Home Page

Mission Statement

2008-2010 Summaries of City Council Meetings by John Likakis

Citizens' Editorials

Send Us A Comment

Growth

Sunrail 2014:How we'll pay:BOHICA

2010 SunRail Last Stop: Boondoggle

Commuter Rail: From the Other Side of the Tracks

Commuter Rail: Manna from Heaven, Sweetness, Light, and other Propaganda

Public Service Messages

POP
Editorals

Archives 2015

Archives 2014

Archives 2013

Archives 2012

Archives 2011

Archives 2010

Archives 2009

Archives 2008

Archives 2007

Archives 2006

Citizens' Editorials 2014

Citizens' Editorials 2013

Citizens' Editorials 2012

Citizens' Editorials 2011

Citizens' Editorials 2010

Citizens' Editorials 2009

Citizens' Editorials 2008

Citizens' Editorials 2007

Citizens' Editorials 2006

POP Editorials Archives 2013

POP Editorials Archives 2012

POP Editorials Archives 2011

POP Editorials Archives 2010

POP Editorials Archives 2008-2009

POP Editorials Archives 2006-2007

Meetings to Attend and Links

National Issues that may impact DeBary

SEND US AN EDITORIAL BY CLICKING HERE

Click here for: VCSO Daily Reports - DeBary

*********************************************************************

2/27:

$unrail Hits Snag for Deland...

CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY

FROM: 1/11:

"I am incapable of making any agreements for wvac. We have a board of directors that guides us ." --Rick McBride -August 23, 2014

Rick McBride:

I watched the meeting from last year wherein Rick McBride was negotiating with the Council about the contract with WVAC. Knowing what I know now..well… imagine my new found shock and horror tuning in to that meeting where a man who now admits he had no basis to negotiate was negotiating. The shock of later learning he did not fulfill his agreement to add DeBary to signage and had to be pressed repeatedly before the truth came out. I expect Rick McBride to publicly apologize to Rick Dwyer, who really was the force behind keeping “DeBary” in the signage and Rick McBride agreed to do.

Also, I expect a letter of apology from Rick McBride to former Councilmembers from last year who were on the dais. What Rick McBride did, in negotiating when he had no authority to do so…is…well…it’s reprehensible.

This Mr. McBride, so obvious in his avoidance of answering simple questions to avoid the truth of his failure to follow through and to negotiate when he has no authority to do so. What is being taught in sports?

I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. McBride became upset because individuals are taking him to task for his less than honest dealings with the City.

But there are those individuals who insist that people act a certain way while the person making those demands behaves anyway they want.

WVAC needs to be addressed and other avenues explored. If not for this year then for next year. WVAC is already taking money and the contract hasn’t even been discussed. Mr. McBride’s fictitious “Doing Business As” doesn’t cut it.

Rick McBride has his fingers in many pots according to SunBiz records – Florida’s website for corporations and LLC’s etc,.

Rick McBride started a Facebook page years ago named “You live in DeBary if..” At that time when he started it the rules were stated at the top that there were to be no insults, nothing political, etc,.

This is how Rick McBride described his Facebook webpage “You live in DeBary if…” : "Any negative, derogatory, and political comments will be deleted and the user banned from the site."

When I wrote to Rick and told him how this website (DeBaryPOP.com) and former Councilmembers were being attacked by members of his Facebook page, he revised his description of the website to this: “ This page is open to anyone from anywhere to express whatever they want. I will no longer be monitoring posts, other than spam and language, as I haven't the time, nor the desire to babysit. Make it what you want. Enjoy.”

These rules were being broken by a number of people including a family member of a sitting Council member – we don’t need specifics. .

Since then there have been all kinds of comments on the Facebook page with over a thousand “likes” on the page. Fine.

But recently there was an exchange around the issue of the DeBary couple prostituting a young girl and the man involved having worked the concession stand during little league games.

A citizen asked Rick McBride: “Do you know the fella?”

McBride’s response: “ Richards owned the company we contracted with.”

The citizen wrote back: “Oh, so you know him.”

Which caused a citizen to ask what was going on – specifically: “WTF?”

