Incompetence or Mis-feasance ?

.Dunlawton Avenue Closure Requires State Investigation
incompetence2

Good morning Manager Harden,

The millions of taxpayer dollars recently spent on the   Dunlawton Avenue Drainage Improvement / Halifax Canal Reclaimed Water Augmentation Project  are part of the larger compilation of costs that you and I have discussed previously and that I believe you have indicated are in the $ 30 million range.

What has been the delay and when will this analysis be released ??

That near $30 million dollar expenditure has been a colossus failure by every measure of which I am aware including the very obvious fact that Dunlawton Ave was closed yesterday due to flooding to say nothing of the damage adjoining properties suffered,  AND WHILE  it can be argued however weakly that much of the $ 30 million expended was well intentioned despite its direct benefit to the Mayor’s engineer and contractor friends such good intentions can have no place in reviewing the Dunlawton  Avenue closure.

The  Dunlawton Avenue Drainage Improvement  Project  was funded by other agencies to ensure it would remain passable as a major emergency and evacuation route in all but the most severe of hurricane conditions  — AND YET it was closed on less than 5 hours of rain.

That is unacceptable and I would call on you to inform State authorities and  request  a complete inquiry into possible mis-feasance in the design,  or construction,  or subsequent operation of the infrastructure that was funded to ensure Dunlawton Avenue remained a  passable emergency route. 

Mr. Manager it has become the norm that  the Mayor’s buddies are never  held accountable for any screw-ups  from the design, construction or subsequent operation of anything to do with the City.  One reason  or another has always been trotted out to excuse everything from rank incompetence to  payroll  and  fill dirt thefts  to not even reconciling the City’s   bank accounts,   AND THOSE excuses were trotted out by the totally complicit managers who preceded  you.

It is my expectation that you will view this closure not as some minor inconvenient embarrassment but rather as the life threatening event it could have been for anyone requiring medical transport yesterday , AND that you  are a man of sufficient integrity such that this matter will be dealt with in a responsible manner with appropriate sanctions for those who failed to fulfill all of their duties.

Regards

Ted Noftall

5 Opinions on “Incompetence or Mis-feasance ?

  1. Malfeasance or Misfeasance, no one outside the organization really knows. What we do know is that on the surface, and according to charter, we have a strong city manager city government. In reality, to a large degree, our city managers have been puppets with the puppet master Allen Green behind them pulling their strings. This creates a false image of authority, and a false image of responsibility attributed to the city manager.

    Puppet city managers, under the current obfuscating city charter create the illusion that the city manager is in charge and is responsible for everything relating to the day to day management of the city. If this were true, and if the city manager and his/her senior management team really had the authority to manage the city resources of the citizens it would be simple to determine whether there was malfeasance or misfeasance, and it would be much easier to assign responsibility and accountability.

    Unfortunately it has become abundantly clear that we have a mayor that has and continues to pull the strings from behind the scenes, and if everything implodes, he has a city charter and a city manager that he can scapegoat. The recent quasi-senile relic of an interim city manager is evidence that the mayor needs an interim figure head and scape goat until he can procure the proper permanent city manager and senior management team that will once again give the mayor the insulation he needs to run and manage the city via a puppet manager thru a city charter that redirects responsibility and accountability from the mayor to the city manager.

    I think that the strong city manager form of government has failed in Port Orange because it has always been an illusion and a dog and pony show with a mayor who has orchestrated a scenario where he has always pulled the day to day strings. The strong city manager government can only work if the mayoral political demagogic control and manipulation is severed.

    Since this control is the case, and there is no evidence or hope that this will desist, I think that the city charter should be changed and that the mayor should become the full time day to day manager of all city affairs and be held completely responsible and accountable for everything. As it stands, most city managers only last about 4 to 5 years unless, in exceptional cases they are able to navigate the labyrinth and paradigm of successful city management. Conversely, seeing that we have a mayor that wants to run the show while being insulated from responsibility and accountability lets let the mayor truly run the show and assume all of the responsibility and the accountability that should come with being in charge. Remember management 101 says authority equals responsibility plus accountability and authority plus accountability equals authority.

    The thing about the strong mayor form of government is that the mayor cannot manipulate things from behind the scenes and promote his own personal interest as easily or he will end up like the mayor of New Orleans Louisiana. That means that the mayor cannot defer responsibility and insulate himself from accountability while pursuing personal interest while in office. Remember, a city employee cannot even take a free lunch from someone while conducting city business, so if the mayor becomes the CEO of the organization his ass is grass if he tries to work out back door deals. If the mayor screws up then responsibility goes straight to him, he will either straiten things out & take responsibility, get shit canned, or he will not be reelected.

