Did 3 City Councilmen Meet In Secret With City Manager To Put The Lights Out on the Public's Right-To-Know?

Did the City Manager violate Florida law by meeting one-on-one in secret with councilmen to carry a public policy message?

ted0Ted Noftall <Ted@tednoftall.com>
10:59 AM (1 hour ago)
to Henry, Jake, Bob, don, Drew, Mayor, Scott
Good morning Hank,
To be perfectly clear Manager Johansson’s action to severely curtail City residents ability to easily and conveniently understand the extent to which Port Orange government is operating in an open and transparent fashion should be a firing offense. Governments under our Declaration are clearly set up for the benefit of the people — not for the convenience of the Manager and his staff, AND for me this point is non-negotiable.
Sadly any reprimand much less a serious one is un-likely because our City Council has been co-opted by virtue of their willingness to have discussed this matter with Johansson in secret. We will never know for certain all that was said in those 5 secret silo conversations but this much we can discern with great certainty.
1) Johansson was embolden to take the action he did by at least 3 members of Council.
2) Those members of Council who were comfortable with turning back the clock on ‘ open government ‘ in Port Orange are equally capable of lying about what they said in secret after the fact. ( as we will likely witness tomorrow evening, and as you recounted in another instance in your e-mail below ).
That a newly hired Manager and at least 3 members of Council who were elected to represent the interests of the people would conclude those interests are best served by turning back the clock on ‘ open government ‘ given Port Orange government’s recent history of lies and confused explanations must not be allowed to stand.
Mistrust in government and questioning its aims and efforts have been at the heart of Americanism since the time of our Declaration and well before. Confidence in all levels of government are at historic lows and that is a good thing because it is signaling rejection of simple blame the messenger explanations that likely do more harm than good in that they fail to consider the real cause of that confidence decline and what needs to happen to reverse that trend.
The more likely cause of the decline of confidence in our institutions is the people’s greater ease in understanding ( and disagreeing with ) how government works and what it is working on through FOIA information dumps readily obtained in the e-mail age.
That trend is not likely to abate any time soon, and the solutions needed for confidence restoration in Port Orange include embracing not rejecting ‘ open government ‘ through the establishment of:
* meaningful responsibility and accountability,
* transparent comprehensive financial reporting and budgeting, and
* an open and honest dialogue on all government activities AND in particular on those outside of the core function of government and on which there is not widespread support.
Unless Council or the Manager object to one or more of those solutions there should be no effort to turn back the clock on ‘ open government ‘ in Port Orange.
Ted Noftall
Candidate for Mayor
City of Port Orange -2016

From: Henry Springer [mailto:poimages@outlook.com]
Sent: Monday, September 21, 2015 12:45 AM
Subject: bumper stickers advertising Pat Nelan’s web site
vehicle bumper stickers for the citizens of Port Orange to get the real news of city hall by going to the web site https://port-orange.us/ — HANK SPRINGER
September 21, 2015Port Orange City Council
“Unfortunately, such transparency advancements are the kind of good-government reform that is routinely greeted with opposition. You see, wherever there’s government, there’s a politics-as-usual crowd – some call it the Good Ol’ Boy system – which stands in the way of reform. There are bureaucrats, lobbyists and career politicians who prefer the status quo. They neither seek nor accept change, because they get their power from the current system. They view any attempt to reform government as an intrusion onto their turf.”

