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Surely, Shirley we're not going to do this again...
Gambling ... AGAIN??
I asked Mayor Johnson about his residency: He's been renting a home on adjoining property while preparing to build a house - but they are going to buy instead. He does not live in Daytona.
"If you live long enough, you get to be new again." George Burns
WHY WAIT FOR THE FUTURE WHEN IT'S IN THE PAST?
NEW LINK ON POP:
GAMBLING: MORT CLARIFIES THE ISSUE
From 2008 - when gambling first came to our City...thanks, John - you're as relevant now as you were then:
It was a disgrace!
What started as an annoyance grew to a crescendo of complaints – and some thanks – as I started to leave Town Hall. Complaints for the transparent behavior of stacking the audience with shills and “thanks” for not letting them get away with it. Maybe we should thank themfor bringing in non-residents to show the people of DeBary they can't win without them.
Two Councilmen, Marks and Lenzen, saw that this could not be fair meeting and had the courage to make a motion and second it to have the meeting moved to a later date and larger facility. This was the best part of the evening. And just in time because civility was starting to break down. Besides questionable behavior, including some that should have known better, the absence of civility was obvious. Webster says it clearly:
Ethics: A set of moral principles or values. The principles of conduct governing an individual or group.
What happened to Ethics? Where are the professional standards of conduct? When does it become acceptable to cast ethics aside and put the emphasis on deception and intimidation?
Is this project so weak they have to recruit outsiders to pack the hearing? So weak as to create a hostile atmosphere for those who wanted more information on the project or didn’t want a green T-shirt? The intrigue and disregard for the will of the people was evident. They may have stacked the deck but they alienated hundreds of people with their tactics. The people are not dumb. To force them to have to push their way into Town Hall because every access to the front was blocked with green T-shirts did not go unnoticed. What other “goodies” were given to the shills? To let ethical behavior for possible personal gains must have been too strong to ignore.
Where are we going in DeBary? What are we going to be in the next 5-6 years? Disregarding the rules and laws, arbitrary zoning changes, ignoring the Comprehensive Plan, looking the other way to allow questionable projects to go forward without adequate review of the consequences is what got this City in so much trouble in the past.
What is the urgency to shoehorn this project into our City? This is one of the most significant times to cross our boundaries and should be given the time and discussion it deserves. Without cat-calling, heckling, and rude behavior.
Have we become so immune to decency?
DO WE WANT GAMBLING? WHAT IS THE PROJECT? WHAT IS BEING PROPOSED?
At the last workshop the Mayor's Mailbox and language about gambling were discussed at length - but these items were not noticed on the Agenda. Suggestions about new language about gambling were suggested and passed around.
Perhaps gambling language on the Agenda in May...stay tuned...
Prior to sending out the surveys, the Mayor talked to the city attorney privately for 30 minutes about Mayor's Mailbox, so that cost money - did Clint Johnson pay the attorney's fees or the taxpayers?
Why is the Council talking about what citizen Clint Johnson is doing? Why wasn't this discussed? Why didn't Clint share this with the Council before he did it? Surveys are coming into City Hall and City Staff is now having to deal with it.
Mort Shreds Norm Erickson
Workshop this Wednesday at 6PM - A Good One:
Budget Discussion - will they count this year? CM Dwyer - save your breath this time around. Last year a last minute change in Mil Rate reduced the budget process to...well...no process
Stormwater Assessment Fee - Discussion
Visions from the Past for our Future: A discussion on the visions from last year...
TOD Incentives - I thought the incentive was Sunrail...ok..sorry...but it was an easy set up...
"HISTORY DOESN'T REPEAT ITSELF...BUT IT DOES RHYME" - MARK TWAIN.
HOW MUCH TIME IS MAYOR JOHNSON SPENDING AT CITY HALL? IS HE INTERFERING IN THE DAY TO DAY BUSINESS? DOES HE DO PERSONAL, PRIVATE BUSINESS AT CITY HALL?
CUTTING TO THE CHASE:
IS THIS MAYOR JOHNON'S NEXT MOVE?
