Is the YMCA being candid with the City Manager?

ymca
from: Harden, David <dharden@port-orange.org>
to: Newton White <nwhite0@cfl.rr.com>
cc: City Council <CityCouncil@port-orange.org>, Scott Stiltner <stiltner4council@yahoo.com>

date: Thu, Nov 13, 2014 at 8:35 AMdate: Thu, Nov 13, 2014 at 8:35 AM

Risk Management has verified that the YMCA has all the liability insurance in place as required by their lease.



 

From: Newton White [mailto:NWhite0@cfl.rr.com]
Sent: Friday, November 07, 2014 4:15 PM
To: Harden, David; City Council; Stiltner, Scott
Subject: Re: YMCA bitter sweet

Thank you Mr. Harden.

I accept and am happy to see that the questions are being followed up on with risk management.

However, it appears your source of answer for the space taken by the new equipment was the Y and this leaves me skeptical.  The Y clearly said the equipment would be MUCH smaller this was in response to my questioning the proposed expansion floor plan that would have actually reduced the area for “fitness” and the placement of the cardio and circuit machines.  The machines that are there are not “much smaller” and at best may be a couple additional or different machines than before. There is not enough reduction in size to create enough free room space to notice. Half of the machines are Nautilus as before. I do not have a count on machines before and after but my observations are shared with members I have spoken with before addressing this issue. I would be happy to come show you the documents and plans that were submitted during the discussions.

I know that the plan only renovates the mens locker room.

  •  I am asking that the plan to do the ladies be added and to not plan on the future expansion of the building that would relocate the ladies locker room.  Can this be brought to council?

The council discussion was to not expand the building and wait till after LA Fitness settled in to see if the expansion would still be needed based on a reduced membership and attendance. I have not seen the ladies locker room but many including my wife tell me that it is in need and sounds similar in condition as the same aged mens locker room.

Newton White

 



From: Newton White [mailto:NWhite0@cfl.rr.com]
Sent: Friday, November 07, 2014 4:15 PM
To: Harden, David; City Council; Stiltner, Scott
Subject: Re: YMCA bitter sweet

Thank you Mr. Harden.
I accept and am happy to see that the questions are being followed up on with risk management.

However, it appears your source of answer for the space taken by the new equipment was the Y and this leaves me skeptical. The Y clearly said the equipment would be MUCH smaller this was in response to my questioning the proposed expansion floor plan that would have actually reduced the area for “fitness” and the placement of the cardio and circuit machines. The machines that are there are not “much smaller” and at best may be a couple additional or different machines than before. There is not enough reduction in size to create enough free room space to notice. Half of the machines are Nautilus as before. I do not have a count on machines before and after but my observations are shared with members I have spoken with before addressing this issue. I would be happy to come show you the documents and plans that were submitted during the discussions.

I know that the plan only renovates the mens locker room.
.
I am asking that the plan to do the ladies be added and to not plan on the future expansion of the building that would relocate the ladies locker room. Can this be brought to council?

The council discussion was to not expand the building and wait till after LA Fitness settled in to see if the expansion would still be needed based on a reduced membership and attendance. I have not seen the ladies locker room but many including my wife tell me that it is in need and sounds similar in condition as the same aged mens locker room.

Newton White



 

From: Newton White [mailto:NWhite0@cfl.rr.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2014 1:08 PM
To: Harden, David
Subject: YMCA bitter sweet

Mr. Harden,
This morning ahead of the ribbon cutting I took the time to go see the renovations at the Y. I am pleased with what has been done the flooring and paint give a new and bright look. The circuit machines are new as is equipment in the free weight room and the converted racquet ball court to personal fitness training space. I am however skeptical and must point out the deficiencies in what council and the public were told/sold back in February.

* The new equipment was to have “a much smaller footprint” that would have allowed the training area to fit into much smaller space that was proposed in the first plan with an expanded building. The new equipment is not taking up any less space and appears to be the same size has the equipment that was there before. No space savings for the $200,000 budgeted for new equipment. The new equipment actually does have a smaller footprint than the previous Nautilus equipment. The Y states that they have more equipment in the same space as well as new and updated equipment with the latest technology.

* The completion dates on phases 2 and 3 have been missed. Phase 2 was just completed and was sold to council to be complete by May 15. Phase 3 that has not even started was to have been complete by September 30Phase 3 was to include work in the mens locker room but not the ladies as they wanted to move the ladies in the future expansion.

I ask that before phase 3 is started that it include a refurbishment of the ladies locker room and not consider an expansion of the building. Phase 3 does include refurbishing the ladies lobby restroom, but not the ladies locker room.

It would be good to know answers to the following questions.

