I Don't Even Know
why people do the things they do
-- A personal opinion page, so YAY free speech –
Well, I stopped caring about Susan Goebel-Canning for a while, and I’m honestly better off for not thinking about what a mess she’s made of the County. But now I hear a rumor that she’s decided to do what everyone in the area wishes she’d have done years ago, and GTFO of Hernando County, the State, and this entire half of the Country. Hoo-YouBetcha-Ray. When she does, we’ll all be better off for it. Hurry the day, as they used to say. While I doubt that the County Commissioners will be able to find anyone as useless, petty, and incompetent and Susie to fill her extra large sensible shoes, I also have little doubt that they will give it their $60K/year for part time work best effort. And you folks in Denver, where she’s headed: Google her. Find out what you’ve gotten yourselves into. You’ll regret her arrival there as quickly and as deeply as we enjoy her absence from here.
Later or better still, never, Susie. Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way out – not that the impact could jam your head any farther up it, just that it’d be a shame to have to spend even more County money fixing stuff you broke.
April 11, 2013
Yesterday, this article appeared in the Hernando section of the Tampa Bay Times. It describes the agreement reached between Hernando County government and the Teamsters local 79, based out of Tampa. John Sholtes, representing the the Teamsters, had this to say: "Both parties reached an agreement on the contract language regarding filling open positions and promotions, based on the concept that when two candidates for the open position are equally qualified, then county seniority shall prevail when awarding the position.'' Representing the County, Cheryl Marsden had this to say: "I'm elated."
Given Cheryl Marsden's past practice of simply tweaking the listed qualifications for a job to suit only the people she wants hired, we at IDEK have to wonder why the union agreed to this compromise. It clearly will work only in the favor of those who write the job descriptions - meaning Cheryl Marsden. If a job opening is posted for, say, an inspector (which is clearly needed), all Cheryl Marsden has to do is post the normal qualification list and add that the qualified applicant must have some additional background that, because she has access to all the county employee personnel files, she knows that none of the current employees has but her outside choice does. She's done it before and she'll do it again, but now she's got the union's approval.
March 21, 2013
IDEK staff have just had a chance to review the video of the March 12 BOCC meeting, at which Susan Goebel gave a report on the fiscal and operational nightmare that is her Dredge project. It appears as though she's allowed the contractors to beat her into submission, a simple task really as she has no ability to stand up to anyone, and she reports that no further government agencies have levied fines against the county for her incompetent mismanagement of the project leading to violations of State and federal rules. So, in recognition of her amazing ability to run a project to about $16M from the under $6M original budget, and her keen sense of how to make it take twice as long as it should by simply failing to be any good at directing contractors and following a schedule, the Board of County Commissioners did this: They gave her an award. That's Dave Russell* giving it to Susan Goebel there in the screencap from the streaming video. It's at about 3:15:00.
Do you notice the nature of the thing? The award is a rusty propeller stuck in mud. We at IDEK cannot think of a better and more appropriate symbol for Susan Goebel's utter failure at the Dredge project than that. A rusty propeller stuck in mud. The dredge project was supposed to clear that condition up, reasonably quickly and within the budget. If she were a decent project manager or even an average one and so the project had had gone that way, no doubt the award would have been a shiny new propeller unsullied by earth and free to navigate the channels without fear of damage as the waterway would be cleared and all would be well. But that is not what this award is at all, no. It's a rusty propeller stuck in mud. IDEK wants to know: Is he a closet comic genius? Did he think of it on his own? There's little worry that Susan Goebel will understand the searing irony that this award, or "award", represents. She will no doubt put it somewhere where it's visible to all. Hope so, because she's probably the only one that doesn't get it. We at IDEK wonder how many of the Commissioners were in on the joke.
*thanks to several IDEK readers who, all of whom wish to remain anonymous, for correcting our initial impression that is was Len Sossamon handing off the 'trophy'.