In the strong-mayor form the elected mayor is given almost total administrative authority and a clear, wide range of political independence, with the power to appoint and dismiss department heads without council approval and little, or no public input. In this system, the strong-mayor prepares and administers the city budget, although that budget often must be approved by the council. Abuses in this form led to the development of the council–manager form of local government and its adoption widely throughout the United States.
Clint Johnson’s Words on social media about Mayor's Mailbox:
I've paid and will continue paying for everything personally. This is not being sponsored by the City. To use their USPS Mail Slot would have been inappropriate and less convenient. If I wasn't prepared to hear all sides, I wouldn't have asked. Thanks for participating!
I worked in accordance with the local guidelines and have hired a company to collect and populate the data.
So...can any Citizen set up a mailbox in town, send out a flyer and have a company pick up surveys? This is private/personal - but it's the "Mayor's Mailbox" not "Clint Johnson's Mailbox". It's private when it's private and public when it's public. Looking at the actual mailbox, I don't know how it is allowed there. Asking about gambling better not be used when the issue comes before the City as a survey is not a basis for approval or denial and only two choices were given: gambling or shopping.
Idea: why not use the information from the Visioning Session from last Fall? It cost taxpayers thousands of dollars to produce? Where is the list of stuff from those workshops? About 150 people came out and participated.
FIRST AMONG EQUALS
"MAYOR'S MAILBOX" IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS:
"Mr. Conoley is now going to be a defendant..I appreciate that talk…”
Melissa McCullough -
What?? Rudolph Conoley - "now going to be a defendant"
WHY? FOR WHAT?
Rudolph Conoley started speaking at 18:50...
Listen to Melissa McCullough's comments at the 4/1/15 meeting starting at:
Also, I would say that 85 to 90 percent of the people at the meeting on Wednesday were there for the Special Exception for the SHOTZ bar...once that passed...the room emptied out...so if you think all these people turned out for what is going on in the City...you would have been surprised, as I was, when the SHOTZ people shot out of there...
Terms of City Manager's Departure:
May 31st last day
Golden Parachute intact
Consultation for 20 weeks commencing June 1st
$300 dollar a month auto expense
Cell phone for consultation uses
City Council Meeting: 4/1....no foolin'...
The Mingle Mangle
Part I of Part IV of the Mingle Mangle
Clint Johnson won his primary way back in August 26th, 2014 – a span of 257 years in the world of politics – it’s like dog years.
On September 30th, 2014 Rick McBride stated the following on his Facebook page – it was directed at me but it was about Mayor Johnson’s win:
Norm, they did not vote AGAINST experience, they voted FOR Clint. 3652 homes have sold in DeBary in the last 10 years. Add in about 20% of rentals in town and assume most have turned over that gets you to over 5000 households. They don't even know who Tillis and Lenzen are other than a pest guy and a guy named jack. Clint, on the other hand, made sure that EVERY resident knew who he was and ran a masterful campaign. This election had NOTHING to do w/ experience and EVERYTHING to do with one of the best campaigns I've ever seen.
Ok. The campaign was a huge success – can’t argue against that. “Masterful”. Mayor Johnson made sure that “EVERY resident knew who he was”. Got it.
So let’s review the bidding of our recently installed Mayor:
He sent out a four page flyer before that primary. It had lots of information. I commented before the primary about the Mayor Round tables and the issues they may present – using citizens as a wedge against other Council members – we’ll see. I also commented on Mayor Johnson’s statement: “I will never raise taxes.”
Ok. On September 13th, 2014 at the visioning session, Mayor – Elect Johnson raised the possibility of bringing Police and Fire in-house; that is to say, for DeBary to have its own Police and Fire and not contract out to the County and Orange City respectively. He stated at that visioning session that it only took one voice to add it to the list and he wanted a feasibility study to bring Police and Fire in-house added to the list. He wasn’t even on the Council. Ok, a review: this is the person who had just stated three weeks before: “I will never raise taxes”, but then requested a study to bring a multi-million dollar vision into DeBary’s budget. Where did this come from and did he tell citizens this as he knocked on 5,000 doors? He didn’t put it on his flyer. And what is the status of this “study”? What is the status of the Visioning Sessions and those lists generated by Citizens last summer?
I’m just getting warmed up.
