“The people of Port Orange are just too stupid to make any decisions”

Submitted by:  Lynn  on June 4, 2014  6:15 AM


The Mayor tells everyone

At last nights council meeting we heard all the excuses in the world about why a public referendum on increasing the public debt for Port Orange taxpayers by about 5 million dollars is not required by law.   But no one on the Dais dared mention the fact there was no law prohibiting such a referendum either.

Perhaps the council believes the people of Port Orange are just too stupid to make any decisions about using those borrowed city funds to help fund the Mayor’s Buddy’s Riverwalk project.  Only the Council with all its wisdom knows what’s best for the dumb Inferior peon taxpayers in Port Orange    Is that arrogance or is that arrogance?

I have seen this movie before, some people in this town are going to jail by the time this Riverwalk project is completed.


14 Opinions on ““The people of Port Orange are just too stupid to make any decisions”

  1. City activists, city employees how about asking friends, neighbors in Port Orange to take the time to show up en masse at the next council meeting., get up in front of Council and tell them. “we’re not gonna take this anymore”.

    The Council members need to know that people are tired of all this BS, don’t have a never ending supply of money to fund Riverwalk.and the high paid salaries of incompetent managers.

  2. I would like to suggest that one of our courageous citizen watchdogs like Ted Noftall or the Gardeners compel one of the council members, perhaps Bob Ford to make a motion for a council resolution to institute an ordinance that would perpetually prohibit any current and future council persons from ever profiting in any way shape or form from any city development, project, or financial endeavor. This mean during their term in office and after they retire from politics they could not benefit financially from any goods, services, or the provision of any mortgage financing in any and all city projects and endeavors.

    This would effectively prevent the possibility of Allen Green ever performing any contracted work, sale of land, or from being employed in any manner now or in the future in connection with the Riverwalk condominium poject. This would also effectively prevent someone like Don Burnette or any business entity that he is connected with from receiving mortgage brokerage business or any compensation or commissions from any real estate transactions in connection with the Riverwalk project.

    This would not be an unreasonable resolution to ask for, and everyone on council should embrace this with open arms as a way that they can make a commitment to their constituency that there is no corruption in them and they have no ulterior motives for wanting to move forward with the Riverwalk development. Any council person that would oppose such a resolution would be clearly indicating that they have plans to personally profit in the future for facilitating Buddy Lacour’s financial rape of the citizens that have voted them into office. I encourage Mr. Noftall or the Gardeners to call the council out at the next council meeting to unveil if they are corrupt or not. This will be an extremely illuminating revelation before election time.

  3. The candidates are standing in line for this opportunity. Candidate Junco’s largest campaign contribution is from Lacour. Really right off the candidate website for the City. Are you kidding me? Corruption out and corruption in. Don Juan you raise a great point. Their code of ethics should forbid future monetary gains from projects that they approved. They should also not be allowed to vote on issues that in any way relate to a campaign donation they have received. I think nepotism is applicable as well.

  4. Can someone contact the news papers, tv stations, governor’s office and/ or anyone else that can help with what is going on in our city? We really need to get all this information out to the citizens of Port Orange before the election about the Riverwalk project and the possibility of corruption in our city government including the CM and the MITs. Any other ideas how to get this out to the public?

  5. Hello Mr. Don Juan. I would agree with your proposal. Sitting on council for personal gain should not be allowed. It should be outlawed. When I ran for re-election in 2012 I was severely criticized for accepting campaign contributions from a local land developer/residential home builder. I was asked by my opponent at that time, Ted Noftall, if I would recuse myself from voting on any issues relating to this particular developer. I agreed to recuse myself from any votes and stated so publicly. I did not want to appear to favor anyone.
    Conversely, I asked my opponent, Drew Bastian, a retired Port Orange Firefighter, with all the union support he needed, if he would recuse himself from voting on firefighter, union negotiated, contracts. Of course the answer was NO WAY. The union financial support paid for the vast majority of his campaign. Take now Councilman Ford, a retired Port Orange Police Chief, who has now won the endorsement of both the police and fire unions. Will Councilman Ford and Bastian recuse themselves from negotiating and voting on the new police and fire union contracts. I would say NO WAY. How will they vote after both have received heavy support from the unions and have secured two solid votes on their next contract.
    Or will Ford, Bastian, and the unions delay the final contract negotiations until after the next city election in August or November and see if another former public safety officer, Scott Stiltner, wins election. Scott Stiltner also has the endorsements of both unions. Of course that will give the unions exactly what they want, 3 seats on the city council. Three votes will get the unions a great new contract costing the tax payers millions. Should we expect Mr. Stiltner to recuse himself from union votes as Mr. Don Juan expects of Mayor Green and Councilman Burnette. I would say Mr. Stiltner would say NO WAY. After all, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Mr. Don Juan, what would you say?
    I would hope Ford, Bastian, and Stiltner, would do as I did, and publicly declare that they will recuse themselves from now, and in the future, voting on any union related issues. Don’t hold your breath citizens.
    My comments should not be taken as a disparaging comment on the professional policeman and policewomen who protect our city every day. They do a great job under the direction of Chief Monahan. I would say the same thing about our professional firefighters. Under the direction of Chief Pozzo they serve our citizens well. The issue is not with all the public safety employees in Port Orange. Policeman and Firefighters deserve to make a decent living with reasonable benefits. The issue is the unions who are out to control the city council. The unions are the ones who will eventually bankrupt our great city.
    So Mr. Don Juan, your proposal has great merit. Outside influence on our council should not be tolerated. The question remains, who will Ford, Bastain, and Stiltner support? The interests of the unions or the interests of 56,000 Port Orange residents.

