Grievance Filed Against Director Neff by the Award Winning City Water Plant Manager


3rd Statewide Award Won by Port Orange Water Plant Operations


Step 1 Grievance Recording

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Shame on you politicians for letting this happen




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20 Opinions on “Grievance Filed Against Director Neff by the Award Winning City Water Plant Manager

  1. This guy is a jerk. He did a reorganization of the department. He said we wanted it that way. Not true. Only him. The morale under him is at an all time low. He is a loser and liar not a leader. Thanks for nothing.

  2. Manager Harden hired Neff while he was still under investigation by the State Ethics Commission. How did that slip off the old resume? Don’t think he’s going to be around much longer on the new CM’s Dream Team. I’m sure he won’t carry all that dead weight and bad baggage.

  3. This will be interesting to follow.

    Mr Neff has torn this department up. Harden made a bad hire and the quicker he moves on, the better for all. The documentation mentioned in the complaint is astonishing.

  4. When any organization fails to run smoothly, to deliver its product in a reasonable and efficient manner, the problem is always with management. The guy in the trenches, whether he is working a shovel or a keyboard, is never the problem. He is, after all, just doing what he was told to do when he was told to do it in a manner acceptable to whoever told him to do it. If not, he would not have his job.

    Conversely, when an organization runs smoothly and delivers a good product, credit for such success lies with management.

    Why then, Mr Neff, would you engage in actions which alienate and disenfranchise the top managers of what is probably the City’s best-run operation, the water plant?

    • Mike,
      It is a clear case of Neff attempting to disenfranchise long term employees. They carry more knowledge and that leaves him feeling insecure. The stupidity and restructuring he is administering will soon leave the city fielded by inexperienced rookies. He will feel more secure while the residents will suffer the consequences when something goes south and nobody will be there to put the pieces together. The majority of the utilities department renders a no confidence in another high paid recycled manager implanted into the organization. He was not smart enough to partner with institutional knowledge. It’s his way or the highway. And he doesn’t know beans about our infrastructure or challenges. Lots of consultants moving in. That is his only recourse. Watch how fast award winning deteriorates to bank busting failure.

      • It’s very obvious why Neff has bounced around so much. He does so much damage and finally people catch on and get rid of him. I wonder how long before the CM will understand that Hardens mistakes of hiring Neff and the Finance Director will be his own downfall if he doesn’t clean house.

        • You hit the nail on the head taxpayer. The CM would be wise to look into what happened at Mr. Neff’s previous assignment in Seminole County. He landed in Seminole County after being asked to resign from his previous three assignments. His County Manager in Seminole County, Joe Forte, who is now the CM in Holly Hill supported Mr. Neff’s running roughshod over his subordinates and skirting the rules until they both ended up in Tallahassee before the State Ethics Commission. This was around the time Joe Forte, Andrew Neff and a number of Joe Forte’s management team where asked to reign in Seminole County.

          It is ironic that after being asked to leave Seminole County and landing in Holly Hill that Joe Forte would contact his old I.C.M.A. Lifesaver buddy David Harden and ask him to reject all viable candidates that had legitimately applied for the Port Orange Public Utilities Director position and call in a favor for his old buddy and fellow reject Andy Neff. This is the same old shit that Greg Kisela did, and we all know what the end result of that was. Mr. Johansson would be wise to take the advise of the great essayist and philosopher George Santayana which states that he that does not learn from the mistakes of the past is doomed to repeat them over and over again. Hopefully Mr. Johansson will take heed of this wisdom and not go the way of Greg Kisela by supporting the kind of serious baggage that Mr. Neff represents.

  5. This is unbelievable. Sounds like someone planted a “live virus” in the Public Utility Dept. After reading all of this I can only say in my humble opinion it reeks of age discrimination.

    If Mr. Neff is going to require a 4yr Engineering degree for future Water and Wastewater Managers then where is the need to pay him the big bucks? If the shoe was on the other foot and he was required to have an A license in Water and Wastewater he’d be in deep doo doo having to put in many hours of working in these plants as well as passing some very difficult tests before he would be allowed by State Regulatory agencies to handle our most precious resources.