To which I responded and this is what caused me to be banned from the Facebook page:

I don't want to get into it, but honestly, when one asks, "Do you know the person?" and you get what Rick responded with - it's not answering the question. When I asked Rick if he added "Debary" to WVAC signage, he responded with a long list of free areas where he added it, but not on the actual signs. I had to ask a few more times to pin him down to the truth - that's frustrating. I think this frustration of asking a very, very direct question and not getting a direct, honest answer back is what motivated (name removed by Norm) response.

To this post, Rick McBride sent me an email stating: “See ya norm.” No comma after “ya” for a direct address. No capital “N” for my name. No more access to, as Rick McBride likes to say, “discuss” issues.

So Rick McBride does not want discussion. He doesn’t want an open exchange. Using “WTF” which is an acronym with a profane word is ok, but not what I posted. All of this is fine. It just goes to show how Rick McBride won’t enforce his own rules against friends and when the truth gets too close, he will shut down the conversation. It’s his right – I have no right to be included on the Facebook page. People who “like” the page now have to also accept that they “like” a page where unwelcomed truths and commentary will result in being banned. That’s their choice to support that or not – I doubt anyone will “unlike” the page purely on principle.

A couple of things: Rick McBride negotiated last year to include “DeBary” on WVAC signage – he didn’t. When I pressed him on the issue, he stated on Facebook that he was not in a position to negotiate – so why was he? How much money is Rick McBride making off the little league? Where are the books at to review this entity that takes public funds? Will they submit legers as the GCA did? In February when the contract comes up for renewal, will any of this be discussed?

Will the irony that all of this is around young kids learning..what? How to get out of responsibilities? How to enforce the leagues rules on those we don’t want to hear from but for our friends of the program we don’t enforce the rules? Is this how it’s done in the league?

We no longer have a DeBary Little League – so what are we supporting? What does “West” Volusia kick in? Orange City? Deltona? Does anyone make money off the advertisement? Shirts? Concessions? Etc,? We can't ask Rick McBride these questions..well...we can...but we won't get a straight answer which necessarily means it won't be an honest one.

I don't know why sitting Council members would think differently given McBride's inability/unwillingness to make an agreement and then keep it - and then openly and freely admit he had no business negotiating in the first place.

See ya in February…I’ll be speaking out on this issue…fortunately, unlike last year, I now know not to accept anything Rick McBride has to say…about anything…it is all suspect in my mind…and with reason:

Rick McBride didn't/couldn't/wouldn't enforce his own rules on his own Facebook page. He changed the rules to "anything goes". But "anything goes" got up and went when I called him out on his humbug - a holiday term for BS. Ask him a question and he doesn't answer it directly - he's evasive until he's exhausted all avenues of avoiding the truth. Go to the Facebook page "I wish DeBary" to read about others having the same experience with Rick McBride. Individuals banned from a site where "make it what you want" reigned supreme. Threads of discussion are deleted. All allowed by the administrator Rick McBride- that's fine. Just don't be fooled that a discussion is wanted or the truth is desired.

Norm Erickson

 

 

 

2/9:

Mort Culligan on why the County and Team Volusia were mums on Walmart:

CLICK FOR CITIZENS' EDITORIALS

************

On February 29th, 2012 CM Carson made a vote in favor of starting the Splash Pad process. It wasn't until June that the Comp Plan to address the zoning occurred. It wasn't until December of the same year the Comp Plan and FLUM changes actually occurred. Build it first...rezone it later...

NOW...what about the Police Station? Has the FLUM already been changed to allow that to be built? Does Mr. Townsend care? Does anyone in Glenn Abbey care?

WE HAVE TO FOLLOW WHAT?!

FOUND: FLUM (Future Land Use Map) VIOLATED - Mr. Townsend said you can't violate it - he was applauded - but I was onto this over two years ago:

From November of 2012:

I read this to the Council at the November 7th, 2012 Council meeting:

You built the Splash Pad and then you rezoned it.  The proper zoning will be in place next month.  To argue otherwise or try to justify it is an attempt to encourage a backwards process, but worse, it is Council members giving themselves a latitude and freedom with the codes, ordinances and process of government not allowed for by citizens. You’ll ask, did we do anything wrong? I guess you can do it the way you did, but just because you can, doesn’t always mean you should –but since you did, do the same for the Harts when it comes to codes and ordinances – be as lenient with them as you were with yourselves.