March 11, 2013
Interesting times over at the Utilities department. Susan Goebel and Cheryl Marsden gutting the department with a laughably flawed 'cost saving' plan. Denise Agosto and Grace Sheppard trying to ensure those who lost their jobs or were demoted were on their list of people they spend all day thinking about and obsessing over. And now, just when these sad mad hens thought they'd won, it seems they are going to have to realize they've lost the little game they started. Sorry, Cheryl, sorry, Susan. You don't get the promotions you thought you'd get because you're not qualified for the positions. You are both, however, certainly going to have to explain why you don't get a pay cut to go along with you now reduced responsibilities. Sorry, Denise, sorry Grace. The people you set out to make miserable because that's all you know how to do have all denied you the misery you need to feel better about yourselves. Lock your doors all you want to; your failure follows you in. Sorry, you collection of spiteful biddies; you lose. All four of you. You lose. The people you screwed because of your petty grudges have, now all them, gotten new jobs that a) are better compensated, and b) are away from you. They win, you lose. You don't get to gloat, because you have failed. You don't get to feel like you've won, because you've lost. That's what losers do, as you know. You don't get to see or hear from them, because they won and you lost. Those remaining in the office with you are either laughing at you for losing at your own pitiful game, pitying you for being so weak and small as to need to behave as you do, or ignoring you. Count on that. And expect no help from them, because you've gotten rid of the people that wanted to do a good job, who took pride in their work, who cared. Who's there to care now? No one who has a clue, that's for sure. We at IDEK have a pool going on how long it's going to take Susan Goebel to run to the newspapers and blame all the project problems on the people she either directly forced out or drove out with her incompetence and petty backstabbing. Engineer Diana Koontz's last day is on Friday. Who's taking the "8 AM Monday" slot? The "5PM Friday" slot is sold out. The only question IDEK would like to pose to those still working around these four angry spiteful women is this: Who do you think will be their next target?
March 06, 2013
Today, this article appeared in Hernando Today and this article appeared in The Hernando Times. Both articles refer to County Engineer Diana Koontz submitting her resignation on March 1st, citing continuing discrimination and an ongoing hostile work environment, and more importantly, the County's failure to address the issue since she raised it about 8 months ago despite her filing of an EEOC complaint on the issue. IDEK has had reports that the maltreatment that Koontz describes has only gotten worse since it was brought to light, specifically at the hands of paranoid office-locking Denise Agosto and false-accusation-leveling Grace Sheppard. How foolish can Susan Goebel be to allow this behavior knowing there's an EEOC complaint open on that very topic? Is there any doubt that she is absolutely not in any way management material? How long will the County continue to carry the walking liabilities that are Susan Goebel and Denise Agosto? IDEK supports either substantially demoting both of them or simply firing them for incompetence (Susan Goebel) and refusal to perform assigned work (Denise Agosto). Doing so would a) reduce the County's expenditures in this budget-stretching time, and b) immediately and dramatically improve morale in the Operations department.
In the Hernando Today article, Koontz's mentions her inability to comment on the situation is due to her being subject to the County's Code of Conduct, which prohibits referring to the County or it's employees in a negative manner. That policy was in place during the Peck Sink problems and Koontz declined to comment on that at the time, citing the Code of Conduct. Susan Goebel, who set out that policy, apparently was not subject to it since she wasted no time in disparaging Koontz in the newspaper. Typical of her behavior, actually. It will be interesting to see how Susan Goebel reacts to these articles when asked to comment on them. We at IDEK are betting she will not comment, believe it or not. She may be aware that she's being very closely watched, and that her former allies in the part-time Commission consider her at or approaching toxic. Seems she was told by her ex-employee/new boss to have no direct contact with the Commissioners, which even to her should be a dead giveaway as to what they think of her now. Thus, Len Sossamon's new layer of management are the only flappers that get to wake up the next layer of flappers*. The County Administrator and the Commissioners are further isolating themselves from the actual workings of the County government. Can't blame them in the case of Susan Goebel, but it's clear that the alleged "open door policy" the County is supposed to have is actually anything but for County employees. Post-digression; there's a metaphorical bus coming, Susan Goebel. Will you be getting on it or getting shoved under it?
