Yes, vacation was terrific and we've all come home with recharged batteries! So, here we go.
While so many Osceola taxpayers, (that's the ones paying the bills) continue to scratch their heads over UNemployed Commissioner Mike Harford's trip to China, we must also
question how on Earth he was able to repay a several hundred thousand dollar debt, without reporting it on his financials! We also wonder how many of his financials are true and correct or simply hurriedly filed without thought. In previous financials, Mr. Harford reported a very large debt and his income was 'only' his commission salary, so again, how on earth was he able to (1) pay down his debt completely on only his county salary, and (2), why hasn't it been reported CORRECTLY in his own financial reports? So what, you might ask, but we're just curious how/why he reported the debt, and then files the next financial report without showing the debt or any means of paying the debt off. This just makes us wonder what else may, or may not is being reported!
Keeping with Commissioner Harford, just how can the county justify sending Mr Harford to China on a so called 'business trip' during which he'll be seeking investments and job creations FOR Osceola County? As we had before, we'll just remind you of the defunct "Formosa Gardens", formerly located on West 192 and created by the Chinese brain trust, who later closed the park after losing their egg rolls ($) here in Osceola County, in Harford's district! Closing up shop seems to be a natural action in this county BUT, going to China to talk them back into Osceola County seems a very poor idea. But hey, it's just more money wasted and no concerns sending our out of work commissioner to China as we're sure he'll receive as much respect during his visit as anyone else, as long as his passport is up to date! At least the County Commission could have selected someone so much more qualified than Harford, especially when there are so many SUCCESSFUL business minded people in Osceola County. Heck, even Mike Horner would be a better selection than Harford because Mr Horner has successful business knowledge as well as a gift for gab!
While away, it seems that the Democrats on the County Commission may have given up an all access pass to one of Alan Grayson's henchmen, a Clint Diamond, who seems to be having the enjoyment of free access to the county's operations and offices. All of this being done under the County Manager's nose, along with the county commission! IF it's true that this guy, NOT even from Osceola County, works for Grayson, another NOT from Osceola County, this is a very bad lapse of judgement inside the county's operations! Alan Grayson is a user, in our opinion, and he has the Clerk of Courts, and a majority of county commissioners assisting him with his current campaign. The presence of Mr. Diamond is clearly an abuse of power by Grayson and Grayson should be told, via a NO vote in his primary election, that Osceola County no longer supports carpetbaggers! Osceola County has lost any type of direction for the future and spending has become rampant by the Democratic majority!
Some news on the roads;
John Young Parkway Roadway Improvements Begin Next Week
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (October 2, 2015) — The City of Kissimmee announces that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and Masci Construction are scheduled to begin roadway construction on John Young Parkway (State Road 600) from Portage Street to Vine Street in Osceola County next week.
This project includes the widening of John Young Parkway from four lanes to six lanes. Work also includes drainage improvements, curb and gutter installation, sidewalk milling and resurfacing, pavement marking and signing and signalization of SR 600 (US 17/92, John Young Parkway).
Funded entirely by FDOT, the total cost of this project 12 million dollars. Access to businesses will be maintained at all times and work is estimated to be completed by early 2018.
For more information, please contact the City of Kissimmee Public Information Office at 407.518.2314.
We appreciate the 234 email messages we received while away for the last ten days and hope everyone is well. We do wish you the very best and may God bless each of you.
Karl-Good to have you back!
I wonder why people like Jed Suhl haven't filed an Ethics Commission complaint on Comm. Harford? It's obviously a fraud.
You forgot the Chinese Texas owned company that wanted to open a Trade Center where the Sensor plant is. The trip Harford on is a vacation trip as the county has a paid representative going for tourist business already planned a year ago. Here is a commissioner that his fellow commissioners failed to appoint him as county chairman for 7 straight years. So he becomes Grayson's go to commissioner 2 years ago hence Mr Diamond brings the Congressman's Agenda to him every week.
Thanks Ghost and you are right! We did forget to include that silly 'trade center' deal where the chinese would have the center and everyone else interested in buying their cheaply made items could come to Osceola County to view the product lines. lol Another jobs capturing deal that went belly side up!
If all that info regarding Grayson's henchman is correct, it's another reason to vote for anyone but Grayson!
I just hope everyone understands that not one sitting commissioner even questioned the trip by Harford, and that includes Hawkins. No way should any of these 5 ever be reelected !
