Friday, November 20, 2015

Watch City Commission Training Travesty Tape: A Waste of Time and Money, as FGCU Professor Dr. ROBERT E. LEE, DPA Patronizes Our City Commissioners for Pay

$1000/hour for trite tropes and bad jokes?
It's our money.

Play the tape.
Two things may be seen on the November 19, 2015 City Commission 8 AM meeting tape.

First there's discussion of May Street traffic solution. Good action.
Then there's an inept, overpriced two hour "training" held at the behest of the City Manager, JOHN PATRICK REGAN, P.E., and his running dog, our ethically challenged CYA C.P.A. Commissioner, oleaginous ODD TODD NEVILLE (R-Proctorville).
The training was done by a Confederate, dull Dr. ROBERT E. LEE (if that's his real name).
Dr. ROBERT E. LEE, DPA is an Assistant Professor at FGCU and Executive Director of Center for Florida Local Government Excellence (sic), who works for the Florida League of Cities, providing training for Florida government agencies.   
ROBERT E. LEE, this slow-talking former City Manager explained the structure of Florida and federal governments as if it were a high school civics class.  He explained the forms of government.  I kid you not. His point was that St. Augustine has a strong City Manager form of government. 
Dr. ROBERT E. LEE advised Commissioners to read the Florida Constitution as a soporific or sleeping pill and showed utter contempt for Sunshine and Open Record laws, and for public participation, saying several times as his mendacious mantra that "you have less rights than the average citizen" or later, "general citizens."  
Oh, really?  
Is there martyrdom involved?  
What an absurd construct.
"General citizens" do not have government lawyers and insurance companies to defend their illegal actions, or "sovereign immunity" or "absolute immunity" or "qualified immunity" from their tortious behavior.
He suggested that Commissioners "compliment in public and counsel in private," suggesting that they not criticize anyone in government in public.
ROBERT E. LEE, called "BOB" by Commissioner TODD NEVILLE, was prepared to answer questions that NEVILLE appeared to be reading.  His answers did not always please NEVILLE.
Commissioner TODD NEVILLE copped to discussions with other Commissioners outside meetings, saying he and Commissioner LEANNA S.A. FREEMAN (R-LEN WEEKS CONSTRUCTION) "joke about" how she "snapped at" him about "the technicality of how I made my emotion, I mean my emotion." In caffeine veritas.
Commissioner NANCY SIKES-KLINE (R-KAREN TAYLOR LAND PLANNER) lamented the loss of "sharing meals -- deeply meaningful and symbolic" where the Commissioners communed together, sometimes during dinner breaks keeping citizens waiting while Commissioners talked and yucked it up, mocking us as they ate sometimes unhealthy food at our expense, waiting like European monarchs.  
No, she meant "shambolic."
(Two different reporters, from Folio Weekly and The St. Augustine Record, have witnessed these breaks under prior Commissons, and witnessed Sunshine violations.  When the dinner breaks were routine, the public was never told it was a dinner break and never told how long the break would last, in meetings that begin at 5 and end late at night. Cruel, these ornery Commissioners, lamenting for the days of Mayor JOE BOLES).
"I feel very strongly that's disrespectful to the public" -- having a meal in the middle of the Commission meeting -- Mayor Shaver said.  
Mayor Shaver pointedly noted that some of her fellow Commissioners have refused to respond to her by saying "hello," or "goodnight."  Petty, this "Gang of Four," and now outed for it.
Mayor Shaver said she disagreed with Commissioners' public push for unanimous 5-0 votes and was immediately interrupted mid-sentence by Commissioners SIKES-KLINE and FREEMAN.
City Manager JOHN PATRICK REGAN, P.E. actually lamented that there are no more Sunshine-violating "bond trips" to New York City, as under the man he has called his "mentor," serial polluter WILLIAM BARRY HARRISS, his "predecessor." 
Those wasteful "business trips" were illegal, just like the proposed "business trip" to Spain that We, the People and Holland & Knight halted in 2010.
ODD TODD NEVILLE whined about receiving a "press release from the office of the Governor Rick Scott" about how the Mayor of St. Augustine endorsed proposed Enterprise Florida reforms in a media interview, falsely claiming it "implies the city."
LEE agreed with Mayor Shaver, who responded to a cavil from REGAN by saying, "But I did communicate with you."
Mayor Shaver said she had done the same on climate change and would continue to do so.
REGAN praised his "buffer," TIMOTHY BURCHFIELD, who offends so many people.
REGAN did a Floridian slip, referring to "my staff, uh, not my staff, the City staff." REGAN admitted that he and Assistant City Manager TIMOTHY BURCHFIELD have a "symbiotic relationship," and that for any "sensitive thing" Commissioners can talk to the notably insensitive BURCHFIELD.
REGAN forbade Commissioners to talk with anyone else, an illegal, unconstitutional gag order in violation of the First Amendment.
REGAN oddly said he had seen other ">city managers crash and burn" because they are control freaks;"I'm not a controller," REGAN said.
At one point LEE said Commissioners should "not be calling a dozen times a day." No, "we text message," NEVILLE said.
Referring to his secretary, REGAN stated" Lucy [Fountain] is an air traffic controller ... very good at response to constituent concerns…" (That's not how Judith Seraphin felt about e-mail concerning exposed rebar on a bench on the Bayfront said to be under FDOT jurisdiction -- "there's nothing we can do." (I helped solve the problem with one phone call to FDOT; City Hall has a can't-do style that offends).
LEE ended with a few more bromides,including a mangled version of Theodore Roosvelt's Sorbonne "Man in the Arena quote."
Commissioner NANCY SIKES-KLINE gushed, "I live by that."
Earlier, LEE suggested picking their teeth or other distractions to avoid reacting to criticism, as he did, apparently considering all criticism ever laid at him or Commissioners to be unjustified, with a tone of voice suggestive of authoritarian disdain for dissent.
LEE said, "you are not going to be among the poor and timid souls in this life"
SIKES-KLINE said "this job has been a character builder." As to the obviousness of the training, she said, "a lot of it I did know," referring to what she termed the "reptilian part of our brains …. we have to train ourselves to be patient.
This "Team Player" session was for the birds.