Why Government Transparency is Important

….Johansson said in the council interviews that he subscribes to a “trust but verify” form of management, and sees citizen participation as a “necessary evil” of leadership, elaborating that he tends toward what he describes as “strategic communication.”… http://www.news-journalonline.com/article/20150711/NEWS/150719878/101042/NEWS0401?Title=Port-Orange-picks-new-city-manager
Comment by Hank Springer
I have read rumors that the new City Manager is restricting information being released to the general public by not posting all the e mails which are sent to the City Manager of Port Orange, and not posting e mails, letters, and documents sent by the City Manager to others.
I imagine the intent is to make less accessible to the public the workings of the city manager’s office and to not provide a forum for citizens’ concerns on the city web site.
I remember watching a former city mayor applauding the efforts of a Daytona Beach News Journal reporter who did not report a rumor of a city council member accepting a bribe or bribes but allowed the former Mayor to handle the problem, secretly and privately. The city council person reportedly resigned when confronted with the allegations by the former Mayor, and the bribery issue to my knowledge was never reported by the Daytona Beach News Journal.
It would seem to me that a renewed attempt to thwart negative opinions and criticism has returned to the city of Port Orange under the leadership of the new City Manager, Jake Johansson. Perhaps the city manager might respond to this issue and clear the air.
There recently was a management meeting of some sorts which had not been recorded, consisting of all the members of the city council in which in some way a discussion had touched on the issue of handling public criticism of Port Orange City operations. A member of the city council came to my residence and lied to me that no city council member at that meeting had spoken out against such an attempt to in any way stifle citizens’ negative opinions. In direct opposition to the lie, a city council member told me that he had “passionately” spoken out against any attempts to stifle citizens’ negative opinions and criticism.
On his radio show, Marc Bernier had described Port Orange activists as “nuts”. Or perhaps he only meant Ted Noftall, I forget.
The Daytona Beach News Journal had reported years back that the city of Port Orange sent POFD members, some of them members of the fire union, to Louisiana to a Space Cadet vacation seminar, paid by the city of Port Orange out of money profits from the city’s flu vaccination, a fund which had not been properly recorded in City Records. It was a blogger on my web site, who brought the financial mismanagement to light, and not the Daytona Beach News Journal.
It is my opinion that we can no longer in America and in Port Orange trust the professional institutions to bring the truth and reality to the citizens of America and Port Orange. Is this not clear to us all from watching the GOP disruption among their candidates? Is this not clear to us that when Councilman Burnette found fault with the chairman of the citizen budget and finance advisory board for the city of Port Orange, that in lieu of terminating the chairman of that board the city council decided to terminate the entire 7 member board?
The national chamber of commerce is responsible for much of this nation’s woes. Here in Port Orange I see the tendency to stifle negative criticism being promoted by the Port Orange Chamber of Commerce. It is a business network of outreach to protect the status quo in Port Orange and the interests of special financial groups and people. That is my opinion.
I am old and tired of seeing our governmental institutions using tax payers’ money to stifle public dissent, negative opinions and criticism. Even the Pope is accused of once aiding the government in arresting two Jesuit priests in Argentina, which priests were speaking out for the poor of Argentina and broadcasting negative opinions about the Argentinian government. Among all the crises which had come to top administrators in Port Orange City Government, one solution was to call in the clergy to obtain God’s stamp of approval of our Port Orange City Government and council, by starting city council meetings with a prayer.
Pat Nelan’s web site, https://port-orange.us/ is this city’s leading news web site for publishing negative criticism and opinions about Port Orange City Hall. My only complaint is that the negative criticism and opinions are allowed to be published with anonymous authorship .I am told that people have jobs and careers to protect.
I do not know how, but I wish that more citizens in Port Orange can be informed to read the web site https://port-orange.us/ . Many do not know what has been going on in Port Orange government and what is still going on in Port Orange politics and business affairs. How do we reach those uninformed voters?
Is it possible to start some kind of publication of city hall news which can be mailed to every citizen in Port Orange? I imagine that would be expensive.
For a starter, perhaps we can make up vehicle bumper stickers for the citizens of Port Orange to get the real news of city hall by going to the web site https://port-orange.us/
Unless we hear otherwise from Mr. Johansson about his strategic information plans or from the lame city council, I think this recent change in city hall policy to not post city manager’s information on the city web site, should be challenged, and met with citizen journalists’ efforts. If I can be of help, let’s talk.
Sincerely – hank springer
Posted 1206 am 9 21 15 http://www.popdradiolog.com
From Hank Springer
386 852 3178

18 thoughts on “Did 3 City Councilmen Meet In Secret With City Manager To Put The Lights Out on the Public's Right-To-Know?

  • September 21, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    Mr. Noftall, if laws were broken is there a way a lawyer can be contacted and an official report be made? I am sure that if a law was broken, that any lawyer would take that case!! Mr. Springer, are you saying the city is breaking the law and making information not available, or are you saying your upset they are not posting emails on there city website? Is that a violation of public records act? Is the city required by law to post there emails? Or can the city wait for people to show up and request the information in person and get what ever they want? Is the city required by law to post all emails on there city website? If they are I hope someone gets a lawyer and takes this to court. I do not know the laws that is why I am asking. If they are breaking the law I hope there is some way we can fix it.

