Putting the Band Back Together–Return to the Good Old Days

The last City Council meeting was scary for anyone concerned about open and transparent government in Port Orange–scary not for what was said but for what was not said.

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Among the items brought before Council for their approval were two studies for the Public Utilities Department that totaled close to $1 million!  They were listed under the “Consent Agenda,” meaning they were destined for approval with no discussion, no presentation by staff, no nothing.  Had it not been for citizens in the audience asking that they be pulled from the Consent Agenda and discussed in an open forum a million dollars would have been spent with a bobble of the heads.  As it turned out both items were tabled until a workshop can be held on their necessity.  One poor fool in a red shirt asked how they could vote on this stuff when the agenda packet did not even include the info necessary to know what they were voting on–see video clip below.

The answer, of course, is that Captain Jake had already prepped the Council members with what he wanted them to know well in advance of the vote.  The public was placed on a need to know basis and they apparently needed to know very little.  When it turned out that Council didn’t know, either, what they were voting on, the motion to table the items allowed everyone to save face.

Ken Parker was a master at orchestrating votes like these and Manager Johansson obviously shares the same management style.  He has already removed the manager’s read file from public view and now wants to revert to selling his agenda to Council behind closed doors.  It’s certainly an easier task for the Councilmen to just trust the manager to make the right decisions rather than have to educate and inform themselves on all the issues–but that can blow up in their faces when the manager screws up.

Maybe we should just elect a City Manager and give him a rubber stamp?

5 thoughts on “Putting the Band Back Together–Return to the Good Old Days

  • October 22, 2015 at 8:34 pm
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    This is basically the same training the tax payers were stuck paying for in Finance during the Kisela/Saunders debacle.
    End Coercive Persuasion & Mind Control
    Coercion: compelling people to act or think in certain
    ways through the use of pressure, threats or intimidation.
    Coercive Persuasion (© 1999)

    Reply
  • October 22, 2015 at 10:45 pm
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    What if I reminded you they voted for this in the budget?

    Reply
    • October 23, 2015 at 10:40 am
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      From: Ted Noftall [mailto:Ted@tednoftall.com]
      Sent: Friday, October 23, 2015 10:38 AM
      To: Pat Nelan (port.orange.us@gmail.com); ‘Henry Springer’; Barbara Petersen
      Cc: Jake Johansson (mjohansson@port-orange.org); Bob Ford (rford37@cfl.rr.com); don@amlsfl.com; Drew Bastian (db2070@cfl.rr.com); Mayor Green (agreen@port-orange.org); Scott Stiltner (sjstiltner@cfl.rr.com)
      Subject: Don’t further weaken Sunshine in Port Orange
      Good morning all,
      Government in the Sunshine in Florida holds two promises
      1) The people get to see their elected representatives vote.
      2) They get to see the basis on which those votes are made
      Both elements are required to be followed if Sunshine is to be meaningful.
      Some city and county managers were and are masters in avoiding that 2nd provision through secret conversations with their respective Council members, many times with developers present. After the last Council meeting it was more than a little apparent that Manager Johansson is seeking to follow their lead. And while it would be nice if Managers placed greater fidelity to Sunshine than to making their jobs easier that is likely wishful thinking, AND besides managers are not elected to represent the people.
      Elected representatives participating in secret conversations with the manager and others however, should not be returned to office until they better understand the law they have sworn to uphold, AND FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO OBJECT – Go ahead and explain exactly what is being discussed in secret that is not being discussed in public, and If you advise that it is all being discussed in public than what is the need for the secret meetings to begin with.
      And as for the old lament that State representatives can talk among themselves so why can’t city and county councilmen do the same — the answer is the procedural safeguards protecting citizens rights are vastly different. In Tallahassee every law must make it out of several committees in both House and Senate with public participation, pass an identical language floor vote in both Chambers, and be signed into law by the Governor.
      In Port Orange, Ordinance language may be developed at the insistent of the 1st reading / vote with zero time for public consideration, AND may be further changed at the insistent of 2nd reading / vote if the change is deemed minor, and where that is not the case we are invariably treated to ‘ no comments here this is a 2nd reading’
      To further weaken that kindergarten-ish weak process with secret meetings such that the people can never know for certain the basis on which decisions are being made is both detrimental to the process of self government and an insult to their intelligence.
      Individual elected municipal representatives should only agree to participate in private discussions with the manager and others , on the condition that such discussions take place in an open door venue where any concerned resident is free to attend and observe.
      I would encourage our current council members to implement such a policy for themselves beginning today.
      Ted Noftall
      Candidate for Mayor
      City of Port Orange -2016

      Reply
  • October 30, 2015 at 11:38 pm
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    Thanks to the one poor fool in the red shirt I decided to do some research on my own. And this is what I found.
    Pay specific attention to the sections under the link that is provided below. Mr. Neff has a record of 4 year careers loaded with nothing but overpriced consultant fees and heads for the door after 4 years of collecting 6 digit annual salaries while the taxpayers foot the bill. It takes a few years to complete millions in studies. He has worked in the past with some of the consultants that he has ushered into Port Orange. Looks like a band of travelling gypsies. Tuck in your wallet and lock the back door. He appears to be the master of the Million Dollar Study. They last long enough for him to deploy a golden parachute and move on to hire consultants at his next assignment. And wouldn’t the consultant that provided the previous Master Plan already have enough data to simply update the old one for a fraction of the cost? A little common sense and the old sniff test go a long way. Let’s do our homework people.
    https://www.marioncountyclerk.org/_files/Minutes12180710903am.pdf
    Contracts & Agreements/Utilities – (6.E.16.)
    Contracts & Agreements/Utilities – (8.E.)

    Reply
    • October 31, 2015 at 3:37 am
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      Yes you did your homework. Looks like he did the exact same thing in Marion county as hes trying here. Is Marion better off then before he came there?

      Reply

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