Port Orange Secret Deals for Public Money

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Submitted on 2015/12/04 at 9:50 am  by  Disgusting …..

 

If the below statements from a City Hall Insider are true about secret council meetings , we find them very troubling.

What we find particularly disturbing is that some of our City Councilman may be conspiring with the City Manager to circumvent Florida Sunshine laws or at a minimum the spirit of that state law.

The dictionary definition of conspiring is:   To secretly plot or make plans together, often used regarding something bad or illegal.



by  Don Juan Matus …..

A classic example of this is when the city manager recently facilitated individual meetings with each council member, the utility director, and an engineer from Arcaidis Consulting Engineering to persuade them to vote yes at an upcoming council meeting to approve several million dollars worth of task authorizations for master planning development and I&I projects.

This was done behind closed doors and without the knowledge or consent of the taxpayer or dedicated city activists in spite of the fact that a transparent workshop was planned to vet these grandiose requests out in an open forum subject to the scrutiny and introspection of the city council and the citizens of Port Orange. When these tape painting back door meetings failed to realize the objectives of the manager, his utility director, and the preferred engineering consultant the transparent public workshop was summarily canceled by the city manager.

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14 Opinions on “Port Orange Secret Deals for Public Money

  1. No one knows the specific content of meetings like the ones being referenced to here, and they may be strictly informational, but if what Don Juan says is true, then apparently the council did not bite off on the elephant. This is good and tells you that they may have simply come there when summoned to be presented with information intended to influence them with before being asked to consume the elephant one piece at a time.

    The only thing that I find troubling is that if this was a failed attempt to bite off on the elephant and feed it to them piece by piece orchestrated by the same city manager who has shut down the read file, is making a mockery of civil service rules, and is in the process of active dynasty building & implementing what he refers to as strategic communication then why have we not heard anything about this from the council at the December 1st council meeting, and why has the council allowed the city manager to cancel the utility director’s sales pitch workshop that the council was expediently demanding?

    Something is going on that is very fishy and the city council needs to come clean and address this issue at the next council meeting. They also need to demand that all the unanswered questions that were asked and promised an expedient answer to at the November 17th I&I workshop also be answered at that time. The taxpayers are hoping that the citizen activists will push for answers to these issues at the next council meeting.

  2. There is no place for secret meetings on matters coming before Council.

    Not with the Manager, Not with Consultants, Not with Auditors, and certainly Not with Developers. Yet each such meetings take place on a regular basis.

    I am opposed to such meetings and will remain so until 2 simple questions can be answered to my satisfaction.

    * How are city residents to know the basis on which decisions are being made if secret meetings are being held ?
    * What is being promised or discussed in secret that people are reluctant to promise or discuss in public ?

    If elected and if requested I will attend such meetings on the condition that door remains open, meaning such meetings will be common knowledge, will be held in a public building and the door will be left open for anyone wishing to come in and observe.

    Port Orange government has been operated in a sneaky manner by the mayor and multiple managers with the tacit approval of successive councils for at least the past dozen years.

    That system has benefited special interests quite nicely, the common interest not so much as evidenced by city wide flooding and the traffic nightmare that Dunlawton Ave has become.

    That has to change and will change if I am elected Mayor in 2016

    Ted Noftall
    for Mayor – 2016

  3. Why is there no commenting on the current contact impasse between the city and the police officers Union?
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  4. Was this mailed to residents? I did not recieve a copy. If not how will all residents be made aware of this matter?

    Thanks

  5. Ted I have a couple thoughts
    1. If you take part in these meetings even with the door open you have broken your promise for transparency. If you truly want to be the Mayor of the people you will not participate in these meetings you will require the notice that the Sunshine law requires and you will make sure that every phone conversation and email you participate in that is part of city business is documented and available for all to see. (which might be harder than you think)

    2. I wonder if you will truly be able to work with people who do not have the same beliefs as you. As we have seen in Washington and even in our state compromise is a 4 letter word and we have gotten away from governing for all and catering to the base! Your base gets you elected but you represent us all. I hope that you can objectively look at all sides and make an informed decision not based on what this site or the people that have supported you want, but what is truly best for the city! As of right now I am undecided but I truly hope that you don’t become the thing that you rail against as it pertains to our current Mayor, where you ALWAYS vote one way and that way is what your base wants you to do. As Mayor you will have to make some hard decisions and sometimes that means doing what is best for the City and not what is best for the base… Politicians have forgotten that.

