21 Opinions on “Port Orange Purchasing Manager Resigns | 2nd Manager in a week to resign at Finance Dept.

  1. So Joe Gomez the Finance Purchasing Manager is resigning the same week that the Finance Manager resigns? Time to start looking at what the REAL problem in the Finance department is!

  2. Hmmmm……

    Wonder how the powers-that-be can spin this one to make it look like it’s Ted Noftall’s fault? Ted is the only regular attendee at City Council meetings who has been telling the truth about the dismal state of affairs in the Finance Department–everyone else has been falling all over themselves seeing how much praise they can heap on the department and its director, Tracey Riehm.

    Port Orange City Council has a well-know readiness to blame the bearer of bad tidings for the tidings themselves, and if past performance is any indication of future behavior, then the Council will soon blame Ted for telling the truth. Maybe we won’t get as shameful a performance as the one by Don Burnette, when he shot Ted in the back during the last round of resignations, but chances are we’ll get something. In the past, whenever discontent and dysfunction within the City have become apparent, blaming those citizens interested in a better Port Orange rather than actually fixing the problems has been the norm. Hopefully things will be different this time but I, for one, won’t be holding my breath waiting.

    Ted…….maybe you need to quit being so honest all the time and try buying into the party line (or should I say the party lie) to improve your chances of being elected in 2016?

    • Thank you Mike. That is probably good political advice but it is not any that I will be following now or in the future. That has never been me and if I can’t win this Mayors race telling the whole truth I will not be winning it by telling half the truth. City residents will have plenty to choose from in the likely half dozen who will be more than willing to offer as many campaign half truths as are needed and they will not need me to join in that lie fest.

      Don Burnett is a prime example of those sound-bite half truth tellers when he observed that it will take three years to get the Finance department functioning properly without ever advising in what regards he considers Finance to be under-performing, or why he does not consider three years to be an inordinately long time for residents to be accepting of under-performance in any department.

      You are right to note that I have been consistent in my observations regarding the dismal performance of the Finance Department, AND that Council has been falling all over themselves seeing how much praise they can heap on that department and its director.

      Ironically that very faux praise coupled with; standing offers to increase the circle of confusion any time a new position or person can be found, along with endless excuse making proves-up the very case that the Finance department is underperforming. OTHERWISE WHY IS IT NEEDED.

      Port Orange has never had a functional finance department quite simply because it has never had the required ingredients of : a competent CFO, a Manager with a finance background, and a Council devoid of both arrogance or ignorance when it comes to understanding the financial function of a $ 75 million operation.

      AND THAT brings us to the heart of the blame Ted for being the messenger campaign that employs generous l doses of ad hominem attacks to the effect that ” Ted is anti government ” and that ” Ted wants to destroy government ” etc., all of which are bogus by virtue of the simple fact that I enjoy the benefits of living in a civilized society with commonly financed amenities just as much as anyone else.

      What they are really fearing and what they are really objecting to is my pursuit of improved efficiency in government operations and the lower taxes that will result from sharpened transparency and accountability regarding how and for what purpose taxpayer monies are collected and spent.

      On a seemingly monthly and sometimes weekly basis for the past 5 years we have had one instance after another, of non-feasance or worse come to light. If we reflect for about 10 seconds on just the past several months alone we have
      * elimination of the read file in contravention of policy established at the Jan 18th 2011 Council meeting
      * confused explanations and outright lies regarding the non-functioning $ 50 million reclaimed water boondoggle
      *major skullduggery with the missing berm complete with shady engineering and accounting,
      *major admissions that the Manager is unable to advise where drainage revenues have been spent for the past decade,
      *major admissions that the decade old ordinance requiring the establishment of a drainage improvement credit system was never implemented
      * inability to produce other than incomplete cherry picked financial data , and now the
      *unexplained mass resignations in Finance with the implications those resignations have on an already weakened internal controls

      Now ask yourself what substantive action has Council insisted be taken on any of them.

      The answer is over the past 5 years Council has taken no substantive action on anything, AND THAT is why the messages I have been espousing are so distasteful to Council, the Manager and their cronies.

      Some insiders dislike that I publicize my opinion to the effect that Port Orange government is a non accountable consequence free zone, AND that if elected I will discuss these kinds of failures in public until they have been rectified, AND THAT IS WHAT THE 2016 ELECTION WILL BE ALL ABOUT.