 

2/5:
WALMART PASSES

3-2

CARSON AND HANDY-PETERS SAY "NO"

VM Handy-Peters: "I'm not an engineer! I'm not an engineer!" She then went on to say many things...

Carson: "I voted 'Yes' on the racetrack...." And then went on to say many things...

FLUM: I'm pretty sure Carson and Handy-Peters didn't follow the Future Land Use Map on that Splash Pad...I think they passed it...and THEN changed the map to allow it...I'll look into it...

 

1/17: Walmart Issue...

Mort asks a great question:

Where were they?

CLICK FOR CITIZENS' EDITORIALS

1/16/2015:

THEN: “As a Christian, I believe myself to have more patience with difficult people,” he said. “I understand where they are coming from. I can be empathetic to their views. I am a servant to them.” Clint Johnson – 9/1/2014 – DBNJ

 ************************

NOW: The crowd expressed their disagreement loudly.

“I don’t consider this a popularity contest,” he (Clint Johnson) said, brushing off the crowd’s disapproval. “Don’t vote for me again.”

The crowd’s boos turned quickly to cheers.

– 1/15/2015 – DBNJ

******************************

Johnson: One Term Only?

Mayoral Meltdown at 5:23:00/5:26:00 of the meeting…and just keep on listening…

Did citizens have reason to believe Mayor Johnson was voting against this?

Is this “Debary-centric” growth?

Chris Carson states he knows the law and property rights. He doesn’t. Bases his denial on “insight”. Doubts this issue is "up for interpretation"...so only his vote is correct?

Vice Mayor Handy-Peters, generally speaking, is unable to collect her thoughts and talk. She negotiated terms in the agreement and then voted "No".

VM Handy-Peters - Future Land Use Map is an issue for Walmart but not Splash Pad which had a Future Land Use of Commercial - rezoned to Public Institutional - practically the opposite zoning...no problem.

Chris Carson denies project due to public safety.

VM Handy-Peters denies project because she does not want access to Pine Meadow from Walmart.

Fire Marshall urges access to Pine Meadow from Walmart for public safety reasons.

Again, Chris Carson denies project, in part, due to public safety.

Lastly, I remember with the Dollar General issue, we were all told they had a right to build it. The Council could not say no...the zoning...the usage...Property Rights...We had to have two dollar stores across from each other...which would be like having 3 gas stations so Carson voted no on that but yes on the Dollar...well...ok...bad example...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"On any given day in the summertime...there are 600 people at the Splash Pad." Chris Carson

From Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised 10th Edition - Pg. 154:

Friendly Amendments:

Regardless of whether or not the maker of the motion "accepts" the amendment, it must be opened to debate and voted on formally unless adopted by unanimous consent.

pg. 52 - Unanimous consent: The chair states, "If there is no objection.." or "Is there any objection to...?" The chair pauses to listen for an objection.

**************************************

1/13:

The SLUT and the Sunrail

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL STORY

1/11:

Mingle Mangle

"I am incapable of making any agreements for wvac. We have a board of directors that guides us ." --Rick McBride -August 23, 2014

Rick McBride:

I watched the meeting from last year wherein Rick McBride was negotiating with the Council about the contract with WVAC. Knowing what I know now..well… imagine my new found shock and horror tuning in to that meeting where a man who now admits he had no basis to negotiate was negotiating. The shock of later learning he did not fulfill his agreement to add DeBary to signage and had to be pressed repeatedly before the truth came out. I expect Rick McBride to publicly apologize to Rick Dwyer, who really was the force behind keeping “DeBary” in the signage and Rick McBride agreed to do.

Also, I expect a letter of apology from Rick McBride to former Councilmembers from last year who were on the dais. What Rick McBride did, in negotiating when he had no authority to do so…is…well…it’s reprehensible.

