I had two discussions with friends of mine in DeBary yesterday and today. Both people warned us about keeping Tebo on even though she has resigned effective 8 November.
They both said that the town of DeBary is still looking for documents, some 5 1/2 years after Stacy was fired by DeBary. One friend even went as far as saying that she probably took the IMPORTANT documents home with her and destroyed them there or they are still there.
Get along Walter got Stacy’s agreement that she would be available for trying the transition with a new Town Manager, to give him or her the scoop of various projects. When Stacy took over from Shirley Heath she needed two days to “get up to speed”. That’s all she got and according to her, Tebo, that was all she needed.
Financially we are in deep crap. Both our short term budget (salaries and day to day expenses and funding of long term investments (Capital Improvement like the sewer project and the water project coupled with the new community center/ hurricane shelter) won’t fund themselves. Many of our capital improvement projects have a buy in. We’ve got to come in with some cash to get the grant. Obviously from the short term General Fund and we just don’t have the money. Of course there is now the question of misspending the LOFT moneys a nd what penalty we nay have to pay for that,
The right temporary Town Manager would need less than two days to come up to speed. Tebo has screwed up the management of the town so badly that the new manager will have to rebuild the ship from scratch. That is the only way to clean up the corruption and hemorrhaging to money perpetrated by Tebo and her lapdog Pam. He or she or both need little time to right the ship of state assuming that the Council approves.
Like it or not we have a “Weak Mayor” form of government. But no where in the Charter does it say we must have a “weak Council” form of government. The Council must get off of its fanny and give direction to the Town Manager. The first order of business must be the Fire Department. Tebo screwed this vital public safety group to high hell and while I think Mr. Preutter is a good guy it is evident from his responses at the last Council meeting that he is not up to rebuilding a Volunteer Fire Department from scratch.
That’s’ what happened to the Town VFD about a year and a half ago. Tebo decided and the Council let her decide. Now we have no fire department at all. Even Mr. Preutter doesn’t show up for fires and calls for assistance as proven by the Dispatch Records. No where in the Charter does it say the Town Manager can operate without the Council’s blessings.
The second order of business is trying to figure out how much money Tebo, and the Council, have got us obligated for. I don’t know about you but I have no idea. I believe we are in way over our heads, financially speaking. I would love to be wrong about this but I don’t think so. Once we know what obligations we have committed to we need to determine a priority system for those projects, which is more important that which and then adjust the budget to make our number one project our number one priority.
The third order of business must be getting a handle on what does our number one and number two and number three projects require of us, when is it required and how much it is going to cost and where is the money going to come from without raiding the Enterprise Account. What paperwork is necessary for our top project. Set up a tickler system for those events so that the Council is NOT required to make any more last second decisions, a do it or lose it form of financial planning that the current town manager and yes the town council has allowed us to get into.
We have some serious problems that are facing us. We may not be able to afford everything that we have obligated ourselves to do. We must figure out where we are, where we want to be and determine how we get there. Certain projects like the Storm Shelter need funding and completion because we have already committed funds to the engineers. No more decisions that the Council, as a whole, doesn’t make.
We’ve got a good start on all of these projects. The decisions by the Council to limit money spent out of the Revenue account to $50,000 to the general fund is a great start to lower sewer and water bills. But the questions remain. “How much is the project going to cost, and where are we going to get the funds?” Another start is the decision by the Council to limit expenditures of the LOFT funds to street building and the other constraints imposed on us by State Statute. Let’s face it, we have illegally spent, in the last four years, over $750,000 which was not our money to spend, at least not on what we were suppose to be spending it on.
I hope the state doesn’t come and ask for a return of that $750,000. Attorney Hatton spilled the beans on our spending and the Attorney General wasn’t happy about it as you can tell from her letter to us. We now have an attorney who will not make mistakes like Hatton made. Hatton literally made us liable for all $750,000 that we misspent. Tebo and Hatton and our “don’t make a decision” Town Council have put us with our backs to the wall. Maybe the State won’t notice but someone is liable to tell on us and White Springs will have to go out of business.
There is no more room for carrying people on the payroll who don’t do their jobs in a professional and through manner. We’ve got to make some adjustments to the payroll and to do it NOW. The Kenny Hutcherson fiasco is paramount. We paid him for up to two years while he was sick and unable to work. What could we do with that $150,000? We could finish up the community center/ hurricane shelter. As it stands now we may never get the project finished and what we have already spent on the project would go down the drain.
I suggest the following.
- We terminate Tebo now, pay her her three weeks of Salary and kick her ass out the door.
- Hire a temporary town manager NOW who has White Springs survival at the core of their being.
- Terminate or Retire Pam. She is incapable of making the necessary decisions needed to improve our financial well being. All she knows how to do is spend money but doesn’t know the first thing about Planning.
- Make the new Town Manager have a six month contract so that if he or she doesn’t do the job we can terminate him or her immediately. No termination clause in the contract. He, or she, will be an at will employee.
- Have the Council grow a set of cahonies and do their jobs as decision makers. Make them, like all town employees, earn their money.
We’re in dire straights and two CPA’s. Four Town Managers, Four Attorneys and 10 past and present Council members have not done their best job for us. Cut Tebo now before she can do any other disaster making.
And here is the commercial, hire a town resident with degrees in financial planning and budgeting to be your six month town manager. Who knows maybe his wife will do the books with her degree in Financial Management and Planning. We’ll work for peanuts.
Council get some balls or get out of the way. This will be our last chance to make White Springs a town we can be proud of. 20 1/2 years and this is our final chance.