William 'Bill' Koleszar II of New Smyrna Beach, FL: March 5, 1944 - July 3, 2015

William "Bill" Koleszar, ex-Orlando police chief & Ne myrna Beach teident, died July 3, 015 / Headline Surfer®Former Orlando police chief

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- William L. (Bill) Koleszar II , a resident of New Smyrna Beach and former Orlando police chief for a couple of years in the early 1980s, passed away on Friday, July 3, 2015, after a lengthy battle with heart disease.

Born in Fairfield, Conn., Mr. Koleszar's candle burned brightly for 71 years across six continents.

From 1975 to 1982, Mr. Koleszar served as chief of police in Montpelier, Vt, and then in Arvada, Colo.; and as chief of police in Orlando, Fla, 1982 to 1984. He also served on the cabinet of Colorado Gov. Richard D. Lamm as that state's first director of public safety, from 1984 to 1987.

After his successful career in law enforcement, Mr. Koleszar continually reinvented himself during the next 30 years – from practicing attorney, to chief operating officer of a publicly traded company, to country-western nightclub owner, to professor of juris prudence, to community and political activist.

Mr. Koleszar was preceded in his journey to see our Lord by his beloved mother, Mildred Fanton Koleszar, and his father, William L. Koleszar, Sr. He was also met in Heaven by his uncle, Andrew S. Koleszar; as well as his aunts, Grace Keleman Koleszar and Ethel Koleszar.

Mr. Koleszar is survived by the joy of his life for the past 30 years, his wife Carol – who similarly loved him with all of her heart. He will also be especially missed by his son, William L. Koleszar III, and daughter-in-law, Elizabeth, as well as their daughters. He also is also survived by a daughter, Jennifer, as well as her daughter, Skylar and son, Andrew.

And, although Mr. Koleszar was an only child, he was blessed to have several cousins – Andrew, Mary Ellen, Edward, and Richard – with whom he shared his love for traditional Hungarian food and wine.

In addition to his efforts to end cronyism and corruption in his adopted hometown of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Mr. Koleszar also served as the national director of Boomer Power, a non-partisan movement dedicated to upholding the values of America’s greatest generation in order to enable the American Dream for future generations. The group’s primary focus was to support politicians who put the interests of their constituents and the nation above themselves and their political parties.

In addition to his efforts to end cronyism and corruption in his adopted hometown of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Mr. Koleszar also served as the national director of Boomer Power, a non-partisan movement dedicated to upholding the values of America’s greatest generation in order to enable the American Dream for future generations. The group’s primary focus was to support politicians who put the interests of their constituents and the nation above themselves and their political parties.

Mr. Koleszar was remembered in a series of memorial services, the first of which was held at Settle-Wilder Funeral Home in New Smyrna Beach, on Sunday, July 26.

In lieu of flowers, Mr. Koleszar's family requests that donations be made to the American Heart Association, Greater Southeast Affiliate, P.O. Box 840692, Dallas, Texas 75284-0692.

Editor's Note:
This obituary for William Koleszar was edited by Headline Surfer® to reflect the internet newspaper's editorial style without changing the context or spirit of the originally-submitted text posted on the funeral home's website.

Bill Koleszar did what few have been able to do: He fought (New Smyrna Beach, FL) City Hall on a September night in 2009, and he won! Koleszar died July 3, 2015. This video was shot that fateful night when he called the city's bluff and got taxes reduced...