  3. rumors within the city workforce are indicating that additional resignations are coming soon

    many employees are pissed off that some of the staff got big salary increases ($20,000/yr) while many hard working employees got skipped over or received peanut raises.

  4. Harden and his senior administrators proceeded deceitfully right under the noses of Council in a number of areas – pay equity being one.

    The implications of this action like most other actions taken by the Manager, in this non-accountable consequence free environment, all of which are done in Councils name IS RARELY UNDERSTOOD.

    AND AT the crux of what is the fundamental problem in Port Orange government lies the UN-answered question . WHAT IS THE PROPER ROLE OF COUNCIL ??

    • Dear Ted,

      Can you explain what strategies you would use as our new mayor to put our city back on sound footing?

      Those of us who supported the election of Bob Ford and Scott Stiltner were crushed to see no change in the votes on council.

      Bob has remained true to his convictions. The man I perceived Scott to be during the campaign is not the man I see up on the dais now.

      Drew does not seem to vote based on any working philosophy. Scattershot voting pattern there for sure.
      I had assumed these gentlemen would vote as a block to make real change. Did not happen.

      I am interested to know how you would make substantive change if the current makeup of council remains essentially the same after the election.

      Thanks Ted.


      • Well said, many agree with your assessment Claudette.

        There has been no change to speak of, the elected members of the Council seem to be afraid of the long tenured crotchety Mayor and yes, Stiltner has been a major disappointment.

        • Dear Concerned,

          My impression is that we are seeing some real social manipulation up there on council by the mayor using his long honed alpha dog behaviors in keeping the pack in line. Not sure that Scott and Drew are even aware of the techniques being used on them. Know it’s happening with staff too on council. Some staff members are particularly good at achieving their agendas. Burnette long ago went to the dark side. His agenda is what ever will advance his political and professional career. Probably seeing that with Scott too. Drew is just clueless and wants to be loved. At all costs.

          Bob Ford maintains his focus and stays true to himself no doubt due to his PhD status and decades in management and academia. He has a trained mind. Plus he is just bright as hell and knows when he is being worked. When he deviates from his fiscal conservative path, he knows why he is doing it. I do not agree with him on several issues but Bob has thought out his positions and has an overriding rationale when that occurs. I can respect that. And he explains that from the dais. And Bob Ford will call any constituent back and jawbone with them. He is not afraid of debate.

          Drew and Scott do not seem to proceed from a working philosophy or rationale. Core beliefs, etc.

          My guess is if asked they would tell you what has changed from their campaign rhetoric it would be this: governing requires compromise, one must be collegial, got to be pragmatic, no sense in pointing fingers, staff has ” gotta have what they need”, got to move forward, why look back, let’s have another study, I.e.think berm here, etc.

          Ted on the other side of the dais also brings a trained mind and philosophical mind set and preparation to all topics. It speaks to respect for the taxpayer and listener when one comes prepared. I get annoyed when people critique his style. Listen to the content folks. Ted is an expert on this city. it’s finances, it’s history. The boy does his homework.

          Said all that to say this: was just wondering if anyone else out there in blog land has speculated on the dynamics in play in terms of manipulation both on the dais, from the dais and behind the scenes. It’s happening to this new CM too. That’s obvious. And your inferences please.


          My question as a taxpayer and voter is always “why are we doing this, how are you justifying this vote, how does it benefit the taxpayer both on a long and short term basis?”

  5. No one with any merit wants to work for the City of Port Orange. There is a foul stigma attached.
    Consequently any new department heads, like Tracey Reihm are substandard and totally unqualified to run a Finance Department for a city as large as Port Orange as is your new Utility Director Mr. Neff who got shuffled out of Seminole County. Our clueless council continues to make serious mistakes in the hiring process and heap praises on these losers because they themselves are losers and don’t know what else to do.

  6. It’s been two or three years now and still the computer system that was supposed to catch and correct Finance Dept. errors still is not operable. It can’t possibly take this long to install a program that will benefit the city immensely. What gives???

