Touart and truth

June 21, 2013

george touartgeorge touart
Apparently, Interim County Administrator George Touart read a statement regarding me at the beginning of the agenda workshop yesterday–mentioning me has become a regular occurrence at commission meetings.

Touart made several other statements during yesterday’s meetings.

Touart claimed that if he had been county administrator, he “would have tried to work these problems out with the Sheriff for the past five years and that is the truth.” —He loves to tell people that he is telling the truth (read Winners & Losers).

He admitted that he had met with the man who ran the jail when Robert Boggon was killed in 2005. Touart addressed the allegation of meeting with Dennis Williams. “I would not have done my job if I had not consulted someone who knew more about this than me.”

Touart said he would not increase the budget of the jail to complete the transfer. He would take already budgeted money and use it.

Touart said, “I am responsible for every move I make in this seat.”

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  • L.Laird June 24, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    I like the RAT better

  • Henry June 24, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    To CJ:

    The man’s name is “Touart” not “Tourat.”

    When you misspell like that it erodes the credibility of your argument.

    If you did it on purpose to be cute or smart, believe me you are neither.

    Here endeth the lesson.

  • Mary June 24, 2013 at 11:38 am

    He wouldn’t know the truth if it hit him in the face. IF he did recognize it he would twist and bend it until it came out being just the opposite AND in his favor. He and a couple of the commissioners hold the top prize for being able to do that and constantly doing it.

  • CJ Lewis June 22, 2013 at 8:27 am

    The ongoing soap opera just emphasizes again the need to abandon the existing weak Commission-Manager [Administrator] Form of government. The Commission Chairperson is no more than a non-leadership ceremonial figurehead. The incumbent (Gene Valentino) is a political clown. Heaven help us if Valentino runs to be elected Mayor of Pensacola in 2014. His homestead property is in the elite, gated community of Port Royal across the street from City Hall. He could simply walk to work.

    The County Administrator is an unelected bureacrat unaccountable to the people of Escambia County. The last two were good and fired for no good reason which suggests that the problem is the Board of County Commissioners. I don’t have anything personal against George Tourat but to judge solely by has actions and words he is in way over his head and needs to be replaced. Sooner is better.

    When I served on the Escambia County Consolidation Study Commission our mandate was so narrow and so pre-ordained that we were never briefed at all on other options for charter county governments. It may be time to round up a new group of citizens to bring Escambia County out of the 19th Century and into the 21st Century.

    Based on the bad lessons being learned in the City of Pensacola, it seems unwise to adopt the County Executive Form of government. On the other hand, the County Chair-Administrator Plan provides for an elected County Chair who hires and fires the County Administrator.

    I think Tourat said it all last Thursday when he confessed that he was not a budget guy. How can anyone be an elected or appointed public or private “executive” if they are not an expert on their own budget process.

    Sheriff Morgan deserves plenty of blame for the ongoing Jail fiasco. His principal handicaps are his childish temperament and Emperor complex. However, a proactive, competent County Administrator could have avoided or at least mitigated this disaster.

    On Thursday, we learned that Tourat did not even call the Department of Justice until this past Monday. Further, and unless he was holding something back, he still does now know how long DOJ will let Escambia County take to fix the dangerous and violent conditions in the Jail caused by the BCC’s failure to properly fund the Jail. Did he even ask?

    If I were the County Administrator, I would have flown to Washington DC and met with the key people last month to look them in the eye and hammer out a framework for moving forward as fast as possible. Instead, on Thursday, everyone was stammering on about taking five years or more to hire the missing Jail staff. What?

    Worse, the tenor of the BCC’s Thursday discussion suggested that some Commissioners may think that DOJ will be happy enough if Escambia County just funds the creation of 20 more positions at the Jail and stops there. If it looked hard enough, Escambia County has the money to properly staff the Jail this coming year.

    I most feel sorry for Commissioner Steve Barry, described by Tourat as “the numbers guy.” He asked all the right questions for which he was given no or conflicting answers with new issues being raised by staff only moments before they voted. Barry should have hung tight voting NO with his newbie sidekick Commissioner Lumon May.

    As if the Jail snafu were not enough, now Escambia County wants the City to continue funding the countywide Library system. If Tourat had ever read the Library System interlocal agreement with the City, he would read Section 4.1. Funding that clearly states, “Effective October 1, 2013, all funding for the Library System shall be allocated by the County on an annual basis in an amount equal to that which is collected from the countywide MSTU assessment for library services.” That seems clear enough. During Public Forum, a citizen tried to educate the BCC but they were all openly in the active, non-listening mode and the public speaker’s words went in one ear and out the other.

  • Justice Lover June 21, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    And we march one big step closer to the next jail death.

  • Mark June 21, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Let’s hope that Grover, Luman, and Steve have a better grasp on reality than Wilson and Gene when it comes to selecting a ne Adminstrator.

  • Jacqueline Rogers June 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    “mentioning me has become a regular occurrence at commission meetings.” Yes, it has. You know they can’t help but read it all, lol.

    Touart definitely is sensitive to any criticism and seems to always want to justify himself.

    He said about me after I spoke last night “It’s well known that Ms. Rogers has had a problem with me for many years…”

    Yeah, he’s right! He lies. Big problem.

    “She’s never given me an opportunity to explain that I had nothing to do with her problem but I have taken the blame and accepted that and never argued with her about it… “(referring to the catfish pond fiasco.)

    WRONG, Mr. Touart! It was *you* who wouldn’t talk to or be involved with the neighborhood when we were trying to get some answers and relief from your buddy’s unpermitted clay pit operation.
    You hid behind your assistant administrator and refused to talk to us either privately or in the BCC meetings. Your then county attorney said that you were the one allowing the operation to continue. Your staff said the same thing repeatedly (not all but most.) Commissioner Valentino agreed (as did our commissioner, White) that you were involved in helping Roads Inc. continue. Valentino said that it was the “tip of the iceberg” of bad things going on in your administration.

    You want an open public discussion? Bring it on!
    I still have all the paperwork.
    But that issue is not the ONLY reason why I dislike your leadership. My eyes were opened then but I, like many citizens, have followed your antics since. I don’t like the cloud of sleaze that always follows you.
    Sorry, I am funny like that.

    Last night in the public forum, Valentino also complained that he had invited me to speak privately in his office as well. I told him that I had gone to his office once but what he told me didn’t match up with what he says in public.

    Anything that these guys have to say to me can be said in a public forum or by email. I am not interested in Escambia County schmooze and especially from people who change history with purported “more information”. Say it on the public record or don’t bother.

    Not only are these guys ego-centric, but they want you to applaud for them as they mess you over. Unbelievable!

    http://escambiacountyfl.swagit.com/play/06202013-626/#67 (my comments, followed by Touart’s start at minute 90:00)

  • Ames June 21, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Yes he is responsible for every move he makes in his position as administrator, that’s not a news flash…problem is he has never be held accountable for his acts of malfeasance, so his comment sounds as though he is bragging.