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Posted Tue, 2009-07-28 13:51
By HENRY FREDERICK
NSBNEWS.net photo by Henry Frederick. A citizen-led government reform group that includes Bill Koleszar scored its first major victory with the recent legal opinion that the city's longstanding lease with the Angler's Club is not valid, setting the stage for what Koleszar describes as a "dismantling of the sweetheart deal for the good ol’ boy network."
NEW SMYRNA BEACH – Concerned Citizens of New Smyrna Beach announced today that it had achieved the first victory in a recently launched effort to reform its local government by virtue of a legal opinion that puts in doubt a longstanding "sweetheart" lease between the city and the Angler's Club for exclusive use of 43 boat slips.
The City of New Smyrna Beach is a well known resort community of 23,000 full-time residents located northeast of Orlando, with its scenic oceanfront and breath-taking river views from two bridges. It is with that backdrop that in a 46-page legal opinion rendered this month by an Orlando law firm (see www.reformnsbgovt.org) determined that a 99-year lease of a city-owned property for the 43 boat slips was invalid. That's because the City had no power or authority to enter into such agreement.
The lease between the City of New Smyrna Beach and a private men’s club, known locally as the "Anglers Club,” provided the organization with exclusive use of a multi-million-dollar waterfront property for a mere $25 a year.
In an environment of shrinking City revenues and a higher tax burden being levied on local residents, the CCNSB maintained that the long-standing sweetheart deal for the Anglers Club was an inappropriate use of public property for private benefit, which deprived the city of substantial revenues that could alleviate the need to again raise taxes on New Smyrna Beach residents.
Formed in September 2009, by a handful of resourceful retirees, the CCNSB has focused its efforts on extracting accountability and fiscal responsibility from its elected officials. Bill Koleszar, vice chairman and co-founder of CCNSB stated, “Business as usual is no longer acceptable. With the momentum this victory provides us, we are going to continue the fight to reign in the unchecked spending and sweetheart deals that benefit the few at the cost of the hardworking taxpayers of New Smyrna Beach.”
Instead of carrying pitchforks and torches, the CCNSB has challenged the status quo of City Hall by using shoe leather and legal prowess to uncover inefficiencies and abuse, said Koleszar, who heavly criticized the Angler's Club deal in a series of public meetings. He also called the City Commission's bluff last September, saying there would be voter recalls if $1.3 million in proposed tax increase was not pared from the current fiscal year's budget. The commission voted unanimously that night to do just that.
In recent weeks, the concerned citizens group has recently questioned several items in the proposed 2010 City budget, including $14,000 for city employee coffee and $30,000 for ornamental “painted fish.”.
“After my husband passed away I had to start managing my own finances and was shocked at how high my property taxes were on my little condominium”, said Boni Cass, a 69-year-old retired widow living in New Smyrna Beach. “I very much respect the CCNSB and its efforts on my behalf. I don’t know how to fight City Hall. All I know is that if my taxes go much higher, I’m not sure I going to have enough money to buy my prescription medicine or gifts for my grandchildren. I worked hard my whole life, I just never imagined that I’d be faced with these hard choices."
This legal victory by the CCNSB lays the foundation for its efforts to impact city-wide elections this November and county-wide elections in 2010., Koleszar said, and others who support the citizen's initiative agreed.
Tom Gifford, a New Smyrna Beach homeowner, described this victory succinctly. “It took a small group of angry, highly resourceful taxpayers only 180 days to overturn 65 years of taxpayer abuse committed by their elected officials.”
Two current city commissioners, Jack Grasty and Randy Richenberg, voted to support the private men’s club in 2005, and the same two Commissioners this month voted for a 27 percent mill-rate increase to support the city's propsed budget, Koleszar said.
“It seems that our elected officials care only about two things – spending our tax money and being reelected," Koleszar insisted. "It is time that the taxpayers say 'no' to both. Both Commissioners will stand for election this November. Keep your eye on this one: It could set the stage for a taxpayer revolt in county-wide elections next year."

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Courtesy photo/http://reformnsbgovt.org/index.html Harvey T.R. Mitchell, the so-called honorary chairman of Reform NSB Government is battling the city over the Anglers Club lease or is he?

Let's put this on the table right away: Harvey T.R. Mitchell is a fake. He doesn't exist. period. End of story. Not quite end of story as to who he really is: Try New Smyrna Beach resident Bill Koleszar.

Harvey T.R. Mitchell is Koleszar's alter ego. But in order to make the City Commission take the bait in terms of legal action, Koleszar knew no mere mortal like himself would be able to convince the city to actually spend money on potential litigation to invalidate the longstanding litigation.

Harvey T.R. Mitchell, the alter-ego of Bill Koleszar, New Smyrna Beach's blowhard bully.

So Koleszar created a fictitious character who bares a strong resemblance to Hollywood crime-fighting martial arts he-man Steven Seagal. The 2009 version of the City Commission was duped into thinking there was a Harvey T.R. Mitchell, the author of a "white paper" or treatise on the importance of holding the Anglers Club accountable to the taxpayers for use of prime riverfront property just west of the North Causeway Bridge and adjacent to the New Smyrna Marina.

Based on Harvey T.R. Mitchell's "white paper" the city's longstanding 99-year lease, approved in 1946, for exclusive rights to 43 boat slips for $25 annually, was illegal. This comes from a man who doesn't exist.

Here are some hints as to why Harvey T.R. Mitchell doesn't exist:

# He's never been seen in real life, and of all places, certainly not at an NSB City Commission meeting;

# He doesn't own property in Volusia County;

# He doesn't have a driver's license, death certificate, birth certificate or social security number;

# There's no record of him at The Volusia County Branch Jail or Florida Department of Corrections; # He's listed on Koleszar's Web site, http://reformnsbgovt.;"
Koleszar was smart enough to fool 3-2 majority on the 2009 version of the City Commission by convincing them of Harvey T.R. Mitchell's disdain for the Anglers.

