The Gutting of Open Government in Port Orange

foia
City Manager Jake Johansson

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ted0Ted Noftall via gmail.com
Attachments10:53 AM
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It is a sad day indeed to see a News paper that features Milton’s famous quote on its mast head, report on the gutting of open government in Port Orange [New Port Orange city manager stops posting email on line ] without decrying same elsewhere in that publication.
Make no mistake the Manager’s read file provided residents with an easy and convenient venue to remain abreast of City happenings and to decide for themselves the extent to which city government was operating in an open and transparent fashion. As reported the managers e-mails were the third most visited link on the city’s web site and to suggest they were shut down to save a reported $45 per week, that will soon enough be circumvented via multiple requests from residents, requires the willing suspension of disbelief.
Neither ate these e-mails the only information being curtailed as the managers weekly calendar and monthly project and engineering reports are no longer distributed as a matter of record either.
Port Orange pioneered ‘ open government ‘ in Volusia County with live video of all Council proceedings and an open read log of all the Managers correspondence. While several local governments followed Port Oranges lead with live feed of their own proceedings, those who failed to do so did not want to encourage an informed electorate, AND anyone wishing to dispute this observation should first go ahead and explain exactly how easy it is to follow County Council proceedings from their home or place of business in audio form only. .
Open transparent government generates informed citizens who are frequently critical of the aims and objectives of government or how those aims and objectives are being implemented. It is far more likely that a desire to avoid criticism by both elected representative and the Manager alike is why the read file was taken down, and this brings us to the second distasteful aspect of this action. The Manager certainly did not take the measures he did without first consulting Council and that consultation took place in private because no such discussion ever took place in an open meeting.
Port Orange residents have been poorly served by government secrecy on far too many occasions over the past half dozen years and Manager Johansson should be seeking to expand confidence and transparency in his administration rather than stepping it backward his first month on the job.
Ted Noftall
Candidate for Mayor
City of Port Orange -2016



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3 thoughts on “The Gutting of Open Government in Port Orange

  • September 29, 2015 at 7:30 pm
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    What goes hand in hand with the gutting of transparency and open government is the suppression of open communication and due process within the organization. Civil Service rules are circumvented when convenient and employee value in not based on true ability and performance but by an employees conformity and allegiance to a suppressive and lawless party line that devalues and railroads individuals that still value their constitutional rights. The sentiment is growing among the general employees that a drastic change is needed in Port Orange special interest government and the city hall clique, and that Ted Noftall as the next mayor is becoming a viable and increasingly more attractive alternative to the retrograding corruption and incompetency that is the present city politic/management structure. From the perspective of a general employee in various categories things are getting worse and worse under the present leadership, and with the initiative to establish that continuity the future looks pretty bleak for honesty, lawfulness, recognition of true value, equanimity, and stakeholdership. I would like employees to establish a dialogue with Mr. Noftall and understand what his position is regarding the value of a top notch workforce who will be committed to long term stakeholdership in the future who are fully supportive of transparency and open governance and a commitment to true value and equanimity. A number of honest questions will be forthcoming so that Mr. Noftall will express his transparent position on various and sundry issues as well as other potential candidates and incumbents if they have the courage and integrity to openly share their positions. Good luck to Mr. Noftall and thanks for your tenacity in standing up against the corrupt incumbent culture.

    Reply
    • September 30, 2015 at 6:48 am
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      Thank you P.O.E.
      We certainly need any and all support to get Ted Noftall elected.
      We too are appalled at the new direction this city is now being taken. Back to secrecy, a closed system for the local power elite and special treatment for the well connected. If you are a friend of the mayor and among his chosen, you are golden. This city has been run for decades to feather the nests of a few selected vendors based on long standing business and professional relationships. The rest of us who are the rank and file taxpayers are shut out. Check it out…the same faces appear all the time with their hands out. Whether for political favors or contactual work. Competence not as issue. Ethical behavior not an issue. ..Just look at the various projects that have worked so badly.. Yet those same folks are repeatedly given contracts. And this closing of the read log will benefit the mayor’s favored candidates in the 2016 race. This city was used as a political arm for the mayor’s candidate in 2014. This is a strategy…and it’s working for ’em guys.
      They count on an apathetic and uninformed electorate in this city. And they make it very hard to find out what is really going on. So we are now forced to resort to cumbersome FOIA. Thank God for committed men like Pat Nelan for his tireless efforts to aid transparency in this inbred little city. God bless you Pat. A Herculean effort.
      We will get the government we demand. Look up on that dais. Only one guy up there fighting for change, Bob Ford.
      The rest want to maintain the status quo that has served them so well and for so long personally and professionally.
      We need to organize and get active. They have done that. And it’s served them well. Call Ted, call Hank or call me or Mike Gardner. We need you. We meet often and we are preparing for the coming election and it’s going to be a hell of a fight.
      Dianne Templeton Gardner
      dtgardner@cfl.rr.com
      386-527-1641

      Reply
  • September 30, 2015 at 7:05 am
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    Can’t you request this information? Since you all have time on your hands, go down to the city once a week and request the emails you all need.

    Reply

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