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DeFuniak Springs Fires Another City Manager

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by CartoonMark, Apr 29, 2018.

  1. CartoonMark

    CartoonMark Beach Lover

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  2. Kaydence

    Kaydence Beach Fanatic

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    Why am I NOT surprised this is here? Mostly because the folks leading this travesty NEED an AUDIENCE!!

    I didn't put this here because this is a NoWal issue and SoWal doesn't give a tinkers damn about issues north of the bay. They have no dog in the fight and can not vote in City elections.

    First...Florida is an "At Will" state which means employers can hire or fire at will. Mr. Lucas gave the City Council ample opportunities to fire him when he:

    1.) Allowed a City employee to receive a gift (a case of crown royal) from an individual who had been granted a permit by vote of the City Council which, the Council promptly ordered returned to avoid the appearance of impropriety and because City employees KNOW they are not allowed to accept gifts!

    2.) Mr. Lucas and Bob Campbell collaborated together to turn a residents 4 MONTH past due water ($3,775.00 bill) back on despite city ordinance/law which clearly states all payments must be received 10 days past the due date or arrangements have been made for payment or the water will be shut off and a reconnect fee applied. Billy Williams (the Triumph Liaison for Walton County was granted special privilege that is NOT extended to ANY other residents of DFS. Mr. Lucas admitted in a very public meeting that he knew it was a violation of city ordinance/law to order the water turned back on.

    3.) Several weeks ago Mr. Lucas ordered sanitation workers to show up on a Saturday (they don't work Saturdays) to clear trash and debris for a fellow black constituent, from a PRIVATELY OWNED LOT AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE which, is a violation of State Statue and Fl. Sunshine Law!!

    4.) Mr. Lucas was unable or unwilling to perform simple tasks which Council asked him to perform.

    5.) Mr. Lucas LIED to Council Woman Janie Griffith about his credentials when she met with him to discuss it.

    From the onset, it was made abundantly clear to Mr. Lucas that he worked at the will of Council (not the Mayor or city employees) and he signed (as part of his application and employment agreement) a statement recognizing he was hired as an "at will" employee.

    Regarding those interviewed for the newspaper article:

    Diane Pickett for eons has been part and parcel of the problems DFS is experiencing, is not a resident of DFS (she is homesteaded in Miramar Beach) and can not legally vote in City elections. She claims she lives in Tallahassee albeit she does own property in DFS. Ms. Pickett seems to think she can control every aspect of City government and that Council was elected to do her bidding. I won't mention the money the City has lost because of her shenanigans either.

    Mayor Bob Campbell IS THE ENTIRE PROBLEM at City Hall and IS responsible for the $221 thousand dollars in lost tax revenues because he failed NINE (9) TIMES to turn over letters he received from State Auditors to the City Council. Mac Carpenter a former councilman (while not interviewed) also stated in a very public meeting that, "Those letters mean nothing, every City gets them". Mayor Bob Campbell seems to think the Council was elected to do his bidding and does not understand his own job description which includes...signing proclamations, kissing babies and shaking hands with dignitaries. He is the "CHAIR" at council meetings (and doesn't conduct those meetings well at all) and has NO VOTE in decisions made by Council. He along with Diane Pickett and the majority of those in attendance at Thursday night's meeting are under the misguided impression that he and his followers dictate how City Government is going to work and Council should only listen to them while ignoring the FACT that there are 3136 (+ or - a few) registered voters in DFS that have been so disenfranchised by the "status quo" and "just the way things have always been" that have lost all hope of any real or significant change, so much so that they don't even turn out to vote in City elections. They DO NOT REPRESENT the majority of DFS residents, they represent themselves and want elected officials to do only their bidding!!!

    Shaney Betts...I met Shaney Betts (for the very first time) Monday night at the regularly scheduled meeting prior to Thursday's special meeting. Evidently Ms. Betts was very active back in the day (2012) in local politics and then suddenly disappeared from the political scene. Ms. Betts and J.B. Hillard created the Defuniak Springs Free Press in Jan. 2012 (an online blog that caught allot of attention) and it disappeared almost as suddenly as it appeared when she dropped out of politics and Hillard retired from politics. I digress...Ms. Betts approached me at the Council meeting and proceeded to drill me over whether or not I was the member of the public who had taken my concerns about Mr. Lucas' credentials to the City Atty. I categorically denied any involvement in it and to this day have only seen the certificate in question. Ms. Betts proceeded to tell me that my name was attached to their fiasco and that her group believed I was responsible even though Councilwoman Janie Griffith told her that she specifically asked the City Atty. if I was involved which, he also categorically denied PUBLICLY! I had nothing what-so-ever to do with it. To make a long story short, Ms. Betts and I stood in the parking lot at City Hall for 3 hours talking politics and remarkably we AGREE on many of the issues. Where we diverge is how to go about meaningful and significant change. Ms. Betts seems to think rallying a shitstorm of people (maybe 150 or so) with half truths, misinformation, innuendos and SOME outright lies, calling for Council to resign or face recall elections based off them is the way to go. I DO NOT AGREE!! Ms. Betts and I agree that this entire County needs open, honest government, operated in the Sunshine but again we diverge as to how to get there.

