Did Apopka Leaders sucker-punch a Good Business Partner?

The City of Apopka is once again in the news, this time for ongoing, serious problems at it’s aging water treatment facility. Anuvia Plant Nutrients in Zellwood Florida, produces fertilizer utilizing a new method that produces biosolids as a byproduct that must be disposed of. The City of Apopka, after a series of discussions entered into a partnership with Anuvia to accept the waste and process it through the water treatment facility. Agreements were drawn up, over $1 million was paid by Anuvia,  permits were signed and all went well for a time.

In December of 2016, it was reported the Apopka Wastewater treatment facility was running into possible environmental problems. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection got involved and in January made a report of the various issues at the plant. Now, aside from technical and environmental  violations, note was also made of some plant management issues, as well as the age of the facility itself.  The City was fined by the Florida DEP for these violations and ordered to clean up the mess. A clean-up company was called in to begin the cleanup of the bio-solids and removal of sludge from the facility, at a cost of about $100,000.00 to the City. I realize this is a vast oversimplification of the situation but the exact timetable is not the question. The City handling all this is most troubling.

A 3 page fact sheet put out by the City regarding this situation, dated 2/14/17, provides an excellent summary of the issues at hand. Two bullet points in the Fact sheet relate to Anuvia and the future of their relationship with the City. One point reads, “The City considered shutting Anuvia off from our system, but determined that doing so would significantly affect their business operations”. Another point acknowledges  that while there were no violations of the original permit by Anuvia, perhaps the “company’s original discharge permit limits were not stringent enough. These discharge permits are being renegotiated” and new limits might be necessary.  Nonetheless, “Apopka is committed to being a good business partner. Shutting Anuvia down completely would have hurt their business, and prevented a proper evaluation of the problem.”

Fast forward to Friday March 3rd, when in fact Anuvia was presented an updated permit by the City for consideration, as the existing permit would be expiring on Monday March 6th. THEN, on Monday March 6th, Anuvia is served a cease and desist order from the City, forcing the company to suspend their operations. A meeting between the City, Anuvia and the Florida DEP yielded little and the company will be shut down at least another 10 days.

Questions that arise from all this: First, what exactly happened between Friday March 3rd and Monday the 6th to cause the City to go from extending a new proposed permit to issuing a Cease and Desist order. City Administrator Glenn Irby stated, “The plant went into an upset condition”, but did not elaborate what that meant. So, I’m asking, what does this mean exactly? If Apopka is such a good business partner, as stated in the fact sheet from 2-14-17, why did they pull the rug out from under Anuvia, resulting in a shut down of operations, which the City stated would not happen? Whose responsibility was it to not only see if the original permit limits could be met, but to continuously monitor these limits from the start  and to warn of any potential problems or risks to the Facility? Exactly how much money will this policy reversal  on the part of Apopka cost Anuvia? I’m willing to bet millions.. If this is how Apopka is willing to treat their good business partner Anuvia, how will the City treat other good business partners? Especially with the explosion of growth going on all around our City? Can or should anyone trust what our City leaders tell them? The City taxpayers deserve to know the truth behind this Cease and Desist order which  comes only from the very top.

So where does that leave Anuvia? Scrambling, looking for a business partner that won’t sucker punch them. By all accounts, Anuvia did not violate the terms of the original permit, and if the limits were not strong enough, whose fault is that? In the end, this whole situation could result in lawsuits, costing the City taxpayer millions to settle. This could also cost the City the good will of potential new businesses offering the kinds of  good paying jobs leaders say they want. All because the left hand does not know what the other left hand is doing.

 

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Did Apopka Leaders sucker-punch a Good Business Partner?

Sludge and Scoreboards in Apopka Begins and ends with an A.

Just some random thoughts about all that has happened in Apopka this week..

Seems like our City is withdrawing over $60,000.00 from our Reserves to buy scoreboards for the NorthWest Recreation Complex. Apparently, a deal of lifetime that just could not wait till the 2017-2018 budget, Mayor Joe believes these works of beauty will attract sports tournaments to the Complex. Excuse me, but I would LOVE to meet the Tournament director whose criteria for a location for their tournament is a scoreboard.. Really!

