Was The EIS Ordinance a cynical and hypocritical effort to silence critics?

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ted0Good afternoon Robin and Margaret,  Mayor and Council.

I have provided the City Clerk’s office on today’s date a thumb drive containing 931 “public record” e-mails.

As I explained in my as yet un-answered   request for guidance on Friday past these e-mails are “public” by virtue of the fact that they either came from,  or were directed to people employed at City Hall.

I wish to make clear these are all the public records in my possession.

This has been a most un-satisfactory  process for several  reasons.

  • *)  The EIS Ordinance was  ill conceived, poorly designed and understood,  and on which fundamental guidance cannot even be provided as witnessed by my un-answered request below.
  • *)  The EIS Ordinance was  a cynical and hypocritical effort to silence critics by requiring  volunteers to satisfy compliance that is ultimately impossible to verify and which Council exempted itself from.
  • *)   The standards imposed in the EIS Ordinance are impossible to verify as evidenced by Kisela’s comment as quoted in the News Journal after examining the Audit and Budget binders he had requested from me where in he   expressed his concern that  “ Noftall is not providing all public documents in his possession”
  • *)   Finally the double standard  legal advice that is being afforded is appalling.  When my binders including notes taken during A&B meetings were requested by Kisela I was encouraged to bring them on in for examination …  which I did.     Yet when I requested the same of Councilman Burnette  the same people encouraging me to comply supplied  Burnette with DCA opinions and Sunshine  manual quotes  advising him that his production was not required.

The practical effect of this EIS policy has turned Sunshine on its head in Port Orange from one where citizens may inquire and demand of government, TO  where defeated candidates  or  disgraced  officials  may now avail of City policy to inquire and demand of its citizens or at least those citizens who  serve on volunteer boards.

The potential chilling effect of that prospect  on volunteer participation is real and I would encourage Council to rescind this ill conceived ordinance and rely on the wisdom of the legislature in establishing the limits for public records production in Florida.

Ted Noftall


: Ted Noftall [mailto:Ted@TedNoftall.com

Sent: Friday, August 15, 2014 2:28 PM
To: Robin Fenwick (rfenwick@port-orange.org); Margaret Roberts (mroberts@port-orange.org)
Cc: Shannon Lewis (slewis@port-orange.org); Bob Ford (rford37@cfl.rr.com); Dennis Kennedy (dkennedy@port-orange.org); don@amlsfl.com; Drew Bastian (db2070@cfl.rr.com); Mayor Green (agreen@port-orange.org)
Subject: FW: Turning Sunshine on its head in Port Orange

Thank you for the attempt at clarity Robin,

By my understanding the only Port Orange “public records “  I possess would be those records  that are “public” by virtue of the fact that they were either e-mails sent to me from the City,  OR  e-mails that I sent to the City.   In either instance those e-mails already exist on the City servers.   I have said this from the get go.

Clearly  someone is looking for more than a return of what is already on the City servers,   AND  at that point I am being encouraged to supply anything that could be  ‘construed as a public record ‘

Perhaps you or the City Attorney could render assistance by providing some examples of what might be   ‘construed as a public record ‘

For example should  my many grousing e-mails of the Mayor and Manager, and the e-mail received encouraging my grousing comments,     be construed as  public records.   Some say yes IF they were written  not in my capacity as a private citizen,  but rather in my capacity as Chairman of the ABAB.

If you are sympathetic to that argument perhaps you could provide guidance as to,   how that distinction is to be made,   And the attributes of those e-mails  written by a volunteer advisory board member that elevates them to the status of   “transacting official business “

Thanks

Ted Noftall



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4 Opinions on “Was The EIS Ordinance a cynical and hypocritical effort to silence critics?

  1. The council took the easy (and cowards way) out by temporarily disbanding the ABAB.

    Councilman Burnette was obviously not happy as he likely wanted to pursue a public lynching of Ted.

  2. Burnette not providing is a slap in the face. Or a kick in the groin. Ted you will probably have more success in bringing things to light with one opinion. Maybe we need to increase the time on the old 3 minute egg timer with 5 minutes and an answer on the spot rather than ” thank you and hurry back to your seat”. A non answer to a citizen is unprofessional, unethical, and unacceptable.

  3. After watching the council meeting tonight and listening to what the councilmembers had to say it is abundantly clear that they are not learning the lesson taught by the famous essayist and philosopher George Santayana but will unfortunately repeat the mistakes of the past over and over again instead of learning the lessons that might be learned.

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