Oh yes, he fooled then-Mayor Sally Mackay, then-Commissioner Randy Richenberg and current Commissioner Lynne Plaskett of the need to take legal action.

Of course, Commissioners Jim Hathaway and Jack Grasty wanted no part of this charade. Regardless, Koleszar convinced the then-mighty trio of the need for outside counsel after City Attorney Frank Gummey gave his "legal opinion" that the lease was valid.

So they hire this attorney named Scott Glass, agreeing to pay him $20,000 to give his legal opinion.

So Glass does what you would expect someone who is getting paid to do and that is tell you what you want to hear. In his opinion, the lease is invalid before the Florida Constitution didn't provide a mechanism to allow for such contracts.

Really? Well, if it's that simple, then thousands of municipal contracts could be voided. Please. This is all so absurd.

Lawyers don't have the final say. Judges and juries do, based on case law. And these cases drag on for years.

Anyone who doubts that can look no further than the News-Journal Corp. A federal judge ruled the News-Journal 's minority partner's share was worth $129 million.

The newspaper is before that same judge with the entire paper now being sold for a mere $20 million. And this is after six years of litigation, including a trial, an appeal of the trial and an appeal of the appeal that cost millions more.

And speaking of costs, Glass, the outside counsel, ended up billing NSB $28,000.

Oh, he'll work for more. Try $250 an hour. That's his asking price.

Think Gummey's going to go out of his way to negotiate something he knows is a waste of time? There's no reason for the Anglers to negotiate. Not now. Not in this recession. It's not as if anyone's banging on the door to take over and pay a king's ransom. 

Koleszar flexed his muscles in September 2008, when he was a fresh face with a thunderous voice, threatening to recall any elected commissioner or the mayor herself unless they cut the city budget by $1.3 million so he could save a few bucks on his tax bill.

They all caved that night. But soon they wised up. The mayor and commissioner who bought into his bullying were tossed from office.

Less than a year after his threats, Koleszar then ran into someone who wasn't afraid to stand in his sandbox and call his bluff: Me! That's right, Henry Frederick. I called him out in a blog for what he truly is: Nothing but a bullying blowhard. He hasn't spoken to me since. And I have nothing to say to him until or unless he apologizes to my face for telling me I had to play in his sandbox. And he won't because he's the opposite of a hero. He's a coward.

Koleszar tried to hijack the debates that several of us worked hard to set up this past election season. We had not one, not two, but three successful debates, despite Koleszar. And since then, he's been a shadow of himself.

So now Koleszar is going to try and recapture lost glory Tuesday night by stirring the pot again on the Anglers.

Koleszar would actually gain some respect if his best friend and hero, Harvey T.R. Mitchell showed up. But alas, you actually need to be a living, breathing human to be heroic. And Harvey T.R. Mitchell is nothing more than a Gong Show photoshop version of the aforementionedHollywood actor Steven Seagall.

Hey Koleszar, everyone knows who the real life hero is around here these days: Our new mayor, Adam Barringer. That's right, pretty boy Adam Barringer, who dove into the Intracoastal Waterway last week and rescued an elderly motorist who lost control of her car and slammed into the river.

As for any litigation, forget it. Not with this commission. Hathaway and Grasty don't want any part of your poison, Koleszar. Neither does new Commissioner Judy Reiker, supported by the Anglers in her election. As for Plaskett, she has to hope she gets re-elected this year and not go the way of her former commission colleagues. Of course, everyone, including the Anglers, want what is best for New Smyrna Beach, but not on your demands or those of your cohorts who lurk in the dark shadows.

You know what the funniest thing about this whole election is, Koleszar? Our new mayor, our hero, Adam Barringer, is an Angler.

And that has to burn you up really bad.

Perhaps you can cry on the shoulder of your fake hero, Harvey "Too Ridiculous" Mitchell.

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Here is the previous blog on Bill Koleszar:

Koleszar the Pied Piper of NSB who huffs and puffs like the Big Bad Wolf

 

By HENRY FREDERICK
2009-09-07 23:20:18 -0500

NSBNEWS.net photo by Henry Frederick. Bill Koleszar, the Bouchelle Island resident who threatened to recall any elected official unless they cut $1.3 million from this year's fiscal budget so he could save $3 on his tax bill is at it again, rallying his friends and neighbors to show up at tonight's public hearing on the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

When Bill Koleszar arrived on the scene nearly a year ago, he was a fresh face with a fresh message. Or so we thought.

 

He arrived at last September's City Commission budget hearing with a threatening tone  and 200 faithful followers:

"This is not the time to raise budgets," Koleszar told the commission. "It's time to cut. Everybody in this room knows what the economic situation is. In the country and in local politics. This year is different. These people behind me are not going to put up with the 11.2 (percent) millage increase you are proposing in the new budget. You can decrease services, you can eliminate services. I don't really care. I don't have a dog in this fight."

