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7/1:

I'm not the first to suggest that the new stormwater assessment fee should be "added" to the current mil rate to see where we stand on our mil rate right now. The assessment is a "tax" and it went up, literally, 100%. Understood for maintenance on stormwater equipment, but how does that translate into our mil rate of approx. 2.94? We are starting budget season.

Norm Erickson

6/28:

A leader talking about a "solution"... o - k...

And...does the Council have an inkling as to what this "solution" is?

Sent in to POP by a reader - as posted on Facebook:

Citizen: Clint I hear you...but my question still stands...why?
What's the point?
Why is there the desire to become what everyone else around us has become?
We can take small steps and develop our area into something greater without this mad rush to over-develop just for the sake of growth.
Our responsibility is to make the right choices for our area based on what the majority our citizens desire...not the choices of the few at City Hall...

Clint Johnson – June 25 th at 11:08PM: I agree with you, Jim. To that end I have hundreds of hours and a lot of money invested in working on a revolutionary solution to the inherent problems with government as it is known today. Stay tuned!

****

Presentations start at 6:30PM - the Council Meeting starts at 7PM

Agenda for Meeting on July 1st @ 7pm

CLICK HERE FOR JULY 1ST AGENDA

Wednesday’s Meeting – A Straightforward Affair – Hopefully…

Having said that, I thought it was determined that presentations are to be at 6:30. So why is there a presentation at 6:30 and then a presentation by FDOT later during the regular meeting? All presentations are equal...but some presentations are more equal than others. Councilmembers, please look into this. After all, you changed the ordering of Agenda items.

The meeting coming up starts off with Riviera Bella Plat Plans – this is really getting into the weeds. It’s been approved as a big picture item and will probably go through as is barring any unforeseen items.

Approval of the VCSO Contract – a no brainer. VCSO delivers excellent service to District 6 and we’re certainly not going to look into doing this ourselves. Contract cost is going up from 2,954,953 to 3,075,501.

Council begins the process of finally bringing water to Ft. Florida Rd. Citizens. Easements are the first step.

Under Public Hearings we have amendments to the Comp Plan and LDC to open up the process for bringing development to the TOD area. My specific concern here is changing “feet” to “stories” when talking about the height of buildings. I would keep it to feet as “stories” could be defined in other ways and going to a height we wouldn’t want. Having said that, given we want development down there, it might be better to keep things less defined. We’re changing in the Comp Plan from “light industrial” to “General industrial” in the TOD/SEMU area – so what will “General Industrial” allow that “light” won’t?

The City Manager search: They will get ranked and we’ll find out, hopefully, a short list of names.

Appointments and Communications round out the meeting.

Norm Erickson

6/25:

Does he really want to be there?

The Elephant(s) in the Room

CLICK HERE FOR THE POP EDITORIAL

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I want to clarify my position on what happened last night with Mort:

It would be madness on my part to think Mort would come to a meeting and say something other than what Mort usually says. My point is the Council needs to decide how meetings will be run and what is and is not acceptable. For Mort to tell a Citizen to "Shut up" after she simply gasped at something he said is, in my opinion, out of order, period, end of sentence. He should have been put out right there and then; to that end we need a cop at every meeting. Not just because of Mort but because there are others that simply want to watch the world burn. Mayor Clint Johnson has such a vast vocabulary I find it difficult to believe he has to run to "damn" and "hell" to make his point while at the same time sacrificing adherence with the decorum policy posted at every meeting. You're better than that, Mayor.

6/24:

Tonight Mort was out of order in telling a citizen to "Shut up" after she gasped at some of his commentary at the podium. Then he used profanity in addressing another woman who did speak out against what he was saying. Mort finished and left. I spoke afterwards telling the Council that I've defended Mort in the past, but it's up to the Council to decide how to run these meetings. There was no police officer present - we need an officer at every meeting, period, end of sentence. There was a minor in the room witnessing all of this and it was wrong. It is not how a meeting should be conducted and it is up to each member of the Council to put an end to it. Mort is Mort. For anyone to think Mort is going to come to a meeting and talk about sunshine and rainbows is madness. In addition, the Mayor used profanity twice (hell and damn) and while that isn't going to turn hair white, you can't enforce a decorum policy if you're cursing.

The email below is public record and was sent to the Council. At tonight's meeting the Mayor brought up this issue and it seemed out of place and was unprovoked from Ms. Rowley in the audience. The Mayor had another rant tonight and then summarily closed the meeting with two agenda items left to go - next time, the 4 Councilmembers need to let him go and continue the meeting - easy for me to quarterback, I know...but the Mayor threw a tantrum and really just disenfranchised the Council after asking them how he can work with them...more on this tomorrow...

Question: Is it ever justifiable for a Mayor to verbally assault a resident in public without provocation or just cause?

Just happened to me. It wasn't pleasant.


I attended a meeting between the Mayor and 3 apparent FDOT representatives. I was there to observe and was asked to attend by a friend who also attended. There were 6 people, not including the Mayor, entering the Conference room. The Mayor shook hands with the men and turned to me and started a verbal assault, telling me I was not welcome at the meeting, that I was only there to post lies about him.