    Clayton Adkinson...While not interviewed but pictured, IS and ALWAYS has been part of DFS governments problem. I have been one of his harshest critics and I agree his position should go out for competitive bid and he has held the City (in my opinion) hostage for far too long. His very close association with the real powers that be in Walton County (in my opinion) can only be viewed as corrupt and I do believe when information was taken to the State Attorney in regard to the Grand Jury findings that he was instrumental in downplaying the role of the Mayor Bob Campbell. While there was no criminal wrongdoing found it should be NOTED that the Grand Jury was NOT INSTRUCTED to look for criminal wrongdoing!! To quote one of our illustrious County Commissioners, Bill Chapman, "The grand Jury could indict a monkey, if they were instructed to do so"!

    Other key players in that MOB (not interviewed) are: Melinda and Harley Henderson. Mr. Henderson is a former Mayor of Defuniak and had pretty uneventful tenures, mostly I guess because he rubber stamped whatever the real powers that be wanted and his wife (again my opinion) is just a meddling busy body who can no longer influence Council decisions. One of the outright lies being peddled by this group is that the City ignored the recommendations of a private consulting firm in regard to hiring a city manager. What they didn't tell was, that Melinda Henderson INVITED this private firm from SoWal to come and speak to the board at a very public meeting or that she had an agenda a mile wide and they had a candidate already chosen who they wanted Council to hire. The City did not hire this firm and were under no obligation to do anything they suggested and they didn't!! Ironically a local realtor who also spoke at that same meeting also had his own candidate picked out and presented that application to council. Can we say agendas, agendas, agendas? Ms. Henderson is so angry that that she can not impose her will on Council that she called a Council members employer insisting he or she be terminated because she just felt he/she was a bad bad person and not good for their position. I ABSOLUTELY draw the line on retaliation, lies, innuendos and attempts to destroy the livelihoods and lives of elected officials who have jobs outside of government. Calling employers is a cowardly, dishonest, vile, evil thing to do. It's also very hypocritical to call yourself a Christian while your doing it Ms. Henderson!!!

    I could also rally the troops and create a MOB that includes the NAACP and the black voters in DFS to show up to a few Council meetings based on half truths, lies and innuendos if I wanted to make this an issue about race but where I come from public records don't lie and the truth will always carry more weight than an angry MOB who really has no clue what they are even angry over. Most of those folks are simply being led blindly down a path they have never bothered to look into themselves and who are rarely if ever at actual Council meetings because its so much easier to be a follower than it is to be a leader. Still others are saying..."well my friends said".

    This was not an issue with the color of Mr. Lucas's skin. It IS an issue of the color of his character!!
     
  3. Kaydence

    Kaydence Beach Fanatic

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    P.S The fact this made it to the visioning page on FB also tells me this MOB is only after an audience. SoWal doesn't vote in NoWal City elections!
     
  4. Kaydence

    Kaydence Beach Fanatic

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    The MOB!
     
  5. Kaydence

    Kaydence Beach Fanatic

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    From Tom McLaughlin NWFL Daily News

    DeFUNIAK SPRINGS — As has often been the case in the past five years, the city is without a chief administrator.

    The DeFuniak Springs City Council voted 4-1 Thursday to fire City Manager Danny Lucas. Lucas had been on the job for about six months.

    The firing followed the discovery that Lucas had falsely claimed in his employment application to be a graduate of the University of Georgia.

    City Attorney Clayton Adkinson said he confirmed the deception through an investigation initiated when information was provided to him by “a member of the public.”

    “The University of Georgia was unable to verify that he was a student at the University of Georgia, or that he was a graduate of the University of Georgia,” Adkinson said in a document presented April 18 to the council and Mayor Bob Campbell. Lucas’s firing drew about 150 people to the meeting in anticipation of what would transpire. Campbell, who often has been at odds with council member, was among those who were livid.