  6. Mr. Pohlmann, in a perfect world we would have perfect politicians, and no doubt there are a number of special interests on the council. Even yourself! When you were on council you were eager to import interns through educational programs to the city to work for free and interfere with the free market in determining the value of city employee positions. During your tenure incentive raises were taken away from employees effectively disabling them to reach their tenure after 20 years of service. If the same was done to you while pursuing a career in the educational system you would not be able to afford a house for your family, health insurance, or an education for your children.

    As for Bob Ford and Drew Bastian, if you want to compare campaign donations to the potentiality of a mayor or council person making millions of dollars in contracts and potential commissions and fleece the citizens by benefitting from spurious business alliances with a developer who’s project they pushed through in spite of opposition from their constituency than you have no appreciation from the differential in scale between these two situations. If you are saying that councilmen should be given a license to defraud the citizens of Port Orange until the same prohibitions are imposed upon any and all special interests than you support this kind of graft yourself.

    Please develop some perspective! Your pseudo ideological intellectualism has always been the justification for the perpetuation of corruption in Port Orange. By extrapolation would you also say if we are not going to make pornography illegal then we should not make child molestation illegal? Maybe you would say if a person wants to ban third trimester abortion than maybe we should make it illegal to euthanize rodents. Come on Mr. Pohlmann if we followed your logic than nothing constructive would be accomplished to stop the corruption in Port Orange. Do you think the mayor’s son’s compartmentalized version of Allen Green Construction Company should have been awarded a city paving contract? Let me quess what your answer will be. If Bob Ford and Drew Bastian can accept campaign support from the Fire and Police unions, than what is good gor the goose is good for the gander.

    • How in the hell can you compare donations from developers, contractors and businesses with you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours expectations to support from union employees? Many of these employees are Port Orange residents exercising their voter rights. Showing support for a politician or trying to get out the vote does not necessarily put special interest money into the politicians coffers or their pockets. The problem with questionable campaign donations is that the politicians may feel a sense of obligation to the donor and put them ahead of the citizens giving the appearance that they are in someone’s pocket.

  7. Hello Mr. Don Juan. Thank you for reading my post, as I read yours. Also, thank you for replying in a respectful manner. Nothing is ever accomplished through insulting each other. That for sure doesn’t show any intelligent thinking. Everyone will have an opinion and as the saying goes, “everything is personal interpretation”.
    The original premise of your comments is that council members should not benefit from their position on how they vote for a particular project. You are 100% correct. If Councilman Burnette or Mayor Green ever made money from a Riverwalk vote in the future that would be unethical and probably unlawful. But how can anyone assume that will happen without any proof? I am making the same leap as you when I say the unions will benefit with Ford, Bastain, and Stiltner. But that is a strong possibility. Who will pay the price for that? It will be you and me and other tax paying residents. It is the same thing in my mind as your assertion. Again, personal interpretation. Please answer my question, do you think it is a good idea to have 3 former public safety employees negotiating union contracts, with the financial support from the unions, for the very people they worked with? If you feel that is OK, just say so and we will agree to disagree. I do not think that is OK. I think that is a conflict of interest. I do not think the unions should control the city council. Pure and simple and I believe the voters should think about that before that is allowed to happen. If that is the way the vote goes, so be it.
    You said that I was eager to import interns through an educational program? Not sure what you mean by that but I would say many businesses and public institutions have intern programs. What does that matter anyway? Incentive raises taken away? From Whom? Salaries and benefits were frozen all across America during the last depression we just went through. Is that what you are talking about. Hindsight is always 20/20.
    Mr. Woodman, thank you also for being respectful. Here’s where we will disagree. While I agree there might be a perception of a hidden motive when developers, contractors, and businesses donate to anyone’s campaign, the same can be said of union endorsements. Please don’t forget that developers, contractors, and businesses are also our local residents. When union money comes from Orlando, Tallahassee, Seminole County, and from all over Florida, that is not local. You don’t think the unions want to get their people in so things will go in their favor during negotiating for new contracts? If you don’t believe that who has pseudo idealism? It’s the same thing. They all want influence, and that’s what their contributions buy. As I said, I publicly declared to recuse myself from voting for my donors interests. Others have not.
    I sincerely would like for someone to explain to me and all the residents of Port Orange where the corruption is? Please tell me and if it is true, then I will say that is wrong. Please tell me where or how anyone has made millions of dollars while still serving on council. Who is corrupt? Who is going to jail? These assertions have to be specific. We can’t just say something is corrupt without proof. That is unfair.
    Mr. Woodman, if, when you were employed with the city, you were not allowed to speak the truth and bring to your superiors attention wasteful spending, than that was wrong. If you were told to shut up or be fired, that was wrong. If any employee then or now has to work under those conditions, that is wrong. I know when I served on council I never would have supported any kind of job security harassment. The same can be said for the education environment I work for. Job security harassment is not tolerated. I am sorry to hear you experienced that.
    Finally, I will say again, major mistakes were made and major oversights occurred. Council was not informed until it became horrendous. The chain of events cascaded and eventually got out of control. It was a shame it came down that way. Has it been corrected during the 2 years I have been off council?