The Mayor then demanded that I not post lies about the meeting or to leave immediately. He exclaimed in front of all present that I post lies about him "ALL OVER" the internet. I replied that was not true (and it isn't true and I have witnesses to verify that).. I post only on a private page and nothing that has not been backed up with screen shots. 
When I disagreed that I posted lies all over the internet about him, he said, "Are you staying or leaving?" I replied I was staying. He kept on and on that I had to promise to not post lies about the meeting. He then told me to sit down or be removed immediately. There might have been more, I'm angry now. I do know at one point he took a step toward me and I was afraid and had to take a step back.

This was completely unprovoked and in front of 5 other witnesses--the three people attending the meeting (from FDOT) and the two gentlemen citizens I arrived with. A few meetings ago this Mayor approached me and apologized for his conduct during the WM hearings, then told certain city employees (who told me) that we were good friends. So this verbal assault today was so unexpected. Yes, I'm angry.

Part of me wants to believe the Mayor confused me with others who do post on other pages and I hope that was the case and, if so, I hope that I receive a written apology immediately from both the Mayor and the City of Debary. If this Mayor has any sense of Ethics, he will do so, in my opinion.  My only other thought might be that I have e-mailed members of Council with complaints regarding social media posts and the Mayor's Mailbox--and attached screen shots to my emails. 

No citizen, no matter what their stance is on an issue or their views, should be attacked by an elected official, verbally or otherwise, or be intimidated or otherwise made afraid. I was attacked, intimidated and made afraid today. I certainly hope it won't happen again.  I ask that this matter be investigated and that the Mayor be censured for his unprovoked attack on a Debary Resident who was simply attending a meeting as an observer. 

Thanks.

Colette Rowley
Debary, FL. 

 

Workshop tonight (6/24) at 6PM

Meanwhile in DeBary, the cows grow fat and the bedrooms multiply.
Commercial growth is not for cities crippled by fear and nimby-ism.

--Mayor Clint Johnson – posted on FB sent in to POP by reader.

This from the person that couldn’t second a motion to just start the process to look at language for the commercial card room proffered by Mr. Costa. Which, by the way, is still being brought up apparently. Representatives for the cardroom are meeting with FDOT and some Council members to talk about 24/7 service on Sunrail and bringing the cardroom to the Council again. What? I was at the meeting – the 2 hour presentation about only the positives concerning the horsetrack/cardroom. At that meeting Mr. Costa stated that the Council could say “Yes” or “No” to the project. The Council can say “yea” or “nay”. Well, they spoke and still, like a kid in an aisle at Toys R Us, they are still wanting to bring it back. The process for the project was not followed: the applicant, which has never before happened, was given 2 hours with no input from citizens to sell only the positive aspects of the project: tax revenues, jobs, etc,. No second on CM Carson’s motion to just start looking at the language changes. The process given to Mr. Costa was so prejudiced and biased against due process for the people and yet he still couldn’t garner a second. So, yes, the process wasn’t followed: the applicant was shown a kind of favoritism that is unprecedented.

Budget: I hope it is easier this year. It should be. Home values are up slightly so even if we keep the mil rate as is, there will be a little more coming in –a couple of hundred thousand? I’m guessing. Home values are up about 2.3%. It will be discussed at the Workshop which is tomorrow at 6PM.

Social Media: I don’t know what problem is being addressed. I don’t know how the proposals will solve the problem. What is being referenced is the Employee Handbook. We’ll see how that discussion goes. I would think that Sunshine Law covers this, but I may be wrong.

After a decade of service to DeBary issues, DeBaryPOP is closing its electronic doors in December. DeBaryPOP is one of a kind - the first and only of its kind. It’s been an interesting ride and I’ve learned a great deal about myself and the citizens of DeBary. DeBary POP was the brainchild of former Councilman Leonard Marks - I, at first, declined the whole idea and dismissed it. Unfortunately for many, I changed my mind.

I think what I appreciate most about having been involved in my City is that it happened from, roughly speaking, my mid-thirties to my mid-forties – I know, I look older than I am. To have had these experiences both good and frustrating at an older stage in my life is not something that I would want. I’ll still go to an occasional meeting and perhaps speak out here and there.

This City is split along lines of socio-economic, North/South, and new blood and old blood. Gated communities, “Old” Debary, and Orlandia Heights.

I guess there really isn’t a “DeBary” as there are “DeBaries”.

When something is proposed, the City is split, if you’re lucky, in thirds. Sometimes it seems like fifths. Facebook brings this out when someone suggests a Starbucks and three posts later we’re arguing about the Civil War and Yankees bringing “their ways” down South.

Which leads me to a question: do DeBary citizens find it harder to forgive Fredrick deBary as a Northerner or as a European transplant?

By the way, Fredrick DeBary’s 200th birthday was this past January – did we do any kind of celebratin’?

Next Editorial: Talking about the Elephant in DeBary...you know what I'm talking about...it's talked about privately...POP will shine a light on it...

Cheers,

Norm Erickson

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


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