“My task which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel — it is, before all, to make you see. That – and no more, and it is everything. If I succeed, you shall find there according to your deserts: encouragement, consolation, fear, charm – all you demand; and, perhaps, also that glimpse of truth for which you have forgotten to ask.”
Joseph Conrad, 1897
Prior to his retirement in 2014, the author served in law enforcement for 31-years, the last five as Chief of Police for a full-service department in east Central Florida. He is a 1996 graduate of the FBI National Academy at Quantico, Virginia.
In addition, Mark is a rated Commercial Pilot and Certificated Flight Instructor.
This blog provides a constructive outlet for his many personal demons, delusions, rants and political frustrations. He lives as a semi-recluse in an arrogantly shabby home in coastal Central Florida with his wife and two dogs.
The views expressed here are merely the author’s own critical personal opinions on the issues and newsmakers of the day and should never be mistaken for fact-based reporting.
In other words, if something here piques your interest – don’t take my word for it. Keep digging, you might be surprised what you find.
20 thoughts on “About”
What is the video transcript url for the 5th districts hearing on Let Volusia Vote? Thanks
You can find it at 5dca.org – it was on the Tuesday, May 3rd docket. Hope this helps.
Erau our old friends are sending people to Singapore airshow next week where there are virus victims and many Chinese delegates without care of what they might bring BACK to DB. Th I s should be stopped.
Doug and Clint:
I am sending the following by e-mail and its attachment to all of the Council Members.
As you know, the City has received a number of public records requests from members of the public for records related to certain activities by Mayor Johnson. In order to respond to the public records requests, the City Council directed City Staff to attempt to obtain the requested records from Mayor Johnson. Accordingly, City Staff and our law firm made requests on behalf of the City to Mayor Johnson for various records responsive to the pending public records requests, as well as submitting public records requests to third party entities that were involved with the production of the Mayor’s State of the City flier.
When the attempts to obtain the records from Mayor Johnson were unsuccessful, the City Council authorized the filing of a lawsuit(s) but directed us to attempt to obtain the records without filing suit. Accordingly, City Staff and our firm have had numerous communications with Mayor Johnson and his attorney, and met with Mayor Johnson and his attorney, Doug Daniels, on July 12, 2016 to discuss the matter. As outlined in the attached memorandum, Mayor Johnson offered to cooperate regarding some of the requests and to produce a number of records. Mayor Johnson has not yet produced any of the records as agreed during the July 12, 2016 meeting. We followed up with Doug Daniels regarding the matter via email on July 25, 2016 and August 1, 2016, and received a response on August 2, 2016, stating that he would ask Mayor Johnson to produce the records that were agreed upon. Also, Mayor Johnson and Doug Daniels asserted at the July 12, 2016 meeting that the records related to Mayor Johnson’s bicycle tour are not public records and that the tour was a private venture. However, according to our analysis, these records are likely public records. We provided Doug Daniels with our analysis and opinion on the matter via email on July 25, 2016. In his response to us on August 2, 2016, Doug Daniels restated his opinion that the records are not public records, but suggested that Mayor Johnson might be willing to release them. Please find attached a memorandum outlining the status of the various requests for records to Mayor Johnson.
Given the above and the Council’s last direction, the next step would be to file suit against Mayor Johnson to obtain the records. Before proceeding with the suit or suits, it is important to remember that due to the unique circumstances here, the City could be liable to pay Mayor Johnson’s attorneys’ fees regardless of the outcome of such a lawsuit. Under Florida case law, a public official may be entitled to attorneys’ fees incurred defending against a lawsuit arising out of or in connection with the performance of his official duties provided that the public official’s underlying activities serve a public purpose. If Mayor Johnson prevailed in the lawsuit, he would have a good argument for entitlement to attorneys’ fees. If the City prevailed in the lawsuit, Mayor Johnson’s argument for attorneys’ fees would be weaker, but a court could nonetheless determine that his withholding of the records was consistent with a public purpose and award attorneys’ fees. Further, the City would have to pay legal fees associated with pursuing the lawsuit, none of which would be covered by the City’s insurance policy.
Alternatively as we have discussed previously, the City Council could elect not to file a lawsuit, and the third party public records requestor(s) were to file suit to obtain the records, the City’s insurance policy would likely cover the expenses of defending against the lawsuit.
In the event that the City chooses to file a lawsuit against Mayor Johnson, we recommend that the City authorize attorney Drew Smith, who currently represents City staff in prosecuting the charges of charter violations against Mayor Johnson, to pursue the lawsuit.
