Who Really Pulled The Strings to Delete The Dunlawton Project Berm? | Anyone Care To Guess?

.PuppetMaster

Dear Mr. Jennings:
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This letter is in reference to your attached letter to David Harden, Interim City Manager and the City of Port Orange with copies to various SJRWM PEs and Quentin L. Hampton, the engineer of record on the Dunlawton Avenue Drainage Improvement project.
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Your letter references the 810 LF berm north of Dunlawton that was not constructed and goes on to say that that structure must be completed or the permit must be modified to incorporate the design alterations.
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We learned to our dismay in October 2014, after our neighborhood flooded again on 9-24-14, that there had been a berm which  was deleted and was central to the entire flood mitigation project if Dunlawton were to remain passable.  The variable being the Halifax Canal which is the game changer once it overtops its bank on the east side as it approaches and then passes the little bridge that joins Powers Avenue to Spruce Creek Road.  Water floods down both sides of that bridge, down Powers, onto Dunlawton and into our neighborhood.   Andrew Gianinni acknowledges that in his memo which I have also attached.  Last sentence in the first paragraph is underlined and very clear. It says essentially that the portion of the project that is the retention ponds, the enhanced pumping capacity and the so called weir gate cannot stand alone to stop flooding. 
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So my questions are these: how can the berm have been deleted since it was the element that would stop Dunlawton from flooding? Does that not change the all the engineering calculations and the nature of the project completely? Does it not compromise the permitting process here too?
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As I understand it, 2.9 million dollars of taxpayer money was spent to stop flooding, not just to augment reclaimed water. Water augmentation may have been achieved too as a secondary benefit, but our problem was flooding of Dunlawton, our only east/west evac and emergency route–how we and folks on the barrier islands will get to I-95 in an emergency. Or get anywhere for that matter. Hospitals, work, the grocery store, etc. 
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2nd question: how can a permit that was designed with this central element of a berm that would contain flood waters from the Halifax Canal just be “modified” apparently administratively so it can be closed out?  What about the berm?  Is this engineering or is it something else?
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Seems like money has been misappropriated and misspent on a flood mitigation project that became something else as it proceeded…we know Masci Construction was “mobilized” and was ready to proceed on the berm…..then they were stopped….by someone and for reasons we cannot get from our city…..we have posed those questions repeatedly ….but by God the project was “finished” and the contractors got paid…… and what we got on 9-24-14 was about 6 hours of rain and a project that did not work and it did not work because there was no berm.  The Halifax Canal overtopped its banks, and we flooded just like we always do.
Also I do not understand why STRWMD did not do their due diligence when the “as builts” were submitted and ask something like: hey guys, where the hell is the berm because its not here on these surveys. And how and why did it get deleted? And what is your new plan to stop flooding on Dunlawton if its not going to be a berm?   And we want our money back because you did not build what you said you would build.  I worked in construction for 10 years with my husband permitting many jobs in Port Orange.  You just did not leave out a portion of any job that would compromise its structural integrity.  And that is what happened here Mr. Jennings.  We built an airplane and just chopped off a wing.  Who knows why? Who will tell us why?
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So we are looking to you for relief on this and hoping that you will hold this city and this engineering firm of record accountable on their actions  I am 67, my husband is 63 and my mom is 92 and not well.  We expected an engineered job from our city that worked and ethical supervision from the regulatory agencies overseeing this project.  Please get us answers.
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Sincerely,
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Dianne Templeton Gardner
618 Ruth Street
Port Orange, Florida 32127
386-527-1641


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9 thoughts on “Who Really Pulled The Strings to Delete The Dunlawton Project Berm? | Anyone Care To Guess?

  • May 1, 2015 at 7:59 am
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    Let me take a wild ass guess Dianne. How about Allen Green? No one else on council even knew there was a berm to delete apparently because they were so inadequately advised by “staff” when the project was under consideration back in 2010. The elusive berm can be seen up on the monitor in the presentation Gianinni gives on 5-18-2010 at 1:00:42 into the City Council meeting.
    Council appears to have had zero understanding of how this project would have really worked to stop flooding. Other than Dr. Bob Ford, no one appears to have had a clue about the technical aspects of this project. Nor did they care to learn. Intellectual curiosity? Ask detailed questions. Too much work. But we sure spent the money.
    Our incompetent staff, city attorney, ROW agent, etc. had failed to determine that Gwen Grubbs had no claim on that land where the berm would go until like this month. Back in 2014, Gwen Grubbs, late in the project threw a wrench in the works with talk about tying up the project with litigation about her claim to the property. I believe the mayor said screw it. We got to get paid, I don’t like berms anyway so just delete the damned thing. We will just roll the dice with the next flood. Maybe the ponds can handle it if they are drained down. Pre-staging I believe Allen called it. Of course they were not drained down. More human error, Mayor. A common thread through out your terms of management in our little city. But drained down or not, Giannini says they are inadequate once the canal overtops its banks. Dunlawton was going to flood and the ponds would be inundated.
    Now I am not sure how we could get to a point late in the project and not have known we did not have clear title to build. But that is another question. One I would love to see someone on council pose to Margaret. Not part of any permitting process I have ever seen. You go through zoning first. Not sure what its called with permits like this, but zoning always comes first in construction. Can you legally build the job on the land in question? Because in the real world, if you build on someone else’s property, they will make you tear it down. Why zoning always comes first.
    Margaret Roberts has now apparently finally determined that Mrs. Grubs has no claim and we could have built the berm. About a year late with your research there Ms. Roberts. What else is new? A legal mind of the first water. Think Reclaimed lakes project here.
    So the coverup of the city’s incompetence began. Arms got twisted to delete the berm. Freddie said he “relented”. Freddie knew the berm was the critical element. Giannini said at the Workshop he was for the berm late in the project. He is still for it. Just cannot say so now. Boy. Poor old Andy really stumbled around the other night, incompletely answering questions put by Stiltner. And Stiltner failed to follow up on his own questions to get complete answers from Andy. Like: Gee Andy, when did you decide the berm was a bad idea and why? Was your engineering wrong back in 2010 then or did it some how get wrong by the time Mrs. Grubb showed up. What else would you use in place of a berm to stop flooding? Thought Stiltner was supposed to be a forensic thinker. Former LT in the PO cop shop. Pretty lame in terms of solid questioning of the “suspect”.
    Now our little quivering council, other than Dr. Ford, is terrified to move forward with a SJRWMD fully permitted berm. Berm must be ok to build guys because SJRWMD says either build it or modify your permit. Do we really think the SJRWMD is a group of careless wild eyed types who would say “build it” if they really believed there were going to catastrophic consequences up or downstream. Of course not. They know the berm is solid engineering.
    But the mayor got what he wanted. A coverup of a screw up, no berm and so much confusion and fear has been sewn that the rest of the council, other than Bob Ford, will not move forward. God forbid. They might make a mistake and be blamed for something in some mythical spot up or downstream. Apparently they have no fear of Dunlawton flooding again. Or the Powers Avenue/Ruth Street neighborhood. That is a crisis we know and understand. And hey. Its not in my neighborhood. Pathetic.