Another $63,000.00 will be spent by the City to clean up the mess left by Mayor Joe’s friends at Anuvia Fertilizer. Apparently, the method of creating fertilizer introduced by Anuvia causes some excessive biosolid waste that was being run through Apopka’s aging water treatment facility, more than the treatment facility could handle. Now a firm has to come in and dispose of the excess biosolids, and also the removal of sludge buildup. YUCK!! According to Anuvia, the City agreed they could handle all this when they signed off on the permit 3 years ago, and after Anuvia paid about $1.5 million in impact fees. Guess someone did not read all the way through what they were signing off on, huh? Also, although some of these problems can be attributed to poor management at the facility, Mayor Joe’s insistence that this was the fault of the previous administration (gee, where have we heard THAT before) does not hold water (even the yucky kind going through the water treatment facility).

One other thing that made me laugh this week was reading the account of the latest meeting of the Lake Apopka Natural Gas District Board of Directors. Apopka’s own Mayor Joe is on the Board of Directors and apparently balked at granting a salary increase and bonus to the District’s general manager. Joe stated at the meeting, “we should endeavor to establish benchmarks, targets .. so we know how close we are to performing our goals. That would establish a more transparent way of measuring performance as opposed to just a list of accomplishments”. THIS from a man who thinks nothing of giving tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to a friend of his to run “Apopka Begins and ends with an A”, a program with ZERO measureable goals or benchmarks, just a lot of liberal feel-good phrases and empty promises.

Sometimes it seems like our City leaders are more like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. Seriously though our City will face some major budget issues sooner rather than later unless we tighten the belts NOW and stop trying to please everyone and every liberal cause out there. Budget and property tax rate setting time is right around the corner; I wonder what we are in store for.

Sludge and Scoreboards in Apopka Begins and ends with an A.

Apopka FL Starting to Lean Left

Lots of news coming out of Apopka Florida these last couple weeks. Much of the news is showing how our fair City is leaning much more leftward than in the past… From Richard Anderson back in the local news, to wastewater treatment problems, to the Task Force on violence report to veiled calls for Apopka to become an unofficial Sanctuary City, lots going on. For anyone who cares, and in no particular order, here goes:

The headline in this past Friday’s Apopka Chief, “Judge tosses city suit vs Richard Anderson”. The suit was dismissed for no particular reason, and the City has 20 days to file an amended complaint. Per City Attorney Shepard, The City will re-file to include other complaints as well. Never mind that Anderson, after leaving the scene of a serious accident with injury, was able to settle that suit, and also never mind he still faces criminal charges as a result of that same accident. How’s this for another complaint, Mr. Shepard. In February, 2016, it was discovered that Richard Anderson was not registered as a lobbyist to perform at least HALF of the job he was hired to perform for the City. In February 2016, I called for Mr. Anderson’s contract to be terminated immediately, and that he pay back the money he was paid under mostly false pretenses, and ethics investigations. The City did NOTHING and now, a year later, Mr. Anderson continues to cause our City to rack up HUGE legal bills because of his questionable ethics.

So, the consultant hired by the City to review problems at our wastewater treatment facility found “administrative shortcomings” at the facility. And most shocking, Mayor Joe’s special friend, Anuvia may be partially to blame because the organic material they are dumping from their fertilizer plant may be to much for the aging facility to handle. Guess that kinds of shoots the whole, “Mayor Land is to blame” spiel Mayor Joe has been spouting since these problems were first reported.

The City taxpayer funded Old Florida Festival once again, lost money. Mayor Joe said in an interview that making money on this festival was not a major goal, but instead, making sure everyone had fun. I guess that’s true, because the Festival was gutted this year to save money, and to offset any savings the City might have seen, they offered free admission to the event. Liberal logic and your tax dollars, at work.

