email…. and certainly over how he handled the dissolution of the ABAB, I believe he is a faithful husband and devoted father. I know Don, like most of us, is appalled at what we have recently learned about former candidate Mrs. Laney’s shocking behavior.
And these events involved Mrs. Laney and a former president of the Chamber of Commerce and very high profile city board member. None of this is good for our city’s family oriented reputation. How could Mrs. Laney and Mr. Arminio sully our city so casually? Had she been elected, she would have been so badly compromised after these events came out, the council would have been unable to function. I certainly hope she is now considered to be a fully discredited future candidate for any position in this city. These events will forever follow her.
On a related topic, I certainly hope that there will be further intense scrutiny on the Chamber’s contract and that there be credible reports on what the chamber actually provides for the extensive taxpayer dollars given it. What I hope to see: more real documented efforts to assist Port Orange’s small businesses, make the chamber an open and responsive body to the entire business community and strong efforts to rebuild the US I Corridor. We need rather obviously far fewer “Mix and Mingle” events. Those apparently need no taxpayer assistance to succeed.
I short I agree with you Ted. And I am grateful that you have persisted through months of vilification. You continue, to the dismay of your opponents, to be correct in your observations of what is really going on in this city. Keep on keeping on Ted. Your tireless efforts for transparent responsive government are much appreciated.
Best regards,
Dianne Templeton Gardner


33 thoughts on “Is Sonya & Mike really on several City Boards together ?

  • December 30, 2014 at 7:04 am

    How can board members who are so publicly compromised personally continue to represent our city on various boards? Personal choices in this case have become a serious potential liability for this city…at least in my view.

  • December 30, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Ted–This latest scandal involving two prominent members of the Port Orange political “family” illustrates how far we are from any kind of real transparency in this town. Just this past October Sonya Laney and Mike Arminio were joined by fellow members of the Planning Commission–Thomas Jordan, John Junco, Lance Green, Richard Barker and Frank Crooks–in a 7-0 vote to approve an amendment to the Cypress Head/Golf Club agreements. ALL of these Commissioners are fixtures at the Chamber of Commerce and I’m not naive enough to think that they never discussed the Golf Club renovations at any of their Chamber functions. Bye-bye Sunshine.
    I recall Sonya’s tirades against you for forwarding an email that was already in the public domain to another board member and practically calling for a public hanging–for a supposed Sunshine violation. Apparently the program of inbreeding we have here in Port Orange has bred out their ability to see their own faults.
    I wonder how many people have grounds for appeal of their negative (or positive) Planning Commission rulings?
    Certainly all recent rulings have to be suspect.
    What a mess. I’m really curious how the “activists” can be blamed for this one.
    Mike Gardner
    618 Ruth St
    Port Orange, FL 32127

  • December 30, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Because of Sunshine laws do you think maybe they never discussed any city Board business while having a smoke during their Pillow Talk?
    I am sure all their Pillow Talk was not about Ted.

    • December 30, 2014 at 10:53 am

      That ‘staff’ which is to say the Manager would allow this amendment to come before the Mayor’s hand picked Planning Commission before it had been discussed by the Golf Board goes to show the extent of the back field game the Mayor has going all the time.
      It shows hows totally corrupt this ‘strong manager’ form of government we have is …. with the Mayor and 4 Councilmen all telling the Manager in private meetings what they want to have happen on a variety of issues with zero accountability for any of what is said. .
      And finally it constitutes prima-facie evidence of the royal screwing the Mayor and his cronies had in mind for Port Orange tax payers BECAUSE DO NOT FORGET that in October they all assumed that Bob Ford was destined to be defeated by the Mayor’s hatchet lady ……. And her election would thus sustain his 3-2 control of Council.
      The taxpayers of Port Orange will be for ever indebted to the voters who saw through the phony charade of Ms. Ethical CPA and her CHAMBER cronies, AND returned an honorable man to elected office in the form my friend Bob Ford.