    Reply
    • May 1, 2015 at 8:53 am
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      Well said Claudette Ray.
      The only part of your rendition I would clarify is based on e-mail chatter at the time of construction Linda and Freddie and Andy and Joey Z knew that the City had a valid ROW along the canal, and that the wrench Mrs Grubs was throwing was in a failed attempt to have the City purchase her entire property. which makes Mayor Green’s manipulation to delete the berm all the more disgusting.
      The Mayor is working overtime it would seem to ensure that he goes down in history as a manipulative back room conniver fully committed to covering up the cover-up at all costs.
      . .

      Reply
      • May 1, 2015 at 11:02 am
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        Thank you Ted and Claudette. The best laugh I had had this year is watching QLH complain about how they are being unfairly criticized.
        Hey QLH no one forced you to crawl into a snake infested bed with Green, Parker, Kisela and company. You were well paid for your junk designs and ethics free contract administration as the Mayor and his crony contractors stole millions from taxpayers.
        So has always been the case when the tune is called the piper is going to be paid, and the only question is whether Andy and Freddie are going to cover for the Mayor right to the end — end of their careers that is ?

        Reply
  • May 1, 2015 at 5:34 pm
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    Where is there any documentation that Green or anyone else in the city ever spoke with the now deceased Freda Grubbs?? Who says there was ever contact with her at all?? Besides Green! Shouldn’t all city business be documented? A dead woman has been used for a cover-up for months. Shame Shame Walter Allen!

    Reply
    • May 1, 2015 at 6:01 pm
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      Hey PO Stalker
      I clearly recall Mayor Green announcing at a public council meeting several months ago saying that he personally spoke to Mrs Grubbs last year about selling her property and her claims about the berm location.
      Is that enough of a smoking gun for you or do you also need video of him meeting with Mrs Grubbs ?

      Reply
      • May 1, 2015 at 6:43 pm
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        Yes Anon…….. I clearly remember that too. That is my point. Hello??? There is absolutely no evidence that he ever spoke to her except his word. Please prove otherwise and I will humble myself. And also, how did he speak to her last year when she died in March of 2013?? HHMMM…….. Go away Anon

        Reply
        • May 2, 2015 at 8:45 am
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          Mayor Green spoke with both Freda Grubbs and her daughter Gwen. The word ‘ Mrs Grubbs ‘ is uses interchangeably to refer to both of them. Obviously Green did not talk with Freda after her death. On several occasions Green has been heard saying he spoke with ” The Grubbs “

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          • May 2, 2015 at 4:35 pm
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            FYI Gwen’s last name is McDowell and the name on the deed is Freda Grubbs. The deed is not recorded in Gwen’s name nor does it appear that it has gone through probate. But whatever…..it doesn’t really matter now that Ginninni and mayor have come up with another excuse. Oh then another excuse. Oh that’s right…… now we have even another…..40 minutes exactly…. into the berm meeting when Ginninni says that we had a heavy rainfall, while under construction of the lakes , coming close to time of installation of the berm. Didn’t we ALLEN , he said in a mouse’s voice? Rewatch. I still don’t see where he was trying to go with that. Stick with one excuse boys. Oh that’s right……can’t stick to the original because the Grubbs NEVER EVEN OWNED THE PROPERTY. There was evidence of that all along, right up the street at our county courthouse. Mayor Green has never at one meeting said the Grubb’s. He has referred to Mrs. Grubbs. Take notice ….Grubbs is spelt with S at the end. You for sure can make an excuse sir. I see why you stick will your own kind.

  • May 1, 2015 at 5:36 pm
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    It seems to me that criminal activities have been perpetrated against the citizens of Port Orange for many years. Proving them may be difficult because our sneaky reptile of a Mayor has carefully covered his tracks. Can’t wait until he is out the door. He has made himself a very rich man on the backs of the taxpayers.

    Reply

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