Should it be noted that Horner, Grayson and Arrogant Attlee are the power (money and advice) behind Otero's Mayoral run? And that with 3 city seats now open, it will be replacement time for a damn fine city manager for one with an Hispanic surname? Let's not forget that Jim swan is NOT a shoe-in for his old county seat. At 63% Hispanic, it will be expensive to win a seat from now on. Even if only 10% vote, they vote straight Hispanic. I should research how to file an ethics complaint because it isn't clear how it's done.
Good point "semi", but Atlee also has contributors in the cash game. I haven't seen this group mentioned much lately however, the 'cigar club' continues to be an active group in Osceola, and now, with Atlee as the boss on the roadway authority, he can influence road construction direction into many properties currently held by investors! NOT that I know anything but it sure seems to be convenient if, as an investor, I had an inside influence when it comes to construction projects. Again, I don't know anything factually, just wondering about the possibilities.
How come Many Democrats and Republicans vote straight tickets for their parties? Called "lemming votes".
I agree Swan isn't a shoe-in for a BOCC seat,
The Ethics Commission investigates elected and appointed officials.
Take a look at their informative web site.
WHY does Hawkins sit by and says absolutely nothing when it comes to objecting how the majority are wasting our money? Even people in district 5 complain to him and all he says is "I'm alone up there". So what? Grow a pair and at least say something! At this point a decent opposing candidate, especially a Republican, would easily take the seat no matter how much money Hawkins has raised or has in his own pockets. It's about leadership and there are no leaders on the county county commission. Also, I've continue to hear yah Brandon'e mommy is looking for support for Brandon in his coming quest for Tax Collector or even Property Appraiser! OMG, at least Carl's information here has been a lot more correct than most other places! Thanks, Carl, for somehow coming up with the correct information here before most others, especially when I can hear the same stuff from those supposedly 'in the know'!
Actually there is something guys may not know about. There is one Commissioner that did question the trip and she is working on a Commissioner Travel Policy change with Staff right now. I specifically asked that it be made effective immediately if passed to prevent Harfords trip.
If Brandon runs for Tax Collector, the only way he can win is if his Mommy goes rogue on us. I think he is still borrowing her dresses.
@Josh - If you pay close attention you will see that Fredd is opposing a lot of spending issues that come up. So is Cheryl Grieb. During the meeting about Harfords last attempt at total BS you saw the rest of the Board oppose him completely. They literally shut him down as they should have. Viviana Janer took a tongue lashing from the local Democratic Chair, Leah Carius after the meeting and there were witnesses to it. Viviana deserves big props after that meeting. I certainly have given her grief in the past but she really showed a different side that night.
That's disappointing to hear about Leah Carius. I had thought she'd have made a much better school board member than Wheeler. Then again, so would my puppy dog.
Ms Janer cannot turn away from a TV camera or reporter and her general lack of knowledge on most subjects or Osceola history is always very obvious, at least to me. Perhaps her boyfriend is 'assisting' her in how politics should be, according to him, but he'll soon learn what it is to lose an election, I hope.
I believe Mr Hawkins needs to be more vocal and perhaps, a bit louder when he voices any objections. He needs to convince voters in district 5 that he's the guy to get things done. To be honest, he hasn't done much of anything, including listening to his district's voters, which is always a disappointment.
I agree with some of the others that the entire commission needs to be uprooted and discharged.
Comm Harford is going to China. He followed policy and asked the BOCC to approve the trip. Maybe if a strange trip comes up it should be approved with a 5-0 vote? We are just 4 days into the new budget year. There is no reason for all the commissioners to go the National League of County commissioners or even state. Chairman and Vice Chair would do.
Can't wait for Harford's next move after the protocol office flopped.
Harford did not in fact "ask" the BOCC for permission to take the trip. The current Commissioners Travel Policy did not require he ask permission. All he had to do is say he was traveling for Economic Development Purposes. What he did "get approved" was a Sister City Agreement which Fred voted against. The problem is their is no Sister City named. The agreement hasn't drafted because we don't know yet what the city is. This is nothing more than a vacation for Harford and the Experience Kissimmee folks including Maria Grulich. We are in need of a complete audit of how our funds are being expended at Experience Kissimmee. What is our Return on Investment?
While Harford has cleared the county's travel technically, he's still making himself known as the unemployed boob who guided Viviana Janer to office and was repaid by her voting against something he wanted. Meanwhile, notice as little Brandon moves slightly to his right, ever so slightly away from Harford. Is Brandon trying to separate himself from big lug Harford in order to have a better shot at Patsy's job? What he just doesn't understand is the voters are, hopefully, not as dumb as he is to vote for him to be in a highly paid, highly referred to political post!