Why was construction delayed so late? . Given the turnover in City staff the delay is not surprising to me. The Y staff is of the opinion that between the City’s bid procedures and contractor’s timelines, the projects were completed as timely as was possible. For example, architectural services proposals for Phase 3 were received on September 17, and the City Attorney’s office has not yet completed their review of the contract for these services. In fact the Y was closed opening week of the new LA Fitness.

Has the ownership of the new equipment been documented to the city? Yes. What was the actual cost? $190,749.28

Are appropriate liability insurance and risk management considerations in place? I have asked our Risk Manager to check and be sure that they are.

Can we see a plan to remodel both locker rooms is phase 3? I am told that in several Council meetings it was discussed that the men’s locker room is in much more need of renovation than the ladies. The Y wants to get one locker room completely renovated as a model for future locker room renovations.

When will the already budged parking lot repave go ahead if an expansion plan is not in short term planning? City staff believes that the repaving should not proceed until the location of any future expansion is finally determined. Until then they recommend that work be limited to repairing damaged areas.

.
Issues with traffic flow and daycare pick up, roots, walkways and curbs could be improved at that time.

Documents are attached.

Newton White

21 Opinions on “Is the YMCA being candid with the City Manager?

  1. From hank Springer. I am opposed to the coziness between the city government of Port Orange and the YMCA, Haut House and the chamber of commerce. Then we have Family Days. And then we have the Riverwalk Condos which are needed if we want to build a park for the people. Is any one else tired of these alliances? — Buy the old church at S. Williamson blvd and Willow Run Drive and we can rent it out to volusia county? — hank springer

    • At the last council meeting the Mayor said he had his own personal structural engineers inspect the old church.

      What is he scheming up with that inspection ?

      • Ahhhhhh, yes, that came out of left field didn’t it ?

        There is some type of motivating factor and what’s in it for me attitude there. Something’s brewing…..

      • No scheme. The Mayor has stated in the past publicly that he and Jack Wiles (chair of the parks and rec board) looked into the property years ago for a city recreational use. Ball fields, gym, ect… At that time the price was to high.
        Sounds reasonable and responsible to me. Due diligence.
        Also, on a comment below regarding the “foreign investor”, yes he is from another country but he lives and works in Port Orange. He’s a tax payer like the rest of us.
        If we believed most of the posts on this site, we’d think the sky was falling! Continued work on posting the facts or maybe not spinning the facts would go a long way to righting the ship in Port Orange.

        • Due diligence ? Why did they let it slip away when it could have been grabbed for a song and a dance after the real estate plummet of ’08 ?

          Would have solved two issues: the blighted abandoned property of over 10 years cleaned up and a fine location for such a recreational facility or other city use.

          As for Mr Foreign investor who you purport to be such a fine local businessman? He has no pride in this property at a main thoroughfare and is constantly prodded to clean it up.

          • Ha, you supprt my point about this site being full of self serving posters…
            …hind site is 20/20 for all of us on investments we should have made. The plummet of ’08 you speak of also killed the cities budgets and ability to spend cash. Most of these posters would have probably been critical of the Mayor trying to buy the property when the budgets were so lean. I simply stated the Mayor did research that property. Any of us could have brought the reduced price to the city when it was dropped. I don’t think the Mayor was the only responsible person to work on that issue. We’ve always had a council of 5 and population of 50,000 plus in recent years. Any of us could have brought the price reduction to anyone’s attention.
            …also, on the idea of speaking the facts only. My comment of the foreign investor was precisely that he “lives and works in Port Orange. He’s a tax payer like the rest of us.” Never did I say he was a “fine local businessman”, that you insinuated I said. We have lots of non maintained properties in our city, most are probably US citizens.

    • “Coziness” good word. Art Haus ? Private business entity isn’t it ? I never have figured that one out.

      The YMCA I am straddling the fence on. It is located within City Center, it is an asset to our community but I don’t particularly want to see the city get too involved (it may be too late)

      The Chamber ? There definitely is an odd and too cozy relationship there that concerns me. Every city has a Chamber of Commerce and it is needed. But this one seems too politically involved and motivated for my taste. Wonder what Ms. Connors salary is ?

  2. They blew the deal on the decrepit eyesore church years ago. I “think” it sold for well under 700,000 maybe even 500,000. Would have been a steal. Now some foreign investors own the place and it still looks as bad as ever.

    This land would have been great for a recreational facility or other. Now if they approach Mr foreign investor, he will want triple the price. One helluva eyesore at Williamson and Madeline.

    • Get involved, run for council, bring positive ideas to the table, stop pointing the finger and being the victim. You are as cabable as any other citizen to direct this community.

