Could I please get a couple clear answers?

Re: Confusion, Ignorance or Deceit – Which is it Mr Manager ???         9:29 AM
From: Newton White
To: Harden, David Neff, Andrew
Cc: Ted Noftall Bob Ford Drew Bastian Green, Allen Scott Stiltner White, Newton
Reply To: White, Newton
Mr. Harden
Could I please get a couple clear answers, not involving the sorted history, but focused on today and beyond?
The EAB was given a presentation and I took the opportunity to take a tour and explanation of the system. My understanding of the above lead me to believe that:
The new 5531 standards would need to be met regardless of where and how we used discharged the reclaim water. yes/no
The solar bee aerators recently installed, the cross between pipe, and the disc filter system are intended to make the lake water suitable to discharge into the wetlands, river or back into the irrigation systems? yes/no please explain
These modifications and completion of the lake storage system if it works as designed and hoped for will serve the needs of dealing with the reclaim waste water. yes/no
Knowing that if the lake project is unsuccessful the city sanitary system will be in violation by being forced to pump into the river, and that the restrictions and permitting is tightening (for good reason). The city will be forced to design and build other means of water disposal.
These could be huge spray fields, piping it to sod farms, deep well injection (if geology permits) and under ground storage. Any of these options would have to be developed fast and be very costly at this point. Is this correct? yes/no please explain
Newton White
Chair Environmental Advisory Board

On 3/30/2015 8:54 AM, Ted Noftall wrote:
Thank you Manager Harden and Utilities Director Neff, for disclosing what
many have suspected for some time namely the whole augmented reclaimed
water system has been a colossal misdirection perpetrated on Port Orange
taxpayers by the Mayor under the pretext of restoring the river.
Even if that were his motivation, and while he has every right to commit
his own funds to such an endeavor, he had and has no such right to subvert
taxpayer funds in the obfuscated manner in which he has, complete with
the duplicitous assistance he has received from his long serving
‘engineers’ as evidenced at the last Council meeting.
While this is yet another confidence killer in the integrity of Port Orange
government I hope we will make what good of it we can – BY insuring it
the last such misdirection, AND BY insisting that meaningful transparency
be given a home in City Hall.
For that to happen we need a Manager with zero tolerance for compromised
performers be they on contract or on staff. Mr Harden you were meant to
be that manager with the time limited basis on which you were employed,
And you still have 4 solid months in which to effect meaningful change.
You were right in noting that myself and others will likely have many
questions going forward based on the admissions just disclosed, BUT for
now I only have 2 comments;
* the first is to your succinct answer to the effect that Finance does not
have any costing records for any good or service being sold in the Utilities
enterprise funds. I would ask why after a parade of 4 extremely well paid
Finance Directors over the past 1/2 dozen years do we have anything less
than a top notch accounting system complete with timely comprehensive
financials ? Who exactly has been benefiting from a confused accounting
system where nothing from nothing can ever be determined regarding anything
financial in Port Orange, And to the point what change are you going to
affect regarding this situation in your remaining 4 months ??
* secondly no one needs convincing that there will always be a cost to
dispose of sewage effluent. What is needed is an honest comprehensive
analysis of the relative costs, benefits and risks of each method of
disposal. You and Utilities Director Neff moved the needle of dead center
last Thursday and I hope you will commit to producing a much needed
discussion framework as an agenda item at Council’s next meeting on April
Again thank you for your revealing disclosures.
Ted Noftall
for responsible government – 2016


5 thoughts on “Could I please get a couple clear answers?

  • March 31, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    I did get answers from Mr. Harden. Sadly I am to say the least dismayed. I feel that I was mislead to believe that the combination of the aerators, crossover pipe and disc filter would allow the discharge of water to the wetlands or its use in the irrigation systems. It was my understanding as well as that of many others that the completion of the lakes and the other work would solve the problem of reclaim water and as I said be a model for others, and serve us through the build out of our city.
    While failure is always an option when something new and different is tried, which this concept is and was both and to the best knowledge of the people that I asked and google we have the only one of it’s kind and concept. This has been a huge misadventure, rife with literal and figurative dirt. Let us all hope that the results are better than expected.
    We should not be distracted by the past so much that we forget to look ahead that planning will likely need to be done for other disposal methods.
    Newton White