Also, the City heard, and for those enterprising enough to read the 40 page report, The Task Force on Violence Report.  LOTS of liberal word salad and plenty of finger pointing (except, I noticed at the actual people causing the violence) and at the end of it all, a request for $1.8 million dollars to fund solutions to this problem. I’ve read this report at least 5 times, and am preparing a detailed analysis, from a conservative viewpoint. All I will say now, is that as ambitious and well-intentioned as this report and the people involved with it are, unless you get the buy-in from the community you are planing to “help”, you may as well set fire to that $1.8 million dollars. And Greg Jackson’s constant harping on CRA (community redevelopment), makes me wonder which office he is angling to run for this time. Or whose non-profit agency Mr. Jackson is really advocating for.

And coming from our School Board Representative, Christine Moore, a thinly veiled request that the schools and law enforcement take pity on undocumented immigrants, the politically correct term for ILLEGAL ALIENS.  I also noticed the Hope Community Center is sponsoring an Immigration Fair next Saturday to address concerns among other things, New immigration policy. NEW?? You mean enforcement of existing laws is new? Well, I guess, under Obama, who rarely enforced these laws, it would be new. For an excellent analysis of what SHOULD be done about illegal immigration, read Patti Bankson’s spot-on weekly column, “Anchor Babies and the 14th Amendment”, in this week’s Chief.

There must be a full-moon hanging over our City and it refuses to move. And it looks like, as we draw near the end of just the 2nd month of 2017, it’s going to be a long, crazy, bumpy ride.. Hang on to your seats, my friends… Here we go!

 

Apopka FL Starting to Lean Left

Despite the Elections Results, Lying liberals continue to rule the day

Three weeks into the Trump administration and the Democrats and Liberals, who before the November election warned Republicans and conservatives they BETTER accept the elections results, continue to protest, riot, destroy and are on the verge of anarchy. Paid protestors, who would normally be playing video games in  mommy and daddy’s spare bedroom, are protesting and twist EVERYTHING President Trump does and says. Sometimes they do not even know why they are participating in this or that protest.

The immigration executive order Trump signed, pausing travel into our Country from certain countries have garnered the most violent protests. The Seven countries listed on this pause are the SAME Countries that the liberal’s lord and savior, Obama listed in HIS travel ban in 2011. Does anyone recall any rioting over Obama’s bans in 2011? Does anyone even recall this ban? Presidents as far back as the failed Carter have instituted some version of a travel ban without riots breaking out yet when Trump does it all hell breaks loose. The dishonest, rotten to the core media continues to feed these destructive riots favorably, and somehow focus only  on families being pulled apart sob stories.They vilify Trump and other conservatives as evil, heartless monsters. Never mind the Executive order in question simply allows for enforcement of laws already on the books! Liberals NEVER allow truth to get in the way of a good story.

And now, ICE agents are finally allowed to enforce other immigration laws ALREADY on the books, by going after people who are in this Country illegally. Yet the lying media presents this story as “raids on undocumented people”, “undocumented people who are working and paying taxes”.  And the disruptive, rude free-for-alls that town hall meetings are turning into. At one meeting, one liberal tried blaming Republicans for the destructive  ObamaCare, and the death panels section within the law. Let’s be clear, the TAX known as ObamaCare was approved completely and ONLY by Democrats; and there is a “death panel” clause within the tax, although lying liberals would cleverly never call it that.

I was thinking this morning, even though every-day Americans spoke up through the elections in November that we had enough of liberalism and demanded a return to our Country’s founding principles, a return to the rule of law in our Country, things appear NO different than before November 8, 2016. Why? And then it hit me. Even though Republicans won the House, the Senate and the Presidency, we still do not have the Courts nor the Liberal, lying, rotten to the core media. THIS is what continues to fuel the narrative in the Country; THIS is what continues to tear at the fabric of our Nation; Liberals DO NOT CARE what happened on November 8.. they do not care what America thinks or wants. And as long as THEY control the narrative through the destructive, lying media and through bleeding heart liberal judges whose rulings are based not on legal justice but social justice, the REAL America, and hard working Americans everywhere will continue to lose.