And then Koleszar's words got tougher: "This year, for those individuals who raise the millage rate, 11.2 percent, there is going to be consequences. I'm retired. I've got time on my hands, money in my pockets and I'm a retired attorney... If you've got the vote, you win and if you don't got the vote you lose. The ballot box is the name of the game whether that's exercise in removal or recalling elected officials pursuant to state statute."

The fallout from that hearing was tremendous. Commissioners Jim Hathaway, Lynne Plaskett, Jack Grasty and Randy Richenberg and Mayor Sally Mackay all caved in, voting unanimously to order City Manager John Hagood to cut the proposed budget by $1.3 million, in order to meet the 3.1 mills that supported the previous year's budget.

Several people lost their jobs as a result and Hagood was forced to use mostly reserves to make up the difference. The following February, Hagood became the sacrificial lamb, fired and paid $290,000 per his contract to sit at home until the end of this month.

Last spring, Richenberg gave a public mea culpa, saying he was personally "ashamed" by his own vote after being "bullied" by Koleszar.

Of course, Koleszar never publicly acknowledged his real motivation, which he bragged to others, including myself, that he saved a whole three bucks with his intimidation.

Koleszar didn't stop there, though. He went on a crusade, jumping on the bandwagon in pushing for an investigation into the Angler's Yacht Club lease, which cost the city thousands more to hire outside counsel.

The two sides are in negotiations. He also bragged last month that he was going to be a "write-in" candidate, either for mayor or the Zone 1 seat held by incumbent Randy Richenberg. His plan was to go out and rally the troops to carry him into office, but it never materialized.

Instead, he threw his support behind Zone 2 candidate Palmer Wilson and the two of them were active in this summer's budget workshops, questioning the costs associated with the police and fire departments.

Koleszar also aligned himself with Nahum Litt, a retired federal judge known locally as "the Shadow" who rips into city officials and the police and fire unions on his Web site.

Then Koleszar made a huge mistake several weeks back. He tried to take over a citizens group that wanted to hold a series of debates with the nine candidates in the two commission seats and mayoral race in the upcoming primary and November election. He was insistent that his hand-picked reporter from an Orlando TV station would ask questions.

This didn't sit well with me. Koleszar distinctly told me: "This is my sand box whether you like it or not." When I called Koleszar's bluff, he backed out and the inaugural candidates debate was a huge success with 200-plus people attending.

All nine candidates participated, especially after hearing Koleszar was out of the picture and they answered questions posed by NSBNEWS.net and The Observer weekly newspaper as well as those posed by the audience. Koleszar showed up and didn't say a word. He sat there with his arms folded, pouting like a little boy who got his toy taken away.

In the last few days, Koleszar's put out two e-mail blasts with the following message: "Your elected officials are planning to raise your property taxes AGAIN!! They have already voted to raise the millage rate from 3.1 to 3.94. No matter how you describe this, it is a 27% property tax increase. It is time to take a stand and say NO MORE!!!! Let us all send a strong message to ALL the politicians in Volusia County."

Like the Pied Piper, Koleszar is playing his flute again.

He recently boasted he was going to bring 1,000 people with him to the commission meeting. City officials this time are prepared for Koleszar.

Anyone who has attended the recent commission meetings knows the elected officials are going to lower the mill rate, either back to the rolled-back rate or close to it, so Koleszar is just going to blow more hot air.

Koleszar reminds me of the story of the Big Bad Wolf when he tried to intimidate the three little pigs. Well, he huffed and puffed and blew down the house of straw at last September's budget hearing when no one in municipal government knew who he was.

Then he huffed and puffed and blew down the house of sticks with the Angler's. Now he's going to huff and puff and try to blow down City Hall (5:30 p.m. city Commission meeting in the Deberry room of Utilities Commission Building, Canal Street), but this time he'll be blowing at bricks.

Asked if she's concerned about Koleszar's huffing and puffing, Mayor Sally Mackay responded: "I've got bigger fish to fry than Mr. Koleszar."

He'll do his best imitation of the Pied Piper with his sock-less loafers, short pants and plaid shirt, leading his Bouchelle Island neighbors who don't regularly attend government meetings and give a big speech about how the city is putting everyone in the poor house, even as he enjoys his modest waterfront condominium, with all the amenities.

For all who remember the story of the Pied Piper, he led all the rats into the river by playing his flute and when the townspeople didn't pony up to his demands, he led their children away to a cave where they were never seen again.

You can put the flute down, Koleszar. We've heard your tune and your notes are all sour.

Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.