Did the Manager Just Drop the ol’ Nuclear Football?

H-bomb Bikini Atoll

Maybe Manager Jake Johansson didn’t fully explode at the City Council meeting on Tuesday night but he showed definite signs of a meltdown!  At various times during the meeting he was lectured by Mayor Green, Councilman Ford and Councilman Burnette.  Even the usually mild mannered Councilman Bastian was showing his exasperation.  Ted Noftall, of course, asked a series of well-informed questions that the manager either could not or would not answer.

The grumblings we have been hearing recently from some well-thought-of City employees now seem to be echoed by Council.  About time!  Up to now, citizen complaints about his secretiveness and arrogance have fallen largely on deaf ears.  The following short clip of Don Burnette poking at the Manager should become a classic:

While Councilman Burnette’s characterization of Johansson as a trusty, red skinned side-kick was probably uncalled for, and in bad taste it, shows the level of frustration developing on Council.  Things got worse for the manager in an exchange with Ted Noftall on the facts surrounding Ted’s recent back charge on his water bill.  Johansson showed himself to be not only pompous and secretive but totally misinformed as well.  A new low for Port Orange was reached when he said in an OPEN MEETING that he wanted to discuss things with Ted OFFLINE!  The only man who topped the manager’s performance was Mayor Green who said Johansson “doesn’t have to” explain himself:

Good stuff guys!  Glad I don’t have to work for either of you.

31 Opinions on “Did the Manager Just Drop the ol’ Nuclear Football?

  1. No, actually the City Manager did not drop a nuclear football. As a past paralegal for a municipality I can clearly state the following:

    • Some of the boys on the City Council are not allowing Mr. Johansson the chance to acclimate to his job.

    • They want answers for the mess the previous City Manager left behind and they want change before he has even had a chance to get his feet wet.

    • Councilman Bob cannot get the raises he wants AND not get these past water bills paid. You cannot represent ALL people. It is impossible. Therefore, you have to meet in the middle. You cannot be everyone’s savior and you definitely cannot expect to have expectations without full knowledge of the budget. As a Union Rep myself now, I know you should always go into negotiations expecting to compromise, not get everything you asked for. Councilman is the same way. You could have split those bills from the past water in half or only had them pay a percentage. A percentage that could be used to up the ante for contract negotiations but Mr. Johansson is right, it all comes down to taxpayers no matter which way you slice it. And Bob, just for the record, the term Ex post hoc is not proper Latin. You mixed two prepositions.

    • You absolutely CAN make a law that goes back.

    • The reason Mr. Johansson wanted to take it OFFLINE with Ted. It was so he would not to embarrass him in a City Council meeting. Something which Ted has no issue doing to anyone of the esteemed members sitting on the podium. I watch Ted in these meetings and it is clear that he is someone that needs to be heard….A LOT….

    • Nowhere did I see the Mayor lecturing Mr. Johansson but rather guiding him as is his role as his superior. It being a new position, I would hope that he would do that instead of allowing Council members to run amok with all their comments and unwarranted banter to Mr. Johansson.

    • I am chagrined and dismayed to hear Councilman Don call a 34 year Navy Veteran, who fought for our rights and for all Councilmans’ rights to even sit on a Council and have a meeting, Tonto. For all those readers who don’t know…Tonto is slang for Village Fool in Spanish. This man was a CAPTAIN in the Navy and fought for your rights. Name calling is low, but even more so when someone blantently disrespects a soldier.

    • Not once did Mr. Johansson appear pompous to me. He seemed professional. He seemed focused. He has only been in that position 4 months. He does not have it in with the cool boys yet. He has to watch his every move because he is an innocent man paying for the actions of another.

    • Watch some of the other meetings where he graciously says “I could comment on that but I would rather leave it to my expert in the office” and he hands the question over to the woman in charge of that department. A pompous man (solemn, conceited, self- important) does not hand over questions but rather answers them all himself as a know it all.

    How about we play nice? Quit name calling. Quit with the frat boy banter because you are threated in some way.

    How about you start over? Let the man get into his job and actually listen to his ideas. This man has lead pilots and ships through war. HE CAN CERTAINLY LEAD A CITY INTO ITS NEW VISION. You just have to give him a chance. Show him some respect. Maybe, instead of pinning him with the sins of another, you can sit and listen…I see him listening in the meetings….there are a few of you who are not listening but rather planning your next response. Watch him. He sits, listens and takes his time to answer questions and give you an answer. Not once, in four months, has he called any of you names or misled you. He has shown each and every one of you respect. He deserves the same.

