The meeting was not as long as usual--not too much packed on the Agenda. Everything was passed on consent and the outcome was predetermined. I would have liked to have learned what 2000 amp outdoor vacuum circuit breakers were for $182,046. Obviously the Commission knew because there was NO discussion and they accepted Staff's recommendation.
I came to only talk on the "free lunch" and ended up speaking a minute or so on much more. The Fire/Rescue contract was a done deal weeks ago. It's too bad that we ever lost control over our own fire department. The economy made it impossible for poor Lake Worth to ever go back. Now we are into a new 10 year deal and will be at the mercy of Palm Beach County. The Unions, forget it. They have no mercy.
Union pensions are expected to go up every year. If the Commission passes the fire assessment this Thursday, that will mean that every property owner will have an assessment increase every year. The only way to remedy this would be to die, sell your house or if the house burns down...nope, excuse me, you would still have to pay if your structure burned to the ground.
We are locked into PB County Fire/Rescue for ten more years. Anything in the future that can possibly be shifted to an assessment, will. Susan Stanton negotiated away the fire supplement because she had a strong belief that the supplement was unfair. PB County must have agreed and it was the one good thing that came out of the deal.
I also talked about the free lunch even though I knew that was also a "done deal." An excursion is a trip usually made for leisure, education, or physical purposes. In the case of the League of Cities Annual Meeting in Phoenix, supposedly it is for educational purposes and to rub elbows with others across the country who are members of the League of Cities. How nice. Party time. Commissioner McVoy took umbrage when I described the free lunch as an excursion. I don't care what you want to call it or how insulted you may be by the description, it is money totally wasted. You want to raise taxes and special assessments on your constituents because the city is broke and then you want to play word definitions with the public who picks up the bill for a convention that is an unnecessary waste of money, budgeted or not.
This Commission justifies all of their bad decisions. Wasting money on a trip to Phoenix that will talk about global economic development is a con on the taxpayer. Don't believe for one second that this excursion is a hardship or that the public will benefit; staying in a hotel and having all of your needs satisfied for several days--rubbing elbows with other politicos feeding off the public trough, does not sound like a punishment, except perhaps, for the taxpayers picking up the tab. The Mayor suggested that the Commission approve of even more money than was asked. I left before I heard the final result of spending more $$$.
Incidentally, Commissioners, it would really serve you well if you read the Constitution, Amendment 1. On another note, we elected you and as my friend Katie would tell you, we are your bosses. This is worth remembering.