  7. The big joke about Neff is that he did not even apply for the Public Utilities Directors job but was ushered in covertly by Harden just like Jason Yarborough the previous Director was ushered in by Kisela with very similar spurious pasts in spite of a unanimously written and signed recommendation that he was not fit for duty by the very same Public Utility senior management team that Harden placed on the interview and selection committee. Prima fascia evidence of this unanimous vote of no confidence that was disregarded by Harden exists and can be produced for those who care to see it.

    The information that has been conveyed by numerous vendors and professional contacts in the utilities industry that do business throughout Florida and have had contact with the organizations he has worked for in the past is that not only was he told to turn in his resignation in his last assignment in Seminole County but also in his two previous assignments in Marion County and Clearwater. He is currently gutting Public Utilities through an ill-conceived departmental reorganization that is designed to run most of senior staff out or into early retirement that he has covertly and deceptively convinced David Harden and Donna Stienenbach to approve in spite of a consensus of his entire senior management team strongly objecting to going through with it because the same thing did not work in the past and had done serious damage to the department. He has announced to his senior management team that it is his vision and his prerogative to do this in spite of their dissaproval while misleading the city manager and the city council into believing that this decision was driven by a collaborative consensus with his senior management team. This has all been driven by manipulation, deception, broken promises, misrepresentation, and intimidation.

    Like the Finance department the Public Utilities department is being destroyed by the new incoming administrative management regime and you are now beginning to see the exodus of the last vestige of institutional knowledge and long term employees who give a shit succumb to this very sad situation that people like the new city manager, his assistant city manager Alan Rosen who is too good to live in our community, and Tracy Rhiems will continue to facilitate to the point of no return. While the body count of very good, honest, and hard working employees continues and the hand writing of this massive organizational implosion is written on the wall this is all being allowed to happen with a wink and a nod of the mayor and our present city council. Hopefully enough decent people can hang in there a while longer in hopes that Ted Noftall will be elected and do a major overhaul of this blatantly and disgustingly corrupt administration.

  8. Broke again or likely was never fixed ? Is Ms. Reihm now the issue or do we need to look even higher ?

    Resignations are an obvious symptom of problems in management. (DUH)

    • It is hard to understand how the City Council and the City Manager allow these short tenured under performing department heads to mismanage and run off long tenured highly valuable key employees. Then they praise them to no end at council meetings and blame their interminable underperformance on their predecessors who they themselves used to praise. Council never laments all the good long tenured employees that these new department heads run off. Then the new city manager with little knowledge of their background or what has transpired in the past advertises that these new dysfunctional department heads like Tracy Rheim are doing such a phenomenal job without supply any supporting evidence or giving a tangible explanation of exactly what great things they have done. This is all happening when Rome is burning down. I think when this organization’s collapse really starts kicking in, that this new city manager will be likened to the NERO of Port Orange, fiddling while the city burns.

  9. So sorry to see Mr. Gomez leave. He has been a consummate professional and a true gentleman. There are a number of miscreants in upper management that employees would be celebrating if they resigned but in the case of Mr. Gomez this is a significant loss to the organization and he will be missed from the employees that depended on his efficiency and knowledge in facilitating their business. Port Orange has become an extremely dysfunctional organization politically and administratively and seemingly attracts dysfunctional department heads and city management while driving away really solid professional managers like Mr. Gomez who benefit the taxpayers and are a pleasure to work with. Good luck Joseph in your future endeavors, your exodus will be a huge loss to the city and your fellow employees.

  10. All the tenured employees know that major trouble is on the horizon even worse than the implosion that occurred during Kisela’s short reign. The council has their heads in the sand just like they did a little over a year ago. They allowed the mayor and David Harden to fortify and reassemble the same ICMA hack administration that was behind the retrogression of the city administration that was put in place to facilitate special interest business interests and politics. Now it is ready to come to roost in a tremendous way. The scapegoating and whitewashings of the past few years that have been sown by the mayor and the city management are ready for the reaping, and the abuse of the general workforce infrastructure that has been going on for many years now will be a key factor in all this coming to a head.

  11. The Fire Chief resigned, rather than being fired for not following policy and moving into the city. He knew that he would have to move here when he accepted the posistion, he was just here for the paycheck. Good riddance.

  12. why is it so important for someone to move to the city to be an administrator. If all of you are mad at that, I think that you should require all city employees to move to the city also. I never understand why you think all upper management should live here to do a good job.

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