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Your Gripes

GovGripes gets lots of comments and complaints about things in the area that need attention or about issues that are being ignored.  Below are some of the comments we received that are relevant to the community.


I have a Gripe:

On June 1, homeless advocate Brad Carter shared the email below with other members of the Commission on Homelessness and with GovGripes to stimulate discussion of the role the Commission will play in the months ahead. We will be happy to have other views from those interested.

My fellow Commission members I am very concerned about what is going on with the Commission on Homelessness. Members of the steering committee and others have been holding secret closed meetings with a lot of maneuvering behind the scenes, apparently to shift the county monies from Volusia Safe Harbor plan, which is a full-service, come as you are shelter, to one that includes day centers, which serve no one but the social service industry. We will never end homelessness with day centers and cherry-picking which homeless people we will serve.

Now, today, the steering committee for the Commission on Homelessness, which is supposed to be serving under the board for the Commission on Homelessness, just covering interim issues that might come up between board meetings, is attempting to usurp the powers that belong to the full board. The steering committee members decided that they would become the selection committee for any potential new applicants who wish to join the board of the Commission on Homelessness and that they would shrink the board. This is completely opposite of what the full membership of the Commission on Homelessness decided. The board members and members of the Continuum of Care/Commission on Homelessness need to speak up to make sure we don’t end up reverting back to the same old back door system we had before.

This is an obvious attempt to exclude certain people from becoming board members. I suspect next the steering committee will recomend to close all meetings to the general public and general membership of the COH. Sam Wllet told me that they wish to exclude people that might be disrupted. I guess the steering committee does not. Wish to have board members who have other opinions. Mr. Willet also said to the steering committee. "it doese not matter what solution we come up with as long as we have consensus". Well, it maters to me what solution we come up with becaus the decisions being made will effect my life and the lives of others who are living on the street. Our community has to come up with the right plan.

There is nothing wrong with our current system of electing board members. If a person, who is a member of the COH, wants to be a board member, they should be aloud to run for a seat on the COH board and the entire general membership should be aloud to vote, on-line. Why does a COH member, who wishes to be on the board, have to submit an application for approval by a handful of people? Why should a handful of people decide who the candidates for a board seat will be and why should the steering committee pick our new board members?

This is an outrageous attempt, by service providers, who are looking after their organizations best interest, to take control of the COH and exclude he community from the decision making process. At the next board meeting our community needs to send a message to the service providers and the "Wise Men",who are doing their biding, No to the new recommendations of the steering committee.

Your friend,

Brad Carter

Comment from GovStuff:

I have a Gripe:


As thousands planned a Memorial Day visit to the World1s Most Famous Beach, the president of the group that was formed to defend it from the intrusions of growth has called for Volusia County Council to fire County Manager Jim Dinneen for bad management of what they call "the most powerful economic engine Volusia County has ever known. In a letter (reproduced below) to Council members, SOB President Paul Zimmerman cites a variety of issues which the organization contends Dinneen has failed to deal with appropriately. Arguing that "Mr. Dinneen has done more than fail, he has subverted your authority and made you subjects to his designs," Zimmer tells the elected officials that "the Sons of the Beach respectfully request that the Volusia County Council terminate Mr. Dinneen's employment post haste." Copy this link into your browser and read the letter. See what YOU think.

Sons of the Beach

Comment from GovStuff:

I have a Gripe:

The City of DeBary’s underhanded efforts to take conservation lands for commercial development is political corruption at its worst.

Public exposure of the DeBary’s slimy relationship with John Miklos, Chairman of the St. Johns River Water Management District and President of Bio-Tech Consulting, Inc., speaks to a greater problem in our state.

The SJRWMD is charged with protecting our precious and increasingly at-risk water supply. Bio-Tech Consulting, Inc. is a firm that, for a healthy fee, ensures that commercial developers and local governments receive quick passage through the minefield that is the SJRWMD permitting and regulatory process. Apparently Mr. Miklos is the only one who fails to see how his dual roles constitute a conflict of interest.

When the City of Debary paid Mr. Miklos’ firm $38,500 (plus $155 per hour to Miklos for his direct involvement) to consult on a land acquisition process to acquire over 100 acres of environmentally sensitive lands in close proximity to the Gemini Springs complex from the SJRWMD for development of "a “river-like” regional stormwater pond surrounded by single and multi-family homes, the centerpiece of a larger project to attract and promote economic development around the SunRail station." everyone knew it would ultimately come before the board that he chairs, the outcome was a foregone conclusion.

In my view, this is a textbook example of a sitting public official selling the influence of his office. Even the ethically challenged Mayor of DeBary, Clint Johnson, admits that SJRWMD approval of the land acquisition was assured when they hired Mr. Miklos’ firm.

Last year, the Scott administration sought the resignation of senior SJRWMD officials reportedly because the Governor wanted a “new culture in the leadership of the district.” If Governor Scott can pressure the resignation of the leadership of regulatory agencies, who is left to question his personal appointments to the water management board or investigate when they inevitably cross the line?

In my view, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and/or the FBI should immediately open a public corruption investigation into the activities of John Miklos, Bio-Tech Consultants, Inc., and the elected and appointed officials of the City of DeBary who are complicit in this scheme.

Under Rick Scott’s administration our regulatory boards and agencies have become a Turkish Bazaar of influence peddling and cronyism. The citizens of Florida have the right to expect that once these toxic quid pro quo relationships are exposed they will be thoroughly investigated and aggressively prosecuted.

Mark Barker shares his views on a regular basis via his blog, which can be accessed at:

Mark Barker

Comment from GovStuff:

I have a Gripe:

No one should spend the last moments of their lives hiding in the woods, behind some building or on a bus bench. Sleep is not a privilege earned. Sleeping is needed to sustain life.

Residents and taxpayers concerned about homelessness should be aware that the Salvation Army Bridge Bed program "is not an emergency shelter program. It is based on acuity level for entry. Those that score below a certain threshold DO NOT meet the international standard and therefore do not qualify for the bridge bed program". The Bridge Bed Program is considered a pilot program, and although the program has had some success, It is a reflection on our society that no one is asking the question what happens to the men and women who do not meet the standard for entry.

Every successful program that helps homeless individuals move from street level homelessness to housing starts by providing a safe place to sleep.

Therefore we cannot expect others to help themselves without first providing them with a place to sleep. Instead of excluding people, because shelters are too small. We should be welcoming more people to larger shelters. Instead of placing individuals on waiting list, we should be placing them into beds.

Instead of day centers that turn people away in the evening we need 24 hour services. No wise man would expect a homeless person to be productive in a day center without offering them a bed at night. How many people could function well on their job without proper rest? Day centers are a waste of funds. Funds that could be better spent on a 24 hour come as you are shelter with adequate beds and services. We need to speak up before wepass the point of no return on plans that simply don’t make sense.

Brad Carter

Comment from GovStuff:

Nothing at this time.

I have a Gripe:

My biggest gripe is lying politicians. We listen to their campaigns, hope they're sincere. They're elected, then they are not true to their rhetoric. They're just another one of the "good ole' boys." We were fooled again.


Comment from GovStuff:

It seems politicians will say what ever is necessary, based on the audience, to get elected.













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