    Blessings.

    • So the question now becomes who are the Mayor’s Rules of Procedure that he has the Clerk read at the start of every council meeting directed at ?

      They are clearly not directed at Burnette with his Tonto aka Stupid comments. So who are they directed at ?

      My bets are they are directed at Ted and that is ironic because he is the most mannerly person I have ever seen at the podium especially considering the crap he graciously accepts from the Mayor at every meeting.

      You are right about Ted needing to be heard. He will be a breath of fresh air when he is elected Mayor later this year.

      • If the comments were directed at Ted, that is uncalled for as well. While I do not appreciate the manner in which he responded to the gentlemanly way I feel the City Manager was trying to handle this particular situation, no one, especially elected, has the right to use racial slurs or name call.

        Having been on both sides of the fence, I can tell you that there is some decorum in which the panel has to handle themselves legally. That being said, maybe a bit more transparency is needed and watching Johansson, I believe that he is trying to do just that…it takes time.

        Time will tell but I can tell that this is a man of good character and integrity. Let’s just let him get his feet wet and I think everyone will see their vision come to fruition…realizing it is not all in his hands of course, I do believe he will do what he can to ensure the taxpayers from all venues are pleased. Municipal issues take compromise and complete understanding of all sides to be able to meet in the middle for the good of the community.

        • Sidney you need to get back to planet earth with your comments regarding Johansson. His service in the Navy including his rank of Captain does not earn him the automatic slack you are suggesting he is due. .

          Either he can handle the job of Manager or he cannot, and a couple of more performances like last Tuesday evening and he will have gone a long way to convince us that he cannot.

          He was not being gentlemanly with Ted. He maligned Ted with his ignorant comment quoted in the News Journal to the effect that Ted had not paid for all the gallons of water he received which was not the case.

          Rather that admit his ignorance and correct the record he was trying to weasel out of that responsibility with his off-line request. I do not blame Ted for having nothing to do with that offer.

          To suggest that business raised in a public meeting be taken of-line tells me Johansson has been spending to much time with Green and his dirt-bag nature. .

          • I agree to disagree. Again, I have been on both sides of the fence.

            As for planet earth…I prefer my happy world where unicorns fart rainbows. But seriously, Johansson is more than qualified and I am confident he will prove himself when given the chance…problem is no one seems willing to do that.

            I make it a habit of knowing what someone’s job entails before I comment on it and even then, I tread lightly knowing that I cannot possibly know the demands placed on a person in their position.

            There are legalities that the public cannot even begin to understand that come into play every time a meeting his held or information is released.

            But this response for me was more about the name calling and I would like to keep focused on that.

            • Sindey–When you say that “there are legalities that the public cannot even begin to understand” you take a position 180 degrees from mine.

              I firmly believe there are very few things the average citizen cannot understand, given a proper explanation. The problem lies with the people doing the explaining–most often government functionaries who either benefit from obfuscation of the facts or do not understand the facts themselves.

              I think it was Albert Einstein who said “if you can’t explain it simply you don’t understand it well enough.”

              • And I also said in a past comment is thete room for more transparency? Absolutely. All I’m saying is before they speak they have to really think because if they don’t, yoyr tax dollars could be used for a law suit.

              • I completely understand why you are saying that and I get the point you are trying to make. Again, having been on both sides, you would be surprised how something so simply said, or even something that you would expect to be a given that no one could misconstrue, can be made into something it is not. Case in point, we now have a legal label on everything because of lawsuits. Don’t place the baby in the plastic bag. This coffee may be hot so be careful. Etc. All I am saying is people interpret things differently and legally, municipalities need to be careful when speaking in public or the taxpayers are the ones paying for the lawsuit. That is all I was saying.

            • ” I can tell that this is a man of good character and integrity “.
              ” Johansson is more than qualified ”
              ” Not once did Mr. Johansson appear pompous to me. He seemed professional. He seemed focused.”
              ” he is an innocent man paying for the actions of another” .
              ” HE CAN CERTAINLY LEAD A CITY INTO ITS NEW VISION ”

              So tell us Sidney Endora where is all this over the top confidence in Johansson coming from ?

              What do you know that we do not and how did you get that information ?

              • I read up about him. Not hard to do. I sat in meetings, I watched them online afterwards so I could watch everyone’s behavior not just his. I looked at his social media to see how friends reacted and responded.

                I have actually researched everyone. That happens when you are in the public eye. I don’t complain until I’ve done my homework and know every possible angle.

                And again, I bring you back to my original issue: WHY CAN’T YA’ALL JUST PLAY NICE AND BRING THIS VISION TO FRUITION?