      • December 30, 2014 at 7:27 pm

        Yes, Ted and the pseudo transparent façade of CM Harden is becoming abundantly clear and more people who exercise critical thinking and drill down in their inquiries to him. Harden has played a slick game but it has become abundantly clear to POE’s that he speaketh with forked tongue and is every bit the mayor’s boy that Greg Kisela was. He certainly made it very clear what he thinks about citizen activism and involvement in city business at a recent employee meeting in council chambers recently and displayed his consternation for the F.O.I.’s he has had to address. I think you will start seeing the read file being circumvented by him more and more and you will see fewer meaningfull responses from him in the future.

        • December 31, 2014 at 4:00 pm

          If that’s the case, and he is already disenchanted, how in the world will a permanent City Manager fare ?
          They have had two job offer candidates for director positions be offered the job and turn them down. Nobody wants to work for the city !

          • December 31, 2014 at 5:30 pm

            To concerned citizen, I think you are correct. If only Ted Noftall can be silenced some think. He was censured. Time to censure the Mayor I think.

        • December 31, 2014 at 5:32 pm

          to amazed and confused. I wish someone who is a real live person would speak to me and tell me exactly what Harden had said. Anonymous does not fly with me anymore. — hank

          • January 1, 2015 at 11:53 am

            Then simply do not respond to anonymous POE’s with inside information and be self satisfied with your sheltered delusion. Why should anyone call you, are you a legend in your own mind. If you want to disrespect the people in the trenches that stick their necks out every day and funnel much of the information to the activists who carry on the fight for open and transparent governance don’t assume that people in risky situations trust an armchair general like you as their confidant. Quit responding if you so choose and drink some more Gerotol.

          • January 1, 2015 at 2:22 pm

            To amazed and confused. I hear you. You want to silence me. — hank

      • December 31, 2014 at 5:37 pm

        To Ted : you wrote:” That ‘staff’ which is to say the Manager would allow this amendment to come before the Mayor’s hand picked Planning Commission before it had been discussed by the Golf Board goes to show the extent of the back field game the Mayor has going all the time.”
        Who presented the amendment to the Planning Commission? Was that Harden?== hank

        • January 1, 2015 at 2:54 pm

          Hank, the short answer is I don’t know. BUT by substitution I know that what is not initiated by Council or the Attorney must be initiated by the Manager and his staff.
          HOWEVER to illustrate the insanity with which this golf renovation is proceeding the Parks and rec Director disclosed in a recent Golf Board meeting that as far as she knew things were proceeding on the basis of an instruction that the disgraced Kisela had given prior to his departure back in Aug 2014

          • January 1, 2015 at 5:15 pm

            Kisela has left quite a few landmines behind when he escaped to Destin. He changed a number of things for the worse that remain and will continue because no one has the gonads to reverse what he has done. It is status quo as always. Until we identify and establish competent stakeholders within the organization instead of constantly importing hacks that make a career job of hopping and come in and try to make a name for themselves thru reorganizations, destabilizing the workforce, importing policies and procedures from past assignments, and after failing leaving a destabilized organization with additional baggage they have left behind the City of Port Orange will continue to implode. An example of this is the now interim CFO that has been declared the second coming by council but in reality brings unimaginable baggage to the organization. Right now the interim CEO and CFO have been so prematurely endorsed by the council and certain citizens that the shock from the imminent disillusionment will overshadow that of what was experience with Parker, Shelley, Kisela, and Saunders. Stay tuned for some rocky roads ahead.

          • January 2, 2015 at 11:41 am

            To disappointed onlooker POE: I hoped I am tuned in. I see you already throwing some rocks into the ring of politics and management. You may resent my questions but you asked me to stayed tuned, so I wonder if for my edification you can tell me what the specifics are of Harden “destabilizing the workforce” in his previous assignments? I would really like to know. This is not animosity towards your knowledge.

