You All Remember Jane Shang?

(CORRECTION: This post was updated on 26, Feb, 2017 at 10:50ET to correct a mistake about the fireman. The commissioner’s son was approved for a SHIP program that has been alleged should not have been approved.) You all remember Jane Shang, right? If you don’t, that’s ok, let me give you a quick reminder. On June 1, 2014, former Deputy Manager Jane Shang was put on administrative leave by Joyce Wilson. On January 1, 2015, after her paid administrative leave had ended, Wilson, through the City of El Paso, put Shang on paid vacation leave through April 14, 2015. Shang was paid by the city for ten months to stay home. Yes, you read that right, Shang was paid with your tax dollars to stay home.

It all came about because on April 22, 2014, Shang publicly contradicted Joyce Wilson during an open session of city council. That same day, Wilson ordered the human resources department to come up with an exit strategy for Shang. Shang was paid to remain quiet about Joyce Wilson.

You can read more details about this by reading these two posts on her from 2014. Link 1 and Link 2.

Why do I bring her up again today?

Well, it seems that Jane Shang is embroiled in a controversy very much like Joyce Wilson’s one, but this time in her new job as city manager of Deltona, Florida.

A few months ago, I started receiving inquiries about Jane Shang about my writings about her from several people in Deltona. They were looking for the details as to what happened to her in El Paso.

On June 1, 2015, Jane Shang started as Deltona’s new city manager. Her starting salary was $150,000. Although her paid leave from El Paso was an item of concern, Deltona, nonetheless, appointed her as their city manager. In September of 2016, there was some controversy involving a $93,000 payout to a fireman. (Correction: The fireman is the son of one of the commissioners of Deltona.) The payout was ordered by Shang. From there, things have deteriorated at Deltona.

Like in El Paso, those opposed to the public policy agenda of the community are subjected to various attempts to silence them and or to intimidate them. On February 7, 2017, a Deltona commissioner asked the sheriff’s deputy in attendance to intervene after Brandy Lee White went over her allotted four minutes of addressing the commission. As per video of the meeting posted on Facebook, Ms. White had apparently been allowed to speak on behalf of a group for longer than four minutes on previous occasions. On this occasion, a member of the commission asked the sheriff’s deputy present to remove her from the podium. Apparently, Ms. White has become somewhat of a thorn on the side of the Deltona commission and its city manager, Shang.

New, and apparently onerous trash pickup rules seems to be the flashpoint for the latest controversy. It seems Deltona moved to an automated trash pickup system, much like El Paso’s a few years ago. Along with it came rules of how the trash was going to be put on the driveways and the amount of trash pickups. Those in Deltona opposed to Shang and the trash debacle complain that Jane Shang is following the “El Paso model” for the trash pickup and for using city services to generate income for the municipality.

Sound familiar? It should because the same debates and problems with trash pickup in El Paso are playing out again in Deltona. More important, note the narrative of using city services as revenue sources for the city.

The controversies have now morphed into an issue of the lack of transparency by Deltona officials, especially in how open records requests are handled. As the controversy festered on social media, Shang issued a directive that all open records requests must now be funneled through the city attorney’s office, just like in El Paso. This directive was ordered by Jane Shang.

Unfortunately, the controversies keep getting deeper and deeper, just like in El Paso. There are allegations that Jane Shang’s boyfriend is now benefitting from Deltona’s largess as well investigations into Deltona’s affairs from other governmental bodies.

Like, El Paso the issues are complex and require a lot of background knowledge. I have just glossed over the broad strokes for you. But, I’m keeping an eye on the issues as it seems that it is only the tip of the iceberg.

It seems that El Paso has now began to export its impressive repertoire of corruption to other communities. I’ve written before that El Paso should embark on exporting products and services to bring new monies into the community to alleviate some of the pressures on the taxpayers.

I never thought exporting corruption would be the first thing the community would embark upon. But, unfortunately for El Paso, corruption only takes and gives nothing back to the community. Obviously, it is the wrong thing to export.

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