    • September 22, 2015 at 8:37 am

      I am not sure if any law is actually broken but I am pretty sure that the new city manager has either Knowingly or ignorantly disobeyed a council resolution regarding the public access to the read file. The responsibilty of our elected officials is to set this city manager straight and if he does not obey then fire him for insubordination. We will see at the council meeting tonight if the council will fulfill their fiduciary responsibility to their constituency or if it will be empty rhetoric and whitewash as usual.

      • September 25, 2015 at 1:05 pm

        Nope, they are all on board with him.

    • September 23, 2015 at 5:12 pm

      Are you mad that you and others can no longer get free advertising for your agenda? That email strand was used more by you and others to attack and promote your agenda more than anything else. You cannot expect to use the city’s website to run for mayor. If people cannot see your rants on there you might become unknown. And they are hiding nothing. You will just have to go actually get them from the records department where they are available just like all the city’s records. Those are emails sent from citizens and others that have legitimate issues. You and other activist load it full of crap. No violations there guys. Get a lawyer if you think so. They also get hundreds of complaints a day on citizens connect…You want those published daily also. Wonder what that would cost? We should hire a person ($) to spend everyday just to make you happy. What about the mayor’s emails? Councils emails. Why are you so concerned with one person’s emails??? Because it was your playground. I am glad they burnt your playhouse down.

  • September 23, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    This is hilarious…I bet ya all these comments against Ted and the activist come all from the same IP address. Come on Pat…….are they all from the address of Arminio. I have Sonya’s. Let’s share.

  • September 24, 2015 at 8:50 am

    LMAO, I don’t hide behind a psuedonym.

  • September 24, 2015 at 9:44 am

    My question is did he meet with these council members individually or as a group? From what I understand and correct me if I am wrong the CM can meet with a councilman and discuss issues or answer questions or give input to things coming before the council. he can not tell any other councilman what has been said to him by other councilman. If this is what has happened then no law has been broken. Do we know if he spoke to all of council or just 3?
    This is exactly what you get when you bring someone in with no Public Government experience, but this is what you wanted! NO ICMA ties, and not a retread. Military is built on secrets, and you have someone who is retired military trying to operate in the open. It just doesn’t happen.

    • September 24, 2015 at 10:08 pm

      Great questions “Mr or Ms Question ”
      First of all I advocated for a person with an accomplished private sector background who by definition would not have ICMA ties or be a ICMA re-tread.
      Johansson has zero private sector exposure, and he appears to have integrated all to well with the other ICMA managers in the area. So he is hardly what I ” wanted ”
      The problem with secret meetings and conversations with Council on matters before them is two-fold.
      1) Such meetings violate the ‘open government ‘ requirement affording the people the political right to not only see decisions being made but to see the basis on which they are made,
      2) Conversations with multiple members of Council may or may not be in violation of State statute ‘ depending on what was said ‘ which by definition only the participants know and they are hardly going to report themselves for possible violation.
      My expectation is that a Manager with greater ” Public Government experience ” is more likely to abuse points 1 and 2 above as they strive for unanimity in Council votes.
      Based on Ford’s objection and 4 dirty dog reactions from Burnette, Bastain, Stiltner and Green at Tuesday evening’s Council meeting I would conclude that Johansson polled all 5 members of Council and 4 encouraged him to scuttle the Managers Read File.
      Johansson has set ‘open government’ back a decade in his first month on the job in Port Orange.
      Ted Noftall