On September 1 st, 2014 Mayor-Elect Johnson was the subject of a news article in the DBNJ by Mark Harper.
There was an interesting few paragraphs that caught my attention:
DeBary resident Barry Maguire requested Johnson send him a resume or qualifications to be mayor.
“You said that you ‘would get me a tech sheet/resume of your accomplishments to date,’ ” Maguire wrote in an email. “I have heard nothing from you.”
Johnson replied that he purposefully was not campaigning with a long bio. “I don’t need inane credentialism or corporate appellation to feel secure and satisfied of my state in life,” he wrote.
“As a Christian, I believe myself to have more patience with difficult people,” he (Clint Johnson) said. “I understand where they are coming from. I can be empathetic to their views. I am a servant to them.”
Ok. A few things here. If Mr. Johnson sees himself as a servant to the people, then why not deliver the resume as requested? It’s a common request. In addition, to intentionally campaign without a long bio means we don’t really know much about this person – there isn’t much there, there or the person didn’t want us to know what it is.
Secondly, the “Christian” comment. So, as a Christian he thinks he has more patience than…?? Non-Christians? Jews? Anyone else? That’s disenfranchising to all kinds of people- perhaps even to some Christians – I would suggest they just turn the other cheek – Mr. Johnson may not know what he did in saying that.
Part II of Part IV of the Mingle Mangle:
Welcome back...continuing on. Clint Johnson lied about his graduating from Stetson. I’m talking about Clint Johnson’s application to be appointed to the Council last summer - see link at the end of the editorial. It’s dated June 26th, 2014 and filled out, presumably, in his own handwriting.
For High School he listed “Gold Medal Honors” with a Graduation date of 2004.
For College he wrote, “Stetson” Degree: “Business” Graduation Date: “2006”.
I don’t care so much about the High School. As far as I can tell, Mayor Johnson has only a high school diploma. What’s wrong with that? I don’t have a problem with it at all. But Clint Johnson does. Keep reading:
In his own hand Mayor Johnson put down he graduated from Stetson with a Business degree two years after graduating High School.
So, although I would not count myself as a Christian, I have a real problem with lying on an any application – but as I said, I don’t count myself a Christian as Mayor Johnson does. I would also reference here Proverbs 6: 16-19 for a list of the Lord’s dislikes and abominations – and that’s the Old Testament God who had a lot of rules and no mercy – kind of like my computer.
Mayor Johnson, you owe Stetson an apology. You owe an apology to everyone who has actually earned any kind of degree or certificate. You owe my wife an apology because she went to Stetson and actually graduated – she was a single mom of two kids taking up to 21 credits per semester (academic dean’s permission) – it’s a slap in everyone’s face who has actually earned a degree to have you just write it down on an application. But let’s give credit where credit is due: Mayor Johnson has the best 75 and 95 dollar words I’ve ever heard. But I prefer Strunk and White: never use a fancy word when a simple one will do.
Furthermore, Mayor Johnson stated in the article above that he does not “… need inane credentialism or corporate appellation to feel secure and satisfied of my state in life.” . Well, obviously he does need exactly that credentialism – so much so he lies about it. That is why he lied on his application for appointment to the Council – to have people believe he graduated from Stetson with a degree when he didn’t.
Stolen valor is a very serious crime wherein people fraudulently claim military service. Stolen academic credentials is perhaps not as serious, but if put on a resume, people are fired for doing so. Filing out a formal, binding application to be appointed to the City Council may qualify. What does Stetson think about all of this?
Clint Johnson was a cop in Orange City. Why has he not listed the training certificate or certificate needed to hold such a position? That is to say, why list a degree you didn’t earn but neglect to list a job position you held? I received an email to POP urging me to look into the records in Orange City. Lots of specific details were in the email. I’ll be looking into it.
Moreover, on the League of Women Voters survey Mayor Johnson listed under “Educational Background”: “Stetson University; Business Administration” as well. He didn’t say “Continuing Education”. He didn’t put, “In process of completion”. He felt fine letting people think he earned a degree from Stetson. He didn’t even list his High School Graduation date which, apparently, is the only graduation he’s ever attended – what’s wrong with that? I don’t have a problem at all with someone having only a high school diploma – but Clint Johnson has a problem with that – he wanted people to think he graduated from Stetson. Will he be omitting certain things and being less than intellectually honest rather than more so as he governs as our Mayor? Anyone wanting a scanned copy of the survey, let me know. I have a hard copy of it.