    In essence, the born on date for a mayor will become about the same as a typical failed city manager except there will be nobody to pass the buck of responsibility and accountability to. The dog and pony show will desist, and the farce of replacing a city manager and senior management team by a mayor who is ultimately behind the failure will come to an end. If you have a good mayor that is responsible and takes responsibility you will keep him, and if not you will get rid of him. Since the mayor likes to run the show from behind the scenes, I say lets bring him to the forefront and let him run the day to day city operations with full responsibility and accountability that he may be doing now covertly without any responsibility and accountability.

    My guess is that if that option was offered that mayor Allen Green would turn it down because I think the mayor likes to run the show from behind the scenes with no intention of taking any responsibility and accountability. I think the mayor would rather blame councilmen that oppose him, tea party activists, disgruntled employees that he may have blacklisted, and citizens that don’t want there taxes raised capriciously. On the other hand, I think that Ted Noftall would accept the position of strong mayor with all the responsibility and accountability in a heart beat. Just my opinion, but I would place a large bet on this.

  2. That would be a safe bet on your part Cheshire Cat.

    I have long argued against insanity and total hypocrisy of the Council-Manager aka strong manager/weak council form of municipal government as promoted by the self serving, self promoting, self protecting ICMA gang of incompetents whose members excel best and survive longest by flattering weak and indecisive council members.

    In Port Orange this system has MORPHED INTO THE FICTION of rub-a-dub-dub 6 guys and 1 gal in a tub and nobody knows, or can figure out why things are totally screwed up and not getting any better as evidenced by the recent total failure of the multi-million dollar raid on taxpayer wallets officially known as the Dunlawton Avenue Drainage Improvements Project and better known as the Mayor’s big steal after less than 5 hours of heavy rain.

    WHERE-AS THE REALITY is that we have a weak City Attorney and an even weaker City Council who believe they work for the Manager who has no doubt that he is working for a behind the scenes manipulative Mayor who is not held responsible or accountable for anything.

    I favor and have argued for the Mayor-Council aka strong mayor/strong council form of government for all of the reasons Cheshire Cat enumerated and for a couple of more.

    All entities and organizations need to know with clarity who is in charge. That is why ships have captains and why most of the large cities in our country have strong mayor forms of government. Large cities, State governments and our National government simply could not function with the confusion the strong manager system invites.

    That practical consideration was well understood by our Founders. They gave us neither a strong manager or an oligarchy, but rather republican form of government that was mindful of human nature and that sought to contain its excesses by dividing and sub-dividing power both horizontally and vertically in Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches at the National and State level with each designed to jealously guard its own authority and power.

    That wisdom of that subdivision absent a Judiciary applies to the municipal level as well, whether we choose to consider or ignore that wisdom. For the life of me I cannot understand why anyone would not want a strong Mayor (executive) efficiently running the City of a day to day basis by administering the ordinances and spending the budgets that have been approved and amended by an equally strong Council ( legislative. ) Each should be the watchdog of the other and each should jealously guard its own authority. The possibilities abound for strengthening the responsibility and accountability of both the Executive and the Legislative.

    Nothing remotely close to that model is occurring in Port Orange. Rather we are suffering the worst of those human natures the Founders intended to check mate be they the manipulative & larcenous tendencies of Green, the weak willed tendency to please of Kennedy, or the ambitious expedient tendencies of Burnette — neither of which would be as easy to mask if they were required to perform in a venue where responsibility and accountability was more easily assessed than our current rub-ad-b-dub system.

    You are correct about Green Cheshire Cat. I have asked for his support to place a Mayor-Council Charter amendment on the ballot which he rejects by playing the poor little dumb county mouse card, and suggesting that if he could not do it no one could …. when in fact the reality of his motivation is much different as detailed in your post.

    You are also correct in surmising that I favor competency, responsibility and accountability. I would much prefer strong Councilman and a strong Mayor to shine brightly for 4 years where their competence or lack there-of is readily assessed by the people, to our present system that perpetuates dullard Councilmen in-capable of making meaningful decisions, AND a manipulative behind the scenes Mayor in-capable of keeping his hands of the strings.

    Ted Noftall

  3. Looks like the city will be saving 20k by not having to help fund VCOG now.

    Put that 20k towards drainage. Yeah that paltry sum will pay for a consultant.

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