    “Somebody was looking long and hard for a technicality to bring him down. He was, in my opinion, a cracker jack city manager,” Campbell said. “He was astute and trying to clean up the mess dumped in his lap. I don’t know what was so scary about him other than how professional he was.”

    Lucas’s application indicates he had 13 years of city manager experience in three municipalities in either South Carolina or Georgia. One person in the audience Thursday identified himself as a former college administrator. He said he believed Lucas had filled out the job application in question as truthfully as he could, but that the application itself is formatted in such a way that it made it appear he had attempted to deceive city officials.

    Hoopla aside, Councilman Kermit Wright said, Lucas plain and simple lied in filling out an application he had agreed to truthfully complete.

    “He’d never been a student at the University of Georgia,” Wright said. “That pretty much got him.”

    Adkinson also noted in his report that he could find no documentation showing anyone at the city had done the due diligence required in investigating Lucas’s background before hiring him.

    “It appears that a full background check, verification, or other investigation was not completed prior to employment. Therefore, no documents exist within the city’s files to support or refute information provided by Mr. Lucas,” his report said.

    The city’s failing to properly process paperwork has long been an issue. A grand jury that reviewed city management reported in February that jurors were “shocked to learn of the lack of knowledge of government operations by those entrusted with governance.”

    They found a “certain culture” exists that blocks the flow of information within city hall.

    “We have determined that a systemic problem exists,” the grand jury said.

    City resident Linda Morse said city administrators have proven once again that they cannot be trusted to govern.

    “I believe the City Council is doing everything in its power to clean up the messes of the past,” Morse said. “But we have a bunch of nincompoops working for the city who can’t follow directions.”

    The grand jury spoke in its presentment about a lack of continuity within city government having a negative impact on its smooth function. Lucas is the fifth city manager or interim city manager to leave DeFuniak Springs in the past five years.

    Sara Bowers was the last city manager. She resigned in 2016 after City Council members spoke critically of her job performance.

    The city has also been operating without a finance director for the past year. Joe Brown, the last one to resign, was the third in that position to leave in five years.

    City resident Shayne Betts blames the five-member City Council for Lucas’s firing and the bulk of the city’s failings. She said DeFuniak Springs residents need to step up and find elected officials they can count on to do the right thing.

    “We’ve done enough hoping and praying, and now we’ve got to have action. Changes will benefit the whole community and we need to find qualified people that will run and take these council seats,” Betts said. “I’m very appalled and disgusted at the representation we’re getting from the council. They’re not representing the citizens.”

    www.nwfdailynews.com/news/20180427/defuniak-springs-boots-another-city-manager
     
  6. Kaydence

    Kaydence Beach Fanatic

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    It is also very interesting to note some individuals who spoke in that video are not eligible to vote in City elections:

    Diane Pickett is NOT eligible to vote in City elections (she is homesteaded in Miramar Beach) and DID NOT vote in the 2015 elections BUT DID VOTE in the 2017 elections when her buddy, old pal Mac Carpenter was voted off the City Council!

    Bruce Butts is NOT eligible to vote in City elections as he is homesteaded in Santa Rosa Beach.

    Mr. Mayfield who at one time had a dental business in Defuniak Springs is NOT eligible to vote in City elections as he resides in Walton County.

    Russell Lane, D Train Security did NOT vote in the 2015/2017 elections.

    Geneva Lee did NOT vote in the 2015/2017 elections.

    I personally did NOT vote in the 2015 City elections, was not involved in the politics of DFS at that time but was involved and voted in County Elections. I DID vote in City Elections in 2017.

    Donald L. Graham D Train Security, EX City police officer terminated from DFS P.D many years ago, currently an announced candidate, running for City Marshal DID vote 2015/2017. However, he also has a very checkered past with the Court system in Walton County to include several domestic violence appearances, possession of a controlled substance, open container (passenger) battery, trespass, criminal mischief , disorderly conduct and numerous traffic infractions. His brother Wayne Graham was elected to Council in 2017. It's my opinion we have enough trouble in the City with Mark Weeks the current City Marshal and we don't need to elect anymore.


    Its my opinion that if you are going to call for our Elected officials to resign or face a recall because you are not happy with decisions they were duly elected to perform, that you should have at least voted for or be eligible to vote in City elections.