      • Hank to Mr. Onlooker. I presume you have served on the city council? Following the activities of city government, commenting on blogs and to the city manager by e mail, voting and much more is part of being “involved”. If the primary impetus for an “involved” caring citizen is to run for council many tax payers fail your standard. There are a hosts of reasons why people do not run for political office and your standard for good citizenship is somewhat elitist, undemocratic and censuring. Do you live in Summer Trees where it has previously been advocated that if you have never been on the board of Directors of the Home Owner’s Association, you have no right to inquire and criticize. I only take the time to post this comment, because I had thought that by now such an attitude as yours had generally been rejected since politics now has such a bad reputation. Thank God we have a few good individuals who apply for jobs in the elected office, but few are called to this chosen vocation. — hank

        • No Hank, involved does not only mean running for council, with only 5 seats available, that makes no sense. And certainly not an elitist attitude. “Good citizenship” (your term, not mine) would include bringing ideas to councils attention during citizen participation, emailing council with positive ideas, not just criticism. I know that we will never all get exactly what we want. But Hank, you’re a smart guy. Review all the posts on this site and seperate them in a fact or fiction list. Most will fall under fiction. Or, for example on the TIF Riverwalk issue, as I have requested to others on this site, show us the math of giving Buddy the $5m vs doing nothing and keeping all that property off the tax rolls and still having to fund the debt. How about we stop with ideaolgies and get down to the hard and fast numbers. My guess is your either scared to see the real numbers or are willing to cost the citizens more tax money in order to push your personal agenda against Riverwalk.
          Your post shows your one of them, willing to point the finger, but not willing to be part of the solution.
          And, I have no idea what the comments about Summer Trees are in reference to.

          • When I did get involved, Mayor Green, Mary Martin and Onlooker were the type who refused to reply to requests.

            Thankfully with the makeup now, the list has only Mayor Green who adamantly refuses to answer e- mails. All other Council members are great.

          • Hank to Mr. Onlooker: it’s ok with me to point your finger at me and tell me “I am one of them”. I have been called worse in my life time. I cannot imagine why you think I would be afraid to look at the real figures.To what ideology do you think I have taken a vow of stupidity . I have seen the estimates on figures which forecast a lot of money revenue coming into Port Orange if Riverwalk is built, and I guess I can accept those figures, but excuse me for getting so personal about this, because I don’t think we have to give the developer any more incentives for him to work as a partner with the city. I think he got enough of incentives, considering that his associates rushed into buying the prime land in the park and keeping it to themselves. Is it not incentive enough for the grand master developer to have his three, seventeen story condos right in the middle of the park? Why did he have to show up with a shotgun and get a promise of $5 million dollars of tax payers money or he was walking away from a partnership idea for a park for the city?
            In my opinion, we will never rebuild the Ridgewood Corridor unless we allow more condos. That’s ok with me because I don’t live down there. But there are others, not me, who have personal reasons for not wanting condos on Ridgewood Ave. This grand master developer in conjunction with the construction mayor is at work starting the first step towards condos all up and down Ridgewood Ave. I could care less if Ridgewood Ave.looks like Miami Beach. I do not live there. Is that the group that you think I belong to? Those who do not want to live near condos? Sorry pal you make your own personal judgments a little too easy. It’s not complicated. Lacour will be developing condos on Ridgewood Ave in the future, and the construction Mayor has family, contacts and friends in the business. This is not only about Riverwalk Park. There is more to come, and developers are on the march with their threats and ultimatums.
            I hope you do not think my reasoning is based on anonymous posts on any blog. It seems to me that you are overly influenced by anonymous posts. They have influenced your outlook on opposing opinions about Riverwalk. I rejoiced with Ken Parker when I first heard about the Riverwalk Project. Things have changed a lot since the CRA had told the city manager and grand master developer that it had wanted no structure in Riverwalk Park to be over 5 stories tall. Gee, I am one of them? Afraid to look at the figures? You know how to hurt a guy and think that you are defending your position on the issues. Thanks for thinking I am a smart guy. Sorry that I have opposing thoughts not only on the Riverwalk Issue but how to be involved. I voted for the two correct guys to be on the city council so there — I am involved. And I intend to hold their feet to the fire. —- hank

      • Mr. Onlooker, on what standards do you base your judgment that any citizen is capable of “running this community”. Do you base your observation on the performance of past city council members? — hank

        • Hank, the 3 condo’s are not in the middle of our park, they’re in the middle of his property. Thats an example of you not speaking the truth. He has rights as a property owner. Riverwalk was never intended as a park only. It always had a residential and commercial element. I don’t disagree that the funeral home deal was a bad situation. But the fact is the deal is done and we can only move forward with what we have in front of us today. Continued griping about that deal will only continue to be non productive. He had to “show up with a shotgun” because he had to say lets do it or not after 12-15 years. Any of us would be frustrated and ready to say are you in or out at that point. It’s a business decision for him. I respect your right to have differing views and I expect you to hold both Bob’s and Scott’s feet to the fire. My fear is that with Bob’s continued stale mating of the project, we will all continue to stare at vacant tax draining land.
          Also, my basis is not that any citizen is capable of running this community, but rather every citizen should be involved in a positive way in some form or fashion.
          I apologize if I offended you, but I just think your smart enough to be a good influence on this site and within this city and have high expectations for you.