        • Awwwww……………Poor Mother Jones,

          Are people picking on your little boy Shakey? Take off your rose-tinted glasses and pay attention to the realities and you will quickly see why. Mr Johansson is the perfect living example of the old saw: “often wrong but never uncertain.”

          I expect by now you have figured out you were both wrong about meters not measuring gallons of water, but neither one of you has the spine to admit it.

          While Bob Ford may have stumbled on his Latin (I am sure he meant ex post facto rather than ex post hoc), Article One, Sections 9 and 10 of the Constitution make his point for him. Should you need help locating a copy of the above document just leave me an email address and I will forward you a link.

          • No need Lee. I have copies Article One, Sections 9 and 10.

            Again, I agree to disagree. I see a lot of frat boy politics going on and not enough team work.

            Not sure what you meant by picking on my little boy Shakey or calling me Poor Mother Jones but again….keep the name calling to yourself.

            You just proved what my original response was about.

        • Sidney, manager Johansson told me face to face, that he, City Manager, was going to institute an inspection team of more than one person to make accountability a real factor in city operations. I’m waiting. Get back to me when that is put in effect. Inspect what you expect says Jake. I am expecting nothing in that form, because both the city manager and the city council memebers fear true accountablitiy. Too much work! Makes for a hostile environment. Beam me up Scotty, the national mood tells me that I don’t have to accept all this crap and inefficient playing with all our money in the city’s free candy store. I still have my fingers crossed I do not have a $3000 water leak in my water pipes, because the city is not concerned enough to inform me when I am losing our precious water supply into the ground. Berm or no berm, Hank Springer, it’s your responsibility to pay even when you are not alerted about a water leaking as shown by the water meter which you can’t read because it is buried under ground. Hey hank, what do you think we have a financial department and utility department, just to tell you when you have a water leak.? We tell you in the next billing cycle. Pay your bill, or we shut oflf your water and put your house into lien procedures. Thank you city of Port Orange for being so concerned for us citizens. — hank springer — and let me add in case you have not heard: Ted Noftall is for the common interest and not special interest. Hey, wal mart, target’s, pavilion,Lowes, are you checking your water pipes burried underneath the ground or do you have a special deal going with the city of Port Orange? Just asking, big business?

    • You must be one of the favored ones within the walls of city hall. The CM is either out of touch with what is going on around him or he is so good at selling his “making Port Orange a great place” due to his experience working in DC….which is by the way nothing to be proud of. One thing he needs to understand. All of his overpaid leaders must be covering up or since the actual workers fear for their jobs they are not telling him that his “Port Orange Pride” campaign will not work unless he starts by cleaning up his own back yard. They are actually laughing behind his back. How much pride do you think the city will get as long as the 300 plus employees are treated like crap, underpaid compared to every other smaller populated city and totally disrespected. How many friends, family, doctors, lawyers, cashiers and every other person each employee runs into and tells the truth of what is really going on inside Port Orange will pass on the info to their friends, family, doctors, etc. Why do you think you can’t get any qualified employees to stay? You can’t hire in new people and pay them $1 or so less than someone who has worked their ass off for 5-15 years. You can’t reward all the younger people and some of the employees who break all the rules and then expect to get any pride or respect. This City is in ruin and has been since Green took over. Thank God he won’t be in office much longer. It’s time for the state to step in and get this City back under control. I’m sure the ethics committee would give immunity to anyone who is finally willing to let them know what has really been going on for years. What are you thinking? Sidney….do your homework!

  2. Did I hear that correctly? A council member just called the City Manager a “Tonto.”

    At the very least, calling someone a Tonto is an insult; at the worst, calling someone by a Mexican name is a racial slur.

    According to the Spanish to English translation guide, a “Tonto” is a stupid person. Don Burnette called the City Manager a stupid person. Or did Burnette intend his comment as a racial slur?

  3. I would like clarification of what Burnette meant when he said it. It’s uncalled for and so disrespectful. Instead of picking on the City Manager who has only been in his post 4 months, why not question the slurs of the elected? The frat boy mentality will not help renew or empower the new vision and change they all seem to want.

    So Burnette….what did you mean? Because as an american citizen who is patriotic and thankful for the service of our military men and women, I want to know why you felt it necessary to use that term and what your intentions were in using it in an open forum where you are serving the very people who voted you in.

  4. What is read before a meeting is what ALL PEOPLE ATTENDING are supposed to adhere to.

    It’s hard to sit here, when I have been on the other side, and not lose my mind at the total lack of understanding and disconnect as to what has to take place legally for the Mayor and City Manager and the attorney before certain things can be brought to the public’s attention.