*Gulliver's Travels reference.
February 28, 2013
Today, this article appeared in Hernando Today. It says that the Count Commissioners going to let Len Sossamon pretty much do what he wants as far as the salaries for his new layer of management go. The County policy requires that these people get raises with their promotions. While there's nothing wrong about bumping up the compensation package commensurate with an increase in responsibility or productivity, we at IDEK wonder why a new layer of management is even needed. Consider that, in the same decision that added these four managers, the County got rid of a number of people who would presumably require managing. More managers with fewer people to manage, so give 'em a raise. That's a logical decision to them. Your part-time $60K/yr Commission at work right there.
Speaking of adding responsibility, and of taking it away... IDEK supports the reduction in compensation of those former Directors whose bailiwicks are now reduced by the reorganization currently being implemented. Specifically Susan Goebel and Cheryl Marsden, both of whom have been restricted in their range of work compared to their prior duties. As an increase in responsibility merits and increase in compensation, surely a reduction in responsibility merits a reduction in compensation. Hernando County is running a deficit and needs to save all the money it can. If the Commissioners fail to reduce these salaries commensurate with the reduction in responsibilities that same Commission advocated it will be clear that the Commissioners are not really interested in controlling the County budget, but only appearing to be doing so.
February 27, 2013
Today, this article appeared in The Hernando Times. It says that there were eleven applicants for the Hernando Schools District Chief Financial Officer position. "Eleven people applied. Six met the job description. Two had school district finance experience." Sorry Grace Sheppard - you're not even good enough to replace someone who sexts during a school board meeting.
Susan Goebel is out this week, presumably at the Management Training she was directed to attend. While it's probably a fine idea to send potential managers to management training, where it falls apart in this instance is the whole 'potential' thing. Susan Goebel has displayed absolutely no management potential in her time with the County. Not project management potential and not personnel management potential. She has no initiative, no confidence, and she is simply a follower. She has repeatedly demonstrated that she is in no way a leader, and should not be in a leadership position. She's about medium good at doing what she's told, but that's the extent of her aptitude. Watch her performance in front of the Commissioners (you can see the video by looking up the Commissioner's Meeting streams at the Contact The Commissioners link at the bottom of the page) - she is reactive, timid, weak, and hesitant, displaying her lack of knowledge of her subject every time she speaks. Now look at some of the other people from the Department that have addressed the Commissioners recently. Management is both a skill and a talent. Susan possesses neither aspect.
February 24, 2013
Today, this article appeared in Hernando Today. The discussion is about pay for county employees after the "reorg". The sadly laughable conclusion: A net savings of $7,000 per year. Let's be clear where that came from: four long-time county employees lost their jobs because Susan Goebel said that reorganizing would save about $850,000-ish. Once the lies that formed the basis of that savings were exposed, it became $135,000. Then the new management positions were finalized, and that savings became $36,000. Now we find out that the demotions of Susan Goebel and Cheryl Marsden, though reducing the responsibility of their positions, carried no corresponding decrease in salary, so that cost an additional $29,000 of the last $36K. Four families' lives thrown into confusion and uncertainty for the sake of a net $7,000 savings, and that's only for now. Who knows what will happen to that $7 grand next week. For example, the County will easily spend that fighting the lawsuits Susan Goebel and Cheryl Marsden will no doubt surely file if they get treated exactly the same as they treat other County employees.
In the article, it is shown that Cheryl Marsden makes $6,000/yr more than her ex-employee/now supervisor Russ Wetherington. Russ Wetherington was and still is in charge of Purchasing, but Cheryl Marsden is no longer in charge of Russ Wetherington. So, Cheryl Marsden's responsibilities are demonstrably reduced in that she doesn't have to deal with a layer of management or Purchasing. That means a pay cut. It's fairly straightforward, isn't it? On the other hand, Russ Wetherington has to deal with Cheryl Marsden and her cadre, so he should probably get a raise. Or Hazard Pay. Something like that.