  6. Interested:
    You bring up great points. Many share your concerns. I have heard others refer to Ted as the “Trump candidate of Port Orange” .
    I too am undecided and have some doubts how Ted will handle certain situations. I am afraid that he may not be a big picture thinker and will consistently go against the grain, not making decisions on what’s best for the entire city.
    So far, it’s Ted and status quo candidate Burnette. Expect others to get on board soon.

  7. Interested and Concerned you must not have been watching the same Ted I have all these years, because Ted is the most pragmatic person I have ever met.

    He is a sensible solutions based individual, and he exudes a realistic commonsensical no-nonsense approach in the personal, business and political facets of his life.

    Ted’s advocate-icy over the years does not led itself to your concern that he is not a big picture thinker or capable of placing common interests ahead of special interests. In fact the opposite is true. .

    And as regards big picture decisions shouldn’t greater concern be focused on the go along to get along procrastinators on Council who have not made a meaningful decision about anything in years ?

  8. Rebecca,

    Thank you for your response I felt that my comments were pretty straight forward. If Ted abided by his own transparency meetings like the one that he said he would attend would go against his own desire for back door meetings. It would not be announced, and anyone who walked by would have to get through the front door of the CM’s office, which has security measures in place, so it would be almost impossible to get to an “open door” meeting that was not announced and not in a public location where security measures are in place.

    You make a comment in your last paragraph that states that the Council has not made a meaningful decision in years. That is exactly what I am talking about as it pertains to Ted. When statements like that are made it shows you have a narrow view of City Politics. The statement really should say… The city council has not made a meaningful decision that has affected me personally in years. The council has made very good rulings, the have approved parks, invested in facilities, built roads, kept the city safe by purchasing equipment, and other things like that. They have also made poor rulings. Your statement reflects my concerns. Is Ted able to make decisions based on EVERYONE or just the few that really support him. In today’s political world it is “All or Nothing” my question to you Rebecca is are you able to say the same thing about Ted if he votes differently then you want him too? In today’s political news cycle every decision is put under the microscope when in reality it is just 1 vote.

    • Here is what Ted actually said

      ” If elected and if requested I will attend such meetings on the condition that door remains open, meaning such meetings will be common knowledge, will be held in a public building and the door will be left open for anyone wishing to come in and observe ” .

      and this is what you portrayed it to mean

      ” It ( the meeting ) would not be announced, and anyone who walked by would have to get through the front door of the CM’s office, which has security measures in place, so it would be almost impossible to get to an “open door” meeting that was not announced and not in a public location where security measures are in place ” .

      Any reason why you portrayed Ted’s comments in a negative light and not a positive one by suggesting he meant say council chambers or the lakeside pavilion that are rarely used during the day and do not have security measures in place. ?

      • Rebecca.

        Common knowledge is not the same as scheduled. Ted didn’t say any of that either. He just said common knowledge. You are putting words in his mouth. I wasn’t putting anything in a negative light I was just stating some thoughts. I was making some observations.

        • Sorry Concerned i don’t have time to play up and down the bunny hole with you.
          Your real concern should be with Council and their repeated secret closed meetings with individuals with matters before them for consideration.
          Ted has said he won’t play that game and I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt until he gives me reason to think otherwise.

  9. I am not interested in doing the up and down rabbit thing either, what I am interested in is how does Mr. Notfall if he is elected mayor make the meetings that he is talking about open to the public. Rebecca I am sorry if you feel I am being negative that is not my intent. My intent was to comment on something that came to my mind. As a candidate my observations should be pretty easy to digest and to answer. I am glad that you are willing to give Ted the benefit of the doubt and I to hope that he will do exactly what he says.

  10. Let’s see where Ted stands when new contracts for certain unions have retroactive pay and other benefits given by council members running for office that need them to get elected

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