          • January 2, 2015 at 7:13 pm

            I did not specifically mention Harden as a “Hack” although he is a bird of a different color, but I think he will inevitably be responsible for importing non-transparent hacks because he takes his marching orders from on high, and the advisors assigned to him from on high. When I say on high, I do not mean divine inspiration that he receives during one of his prayer vigils, but I mean the old Port Orange political power duo and special interest. .We saw all the hacks that were imported here in the last couple of years from Kisela, and if you simply rotate them with a new set of non-transparent hacks what good does that do for transparent government and true reform? Harden is not as desperate as Kisela, and he obviously has no skin in the game, but it you think he is not the servant of the same master, and is not advised by that master’s entrenched organizational associates you are definitely not in the know. You might say that the mayor and Mr. Burnette receives an unfiltered state of the union update, but Bob Ford, Drew Bastian, and Scott Stiltner are most likely receiving edited and filtered information that is cleared through the mayor’s pseudo=transparent propaganda machine.

  • January 2, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Yes, that is cleared through the mayor’s pseudo=transparent propaganda machine via Harden!

  • January 3, 2015 at 7:52 am

    Hank… POE means port orange employee. That is why they must stay anonymous. There are several employees that post on here. Most are supplying accurate information and insight and believe in transparency in the city government and operations. A couple are part of the good OL boys group and you know where they get their marching orders from. They come on here as instigators and defenders of the mayor and the shady dealings that go on. I know who all of these people are from both sides. Most of the people that post on here anonymously or are using assumed names are city employees or political cronies. You can’t expect these people to expose themselves and lose their jobs. There is a standing threat by management if you are caught on here you are fired. When I was employed by the city I was under that threat. No one wants to shut you up they are trying to inform you from an insider perspective and are getting frustrated because you don’t seem to get it. I believe you were in law enforcement. Remember what a confidential informant is? The posts concerning comments made about activists by certain individuals you can take to the bank. I, in the past have heard similar comments in similar situations as an employee of the city. It’s a common occurrence. Management does not like to be scrutinized.

    • January 3, 2015 at 10:55 am

      The emerging observation is that Mr. Harden is very willy and particularly good at temporary damage control. He is just as adamant about silencing employees and deceiving activists as Kisela but has less to loose and a shorter time frame to perpetuate the façade. When the dirt that is swept under the rug starts to rear its ugly face, that is when he will announce his temporary assignment is up and its time to go. He will not have to look for another job elsewhere like Kisela because he will just give his notice, pack it up, and return to fixing up his Victorian mansion in Delray Beach.

    • January 3, 2015 at 10:58 am

      To R.Woodman: Thanks for the insight you provide. But you are wrong about the anonymous writers on this blog. Many of the anonymous writers on this blog are I, and I cause issues to be debated between I and myself, just for the fun of leading people astray. I am having so much fun I am laughing here and am besides myself. — hank

      • January 3, 2015 at 11:19 am

        To everyone. I think I “can get it” when an anonymous writer gives me a good clue as to where to go for back up information regarding an anonymous allegation. One anonymous writer led me to ask Harden what was said at a meeting and because Harden replied differently than what the anonymous writer knew was the truth, some anonymous writers are telling me I just don’t get it. If you don’t trust Harden , then ask me to ask him what he said about activists, aren’t you kind of being stupid, when he does not reply to me with what you think is the actual truth. Anonymous writers “don’t get it”. For thinking people you have to provide proof of your allegations. And it might help if you verify your facts by using someone else than the person you don’t trust in the first place. Anonymous writers on this blog are just one big pain in the ass, no matter what side they think they are representing.
        I started preparing an editorial yesterday about anonymous bloggers and have already asked Ted Noftal to contribute his thoughts to the issue. I was also going to ask Pat Nelan his thoughts about anonymous bloggers, but right now I am so disgusted with the sophisticated high road of alleged motivations of anonymous bloggers that I am going to abandon my editorial and not write it. It is just too annoying to go around in circles with anonymous bloggers who claim the high road of motivation and expect non skeptical judgment of their facts and opinions.
        I leave this blog now, never to return. All you so called anonymous bloggers can play with yourselves and enjoy your version of veracity, proof, judgment, opinions, perspectives and allegations. I no longer want any part in joining anonymous discussions.
        As a parting shot, in my career as CEO of 213 police officers I had confidential sources which I never disclosed. They included wives of police officers, criminals about bad police officers engaging in crime and some other minor investigations and I knew how to cover for them. What was needed was to lead me to outside information which would not directly point in their direction. That was the easy part. I do not demand that anyone join me in confidentiality it was only an invitation I threw out there and I was asked if I thought I was” some kind of legend.
        I take this personal and you can all go to hell. —- hank

        • January 3, 2015 at 12:00 pm

          Good ridence pompus ass.