This Mr. McBride, so obvious in his avoidance of answering simple questions to avoid the truth of his failure to follow through and to negotiate when he has no authority to do so. What is being taught in sports?

I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. McBride became upset because individuals are taking him to task for his less than honest dealings with the City.

But there are those individuals who insist that people act a certain way while the person making those demands behaves anyway they want.

WVAC needs to be addressed and other avenues explored. If not for this year then for next year. WVAC is already taking money and the contract hasn’t even been discussed. Mr. McBride’s fictitious “Doing Business As” doesn’t cut it.

Rick McBride has his fingers in many pots according to SunBiz records – Florida’s website for corporations and LLC’s etc,. The staff at POP is looking into all questions and trying to nail it down.

In other news, the City Manager received his raise. VM Handy-Peters amended the motion to include 40 extra personal leave hours – that separate amendment was NOT voted on. The City Attorney was right and process was not followed. Watch the footage. There was only a single vote on this issue - VM Handy-Peters only amended the hours...not the salary...given this amendment there should have been two votes on this issue - there was only one. Even if VM Handy-Peters did amend the salary amount and the hours, there should have been two votes on this issue: one for the amendment and one for the newly amended motion. The fact that there was only one vote even though there was an amendment to the motion proves that process and Robert's Rules were not followed. VM Handy-Peters made the amendment to the motion at 1:04 of the meeting or thereabouts. But there was only one vote.

Also, Mayor Johnson stated every employee has received a 3% raise annually. Is that true?

VM Handy-Peters and the Council talked salaries on November 5th. For thirty minutes. Never mentioned the City Manager until the last two minutes of the workshop.

Although VM Handy-Peters added this issue to the agenda, she never made a motion on it. She didn’t really talk about it that much and I don’t recall CM Brady saying much of anything about it – doesn’t mean he didn’t, I just don’t recall his commentary if there was any.

Since the four Councilmembers could not respond to the breach in process and the City Manager’s contract they did a usual tactic: talk about how the City Manager is deserving of this raise. That was never in question. That was never the debate.

VM Handy-Peters raised her voice to CM Dwyer to what I would call yelling – this was after the Mayor had warned speakers about decorum and how to conduct ourselves at the meeting. Only in ancient Sparta were important matters decided by who could shout the loudest – I guess at times, for certain people, yelling is admirable. I don’t think I’ve ever heard Mort Culligan raise his voice to the level VM Handy-Peters did. I was taken aback.

Mayor Johnson made the motion to raise the City Manager’s salary – I’ve since heard via phone calls and emails that Mayor Johnson had expressed his disappointment with the City Manager while campaigning.

I have no proof of Mayor Johnon’s stance on the issue prior to his voting- although the individuals are insistent. I don’t recall Mayor Johnson saying anything to me about CM Parrott that was a negative so I am going with that information I have. Some people may go to the podium to raise this issue - I would suggest you just talk to Mayor Johnson personally. The issue is over with and regardless of the past, Mayor Johnson took a stand. I can tell you that I've gone right up to Mayor Johnson and asked him outright about a specific issue and he simply answered the question and appreciated that I spoke to him about it directly - asked and answered. Over and done with.

I am on the record in December of 2014 saying I was in favor of the raise and gave an amount – but it should have happened in August. It should have been discussed in a workshop as, it seems, everything else is – except for the raise Councilmembers wanted to give themselves with the exception of VM Handy-Peters and CM Dwyer.

Chris Carson felt very comfortable voting himself a 300 dollar raise which violates the City Charter - see below my commentary that I read to the Council.

Other news: Walmart issue is this Wednesday at 6PM. Whether a Councilmember votes “for” or “against” this issue – I hope each member provides a thorough, very thorough basis of approval or denial using the codes to protect the CITY. If the City is sued by any applicant on any issue, it is the Council’s basis of approval or denial that protects the City or leaves the City exposed to legal harm.

Dunkin’ Donuts is coming to the Winn-Dixie parking lot. Talk about traffic – how is that going to work? Since Dunkin’ Donuts is under 10K square feet – no vote – no discussion – just like Family Dollar store. Wonder where those cars are going to go?