Lita, Rick, Mike and Chris:
The settlement discussions that were authorized by the City Council have not been fruitful. In response to my communications with Doug Daniels, Mr. Daniels’/Mayor Johnson’s settlement proposal would require the City to pay Mayor Johnson’s legal fees as well as the City’s legal fees (Mr. Daniels claims fees of over $40,000.00), elimination of the ethics complaint filed by Dan Parrott on behalf of the City, and no admission by Mayor Johnson of any Charter violation but he would apologize for personally offensive statements and acknowledge the need to refrain from such behavior in the future. Mr. Daniels also suggested that a first amendment/Charter City Council Member workshop seems futile, but that they could agree to some code of conduct applied consistently with some applicable penalty.
Given the above, and unless the Council directs otherwise at a public meeting, I do not intend to take any further action toward settlement.
I’d leave you something to think about, and research, but not in a public forum….
I have noticed many condominiums residents leaving lights on, bright white ones, during nesting season. Please call me, and or text and email me because I am getting many spam calls and cannot differentiate between the two. I am running the candotwo Twitter.
You may not remember me, but my name as you knew it then is Missy Wade. I came back to Holly Hill about the time you retired to care for Dad the last 3 years of his life. Nina was a friend of mine half a lifetime ago. Because I am disgusted with the way the county council is treating this area, I am strongly considering running for county council. Would you be willing to sit down with me over a cup of coffee or tea and help me get up to speed? Thank you in advance, I hope. Warmly, Liz (Missy)
Mr. Barker , My name is Betty Ledyard and I have just discovered you and am enjoying your commentary . I especially enjoyed your 2016 article about Miklos and could not agree more about your thoughts regarding the corruption and duplicity in the St.John’s River Water Management District .I sent your article to the St. John’s idiots as well as the FDEP Compliance people . I would love to speak with you . A large group of us are deep in a protest against their ruinous ” restoration ” of an exquisite estuary out here in Flagler Beach .Miklos approved the project just before DeSantis fired him , then rehired him and then Miklos stepped down on his own volition -he said . They are stripping these gorgeous wetlands down to bare mud . You can have a look at our Facebook page -Flagler Beach Salt Marsh Project . They are committing violation after violation and they do not even get a slap on the wrist from the FDEP. St. John’s did a bogus test for DDT out here which we called them out on and now it is up to us to do correct testing for DDT at our expense of $8k and I fear it will take awhile to get the FDEP to approve the testing . We would love to host you down here for a tour of what we currently have and the nightmare of what St. John’s is turning it into . My email is below and I will leave you my cell # as a PM on your Facebook page . Hope to hear from you soon . ( By the way -I totally agree with you about Lucky’s in Ormond . That place is NUTS ) Betty
Thanks, Betty! Keep up the good fight!
DDT’s reintroduction into the water column crashed the Mosquito Lagoon. It is highly acutely toxic to marine invertebrates @ 300 parts per trillion. Application rates prior to ditching were 0.4 lbs/acre monthly. 625 acres of contaminated spoil leveled in the name of restoration? That is what I call nutrient loading. John Miklos did get his mitigation bank however.
Mr. Barker, If you will provide me an email address and/or mailing address, I will provide you an complete written expose’ including irrefutable proof behind the 1/2 billion dollar scam committed by Bray and Gillespie. Trust me when I tell you, you will need no further corroboration.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain in contacting me Mr. Barker. I am solely looking to clear my name, while bringing Bray & Gillespie to justice. email@example.com
As a wise man once said: “You can’t, in sound morals, condemn a man for taking care of his own integrity. It is his clear duty.” – Joseph Conrad
Mr. Hoover – This is merely a personal opinion blog and not the best forum to “clear your name.” Thanks for reading BV and I wish you luck in your pursuit of justice.
Mark, Go on past CC meeting Agenda for February 06, 2018, Item 05 and January 18, 2018, Item 08. Deb Denys clearly got this in her packet and so did everyone else. These Special Events are reported to council at each meeting. She had every opportunity to ask more questions. She keeps talking about other events in NSB, however Ponce Inlet is a Peninsula with no parking. Those events are on the Main Land with lots of parking spots. Where would people park on Atlantic Ave. Someone would be killed walking up to 2 miles or they would not come. Again, this event has been co-sponsored since 2012 by Volusia County and The Town of Ponce Inlet.
It is about time bray @ Gillespie are held accountable for their actions, they are pure evil greedy scum
Thank you for telling the truth about me and Volusia County Schools!
Thank you for providing the existence of such blog, it’s hard to find stuff on the community in a more virtual, contactless world.
Or maybe I’m just young, lol.
Hi Mr. Barker, I just read your blog about the Bellaire Community Group meeting the other night. My boyfriend and I were in the audience and were very impressed by your delivery and your knowledge of local matters. I intend to follow your blog.
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Do you recall recent Council discussions and/or votes concerning evening meetings (or can steer me where to research)? Thanks, I look forward to your blog posts.