Taxpayers privacy will certainly be at risk with the likes of him in one office and Mommy in the office close to his!
I pray voters will turn him away, but I understand why he's afraid to run for his commission seat. He's got at least one challenger who has gone through the process 4 years ago and will certainly kick his tail this time around.
Hey Carl, what about that candidate who wears his son's military cap letting people believe that he's a veteran but has never served, and is a transplant from Dominica?
Thank you for the correction.
I did call the county attorney's office this morning and was reminded the BOCC with 3 votes could have denied the funds for the trip. The travel policy is not an opened ended policy as indicated here. Comm Harford has made other trips with the CVB members to promote tourism.
His travel records,ie county credit cards are public and would be interesting to see what he spent in China.
I agree with you that there is another challenger that Brandon is running from. Looking at the SE website, there are only two candidates Matos who is a Dominican with no knowledge of Osceola politics and Tony Ferentinos.
I guess we all know who he's running from.
If Brandon runs it will be for the hopes of a larger paycheck . The 2 candidates listed will not beat him. The Tax Collectors Office will be will be a real plum for someone to win. They will walk into an office with well trained employees.
Interesting posts. I asked around about Clint Diamond and there are alot of the local Democratic Party folks who know him as Grayson's main guy. Word is that he and many of the Democratic Party elders are not happy with Cheryl Grieb as she is not just going along with nonsense. They are mad at her for using her common sense. They are very upset that her and Hawkins seem to be in agreement more and more when it comes to spending. Word is that the local Democrates are trying to find someone to run against her next time around. The name that has been dropped by a few of them is Leah Carius. Of course that is just name dropping and there does not seem to be any 'official' plan. Just rumors.
That wouldn't be the first time the County Attorney would be confused.During the meeting when the China Trip was discussed, Cheryl Grieb asked for clarification and the County Manager piped in and stated that as long as the travel was for Economic Development it did not need Board approval. There will be a an agenda item sometime in the next few meetings where the changing of the Commissioners Travel Policy will be up for a vote and hopefully it will include a clause to be effective immediately. The County Attorney is wrong if he said they could have voted on it back then. All they could vote on that night was the Sister City Agreement which was passed with Fred being the dissenting vote.
The county has a flawed Travel contract because one county commissioner chose to abuse it.
The BOCC can at anytime to stop funding on any travel plans by a member. The BOCC can cut any part of the approved budget with 3 votes. Harford could go on his own money if that happened.
The money for Comm. Harford's trip is coming out of the county manager funds who tagged Harford for China and Arrington for Belgium. Harford still has his commission travel fund money.
It is unusual the Vice Chairman isn't going to China as the title gives status in a foreign country. Did everyone else decline China trip?
Harford has a county credit card. The bills are public record.
@Karl Roach- Please go un the County site and watch the video of the meeting. Cheryl Grieb asked the County Manager about it and he said as long as it is targeted for Economic Development, Harford did not need permission.
For those not awre about the Belgium Trip - There is a company from Belgium that has been here 4 times looking at the Sensor Project. That company invited Brandon and the County Manager to Belgium to meet and paid half the expenses.
The China Trip - Harford finagled that one on his own at our expense. Two people from Experience Kissimmee are going as well. One of them is Maria Grulich. WOW!! I can't wait to see the Return Onn Investment from this trip.
Comm Harford is going to hit up the Chinese to redevelop the hotel business on West 192.
Hopefully he has business cards with his name and county in Chinese on the back.
China here comes a country bumpkin.
Mike Harford is going to continue to push for a Living Wage Ordinance in the county in a story in Around Osceola. He blames Republicans for defeating his proposal. Shows how powerful Comm is as being the only Republican on the BOCC. Staff is spending time on this folly rather than doing real work.His newest plan is to have companies getting a $100,000 contract have 25% apprentices on their workforce. Engineering companies like Osceola Engineering that gets a contract once in awhile would have to hire 3 people to meet that standard as all their employees would not qualify. Then every company that submits a bid would have to list the positions and salaries of each employee with the bid and or proposal. I can foresee the county getting no replies to their bids. Common sense it what Mike needs. Round 2 will be interesting.
The new St Cloud manager resigned before he could be fired. He had 18 jobs lined up to cut from the budget. Appeared the council wasn't impressed on how he was treating employees this year. I was hoping we were getting a new manager with a good record to take care of some of the city problems. This is all we could find?
All of this, and the few employes of the board can't recive ther COLA increase because there redlined/toped out.This is BS
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