I wonder how Stetson feels about Mayor Johnson going around telling people or at least putting it on applications that he has earned a degree he didn’t earn?
So, we have a servant who won’t serve a citizen for a simple request.
A Mayor who will “never raise taxes” but before he was even sworn in was looking to bring multi-million dollar services to the City.
We have someone who lied on an application to make himself look more than what he actually is while also saying he does not need “inane credentialism” to make him feel confident, dry and secure – but he does.
We have his outburst at the first Walmart reading.
We have his asking the Council at the last Workshop on 3/18 to approve a Special Exception right then and there for a Shooting Range – I’m not kidding.
In short, we have a newly elected liar...but also, I think, something more: A Bullshit Artist as defined by Harry Frankfurt in his book On Bulls**t.
But that will be the subject of Part V of the Mingle Mangle as well as my conversation with Mayor Johnson on this issue of his degree that I had with him back in October.
The Mingle Mangle
Part III: Reducing Staff
Late last year the Council voted in a resolution to reduce staff. The Assistant City Manager has been discharged. I don’t know if there had been a discussion about who was to be dismissed, but it has happened.
Can’t speak much more to the issue as I don’t know any more about the issue to share on POP. We’ll see what happens in public meetings and/or the press. As I understand it, the EEOC investigation is 180 days - which is a lot of newspaper articles.
At first, I had quite a bit to say about this topic. But it seems to be changing daily and, moreover, what the hell do I really know about it?
Allegations have been made. They are being investigated. I have no special evidence to prove wrongdoing either way. There is a process in place to handle this - we'll wait for the process to work through it.
At the last workshop the City Manager's raise was brought up as a discussion point. As for CM Parrott's 12% raise - he didn't give that to himself - he didn't even include his salary in the study that was discussed last October. VM Handy-Peters brought up his raise in the last 30 seconds of that workshop and before we knew it, there was a vote in January. Mayor Johnson made the motion for the 12% raise. CM Dwyer voted against it. I spoke out against the process - there were no evaluations done by the Council.
Two new members voted in favor of the raise. Any City Manager can ask for anything - it's ultimately up the Council to vote on it. If the response is, "Well, the City Manager owns the Council." Again, then the Council or at least three of them have given that power to the Manager. I don't blame the Manager for that - I blame the Councilmembers.
Coming Soon: Mayor Johnson - I'm very upset with Mayor Johnson - very upset. Worse, disappointed. But mostly outraged. We'll get to the facts in Parts IV and V of the Mingle Mangle.
For that I have a little homework assignment for you: Click on the blue link below and scroll to pages 23 and 24 - it's the application Clint Johnson filled out last summer to be appointed to the Council on an interim basis.
On those pages, presumably in Mayor Johnson's own handwriting, he stated he graduated from Stetson University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business - and he did it two years after graduating from High School.
However, we have this:
Next DeBary mayor, 28, will be county’s youngest
By Mark Harper – Daytona Beach News Journal
Published: Monday, September 1, 2014 at 3:43 p.m.
A resident of DeBary since he was a teenager, Johnson was home-schooled in high school and earned credits at Daytona State College and Stetson University, but didn’t complete a bachelor’s program.
Do I have a problem with the Mayor having only a high school diploma?
But Clint Johnson does - that's why he put down on an application he received a degree he didn't receive.
This is what will be the subject of Parts IV and V of the Mingle Mangle.
FOR FREE WEEKEND RIDES...
From the Sentinel:
The 56th annual Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival brings not only 350,000 visitors to the city but lots of traffic -- and this year SunRail trains packed with festival goers.
SunRail is offering free weekend rides to help ease the traffic. And the trains are already packed – standing room only at times and even having to turn away riders at stops.
The Mingle Mangle
Part II of III:
Walmart: What is the lawsuit about?