          • January 3, 2015 at 2:40 pm

            Hank Springer is anything but a pompous ass. I say that as a person with whose positions he has both supported and criticized, AND you know what he did so signing his own name – something ‘So Long Its been good to know ya’ does not have the courage to do, AND Don’t even try and hint that criticizing or praising Hank Springer has anything to do with job security at the City.
            I have, and will continue to encourage publishers to publish the information anonymous writers have to share because the potential value of what some in sensitive positions, where retribution could well be likely, outweighs in my mind at least the trivia others will share, if and only if they do not have to acknowledge ownership for that trivia.
            So Mr or Ms So Long, unless you have some reasons to support your opinion I do not think this blog’s readers will have much difficulty deciding which you are, or who your political master is.

          • January 3, 2015 at 4:07 pm

            Ted, I do not agree with So Long’s post, and I think that Hank’s departure would be a loss for this blog, but I firmly disagree with his analysis of anonymous bloggers. There are many anonymous bloggers that have made immense contributions to the knowledge base that many of the city activists have acquired that have led to transparency. As a matter of fact, much of the current information that activists have acquired about the various and sundry debacles that have occurred over the past couple years were submitted to this website months before the activists became aware of them, and these posts never made it past moderation but were edited off this website.
            All of the information about Kisela was served up to this website months before it became abundantly clear to the tea party activists and never made it to moderation. That is when the general consensus was that Kisela was the next big thing since sliced bread by a number of the activists and the city politic. It was not until the handwriting was on the wall and it became abundantly clear to the tea party activists that Kisela was not forthright that the censoring of this information was lifted. At that point Kisela was free game once the activists rejected him and there was no more censoring of anonymous information that had been previously rejected. This is much the case now that preliminary information about the current CM’s hidden agendas are beginning to come to light and contradict certain assumptions that people like Hank Springer have made to the contrary.
            Richard Woodman is no longer constrained by his employment and has been able to come forth to corroborate much of the information that many of the anonymous sources have supplied in the past that was prior to the activists knowledge. Now he is saying that some of the current revelations that are not well received may very well be accurate and may reveal information presently not known or accepted by the current activists. If this is so, as it was with the past revelations that have come to pass, it would not seem prudent to pass an anathema on all anonymous bloggers and try to cut off the very source of the information that has been supplied activists to act upon in the past.
            No one is trying to discredit Hank Springer, but what is being said is that he has not been the source of all substantive revelations neither is he the clearinghouse for everyone’s credibility. He seems to be trying to invoke the consternation of all the tea party activists, especially yourself against anonymous posters because his ego has been hurt.
            I encourage Hank to continue to contribute to these important discussions but if he is going to respond to and engage anonymous posters and demand they abandon their anonymity in order to clear their credibility with him he needs to thicken up his skin and be prepared to have his ego bruised. Of course that is, if you, as an activist and representative of the tea party activists hold Hank Springer in such high esteem that you also want to pronounce an anathema on all anonymous bloggers and inside information to the extent that that source and participation forever dries up and then Hank can return to this blog and supply intellectual commentary on what he thinks he knows.