    Its also my opinion that if you are going to claim to be the majority of or represent the majority of voting citizens in Defuniak that you actually be the majority. At Thursday night's meeting the building was set for 140 people including staff. The room was not standing room only, the chairs were not filled and the majority of that room never spoke!
     
  7. Kaydence

    Kaydence Beach Fanatic

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    CRY ME A RIVER BOO HOO HOO!

    It seems the "MOB" is still angry that the City refuses to do their bidding.

    The City gave required notice (24 hours according to Government In The Sunshine) that there will be a special meeting tonight at 4:30 PM to announce an interim City Manager. No Biggie...it will be about a 5 or 10 minute meeting, if that. The MOB believes however, that the City's business should revolve around their agenda and this meeting conflicts with the "Citizens action MOB" meeting that they have scheduled at 5:30 PM. Historically when special meetings are announced by the City they give 24 hours notice. No news here, just another business day!! Its my position that if people want to go and listen to Diane Pickett, Melinda Henderson and others (many of whom who can't even vote in City elections) rail on City Council members there is nothing stopping them from attending BOTH meetings.

    The MOB seriously needs to give it a rest! You do not control the business of running this City nor should the City be expected to do your bidding! You are not the majority!!

    Most INTELLIGENT people already know that Craig Drake is the Interim City Manager and the meeting at 4:30 is just a formality!!
     
  8. CartoonMark

    CartoonMark Beach Lover

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  9. Kaydence

    Kaydence Beach Fanatic

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    Really? First it was Councils fault now its the City Atty's?

    REALLY???? ROFLMAO!!! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    By ALL MEANS POSSIBLE DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT hold Lucas' responsible for his own actions:

    1.) Allowed a City employee to receive a gift (a case of crown royal) from an individual who had been granted a permit by vote of the City Council which, the Council promptly ordered returned to avoid the appearance of impropriety and because City employees KNOW they are not allowed to accept gifts!

    2.) Mr. Lucas and Bob Campbell collaborated together to turn a residents 4 MONTH past due water ($3,775.00 bill) back on despite city ordinance/law which clearly states all payments must be received 10 days past the due date or arrangements have been made for payment or the water will be shut off and a reconnect fee applied. Billy Williams (the Triumph Liaison for Walton County was granted special privilege that is NOT extended to ANY other residents of DFS. Mr. Lucas admitted in a very public meeting that he knew it was a violation of city ordinance/law to order the water turned back on.

    3.) Several weeks ago Mr. Lucas ordered sanitation workers to show up on a Saturday (they don't work Saturdays) to clear trash and debris for a fellow black constituent, from a PRIVATELY OWNED LOT AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE which, is a violation of State Statue and Fl. Sunshine Law!!

    4.) Mr. Lucas was unable or unwilling to perform simple tasks which Council asked him to perform.

    5.) Mr. Lucas LIED to Council Woman Janie Griffith about his credentials when she met with him to discuss it.

    The MOB is so desperate for a fall guy, that everyone's a target.
     
  10. Kaydence

    Kaydence Beach Fanatic

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    [​IMG]
     
  11. CartoonMark

    CartoonMark Beach Lover

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  12. Kaydence

    Kaydence Beach Fanatic

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  13. CartoonMark

    CartoonMark Beach Lover

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    If that's true, then the libel lawsuit that's been filed against you should be a slam dunk.
     
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  14. Kaydence

    Kaydence Beach Fanatic

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    If you knew what you were talking about or had read the court filings (public records) I have not denied anything.

    This thread isn't about me though is it Mark? It's about the firing of Danny Lucas and about a bunch of grown adults, acting like a bunch of petulant children, who didn't get their way, throwing a fit and showing their a$$es!
     
  15. CartoonMark

    CartoonMark Beach Lover

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    "The lady doth protest too much, me thinks"
     
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  16. Kaydence

    Kaydence Beach Fanatic

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    People who cant discern fact from fiction generally speak in euphemisms to downplay whats really going on in Defuniak.
     
  17. CartoonMark

    CartoonMark Beach Lover

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  18. Kaydence

    Kaydence Beach Fanatic

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    And you help spread the BS.
     
  19. CartoonMark

    CartoonMark Beach Lover

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    Any regular reader of this forum knows that you belittle anyone that doesn't agree with you. My mother warned me to never get into an intellectual argument with an unarmed person.
     
  20. Kaydence

    Kaydence Beach Fanatic

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    Actually, you took the first shot with your comment regarding a lawsuit that has nothing to do with this thread.

    You made it personal. I dont care who agrees or not...no one is forced to read anything posted here.
     
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