    That being said, again, should there be more transparency…of course, there is always room for that but name calling, and working against each other and not listening and preparing your answer instead are not going to solve these issues.

    And if you are going to hire a City Manager, whether you were for him or not, and not give him a chance to do his job, then our City Manager, no matter who you hire, will not stand a chance to help achieve the change we are looking for.

    Sorry Lee but your response, sounds like a frat boy response. The boy’s club did not get their way so they are going to make life miserable for whoever the Mayor wanted because of how you feel about the Mayor and because you didn’t get your own way.

    I don’t see much success for Port Orange unless there is a collaborative community climate change. You are all too busy fighting each other and not listening and are so completely disconnected from the reality of a government job that you are incapable of meeting half way or listening without seeking fault.

    I really hope the meeting on the 19th shows some signs of change in how we deal with each other.

    • Really? I can assure you that I am not related to Mr. Johansson. Actually, I appreciate the way Scott handles himself in meetings but the article was not about Scott…does that make me Scott’s Mother?

      • Again, instead of making accusations and drawing attention away from the issues, why not bring it back to the issue at hand. What I have learned from this post is many of you don’t know understand the workings of a municipality and that is fine but then you cannot point fingers and make false statements.

        And now I might be Johansson’s sister or brother? Why? Because I’m raising points that no one has bothered to raise to the community before and because I chose to stay in the background to observe?

        There needs to be collaborative community change in climate in order to accomplish the tasks at hand. 1 drop of change to create a ripple effect that will ultimately help the community but all I see is finger pointing and speculation.

        INSANITY IS DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AND EXPECTING A DIFFERENT RESULT.

        I don’t have much hope in the vision coming to fruition without a climate change because I see a complete unwillingness to get along and listen to ideas and solutions from most of the parties involved but I will be at the next meeting to observe and listen intently.

        • I always enjoy a good comedy. Perhaps even a mystery or two. Is Sidney, Jake? Only the Shadow knows! Very entertaining.

          • Sidney Endora may be many things but what she is not is an honest broker. She is more akin to a purveyor of snake oil than some savior sent to us to look out for Port Orange’s best interests.

            She is as partisan as partisan gets in her defense of shaky Jake our dirt-bag Mayor and their lemming Scott in her fantasy full quest to have us all ‘play nice’ and further pretend there are no problems in Port Orange that shaky Jake cannot solve if we just give him enough time and trust.

            Don’t forget that Green is coming up on a hard deadline to try and rehabilitate his dirt bag image of having always put his own business interests before common interests of Port Orange residents for the past 40 years.

            While I would not credit Green with the sophistication to create a Sidney Endora persona throw Shaky Jake into the equation and she suddenly becomes a reality.

            Green has injected a ton of animosity into hate filled balloon that is hanging over Port Orange and when the hate filled air starts rushing out of that balloon shaky Jake will be be swept away

            Council hates Green and all he stands for. I would expect that this Council will get rid of shaky Jake before his year is up with the intention that Green will have absolutely zero official contact with the next manager.

            So Ms. Endora keep on writing as you have but know that your suggestions have lost their impact because as that famous guy said – you can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

            Nice try though.

            • Think poor Sidney has really become enamored with her own “voice”….having a little trouble there dear letting go of your 15 minutes of fame?? ….or whatever the hell this is that you are seeming to so enjoy ..

              ….so back to a review of the facts….this “playing nice” crap really did not work very well for Monica Jones when she begged for relief on her water leak from this wonderful manager…and council…and with 3 of them up there living very very well on government pensions…they are not lying awake over a $3000 city lien on their trailers…..I promise you that….they are retired nicely on the taxpayer’s tit…..and Jake happily double dipping …first retired from the military and now getting about 180K from the city of PO with benefits…..SWEET FOR JAKE……and BTW Jake….congratulations on that very nice 2014 Porsche you just purchased too…looks really nice in the city’s management parking lot in front of City Hall…..truly a man of the people….. the median HOUSEHOLD income in PO in $47,500………Good God…Jake for Man of the Year…Jake, the Next Mother Teresa…..the man is a fountain of sensitivity and good judgement…..so back to playing nice…..a 74 year old disabled widow living on Social Security worried about feeding her dachshund got relief from the efforts of Ted Noftall ……and those efforts finally shamed the CM into taking action to help Monica…..and now the rest of the council apparently wants to do something FINALLY about the water billing issues in this city………this whole mess stands out among the city’s serious low points…a standard hard to meet…. …so maybe take a second look at this man Jake you so admire……I will give you one thing…. Whatever your motivation, you’re a hell of an apologist….