      • September 25, 2015 at 12:19 am

        I have been skeptical about some of Ted Noftall’s polarized positions and delivery in the past and have expressed no small criticisms and questionings about some of his positions but after the last council meeting I would vote for Ted Noftall as mayor in a heartbeat. The last council meeting was an extreme indictment of the moral destitution of the mayor, the city council, and the administrative management team that David Harden has put in place. The new city manager has solidified this moral destitution.
        I see commander Jake as one in the similitude of the military commanders in Afghanistan military bases that court marshals enlisted military heroes that intervene on military bases to try and protect kids when Afghans trained to fight against the Taliban rape 12 year old boys on U.S. military bases. The commanders order the military heroes to look the other way when their trainees sodomize children on military bases because it conflicts with their primary mission. Jake fired Cindy Riviera’s son without due process as part of his mission and has also delivered a mortal blow to open and transparent governance in Port Orange. The council has given their assent to this even though it was contrary to an existing council resolution. Even Bob Ford has for all practical purposes given his assent to this and thought that a few symbolical votes would preserve his manhood and integrity in the eyes of his constituency.
        Oh by the way the eleventh hour decision to allow Alan Rosen to disrespect the city by not wanting to become a resident and still be eligible for his $20,000 dollar raise with Ford’s assent that Federal Law dictated this. Give me a break, you all procure a Christian preacher to bless your folly and then you make allowances for Rosen you do not even make for all the employees who are Christians that are compelled to work on the Christian Sabbath according to their beliefs. He cannot create a spark with his automobile ignition to drive to the temple during Sabbath. Does that mean he does not watch television (high voltage unit), answer his cell phone, turn on a light bulb or any electronic device, or set his heater/air conditioner thermostat to ignite its control circuit? Is he exempt from emergency management during hurricanes, being incommunicado from Friday 6 P.M. to Saturday 6 P.M. every week and have no fiduciary responsibilities to the taxpayers that pay his six figure salary during this time every week? Did the city council provide him with the sole exemption of this council resolution and no other employee so that he would qualify for his $20,000 dollar raise in a couple of weeks? Did all the city council conspire to sell their souls at the recent shade meeting?
        I am one hundred percent in to support Ted Noftall for our next mayor and hopefully a number of extremely honest city employees that will be retiring from their city employment out of disgust will run for city council in the next few years and hopefully if they are successful they might finally clean this special interest cesspool up in Port Orange and purge our beautiful city of all of this insidious bad karma.
        Bob Ford was the great white hope but he is not much better than the rest of his fellow rats and likes to contact people and cry on their shoulders and then contradict himself on the Dias in the spirit of political correctness commending the same devils within the city that have created the very situations he weakly protests. This is sad because Bob has a vestige of decency but he eventually sells out to his demonic colleagues.
        I will say that we need to ensure that Ted Noftall is elected as the next mayor and that hopefully a number of very honest retired employees that are very wise to all of the internal corruption and are somewhat more moderate than Ted yet stalwart in their convictions will be elected to council and expose how deep the corruption is in city hall and methodically root it out. In that day their will be no special interest, no kick backs, no business monopolies, no railroading of opposition, and no opposition to transparency. The mayor, the rest of council, special interest, and the new city manager has effectively attempted to shut down the potentiality of this happening.
        Pat Nelan’s blog and our financial support of it can force that transparency and posting of all the city manager’s emails here. I am surprised that these FOI’s that Pat received are not posted here yet. I hope that the cyber attack on this website yesterday was not an attempt to intimidate Mr. Nelan and threaten him not to pursue the posting of these emails on this site. We need to step up and financially support the endeavor to force transparency exercising our rights under the U.S.A. Constitution.

        • September 25, 2015 at 9:12 pm

          Thank you for your warm words of support for my candidacy. I hope you and others will join in making my campaign a reality.
          I can appreciate your trepidation and perhaps the trepidations of others in supporting some of my ‘ polarized positions and delivery ‘ I realize they are frequently strident and always devoid of political correctness, as I decided long ago that if I could not win this race telling the truth I certainly would not be winning it by telling half truths which are little more than lies.
          Your rants born of observations from the inside the organization and mine from an outside vantage each confirm that Port Orange government is indeed morally destitute, AND I would add that at best it vacillates from inconsistent to degenerate and where it is not incompetent it is corrupt.
          Anyone harboring any reservations regarding the veracity of these observations have only to watch Council’s shameful failure at the Sept 22nd meeting to object to the Manager decision to gut the decade old political right of residents to easily and conveniently read his e-mails to determine for themselves in just how open and transparent a fashion Port Orange government is operating.
          The fight that has been enjoined with the opponents of ‘ open government ‘ in Port Orange can only be won in the sunshine and I support your suggestion to financially support transferring the open governments e-mails of the Manager and others to this web site port-orange.us
          Ted Noftall

  • September 24, 2015 at 9:53 am

    But you did hide behind Sonya when Bob had a gun. Remember?

  • September 24, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    So let me get this right. Adultry is ethical. Some people should take a look in the mirror. What do you think we all see? Are we all stupid? Perhaps you should wake up and go hide in the closet. LMAO

  • September 24, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    You mean like you hiding behind a bs alias. No, like I said, I don’t Hide or hide behind an alias. Maybe one day you’ll get to experience that happen to you. Or with the kind of asd you are, you probably already have. You want to discuss this man to man, or woman whichseems more like it, I’m not hard to find

    • September 25, 2015 at 1:10 pm

      Wow such anger. We sure don’t want this guy on any volunteer boards or in elected office.
      He is showing somewhat aggressive and violent tendencies.