Summarized from the petition filed by the Glen Abbey HOA and Concerned Residents Opposing Walmart Development, LLC, a Florida limited liability company,
Ok. Given one party to this is titled, “Concerned Residents Opposing Walmart Development, LLC” is listed, that is prejudicial in and of itself because you can’t deny a development based on the business itself. Thus, the 2 nd dollar store in town. “NO WALMART” are the signs around town. Also, the website and cards that read, “DeBary Against Neighborhood Wal-mart”. Not everyone is against Walmart. How dare a group or entity speak for everyone in town.
As to who will win this lawsuit? That’s easy. The lawyers. We’ll just see how this all shakes out.
At the Workshop tonight some things came to light:
The budget and money came up in funding our Committees. The budget last year was not discussed. The mil rate changed two weeks before the budget was due. The Council's previous Workshops were for naught given this change. Carson and VM Hand-Peters changed their postion with no discussion on what to cut. It was an election year. This year it is my guess the mil rate will go up.
The Council is an Executive Committee over all of the other committees. The Council is not doing their job. I didn't do it either when I was on the Council. The Economic Committee and Streetscape are on hiatus for a while. I would cancel all Committees as the communication isn't there, the budget isn't there and I don't think there is enough "there" there to have these committees. Not to the fault of the volunteers - it's just not being done correctly.
Also, get rid of Planning and Zoning - I was never in favor of it - but then again, I can read the codes and come to my own conclusions. I think Howard Gates will do well on that Committee - but Planning and Zoning, ala Walmart, can only hurt the City when they pass something and the City denies it. Also, the power of the Planning and Zoning is given to Council members - they pass it on to Citizens not elected? I'm not in favor of that.
A pilot program for murals is starting. Not on the avenue, but buildings set back from the avenue.
Some additional requirements for Special Events are being considered and, hopefully, re-worked.
A shooting range north of American Pools? You betcha! Well, it's going to be brought to the Council at least. Mayor, no special exceptions to be granted at Workshops - tsk, tsk.
Robert's Rules: Let's figure out how "Point of Order", "Call the Question" and "Amend the Motion" really work. Also, I notice one Councilmember is being interrupted by another Councilmember. Mayor, please do not allow this.
VM Handy-Peters said some member of the Planning and Zoning was "bombastic" in their statements.
The Mayor wants to go on a retreat with the Council members. What is a "retreat"? A free refill of a cone? I wish.
Lastly, near the end of the meeting a cell phone went off and I heard talking from the phone. I don't know the person, but they have been raised with no manners. Terrible. Bombastic. Reprehensible. I hope they do not sit on a Board.
Coming Soon: Part III of the Mingle Mangle: City Staff...
Mingle Mangle: Part I of III:
Sunrail was sold to us to reduce traffic. The goal, though not stated at the time the goal was to allow 99.5% of commuters on the road. That’s not a typo: only half of one percent is the stated goal. We’re not reaching it. If we use that goal in medicine, business, education, etc, would it be acceptable?
Headlines screamed how 9500 people used Sunrail for the soccer game. The rides were free. Suggestion: make Sunrail “All Free – All The Time”. It’s the only way to pay for it.
“We cannot pave our way out of the traffic problem.” That’s what we heard when Sunrail was being sold to us. Do any of you know that? Well, we’re paving: 2.3 Billion dollars worth. And it might be ineffective – so argues Scott Maxwell in the Sentinel. Evidence: South Florida where toll roads of 10.50 for 7 miles of driving. But the toll roads down there fail to keep I-95 express lanes moving. Too many people are using the express lanes – so how high do they have to make the tolls to keep them moving quickly? On I-4 we’re talking 21 miles at $14.20. Wow. This is the cheapest it will ever be. To get people in those express lanes, the regular lanes will have to be a mess. Those toll roads are paid for by a consortium – they want their money back. It’s quite a scheme. Ultimately Maxwell is right: “Central Florida’s main planning problem is that it wasn’t well-planned.”
For full Sun Sentinel article click here: FULL STORY - CLICK HERE
Has Sunrail usage gone up? No. Will it go up? No.
Will the number of cars on 417 increase? Yes – it already has. I’ve seen the usage go up as I’ve been traveling it for 13 years.
Part II: Walmart Lawsuit…
Where there is a will there is a lawsuit...
Glen Abbey Club HOA files suit against City...