    • March 31, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      Newt, it is the same old Port Orange City Council, deja vu. Two of our present city council members told me that at a recent unrecorded meeting nothing had been discussed by a city council member about violating first amendment rights of citizens with negative criticism. The city council member who had brought up such a passionate plea to not vioate first amendment rights told me that he had made such statements.
      This will not stand. It is time to have true accountability and start naming names. Stiltner and Bastian did not tell me although I had asked about Ford’s statement on first admendment rights. Ford told me that he had made such statements.
      Newt, do you think there is any hope for truthfulness and real transparency from out Port Orange City Council? — hank

      • April 2, 2015 at 7:32 pm

        Hank, Why don’t you step up and go to the next council meeting and confront the entire council on the record about this concern you have? Best way to handle something like this is on the record and when they are all in the same room. Certainly, you of all people have the courage to do that, right?

  • March 31, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    There is a memo that was generated by Ex-Public Utilities Director Roger Smith that explains the primary purpose and function of the reuse lakes that cost tax payers approximately $20,000,000. I am sure that someone can dig up this synopsis of the project that Mr. Smith so articulately produced.
    Reuse augmentation was stated as a mere ancillary benefit of this project. Avoidance of river discharge and wetland mitigation were not even identified as the primary purpose. The fact is that the number one purpose of the lakes was to recharge the aquifer via percolation through the lake bottom into the Floridan Aquifer. This was omitted and edited from the report of the reuse system that Donna Stienebach submitted to City Council intentionally as she has always been committed to cover up for the same administration that has buttered her bread.
    Unfortunately our consulting engineer that managed this project QLHA, the City Manager, Ken Parker, and Mayor Allen Green proceeded down this path in spite of senior Public Utilities staff raising many objections. In spite of these objections they proceeded with this project and dug these lakes that were found to have about 20 feet of impervious pan clay lining the lake bottom. This pan clay has prevented percolation, which is the ability to realize the primary purpose of this project, namely the recharge of the aquifer and has exacerbated the silting effect that has elevated the TSS problem in conjunction with the vertical pumping system. If truth be told the primary purpose for these lakes will never be realized.
    Another thing is that this project was originally sold as a Regional Aquifer Management Plan (RAMP) project so that the city would be able to qualify for and obtain an extended 20 year Consumptive Use Permit (CUP) for its raw water source supplying its potable water production system. If successful, the reuse lakes would be considered a qualifying RAMP project.
    The truth of the matter is that tax payers were never informed that these lakes were not the only qualifying projects to meet the RAMP criteria and there were less costly more practical RAMP projects that we could have chosen to qualify for the 20 year CUP. This is evidenced by the initiatives our sister cities have taken and the fact that they were able to identify more cost effective and less glamorous qualifying RAMP plans to obtain their extended 20 year CUP’s. This project has however provided millions of dollars’ worth of unaccounted for dirt for construction purposes with destinations terra incognita.
    You can thank our 20 year failed project that we are spending millions of dollars of taxpayer dollars for with only marginal redemptive potential to Mayor Allen Green, Ken Parker, and our illustrious consulting engineering firm QLHA. The sad thing is that the mayor is still desperately trying to procure, establish, and sustain a management team, city politic, and future consulting engineering services that are committed to obfuscating the true history of this debacle, obscuring just how much of failure it is, and spinning it as a potential future success even though at best it will only have a minuscule potential of realizing its original purpose. This is a concerted effort to obfuscate and evade accountability.
    Just say the word if you are interested in Roger Smith’s original synopsis being posted and I am sure that someone will be more than happy to post it. By the way, Mr. Smith lived in perpetual terror of losing his job over this and was imposed upon by Ken Parker to run accountability interference for the mayor and himself. Once Parker retired Mr. Smith became fair game and was used as a scape goat. Maybe we can invoke some commentary from the Woodman chronicles who is someone who has integrity and can probably produce the most honest and knowledgeable history of what has transpired.

  • April 1, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    Straight Answers. You can’t handle straight answers !!!


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