The question is this: is REAL America strong  enough to combat the forces of evil in our own Country: the lying, rotten to the core media;  liberal judges who continue to impose their own agendas on the American people; the arrogant, self-righteous entertainment industry who insist only they know American values and “who we are”? We have to, we MUST! We must demand that the Republican leaders we voted into office lead the charge and fight back; we must defend the laws of our Country, we must also call out the lying media when they incite and inflame by their dishonest editing and reporting. Even one Democrat told his party enough was enough and admonished them to “grow up”.

President Trump is doing what he promised during his campaign, but he needs OUR help at the local levels, to combat the evil within and restore our Country to it’s Greatness!! Are you up to the challenge?

Despite the Elections Results, Lying liberals continue to rule the day

Liberalism is NOT a Disease

Before the 2016 elections, Progressives Liberals warned Americans that they damn well better be prepared to sit down and shut up after November and accept the results of the Election. Clearly, Hilary Clinton had the election in the bag, and the liberal gloating had already begun. But then, something happened that few expected. Americans showed through their vote that they had ENOUGH of arrogant, know-it-all liberals and their destructive policies and hate-filled rhetoric; we handed them a sound defeat, up and down the ballot, from President to Congress and the Senate, down to local elections. So, did these liberals take their own advice and accept the results of an election they thought was in the bag? NO!! instead the temper tantrums and blood-letting began in earnest, first with controlled riots through out our Nation, paid for by Ultra liberal George Soros. And that was just the beginning.

Since the election results Liberals and their allies in the rotten to the core media have done nothing but undermine and question the integrity of the Vote and the election results, insisting that if not for non-specific “Russian Hacking”, the simpletons that make up America would have seen the light and voted for Hilary Clinton instead of Donald Trump. A group of self-serving, narcissistic Hollywood types even launched an ad demanding Congress obstruct Trump and thus the will of the American people. The tone-deafness of liberals, who simply refuse to acknowledge the message Americans sent in November, that we are FED UP with dishonest, rotten-to-the core media; the arrogance of Hollywood types and other celebrities that allow them to think Americans actually still buy their hateful rhetoric,  is simply astonishing!

SO, is liberalism a disease, as popular Facebook memes claim? NO! Why? because if it’s a disease, it gives liberals an excuse to continue their merry and destructive ways, unabated and unchallenged. After all, they can’t help it if they have a disease. So what is liberalism? It is a mindset, a way of thinking ingrained into the very fiber of their beings; an absolute, smug arrogant belief that only Liberals know what is best for simple Americans; they cannot understand there would be another opinion, another way of life other than their own. They are clever enough to disguise their play for power and control under an umbrella of helping people live better, helping CHILDREN become better citizens; but don’t believe it for a second.  Liberals will deploy any means necessary to achieve their ultimate ends: getting YOU under their control and power… allowing them to tell you what size drink you can buy, what kind of house you can live in and how you can power and even light your house, where or even IF you can drive you car, dismissing the results of an election. After all, it is for your OWN good that liberals must tell  you how to live. You do not have the intelligence to decide these things for yourself.  You can have your opinion as long as it agrees with the LIBERAL opinion; if not, then you must be a racist, sexist, homophobe; an anti-islam, anti-semite, anti-whatever that must be discredited and ultimately destroyed by any means possible.

And this happens not just in Federal policy and laws, but also at the state and right down to the City you live in. What to do about this and how can we even begin to restore the true American way of Life? STOP excusing  Liberalism  as a disease; it is a way of life, a destructive mind-set. Liberal, costly,  feel-good, we know what is best for you policies are bankrupting and destroying cities across our Country. Recognize this, Pay attention to what is happening in your City or town; and speak out. Starting in 2017, my posts will highlight the effects Liberalism is having on the City I live in. No holds bar, no backing down, no apologies; no prisoners; Liberals want a Utopia, and view any attempts to obstruct THEIR efforts as an act of War, thus any means justifies the ends. And what is going on here is probably going on in YOUR Town too… So Arm yourselves with knowledge, KNOW what Liberalism is and what you are up against. Get ready to fight back; Reclaim our Country, our Cities, our towns, or let us be overrun and destroyed by arrogant Liberalism.

