Thursday, December 23, 2004


The folks at the Polk County Opportunity Council just don't seem to get it right.

Earlier this week, the Bartow City Commission called for an investigation into the community action agency which is mandated to help low income families and operates the Head Start programme locally. This was the latest shot in the running feud over seating the city's designated representative to the PCOC Board of Directors, who has been refused his place at the table.

Now comes word that Executive Director Carolyn Speed accepted a trip to Las Vegas under the guise of a "training conference" six weeks after PCOC signed a no-bid contract to lease Canon's image Runner machine, which retails at $16,236. Ms. Speed's perks from Canon during her two night stay in "Sin City" include:

--- Hotel accomodations at the Four Seasons Hotel, one of the nicest in Vegas with rooms typically running in the neighbourhood of $400 a night.

--- A spa treatment in the resort.

--- Free meals throughout her stay.

--- Tickets to Cirque de Soleil at the Bellagio, one of the hottest shows on the Strip. Tickets run between $99 - 150.

If this, indeed, were a "training conference", wouldn't it be appropriate to send the head of your Information Technology department instead? For the Executive Director, who will likely use the machine on rare occasions (that's what you send your minions for, Carolyn!), it looks more like a nice perk for Canon to say "Thanks" for the no-bid agreement.

The Ledger contacted the Administration for Children and Families regional office in Atlanta, the federal agency which oversees community action agencies such as PCOC, and was told the information was sent to the agency's HQ in Washington.

More deep do-do to come, I'm sure, at PCOC.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's clear and evident that all of this "mud slinging" and "bad mouthing" of PCOC comes from a bitter David Hallock and his supporting cast, Bartow County Comissioners, over PCOC's refusal to allow Hallock to sit on PCOC's Board of Directors. Poor David, can't get his way, he'll cry, scream , kick and create malice...even for the "do goders" of our community. Pipe down David, you weren't always this "stand-up" guy you claim to be. Just ask the elders around Lakeland and Bartow about your Badcock Furniture days and how nasty and racist you were back then. Some even seem to remember you being affiliated with the KKK. And you want to sit on the PCOC Board of Directors? Like my Grandmother used to say, "A Leopard doesn't change his spots." Neither does a Klansman. So, have a seat Dave...anywhere you like, it just won't be on the Board of Directors at PCOC.

6:52 AM  
Blogger Robert C. said...

I do not know Mr. Hallock or his background. The point is simply this: The City of Bartow provides some of PCOC's funding, so it has a seat on the Board of Directors. PCOC refuses to honour the City's duly appointed representative by seating him, and has not adequetely spelled out why. That should raise a red flag to any entity that helps fund PCOC, an agency that has seen more than it's share of controveresy.

PCOC's credibility is a stake, and the administration there should do everything possible to insure that it and it's leadership is above reproach. Maybe it is time for them to answer some tough questions and show the entities that fund it that there are no longer foxes in the henhouse.

FYI: The Lakeland Ledger's Editorial Page Editor, Dave Schultz, had an inside link to PCOC: His wife, Sue Schultz --- now heading up the Polk County League of Women Voters --- is a former head of PCOC's Head Start program when my daughter was there. Sue's good people, and I'm certain she could tell some VERY interesting stories from that time.

8:26 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home