Side note: We at IDEK have heard that Denise Kane-Agosto has a witch's hat stuck to the wall in her part of her new officeless office. We and those that let us know about that are smiling. Why? It was a typo. Think about it for a while, Denise, and then someone will explain it to you.
February 19, 2013
Looks like Susan Goebel has been scheduled to attend Management Training. Could it be that her utter incompetence in managing real engineers has finally caught up with her? Nyaaaaaah, could be. Those who make the decisions about these things have apparently decided that she needs training in how to manage people. Her people management skills are, it seems, not up to snuff. In other words, Susan Goebel has been determined to have inferior bossing juice. Imagine the hell out of that. If you're going to manage technical people, like those in the Utilit... sorry, the FORMER Utilities Department, now the Operations Department under Brian Malmberg, you have to a) know what they do, b) know what you're talking about when you talk to them, and c) have sufficient self confidence when dealing with other people that you don't appear to be a complete social moron. Susan Goebel clearly fails on all three. Now as IDEK sees it, there's two ways this can go: 1) Susan Goebel will go to the management training course, screw it all up again afterward, and finally get fired, or 2) Susan Goebel will go to the management training course, use it to say she's now better qualified for the Operations Department Head gig than Brian Malmberg, and try to get him fired. Scenario 1 is more likely in IDEK's unscientific opinion.
February 17, 2013
Apparently IDEK's request for information about the meeting between Susan Goebel and Len Sossamon generated some buzz. We received several emails on the topic, including a couple which were seemingly probing to see if idontevenknow.at.idontevenknow.net is a real email address. It is. Unfortunately, totally anonymous (i.e. you don't even tell IDEK who you are and how you know what you know) emails cannot be used as competent sources for information or corroboration, so we're still at the stage where what we have is a rumor that a number of other people have heard. If you are willing to put your name to the information, we can use it and it will go no farther than IDEK. Journalistic integrity and all that.
February 15, 2013
Today is the day that all the County employees screwed over by the idiocy of the "reorg" implemented by Susan Goebel, Len Sossamon, and the three of the five Commissioners leave the jobs they were forced out of to move to either higher-paying gigs within the County - with one exception, that one being the focus of Denise Kane's psychotically obsessive hatred - or to higher-paying gigs with private companies. Wish these victims of the County officialdom's childishness and foolishness and petty hatefulness well in their new endeavors. And now that Susan Goebel's working for a better-qualified former employee and may actually for the first time in her entire career have metrics against which she will have to perform, perhaps the County will soon be wishing her a less-than-fond "Don't go away mad, but definitely do go away" once they realize that adding a layer of management doesn't make anything better, so removing a layer of management in a few months may suddenly make a lot of sense.
Related: IDEK has received some information via anonymous email concerning rumors about a meeting between Susan Goebel and Len Sossamon concerning that occurred a couple days ago. While the details described the rumors are... interesting, IDEK will not post them without confirmation from a knowledgeable source. So, if anyone reading this has firsthand knowledge of that meeting or it's fallout, IDEK would like to hear about it. If you wish to remain anonymous, you need only say so in your response and that request will be of course fully honored.
February 5, 2013
Today, this article came out in the Hernando Times and this article came out in the Hernando Today. Both articles describe the new layer of management that's been added to insulate County Administrator Len Sossamon from the activities of the County government employees. What was it that GI Joe says; Knowing is half the battle? Doesn't apply to County Administrators, apparently. But that aside, one of the articles indicates that Susan Goebel applied for and was passed over for the job that Brian Malmberg was chosen to get, so now Susan Goebel is working for Brian Malmberg, who used to work for Susan Goebel. Why do you suppose that might be? The same article relates that HR Department chief Cheryl Marsden applied for and was passed over for the job that Russell Wetherington was chosen to get. It is interesting that Cheryl Marsden had a significant hand in writing the job requirements, and then applied for it knowing she did not meet them. Why do you suppose she thought she had a shot at getting the gig?