    • September 25, 2015 at 10:32 pm

      Mike, I was one who did not support high moral comments about the triangle problem among you, Sonya and her ex. That being said (LOL) I am suspicious of Sonya’s attempts to further the animosity with Noftall and Dianne by urging the new city manager and the city’s attorney to pursue some kind of investigation of comments made some time ago about Sonya’s ethics. Although I think she has a right to still resent comments about her moral ethics, I am suspicious that they are brought forth now with a city manager who has a policy of “stragetic communications” and at a time when Noftall is preparing a campaign to run for Mayor of Port Orange.
      I am sorry, but the timing of Sonya’s defense of her ethics ,although her right, is fraught with more special interest animosity towards the evil activists or something like that.
      For the record, I too have problems with anonymous postings. Please follow my new face book page https://www.facebook.com/portorangeareanews — hank springer

  • September 25, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    Mr. Arminio I certainly was not speaking to you personally. I asked for all to take a look in the mirror. What did you see? Your anger should be with yourself. I hope someday you have the opportunity to meet your maker as must of us hope the same for ourselves. Politics is a dirty game. Once they get the key to your skeletons you’re done. Just follow the presidential race and maybe you will learn a lesson or two. I wish you the best.

  • September 26, 2015 at 5:43 am

    Am I missing something here? Looks to me like Mrs. Gardner was involved in one email forward with her opinion, a first amendment right, about a situation she deemed to have serious implications for an electorate she saw as being misled by a former candidate who positioned herself as the “ethical” choice. Ad nauseam.
    AND, Mrs. Laney has from the outset, repeatedly used city emails to attack her opponent with vicious charges, all the time knowing they involved 20 year old frivolous lawsuit. She asked city staff to do “research” on this issue under the guise of wanting to lay rumors to rest. Beyond cynical and manipulative. She had a former mayor stand up and do more on that topic during a council meeting. Mrs. Laney’s has harangued Kisela, Harden and now Johansson about pursuing some kind of action over her perceived grievance. If anyone is costing the city time and assets, it’s Mrs. Laney.
    Certainly the facts surrounding what happened Christmas Day 2014 and no doubt had been going on for months during that campaign speak for themselves. Anyone who wants to review that police report and the 911 call made by Mrs. Laney’s “boyfriend” as he described himself will be edified.
    When one chooses to become a public figure, inferences will be drawn about personal behavior. And policy positions. Although Mrs. Laney did not run her campaign on substance. She used innuendo and character assassination as her campaign method.
    Is Mrs. Laney a wronged victim? Certainly someone was wronged in this scenario. My perspective is that it was the grieving older husband who vigorously supported this woman throughout her campaign, the electorate who certainly was not clear on the package being sold to us as Sonya Laney and the taxpayer. Rank favoritism was shown Mrs. Laney in the use of taxpayer subsidized entities, including the Chamber of Commerce.
    Professionalism and decorum? Please. Give us a break here.
    So lets tally up the real costs here. And see who owes the city what.

  • September 29, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    To describe something as “Orwellian” is to say that it brings to mind the fictional totalitarian society of Oceania described in George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.
    In Orwell’s novel, all citizens of Oceania are monitored by cameras, are fed fabricated news stories by the government, are forced to worship a mythical government leader called Big Brother, are indoctrinated to believe nonsense statements (the mantra “WAR IS PEACE, SLAVERY IS FREEDOM, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH”), and are subject to torture and execution if they question the order of things.
    The word is sometimes used to describe a particularly anti-libertarian government policy, but it is also sometimes used to describe the peculiar, nonsensical thought process behind Oceania’s social structure–a thought process in which ideas that are obviously self-contradictory are accepted as true based on the fact that an authority figure is asserting them.
    The Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind program (which is unfunded and therefore technically leaves children behind) and Clear Skies Initiative (which weakens anti-pollution regulations and therefore technically makes skies less clear) are often cited as examples of Orwellian policies, but so are London’s omnipresent surveillance cameras and North Korea’s patriotism indoctrination camps.
    The best way to understand what does and does not constitute Orwellian policy is to read Nineteen Eighty-Four itself. Secondhand descriptions of Oceania do not do justice to the oppressive, mind-wracking atmosphere described in the novel.


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