Chris Carson stated that on any given day in the summer the Splash Pad hosts 600 people. The Pad, that cost half a million dollars and never went through the budgeting process, is closed until May. It’s open 5 months out of the year. I don’t know how Carson quantifies his number – do people sign in? Is it just anecdotal? I know he will quantify it with some humbug answer, that's not my concern.

This is my concern with Chris Carson's number: I’ve heard that on any given day during the summer there are, more likely, 1500 people a day. Then I heard it was over 2000 people.

My own observations, and it’s only anecdotal, puts the number at more like 3200 people a day. I’m sure someone (CM Carson)will cite this last number to show just how popular the Splash Pad is…which probably explains where the number 600 comes from. As an aside, over 5000 people a day visit DeBaryPOP…7000 on the weekend - this isn’t true…but if I say it enough…and you pass it along enough…after enough enough time…the lie becomes a truth…

Below are my comments from the podium to the Council during Public Participation and the City Manager’s salary issue:

Firstly, Mayor Johnson – let’s not start a working relationship with past broken agreements. Contradictions. False representations. But unfortunately that has already happened. It started last year with Rick McBride and the West Volusia Athletic Club. Mr. McBride stood here and made an agreement to add “DeBary” to signage and he did not do it. When pressed on the issue he admitted that he had no authority to negotiate on behalf of WVAC. So why was he doing exactly that? What is West Volusia contributing to this organization? Who is being paid? Who is receiving a salary? We were told by the President of the Gateway Center for the Arts that she, Sandra Wilson, does not take a salary – only to find out that she does take a salary. Is this the case with WVAC? How often, for how long and for how much – who knows? We should know. The Council needs to consider and perhaps reconsider this relationship it has with the WVAC. They need to submit financials and follow through on agreements made. Make sure the right people who are in authority to negotiate are the only ones talking to the Council next month.

Secondly, I want to respond to the discussion from the Dec. 3 rd meeting on adding a stipend onto Councilmember’s monthly pay. It was added at the last meeting and almost the last item.

How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg?

From Merriam Webster’s 11th edition:

Stipend: a fixed sum of money paid periodically for services or to defray expenses.

Raise: an increase in wages or salary.

To forever raise a councilmember’s salary is a raise – not a stipend. A stipend is paid periodically. To call a “raise” a “stipend” is an end run around the Charter and the process in which the salaries of Councilmember’s are increased or not.

How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg… doesn’t make it a leg.

Calling a “raise” a “stipend” doesn’t make it a “stipend” and it’s disingenuous it is to try and convince people that it is.

( I did not read this – I told the City Clerk who alerted Chris Carson to make the motion to change the minutes.): The minutes from that meeting need to be amended in my opinion. The minutes read that no action was taken on that stipend issue. Action was taken: a motion was made and seconded. It failed. So while no action was to be taken on the motion made, a motion is an action. This is at 3:18:20 and the City Attorney said “No action”, but I believe that the vote of 2-2 should be in the minutes. VM Hunt made the motion with LHP seconding. Members Dwyer and LHP voted “No” while VM Hunt and Mayor Carson voted “Yes”. I think the record should reflect that action taken.

I wandered away from what I wrote, though my commentary, in essence, is represented below:

City Manager’s Salary:

  • No submitting materials or documents beforehand to consider – done on the fly?
  • Not following process: not following the City Manager’s contract or budgeting process – this should have been done in August while doing the budgeting workshops.
  • The stipend issue and this issue: not discussed in workshops. Why? I don’t know why we have budget workshops when the budget is as flexible as a stretch Armstrong in a Navaho sweat lodge. These two issues are being pushed through.
  • We are asking two new members to vote on this as their first action.

In short, the process that dictates a certain procedure has been discarded. I’m not even talking about the actual salary amount here, I’m talking about process. I’m talking about procedure. This issue was mentioned literally in the last two minutes of a workshop and now here it is for a vote. This isn’t the way to govern.

Norm Erickson

 

 

 

 

 


 


iT  
-