          • January 3, 2015 at 7:30 pm

            Tron, I have not pronounced nor will I ever pronounce an anathema on all anonymous bloggers which is why I said in my post above that I have, and will continue to encourage publishers to publish the information anonymous writers have to share because the potential value of what some in sensitive positions, where retribution could well be likely, outweighs in my mind at least the trivia others will share, if and only if they do not have to acknowledge ownership for that trivia.
            So Long is the chichen-shit comment we pay the price of accepting to reap the benefits of other useful information and thoughtful perspectives offered from anonymous sources EVEN WHEN we may disagree with that information and perspective.
            I have never hesitated in paying that price.
            I agree wholeheartedly that anonymous bloggers that have made immense contributions to the knowledge base that city activists have acquired But I do have a question.
            If information you and others were submitting to this website was not being published WHY didn’t you submit same to known activists anonymously ??

          • January 3, 2015 at 9:54 pm

            I suppose this is new to everyone and there is a learning curve involved. Many of the activist players were not well known at that time, and it takes time to get to know and evaluate all the players. In retrospect if anonymous bloggers were more familiar with the activists and their true agendas at that point in time I think they would have supplied more of them anonymously. I think a number of people have shared with yourself information in the past anonymously and non-anonymously. If I am in error about that I stand to be corrected. I do believe that citizens for open and transparent governance presently have many POE supporters.

        • January 3, 2015 at 12:43 pm

          That being said, I hope that this is someone impersonating Hank because I would have given the real Hank Springer more credit than to post as such. The bottom line is that you do not practice what you preach. For the most part it is you that respond to and engage anonymous posters initially. You than call into question their credibility because of their anonymity and insist that they call you and reveal themselves to you to prove themselves creditable. After calling their credibility into question they respond by saying you just don’t get it and have eyes wide shut, and then you go into a tirade like your previous post.
          For the most part your posts are good and you receive accolades from many anonymous and non-anonymous posters. The bottom line is that this is not all about you, and you are not the quintessential benchmark of truth and credibility on this blog. Anonymous posters do not have to go to you as a clearinghouse for credibility approval. If you do not want to respond to or engage anonymous bloggers that is your prerogative, but if you choose to do so don’t assume that they are going to do obeisance to you and meet your criteria and standards of credibility on demand. As far as being through with this blog and being through with anonymous bloggers, if this is truly Hank Springer don’t paint your self into a corner by making a promise that by nature you will not be able to keep. Best of luck with you and your announced bridge burning.

          • January 4, 2015 at 5:15 am

            Good comments Tron. I too have considered a pithy Nixonian “by God, you won’t have Mrs. Gardner to kick around anymore” after an occasional attack on one of my posts. Particularly when a comment seemed especially bizarre…. and I felt really wronged…was recently accused of being a supporter of gun violence against women. And the poster spelled both my first and last name wrong. How can this happen to a woman of my character and intellect? And political persuasion? And limited blog fame? I am a feminist and a long time former social worker in domestic abuse. But obviously my posts were not perceived favorably by that reader. So what? Can’t please em all. I am a woman of strong opinions and I am prone to pontification. Mike says I lecture. And I can take myself very seriously.
            Ok..I say all that to say this:
            I care about Hank Springer and his comments add to my enjoyment of this blog. And he is a thoughtful man. Hope you will reconsider Hank and return.
            Mrs. Gardner would miss you very much.

        • January 3, 2015 at 5:57 pm

          WOW Hank you have got to get back onto your medication

          • January 3, 2015 at 9:17 pm

            He has diaper rash!

          • January 4, 2015 at 10:33 am

            Come on Hanky, did we frost your little bottom and hoit your little feelings? We torry. Come back Hanky and we will all kiss your booboo and make it better. Please don’t cwy. We will put a fresh dipy on you and powder your bottom to take care of that nasty old didy rash.

  • January 3, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Hank… I’m sorry that you feel that way. I respect you and your opinions. I for one will miss reading your blogs. I hope you don’t mind if I continue to visit your website. Thank You

  • January 5, 2015 at 7:51 am

    Anonymous, anonymous II and anonymous III why don’t you all go jump in the reclaimed lakes.

    • January 5, 2015 at 8:02 am

      Yeah. Thanks KATD! Would you suggest the jumps be into the completed lake or the 2nd probably never to be completed lake?


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