“Buckle up” Port Orange–Burnette Foretells of a Rough Ride as New Mayor

If last Tuesday’s City Council meeting was any indication of what the future holds, it promises to be a long four years with ol’ “Buckle up” Burnette wielding the gavel. 

When it was Ted Noftall’s turn at the podium Mayor Burnette was clearly not happy to call his name and was just as clearly not going to allow Ted a few seconds over his allotted three minutes to finish his comments at the end.  Way to go Don.  Where graciousness and civility would have cost you nothing and benefited you greatly, you chose pettiness and rudeness instead.  Ted said it best in his remarks–you only get one chance to make a good first impression and your first impression as Mayor was less than stellar. 

3 Opinions on ““Buckle up” Port Orange–Burnette Foretells of a Rough Ride as New Mayor

  1. It was with real distress that I watched Ted Noftall being treated with palpable contempt by the newly installed Port Orange mayor, Don Burnette, in this video posted by Mike Gardner where Ted is shown speaking to council on Tuesday, December 6, 2016.

    Ironically, Ted was speaking to his concerns about Port Orange’s civility statement, its constitutionality with regard to the First Amendment, its true intent as a document governing behavior and language from the podium by citizens, and implications for intimidation of residents coming before council.

    Mr. Burnette’s discourteous manner and obvious displeasure that Ted was before him were painfully clear in his actions: reading and rustling papers, making no eye contact with Ted, reading his tablet, and exhibiting a facial expression of annoyance while Ted was speaking.

    So, I would ask Mr. Burnette what is civility? A few examples: Formal politeness in behavior or speech; good manners, graciousness, comity, respect, and finally in your role as mayor, paying attention to a member of the electorate who stands before you expecting to be heard. Looked to me like “civility” is a one way street for Don Burnette. I was very conscious that Chase Tramont and Drew Bastian were the only members of council paying attention to Ted.

    I would remind Don Burnette that Ted Noftall is not some marginal political gadfly up there at the podium just trying to be annoying.

    Ted has attended virtually every city council meeting for years, coming prepared with serious questions and a good understanding of topics on the agenda. Ted gave dedicated service as the elected chairman on the Audit and Budget Board before he was so discourteously dismissed by Don Burnette for posing too many awkward questions about city finances to the City Manager and the Finance Director.

    Ted was a serious mayoral candidate who came in 2nd in the primary on August 30th out of a field of 3, one of whom was Mayor Allen Green’s son and Ted received 11,700 votes on November 8th. Ted had and has a significant following among voters and people are paying attention to how the new mayor will treat those who differ with him on various topics.

    As a taxpayer, citizen and dedicated observer of city government, Ted Noftall has a right to be heard, heard with respect and yes, civility.

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