 

Liberalism is NOT a Disease

A Tale of Two Faith Festivals

This Saturday, January 7, the City of Apopka will witness first hand what happens when a community, not heavy-handed government, takes matters into its own hands and organizes all aspects of a faith festival. Big name talent is booked, tickets sales are brisk; food and other vendors are in place; and part of the Festival will be an important discussion of the recently released Apopka Community Task Force on Violence. Even the weather looks like it will cooperate.

How did this come about? Last year, The City of Apopka leaders decided they wanted to put on some kind of Gospel Festival and actually set an item in the budget for this event. Apparently, in what seems to be the modus operandi for this City, staff set to work behind the scenes, almost in a bit of secrecy, working with what appears to be Mayor Joe’s handpicked pastors and church, to get things going on a Gospel Festival. According to the Mayor’s report from the City Commission meeting of October 5th, the pastors from New Destiny Christian Church have a production company that was going to work on the event, from lighting to production, to booking talent for their Festival, and were going to receive $60,000.00 of taxpayer money for their efforts. Typically, putting the cart before the horse, the City laid a lot of ground work for this festival then went to the City Commission meeting on October 5th, expecting rubber stamp approval for the event. But alas, questions were asked, with doubt expressed as to the timing of the Festival, which was originally scheduled for 5 weeks after this motion and vote were expected to sail through. In typical arrogant response to a legitimate question from Commission Dean, CAO Irby responded that this project was in the works for several months, and that staff often has conversations on a daily basis about projects or events that are not brought to council until the timing is right (really Mr Irby?? his response is a topic for another day, though). Not to mention why the Apopka Christian Ministerial Alliance and the South Apopka Ministerial Alliance were not involved in planning and only backhandedly told they could participate too if they wanted. Apparently, the timing was off on this project, because the Council balked and Mayor Joe could not even get his closest ally on the Council to make a motion to vote for the approval. Thus no Gospel Festival..

Enter several prominent leaders in our City, including businessman Rod Love, Pastors Hezekiah Bradford and Darrel Morgan, Orange County Commissioner Bryan Nelson and Mr. Ray Shackelford. This group realized they had the potential for a true Community and Faith Based Festival and set to work, organizing what will now be held this Saturday, the Apopka Faith, Family and Food Gospel Festival. Obstacles needed to be overcome, such as booking, then paying for the venue, the Apopka Amphitheater. After some legally challenging issues were discussed and resolved, the John Land Community Trust Fund came through with a donation to pay for the vendor and become one of the Event sponsors. Many in our community volunteered many hours of sweat equity, talent and expertise to make this Festival a reality.

Right now, I have no doubt of the success of this Festival, which hopefully will become an annual event. Time and again, it has been the Citizens of Apopka, not it’s heavy handed government leaders that have taken lemons and made the most delicious lemonade. And as we begin 2017 with this Faith Festival, I see much promise  that is when the Community comes together, works together to make our City a better place. Do we really need fancy, expensive visioning studies and heavy-handed, cleverly named government programs that offer little except more government spending to keep them going?

2017 will be an exciting year for Apopka, full of promise and growth. And as this Festival shows, it is the Citizens of Apopka that will fulfill that promise and lead that growth, not heavy-handed government that like to operate in a bit of secrecy.  Thank you to the organizers of the Apopka Faith, Family and Food Gospel Festival for starting the year out right, and showing the way for the rest of us.

A Tale of Two Faith Festivals

Lots happening in Apopka

Well, I have been away a while. Lots going on in Apopka. New City Centers, Gospel Festivals, competing plans for the Lake Apopka Restoration area, splash pads, and lots of workshop. And even though the election for Apopka Mayor is about 15 months away, it is safe to say the unofficial campaign for that election has started with Mayor’s Kilshiemer’s first State of the City address.

As many of my fans know, our family has had a challenging year, to say the least, and I have not been able to research and comment as much as I’d like, but many others in our City are now starting to pay attention and contribute to the commentary, and we need that: a healthy, robust debate that will ensure our tax dollars won’t be wasted.

So, enjoy the Christmas season and let’s get back started in 2017; there certainly will be plenty to keep us busy. Pay attention, educate yourselves, learn things. I will certainly have enough to say… I hope you will too!

And MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Lots happening in Apopka