Government Records Belong to the PUBLIC ! …. Not the Government or its Bureaucrats


“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.”
….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.”…
hank4Comment 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,  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 .  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
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

From Hank Springer
386 852 3178

9 thoughts on “Government Records Belong to the PUBLIC ! …. Not the Government or its Bureaucrats

  • September 21, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Sir I ask why it bothers you that people make comments and do it anonymously. Does a good opinion need to have a name attached to it, or do you want a name so you can try to find dirt on them and bash them for not agreeing with you or certain people? I find it disturbing that you want a name to attach with an opinion because after all its just an opinion. I am not here to bash you I am not saying negative things. I do know from reading this website that a handful of people named or not named tend to bully and only want things there way in this city. Not for a second do all people always want the good of the city before there own opinions. I hope that we can all get along, require everyone to do what is right by law and get along as human beings. If the city is required by law to post there emails, and not just require people to come in and request that information I hope the city does the right thing. If the law is that people have to show up and require it in person, and the city is following the law and nothing has been done wrong, I hope that people stop complaining. I also hope people don’t think that the city by not posting emails on the city run website, if its not illegal is not a being shady and is not thinking the city is trying to hide something. I know what your going to say, your going to say if they don’t post them there hiding something, to you sir I say BS it just means your not getting your way, and your upset. I also say this, and my god I mean it from the bottom of my heart. If the city of port orange is so corrupt and so miserable to live in. All money is lost and not accounted for. The Police and fire is corrupt. All city money is being spent wrong, why in Gods name would you live here!!!! I think we have a great city, I do understand that we need to keep our eye on the ball, and to be responsible. But to many times I see horrible and bully comments being made. I hope that you don’t see this and think I do not want responsible government, I do Sir, but I am tired of the negative without nice and honest solutions. To many times I see hey do it my way because I am smarter and knows what is best. Yes I understand there will be negative comments, and negative responses. I hope one day we can all sit down and learn to get along and have an open dialogue. But reading comments on here I know if I disagree with certain people I will be ganged up on and bashed, and not because I am wrong, only because I disagree with them.

    • September 22, 2015 at 5:12 pm

      Well said Concerned

  • September 23, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    The only thing they are mad about is the CM took away the playground. Any transcript you feel the need to see is available in records request. That email was being used more as an advertising platform for Ted more than anything else. I read it everyday and it was a courtesy by the city for us to read. Now thanks to you and your merry band of goofballs, I can no longer read it. Am I mad? Yes! At you for using it to promote your agenda. Just like you always do. It is not about my city. It’s always about you. I grew up here. Live here. Where you from? You will never be Mayor. And you damn sure will not use those emails to run for mayor. They have violated no law and if you think they did. Sue them.

    • September 23, 2015 at 6:20 pm

      So, why do we all suffer due to the actions of a select few ? I am in the same boat as you, read it a few times a week which kept me informed as a citizen and taxpayer. Now poof – gone. And none of our elected officials stood up for us.

  • September 25, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    Lack of transparency and forthrightness are some of the primary reasons for shutting down the read file but there is one more important reason. People that are intelligent and competent are always willing to expose themselves and communicate their intelligence and competency. They want to be open and transparent because this affords them with an opportunity to demonstrate their competency, honesty, and intelligence.
    People in high authority that have superficial credentials and the veneer of great competency, which the military is renowned for its display of, generally like to reduce their exposure to the public and avoid a forum where it will be exposed that they may be marginally intelligent with very superficial and limited competencies.
    The few non ass kissing employees that have been exposed to and evaluated this new city manager may feel that he is fairly unintelligent and lacks depth. He may appear to be a know it all that does not tolerate scrutiny or contradiction. If you inspect his resume his military assignments were many and short lived. He probably barked a lot of unquestioned orders but the duration of each of his assignments was so short that he could not have learned anything of great depth or become a stakeholder in any one of his previous assignments. What we probably have here is a dictatorial greenhorn with no private sector experience that is trying to conform his new private sector environment to that which insulated and obscured him from scrutiny and accountability in the military.
    What surprises me about our elected officials is that by allowing the read file to be removed they have effectively eliminated a performance litmus test that would have readily exposed the depth of Mr. Johanssen’s abilities or lack thereof in fielding the concerns of some highly intelligent and introspective citizens which would have expediently drilled down and tested the new manager’s mettle to determine whether he is fit for duty. Now the city council has given him a cloak to hide behind and limit his exposure if he is not intellectually up for the job. All he will now have to do to ensure his tenure is jump on the special interest bandwagon right into the mayor’s hip pocket and act as a mouth piece for special interest. It looks like people need to mobilize in the next few year’s elections and literally replace all of these clowns on the city council with honest and intelligent individuals that have no need for any special interest alliance. with an honest and intelligent council seated that will act on its fiduciary responsibility this special interest culture of corruption that lacks intelligence, honesty, and competency might be rooted out.

  • September 25, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Well said. They created the read file for transparency before Parker left because when the City imploded they swore it was all a big surprise to them and refused to take any blame as they were not informed. They are setting themselves and the citizens to get jammed up the rear end again. These idiots will never be elected again as long as they don’t run unopposed. This is the definition of insanity as one council member himself called it.

    • September 29, 2015 at 7:41 pm

      I think it is time to mobilize the troops and get behind Ted Noftall as the next mayor so he can once and for all root out the special interest clique and its corrupt managerial support system that the mayor and David Harden assembled in the past couple of years.


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