Questions about policies and procedures at Cypress Head Golf Course Restaurant/State of Florida Health Inspections

Port Orange needs to pursue Excellence ratings in Food Safety

From: Dianne Gardner
To: Don Burnette ; Bob Ford ; Drew Bastian ; Allen Green ; David Harden ;
Cc: Robin Fenwick
Sent: Friday, January 23, 2015 4:23 PM
Subject: Questions about policies and procedures at Cypress Head Golf Course Restaurant/State of Florida Health Inspections
Dear Manager Harden, Mayor Green, Vice Mayor Bastian, Councilman Ford, Councilman Burnette and Councilman Stiltner:
After recent revelations about management failures at Kemper Sports and the City of Port Orange regarding State of Florida health inspection reports, I would like to respectfully pose questions to you and council about what has just been found to exist at our Cypress Head Golf Course Restaurant.
I believe these are very likely questions any private sector employer would be asking in a similar situation as they tried to figure out what went wrong. My questions:
How did it happen that the city’s contract administrator was not advised immediately that there were issues with State of Florida Health inspections?
When was the first failing State health inspection report received by local Kemper management? Who received the initial report? Who else at the restaurant knew that these poor practices existed, were recurring and were being documented by the state in these reports?
Does Kemper offer specific documented training for new hires in all departments, especially food handlers? Was any employee either at the Golf Course or the city pressured to keep quiet about these infractions? Does Kemper provide a “safe” environment where people can acknowledge mistakes or a lack of understanding on policies and procedures or advise that they know things are being done improperly without fear of reprisal?
Was any documented corrective action taken by Kemper’s local management to stop these problems from recurring? Who has those records? Can they be published?
What about associated costs of this poor food and beverage handling? Spoilage, waste, loss, theft, etc. Were those costs tracked in any meaningful manner? Who has those records? Was any of this being driven by employee turnover? If there was excessive turnover, why was it occurring and did the city know about it?
Did anyone at Kemper Corporate know about these infractions? Has this kind of thing ever occurred at another venue run by Kemper Sports? If so, what was Kemper’s remedy and what corrective action was taken by that host city? How was that city made whole by Kemper in terms of guarantees against further failures like these as well as damage to that city’s reputation as a good steward of taxpayer assets?
What is our exposure as a city if someone is made ill from bad food at the Cypress Head GC Restaurant?
Did local management at Kemper feel constrained to bring “bad” news to the city? Certainly one could argue that there has been a “shoot the messenger” mentality in place for decades in this city. In all fairness, I would have been hesitant had I been in Kemper’s place.
And if that might be the case, what else do we not know about the entire operation over there?
In my opinion, all these questions speak to our seeming inability as a city to “manage the manager”. We seem unable to “inspect what we expect”. And not just in this instance. Sadly, this is just one more on a list of city projects or venues where we failed to follow substantive protocol.
But certainly in this instance, we have a clear demonstration of why we should get out of the restaurant and bar business and turn it over to a private sector professional who really knows what they are doing. Rather obviously, neither Kemper nor the city had the expertise to handle these issues. Or maybe there are other factors at work. Whatever the reality, the taxpayer has a right to know the full truth. So at this juncture, I am hoping for a full and transparent report from you as our city manager and fiscally responsible thoughtful action from our council.
Please delay these renovations until we have a true understanding on how our facility is being run. Trust in our onsite management is critical.
And finally…I hope that you and our council will now seriously consider true private sector options for this golf course and certainly for this restaurant and bar.
Thank you.
Dianne Templeton Gardner
618 Ruth Street
Port Orange, Florida 32127

3 thoughts on “Questions about policies and procedures at Cypress Head Golf Course Restaurant/State of Florida Health Inspections

  • January 24, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    My friends,
    I am concerned and embarrassed by the bad inspections, these conditions are very easily corrected. I work with food safety rules everyday in my job and have been certified as a professional food service manager, both for my job and carried the certification to my charity work. I have walked with state inspectors through countless inspections over the years. You are only as good as your least trained and vigilant employee. I would not be afraid of eating there any more than I am any where I dine. I inspect for my self is the hot food hot, is the food fresh or reheated are the cold items cold or have they made it up to room temperature is the place clean. Food borne illness is no joke and if I shared the statistics and common causes of it you like me would be suspicious of every place you eat.
    The worst part of this issue is not the failed inspection, and the fix is not cleaning out the kitchen and training retraining the operators in food safety.
    The portion that is most concerning is the concealment of the reports and why it was not mentioned in Kemper’s evaluation report. Did the Parks and Rec department or the managers office know of the reports? If so why wasn’t council at least briefed so that they are not blindsided as they were last Tuesday. It begs to question what other bad news has been withheld from the city management and/or our council members.

    • January 24, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      I agree Newt. The secrecy seems to approach the likes of stifle of information in N. Korea. See Secret State of N. Korea on netflix. Suggestion to Mayor Green, pass an ordinance like the laws they have in N. Korea and forbid getting your medication from your dr. after 9 pm in Port Orange, and forbid blogs that entertain anonymous comments.
      Obama and his financial extensions to starting talks with Iran is like the city council and the Halifax Paving not fulfilling their obligations since 2005, even with a million dollar bond over construction company head.
      This city council is a collection of pansies. Did they think we would not notice.
      You Newt see some reform taking place. Are they in the important financial matters? The Mayor and his special interests still control the financial documents of Port Orange City Hall. — hank

  • January 24, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Kemper has no equity in this deal. They have nothing to lose – aside from this contract which they can then merely walk away from if dumped.
    Our leaders are naive to believe all that is given to them in the form of a written report / evaluation form from Kemper.
    These guys find it east to say NO to waiving fees for use of a city facility or NO when a common citizen has a water bill issue. But then in much larger issues, that affect the entire community they struggle.
    I want to give it at least through March 2015 to see if this new Council meshes and can accomplish anything. I was high on Bob, Drew, Scott but we still may struggle.


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