  8. Mr. Pohlmann,
    I know that you are a man with experience. I think the differences of opinion about Council and Union and Developer relations is very interesting. I personally do not have issue with campaign donations from anyone. I do have an issue with the possibility of candidates receiving monies from these donors while in office and after they leave office. Relating to the unions if individual union members donate that is one thing. If the Union body itself pledges donations then the Council members should have to recuse their votes on issues pertaining to the subject unions. On the same token contractor or developer donations should be treated in the same manner. Let’s face it. A council member is a servant to the taxpayer. Not a player in a game to reap personal gain.

    • Hello PO Senior. I agree with you, individuals locally have a right to donate $25, $50, or more to their friends and former co-workers. What is scary is when the unions send Port Orange candidates to “union school camp” somewhere up north in Maryland or Virginia and teach the candidates on how to win elections and take control of councils. My understanding is that Bastain and Stiltner attended these “union camps”. I am sure both read this blog so I would like to hear from them if they did indeed go to these “schools” at union expense. Also, local donations are one thing but my opponent received large union donations from Orlando, Tallahassee, Central Florida Labor Council, Seminole County, and other unions around the state. I am sure Candidate Stiltner will receive this support also.

      A simple solution to all this union stuff. Have someone outside the city negotiate the new contracts. Ford, Bastain, and Stiltner can recuse themselves from voting on union issues. I recused myself from voting on issues relating to my contributor. My contributation amount was $3500. Bastain had 5 times that amount from outside Port Orange union sources. The hypocrisy is astounding.

      Another thing. Did you get to retire at 42-50 years old and receive a benefit package that guarantees you $1.5 million if you live to average age of 78?

  9. Bob

    Things are still horrendous, big money has been spent with little progress on the meter problems. Most of our problems remain in management. Meet the new boss same as the old boss. You make some good points that could be debated both ways. As a former employee I guess I lean more toward the former employees on council, as one might expect. I just wish that council would come together and form a consensus to straighten out our management problems. I’m not going to name or label people as corrupt because I don’t have facts to back it up. I do think however that it is best to avoid the appearance of being unethical and corrupt by being transparent, open and honest.. What happened to me in the past is over. I’m not happy about it but I hold no grudges. life is too short.

    • Mr. Woodman, I am sure you were a loyal and good city employee for 36 years. You are probably proud of the work you did for the city during the good years. I was proud of many things on council that I felt improved the quality of our city. Honestly speaking, the last 1-2 years on council were an embarrassment for me. I am sorry to see that this continues.

      • Mr. Pohlmann, it is getting late and I would like to engage in some additional intelligent and perhaps enlightening dialogue with you in the near future.. It is apparent that you are still passionate about public service, and I can attest that you are held in high esteem by many people that have indicated this to me. Perhaps you may have a desire to run against the incumbent who is now unopposed, Don Burnette. Many of us believe that a man that stands for something is better than a man that doesn’t stand for anything.

        From my perspective the existing problems in the city are not going to be solved by partisan polarity, and I am ready to receive wisdom from the left or the right. I believe the law of commonality needs to be applied propitiously to identify a holistic solution to the many unresolved problems that are getting increasingly worse within the city. The mayor, the new city manager, and his imported retread management team are obviously escalating these problems.

        I have followed both your and Ted Noftall’s political view points and public service, and have admired different elements of your opposing positions. This may be hard to believe but it is true. There is common ground for us all, and a holistic resolution to the problems that face us requires a commitment to what is in the best interest of everyone. If we have the discipline and integrity to apply the law of commonality in spite of the limitations of our existing paradigm we may find out that it results in a synthesis that expands our thinking and enables us to transcend what appears to be insurmountable problems. Thank you for respectfully conducting yourself as a gentleman and perhaps we can share some ideas, information, and finer points that may focus in on the solutions rather than our differences of opinion.

  10. Mr. Pohlmann,
    I hope we get full disclosure from the candidates. I did not realize that of Mr. Bastian. These are things voters need to understand prior to electing representatives. I like your mindset and honesty. I wish I had the ability to retire that early. 401’s for everyone and the City unfunded liability goes away. This is Port Orange post 2006 and should be financially treated as such. My property has decreased by nearly 50%. Thus my wealth and investment. Thankfully I plan on going nowhere so the current value has dramatically decreased my tax liability which has been a big plus for me. Thanks for your insight and look forward to following you going forward.

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