We at IDEK suspect that both Susan Goebel and Cheryl Marsden will be at least considering filing EEOC complaints against the County accusing gender-based discrimination, since all four of the members of the newly-created management level are XY-positive. It'd be too bad for Susan Goebel and Cheryl Marsden if there were currently an EEOC complaint against the County in which both of them are involved, for exactly that allegation, wouldn't it? The proverbial shoe would certainly be on the other proverbial foot in that case, eh?
February 4, 2013
Well dip all of us here at IDEK in honey and call us delicious baklava. The County Commissioners actually made a somewhat logical decision concerning the people they have in charge. They chose credit-grabbing Brian Malmberg to head the Operations Department after the foolish reorganization over the incompetent hair-twirling Susan Goebel. It shouldn't be surprising, really, considering the lack of experience, social skills, expertise, and confidence that Susan Goebel regularly displays. Susan Goebel's management 'skills' are clearly overwhelmed simply trying to keep the paranoid and unstable Grace Sheppard and the small-minded harpy minion Denise Agosto from turning into the Wicked Witches of the East and West at work every day, which based on the reports IDEK gets on the complaints about them is almost a full-time gig, but that leaves little or no time to actually do her actual job. Anticipating your thoughts, dear reader, we'll add "whatever that is". Giving her more responsibility is obviously the wrong thing to do. The surprise here is that the three Commissioners that Susan Goebel has influence over (and/or vice versa), they being Nick Nicholson, Dave Russell, and Wayne Dukes, and also the County Administrator Len Sossamon, made the better decision and tossed Susan Goebel aside in favor of an engineer with better qualifications, more experience, and is at least sharper than a burlap sack full of hair. OK, sharper than a burlap sack of hair but not, as described below, above taking credit for other engineer's work. That aside; what will Susan Goebel do now that her support no longer is behind her? Will she be relegated to project management, working for Brian Malmberg? We citizens of Hernando County hope not, for if she shows the same ineptitude in future project management as she did in the $10M-over-budget Dredge Project then we cannot afford to pay the very real dollars her mistakes cost. We at IDEK suggest an additional $90Kish/yr cost savings garnered by booting her to the curb. Better for everyone in the County, really.
February 2, 2013
Today, this article appeared in Hernando Today. It has to do with the Peck Sink project. This is a section of the article:
The contractor, Goodwin Brothers Construction, trucked in — at no charge to Hernando County — a sandy clay material from excavations they had on another project.
The fill was mixed with sand recovered from the bottom of the ponds during the repair phase and used to repair the pond side slopes and create a small diversion berm along the south and a "diversion structure" to direct the water going directly into the sink and into a nearby settling pond.
The system will trap the trash and sediment from going directly into Peck Sink.
All of these measures are designed to help alleviate erosion damage from future storms.
These measures - all of them - were first proposed by County Engineer Diana Koontz, and agreed upon by the contractors, long before Brian Malmberg took over the Peck Sink Project. These ideas were put in place by Koontz to stave off further site damage (and the financial damage that would follow) even as the incompetent and spiteful Susan Goebel was trying to use the flooding from tropical Storm Debby as a means to make Koontz the scapegoat for what she decided was Koontz's $50K mistake in not predicting a tropical storm. This even as Susan Goebel whitewashed the $10M worth of utter management failures she herself made on the Dredge Project. As reported back in the first few postings here at IDEK, Dale Ravencraft made it clear that engineer Koontz made the best of a bad situation and saved the County as much as possible in time and money by making the decisions she made concerning Peck Sink. Susan Goebel spun those decisions against Koontz, and Brian Malmberg took the credit for the positive outcome of Koontz's decisions. That, it appears, is the way the County works.
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