              Claudette

            • I never gave my gender and not once did I say he could solve all of Port Oranges problems.

              I said STOP the name calling and GIVE THE MAN A CHANCE.

              You”re talking about Green spewing animosity and yet you just showed animosity and hate towards me, Johansson and Green.

              As for the other’s comment on 15 mins.of fame, if I wanted fame, I would not have kept myself anonymous.

              Partisan? Nope. No party affiliations. I vote for integrity, character and visions.

              You are so paranoid that you think I’m Johansson? That’s hilarious. No wonder nothing gets done.

              34 years in the Navy. If the man wants a Porsche, what do you care? Port Orange sure as hell didn’t pay for it. You people are unbelievable.

              One word: HOPELESS

              I’m out until the next meeting. You are all off topic and getting personal now. This whole comment from me started as a pure of heart approach to stop the bullshit and suggest we give the man a chance. Its turned into accusations and bullshit.

              I stand by my original post. I cannot control if you think I’m Jake, his sister, his Aunt….if I’m male, female or partisan. But I can control my involvement.

              Blessings.

              • You are a new face on the blog. I for one welcome all opinions and the right to express them (even though I disagree with some.

                If you do t agree with Ted and his band, you will get lambasted at times.

              • Visual metrics matter ..this is essentially a middle to working class community….many are working two and three jobs just to stay afloat….And yes….I think our 180K is certainly subsidizing the cost of that Porsche..a car that speaks to conspicuous consumption and the toys of the leisure class…..it was just purchased..and contrasted with Jake’s pursuit of a lien on Monica Jones trailer when there were other options…options insisted upon by Ted Noftall and finally achieved by him after the manager was shamed into helping her speaks to Jake’s character, compassion and judgment…at a minimum I would deem this manager to have rotten political instincts with zero concern for openness, transparency and competent government…i would love to know what the staff costs were to pursue that $3000 lien on Monica’s trailer…the city attorney’s billable hours alone must have been significant…absolute idiocy…but hey..it ain’t Jake’s money…and then he had to immediately reverse that stance and do the right thing due to Ted’s efforts… maybe the council can bludgeon him into better choices from now on… I knew we were in big trouble when he shut down the email read log.

              • Sidney, if you think name calling is the worse thing going on in Port Orange stick around and get educated. How does the saying go? Stick and stones will …..
                If name calling upsets you I suggest you don’t get involved in any kind of political discussions. You aint’ seen nothin yet. Political correctness no longer applies, or are you out of date? Even extreme political correctness back fires on advocate. I think that is good. Brings me back to the good old days when I was asked not to publish comments that Reagen was an idiot, because as president he deserved not be called that. I protected the right of anyone to call the president an idiot if he/she felt like doing it.

                By the way, I have been told that I am called Hank the Shank by the pride of Port Orange. LOL, I have long gotten over being called names. I hope you too can tolerate the propensity of calling people names and get on with the real issues. We don’t have time or the need to be concerned with so called civility and kindegarden annoyances. By the Scott, look at me when I am speaking to you. — hank

        • City Manager Johansson has to date make a series of mistakes every bit as irreversible as a barrel past the point of no return at Niagara Falls.

          He has disrespected the citizens of Port Orange through his small and churlish actions in removing the read log from public view, in burdening water customers, through back-billing, for his staff’s errors, and in his heavy-handed and unjust treatment of Monica Jones.
          He has disrespected City Council through his ICMA-mentality tactic of fabricating agreements in secret that later turn out to make Council look like a group of idiots in public.
          He has disrespected mid level City supervisors with decades of loyal, knowledgeable service in favor of lying, big-spending, interloping directors in Public Works and Public Utilities.
          Paddling upstream at this point is probably futile and Shakey Jake is indeed a dead man walking. I wouldn’t be buying any green bananas if I were in his shoes.

          • Wasn’t the interim 30-year ICMA member Ol’ Man Harden the one giving out the reclasses and reorgs like he was handing out candy at the Xmas parade and hired PW and PU directors with out taking input from middle management? the barell is still falling from that.

  5. Hank, I made a living working in a municipality and was able to navigate just fine without getting knee deep in political bullshit and name calling.

    I merely suggested everyone give him a chance AND educate yourselves on the jobs at hand. You are all giving the man more power than he actually has. He has people to answer to.

    I will continue to watch this post. I will not get into a game of volleyball with words.

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