I am a resident of DeBary. Also, I was elected to the DeBary City Council in 2008, by a large margin of votes.
The city government of DeBary has become an embarrassment to me any many other residents in recent years. It was less than six months ago that I spoke in person with the acting city manager of DeBary about the trash collection system. It seems that the waste collection employees fail to remove two bags of garbage from one garbage can. They work just hard enough to remove one bag of garbage and all too frequently do not bother to remove the second bag of garbage ! Of course this is totally unacceptable.
On Tuesday, April 18, 2017, I placed two garbage cans of garbage, in the front of my house. Each can of garbage contained two small bags of garbage. The garbage collectors removed one bag from each can and left one bag in each can. If I had not already reported this to city hall twice before, I could be rather forgiving. However, since this has become a habit, it is totally unacceptable to me as a citizen of DeBary. Since garbage is only collected ONCE a week, it is imperative that the trash collection division collects everything as required.
Additionally, I read and study in depth every single financial report that every candidate files in order to qualify as a candidate for DeBary city council. I find it quite interesting that some members of the DeBary City Council accept political contributions from the corporation that collects our garbage. When I was on the DeBary Council, I would not seek nor would I accept any contribution from any individual or corporation that had done business with DeBary. Additionally, I would not accept any contribution from any individual or corporation that planned to do business with the City of DeBary in the future. Obviously the corporation that collects the garbage in the City of DeBary is in violation of their contractual obligations and it may be past time to terminate this contract and employ a corporation that has the common sense needed to correctly perform a simple task like garbage collection.
The failure to perform a simple task like collecting the garbage indicates that the City Government of DeBary is not competent and the leadership of both the City Manager and members of the City Council is not fully effective. As a resident, I fully intend to follow through on this issue. On my way home, I noticed a headline in a newspaper that stated that the acting city manager was asking to work only three days a week. In my view, the only reason that the acting city manager is employed by DeBary in the first place is due to the fact that sane and sensible individuals, who are fully qualified as professional city managers do not wish to associate themselves with the government of DeBary.
To show just how totally insane the government of DeBary really is, residents should be reminded that a legally elected Mayor, Clint Johnson, was removed from his position by the previous city council. Rightly or wrongly, Mr. Clint Johnson exercised his legal rights to appeal his removal to the Judicial System. AT THAT POINT IN TIME, I urged the Council not to hold an election until Mr. Johnson got his day in Court. Instead the government of DeBary, by vote of the city Council, voted to hold a special election to fill the Mayor’s seat. This was morally wrong and totally foolish.
I am sure that there are some DeBary City employees who work hard and earn their salary every day. The question is: ” What percentage of DeBary City employees are working competently and earning their salaries. Is it 10%, 20%, 80% or 0% ?” Clearly DeBary needs a professional and full time city manager and qualified individuals will not apply for this position until our City Council members can demonstrate that they are sane, sensible, and competent individuals capable of managing a city government. It might be helpful to demonstrate competency by collecting the garbage correctly ! Also, the present acting city manager is a joke and he should be removed immediately.
R. Van Conoley ( Editor’s Note: This article is not intended to imply that former Mayor Clint Johnson was right or wrong. The issue was that the elected members of a previous council voted to spend taxpayer money for a special election before Mr. Johnson was allowed his legal right to present his views in a Court of Law. )