  6. Having worked in the field of Water Treatment for the past 23 years I know of no other utility in the State of Florida who requires a 4yr Engineering degree, Furthermore you would soon create an even worse shortage as we have now of hiring qualified people to go into this field knowing they would have to have this degree in order to get ahead. A degree held by the Utility Director should be sufficient, unless he is not capable of running these divisions.

  7. Where oh where is Sidney.
    Can Sidney come out and play
    Does the cat have Sidney’s tongue
    Where oh where is Sidney

  8. This is a recidivistic story played over from Clearwater to Treasure Island, to Marion County, to Seminole County and is now being visited on us. Thanks I.C.M.A., thanks David Harden, and thanks Joe Forte. Thanks for nothing! Hopefully the collateral damage will not be excessive until this sad farce plays itself out. Kudos to this brave middle manager who has come out to bring these things to light and test the integrity of the organization.

  9. Wow, very interesting! I wonder why this was not in the city manager’s emails drag down? Did someone have to do a specific F.O.I. on this? I wonder what other unrestricted emails are being held back when Mr. Nelan makes his blanket requests? I suppose what people do not know about or find out about will never be exposed to the sunshine. I wonder what Pam Bondi would think about that?

  10. It will be interesting to see what kind of response Mr. Neff will give this manager. Will it comprehensively address these extremely detailed and well articulated concerns or will it be a brief line of rhetoric that amounts to go pound sand. Does anyone know if there is any record of a step 2 meeting between this manager and Mr. Neff, and whether there is also a record of it like the wav on this post? I would sure be interested in how Neff replies to these issues in an open meeting. Oh well, I suppose we will find out sooner or later. Hopefully an F.O.I. will inform us all how the city administration handles this kind of due process procedure and whether justice will prevail. I would love to see this vetted before the civil service board in council chambers.

    • An email exchange between Mr Miller and the City (in the CM read log for 1/7/16) indicates that they are talking about a Step 2 meeting. The 14th or 15th of January were mentioned as possible dates, but nothing definite at that time.

  11. Florida Department of
    Environmental Protection
    Bob Martinez Center
    2600 Blair Stone Road
    Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2400
    Rick Scott
    Carlos Lopez-Cantera
    Lt. Governor
    Jonathan P. Steverson
    January 15, 2016
    Mr. Steven Miller
    Chief Water Plant Operator
    City of Port Orange, Florida – Charles B. Garnsey Water Treatment Plant
    1000 City Center Circle
    Port Orange, FL 32127
    Dear Mr. Miller:
    I am very pleased to announce that City of Port Orange, Florida – Charles B. Garnsey Water Treatment Plant (3641044) has been selected to receive a 2015 Plant Operations Excellence Award from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in recognition of outstanding treatment plant operation, maintenance, and compliance.
    The award will be presented at a ceremony to be held at a Florida Rural Water Association seminar called Focus on Change. The seminars will take place in Panama City, Lake City, Ocala, Haines City, Punta Gorda, and Tamarac. Your award will be presented on Wednesday, March 2, 2016, during the morning general session of the seminar at Marion County Agricultural Center, 2232 N.E. Jacksonville Road, Ocala, Florida. The details of the award ceremony will be available shortly at I hope that you and/or representatives from your facility will be able to attend.
    Congratulations! We look forward to seeing you on March 2. If you have any questions, please contact Virginia Harmon at (850) 245-8630 or via email at It is not necessary to RSVP for the event.
    Frederick L. Aschauer, Jr.
    Division of Water Resource Management
    cc: Jeff Prather, Director, DEP Central District Office,
    Aaron Watkins, DEP Central District Office,
    Chris Ferraro, DEP Central District Office,
    Kim Rush, DEP Central District Office,
    Ronald Freeman, DOH in Volusia County,

    • This is a very prestigious award and a great honor. Congratulations to Steve and his team! This means that our water plant operations and maintenance are at the top in the industry and a symbol of excellence. It will be interesting with this grievance situation to see if Steve and his team are brought before council to be recognized for their outstanding work. It’s a shame that we can’t hire a decent utilities director. They should give Steve the job. If the whole department ran like the water plant we would be in great shape!

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