A waste of time and money.
"Training" is for dogs!
"Team Players" are for athletic teams.
Trite tropes are for supercilious City Managers and their silly minions.
Still waiting for our documents to be sent by City Hall by e-mail, as is customary.
Where are they?
It's our money.
I asked on November 19: "Was this a no-bid contract? Why? How much was spent? Who recommended and selected the contractor? Please send documents. Thank you."
We're still waiting.
We're still waiting for ODD TODD to apologize for spending City time and resources on bogus libel lawsuit in violation of state law and our U.S. Constitution.
It's our money.
You might wish to opine on whether we need a recall petition on ODD TODD NEVILLE.
Meanwhile, gather round, and laugh at the dull training by ROBERT E. LEE and ask yourselves why ODD TODD thought Commissioners needed such training so urgent-LEE?
Did ODD TODD figure that Dr. ROBERT E. LEE would be his MINI-ME?

I have requested documents from FGCU and LEE under the Florida Open Records law on LEE.

Image result for baghdad bob

If asked, I would have recommended against hiring this hick hack, ROBERT E. LEE, who wasted $9500 of City of St. Augustine Beach funds on a bogus study of city services, never talking to any non-government employee -- not one citizen of St. Augustine Beach was interviewed.  I was cheered at St. Augustine Beach last year when I pointed that out, as dozens of people were made to wait for LEE's dumb 'ole presentation.  This presentation was wisely made at 9 AM at a Special meeting of the St. Augustine City Commission.  Here's what I wrote last year about this humbug, ROBERT E. LEE, a/k/a "BAGHDAD BOB" of the FLori-DUH League of Cities"

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Confederacy of Dunces -- St. Augustine Beach Wasted $9500 on A Worthless Study of Government Services

ROBERT E. LEE, DPA of Naples, Florida was guilty of droning on and boring residents in the St. Augustine Beach City Commission meeting room -- delayed in exercising their right to public comment for an hour -- an academic and former City Manager was paid $9500 for a worthless study of city services.
ROBERT E. LEE talked to city employees, but not one single resident.
ROBERT E. LEE is a schnorer.
ROBERT E. LEE is a phony.
Schnorer ROBERT E. LEE's presentation was a snorer.
ROBERT E. LEE's one good recommendation -- a forensic audit because the City has only one employee handling its finances, a breach of fiduciary duty -- fell on deaf ears, and he soft-pedaled it by saying that the City's regular auditor could do it, when the standard of care is for a forensic audit to be done by an auditor outside the City's regular auditing and chain of command!
ROBERT E. LEE did not talk about the City's high EMR rating, its resulting high workers' compensation bills and lack of a safety culture compared to other governments (including St. Johns County, which has safety awards).
ROBERT E. LEE did not talk about the City's for no-bid contracts and Sunshine and Open Records violations.
The academic did not talk about the City's never auditing Florida Power & Light and other franchise taxpayers.
The academic did not talk about the City's EEO policies -- zero African-Americans out of 50 employees.
The no-bid ROBERT E. LEE contract was rightly opposed by citizen Robert Kahler before it was issued, at the request of Commissioner Sherman Gary Snodgrass.
LEE is principal in Local Government Advisors, Inc., apparently operating out of his residence.
LEE's baby talking report could have been written by a graduate student (and probably was).
The LEE report, obviously a block and copy snow job, was so patronizingly presented that people were angry.
I was the only citizen who addressed the ROBERT E. LEE report.
I spoke against it, and told Commissioners they wasted their money on another no-bid contract.
There was loud applause from the St. Augustine Beach residents in the audience.
Never again should contracts be let for just under the threshold for competitive bidding ($10,000).
In fact, the threshold needs to be returned to $5000, which it was until quietly changed in 2004.
Never again should local governments waste money on worthless studies by academics and on no-bid contracts.
Our local governments need never again give a contract to ROBERT E. LEE, or act like a Confederacy of Dunces.
It's our money.
ROBERT E. LEE's report:


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