          • To Onlooker from Hank. don’t worry about offending me. I react but don’t really take it as personal as I may make it sound. It’s part of my strategy to offset remarking about me rather than the issue.

            You wrote: “the 3 condo’s are not in the middle of our park, they’re in the middle of his property.” I’ll let you live with that perception. It speaks for itself and needs no defense.

            Aren’t you the guy who told me some years ago that the Lohman/Cardwell/LaCour/City funeral home was not in the Riverwalk Park? Perhaps technically you were correct, but in the scope of things being negotiated the funeral home property plays a vital role for parking in Riverwalk Park.

            Yes, the deal on Riverwalk Park is done as Bob Ford says and we will have a park. I accept that. But you were the one who switched your complaints about the facts in this blog to the Riverwalk project. Indeed the deal is done, but if you ask me, I still don’t like it, nor will I ever approve how the deal was manipulated, and you will never see me inside that park, either dead or alive. City council people and citizens are no match for crafty developers. CRAs are the work of crafty developers and governmental agencies. CRAs are the work of devils. CRAs should be outlawed. Incentives for construction work with tax paying money is diabolical . My proof? Consider this. The developer first demanded 10 million dollars, but then reconsidered and said that he was willing to accept 5 million dollars. I would assume he really did not need the original 10 million dollars. He doesn’t deserve 5 dollars since he has his condos “in the middle of his property” as you point out. But of course, we who are one of them should not point out where his property is. And the Mayor does not even want people to name the developer.
            I see it all differently than you. I accept what it is and am willing to let every one move ahead. I do not have to like it just because it may be considered a done deal. The lack of tax revenue on property not in use was the shotgun the developer carried with him when he demanded 5 million dollars. I think the developer wanted a city council definite promise at this time so as not to haves to deal with it in the future with the likes of Bastian, Stiltner and Ford. Also, I suspect that armed with a city council resolution promise to give the developer (yes,I know it is up to 5 million dollars, but do you expect the final sum to not reach 5 million dollars?) 5 million dollars he can negotiate with an honorable bank for another loan which might be used for something not even associated with Riverwalk. And who knows if the developer will ever build his condos in Riverwalk Park? He has already changed his mind twice on the condos.

            You seem to be against negativity just because it is negative. I understand that constructive criticism can have negative implications but the results are positive. In reality some of the arguments I hear in defense of a lot of things city hall does seem negative to me. Truth is in the mind of the beholder or perhaps in the hands of the schemers and manipulators. You just do not see what I see, not withstanding the many so called “mistakes”. I agree if you agree, a lot of mispeaking going on in these blogs. Worse are those, I can’t say you, but those who do not speak their thoughts but show up en mass at a city council meeting to condemn “them” and urge “them” to stop all their negativity, with even no acknowledgment that things have gone wrong and need to be fixed.

            It’s all in the past now. All of “them” now have no excuse to fix things as they should be reformed. Both you and I can now focus our attention on what they produce, and you and I may agree on things as we go along.

            A note to you as an anonymous blogger. It does not matter who you are, I am delighted to entertain your thoughts. You may be Bob Pohlmann, or even Ted Noftall baiting me to defend my perspective. Or you may be Hank Springer, playing with himself to produce such intelligent arguments and persuasions. I find myself from time to time talking to myself, and then disagreeing with what I said .lol — keep the dialogue up because the mayor hates it. Remember how not to be a bad citizen, how not to apply too much scrutiny, send your complaints to department heads and not the city council, and if your attitude is bad the mayor feels free to take back promises. The master developer should have been a silent partner?
            What in the world do you see that I do not? Baseball? Who is your favorite Team? I’ll get back to you.
            — hank springer

            sincerely hank

        • To clarify, my comment was…”You are as cabable as any other citizen to direct this community.” it takes hundreds and / or thousands of people to direct this community. Everybody plays a roll.
          Again, let’s all state facts, please don’t twist peoples words.

          • to Onlooker: you wrote ” it takes hundreds and / or thousands of people to direct this community. Everybody plays a roll.” Nice idea too bad it does not work that way. — hank

  3. I don’t think foreign investors own it. Pretty sure it was purchased by an area doctor, he purchased it and had a cell phone tower placed in the rear corner. The cell companies pay a pretty good amount for long term leases. Usually in the $1600-$2000 a month range, sometimes higher. Lease are typically around 20 years for these type of arrangements, then renegotiated and renewed.

    • Sweet deal, I thought so too but didn’t realize the revenue was that much.

      I would have thought that my sarcastic comment about the makeup of the Council in 2008 would have hit home with Mr Pohlman aka Onlooker.

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