Monday, September 26, 2011

Special Commission Meeting to adopt the Millage and Budget

Comment Up
City Commission-Special Meeting at 6:00 PM

The purpose of this special Commission meeting is to adopt the Fiscal Year 2011/2012 Millage Rate and Operating Budget. The real purpose is to screw the taxpayers.

The chair of the Finance Advisory Board, John Pickett, will be speaking. The FAB, as you know, already approved the City Manager's Budget so don't look for any reprieve on special assessments even though the City Manager should have had a line item over the past several years for this obligation. But why bother doing that when you burn through millions in reserves and you have the sucker public at your finger tips? Now all of this lack of budgeting has come back to bite all of us. Telling us that we have no money for this huge pension cost, the property owners will now be taxed more in a form of a a special assessment.

This is the meeting where they will be able to spend all of your cash. No one can understand this Budget. The past year, the city had a decline in property values of 3.57%. However, they are raising the millage 7% over roll-back rate. They have raised taxes at every instance other than garbage that went down in flaming defeat and the Public Works Director is gone. Who knows what happened here but giving wrong supporting argument to justify a tax increases is just not cool.

The City Manager has reduced her Budget in various ways and we say "bravo:"

$1.2 million in the cost of the PBSO
The $900,000 Fire supplement that would have gone up to $1.3 million
The City received $1.8 million from the Billboard Settlement that has gone missing somewhere.
That is $3.4 MILLION.

But yet, the City Manager, with the Commission's approval, implemented a $1.5 million fire assessment to pay for fire pension costs, that are not a personal benefit to us, an unnecessary tax. There is much that can be cut in the Budget.

Today's Post says that the City is going to vote for a "slight increase" tonight. Nothing is "slight" when it is 100% higher than it was last year. They all conveniently forget that an assessment IS a tax. And we will have to listen to the Dog & Pony Show again, convincing us that this tax is necessary, legal, etc., etc., etc.

Where does all of the money go? It's not the library Commissioner McVoy. It's not the Sheriff either. Is it legal fees? Is it maybe the pension costs? Will other pension costs be thrown over on a special assessment or was the fire pension just a bogus reason to grab the cash by calling it "fire services?" Please report back. Perhaps the Mayor explained this at her "coffee."

The taxpayers of this City can't afford special assessments to pay for whatever the city staff left out of the budget. You have X amount of dollars coming in--look to cut costs.


Jessica said...

FYI, John hurt his leg in New York and is not speaking tonight

Lynn Anderson said...

Sorry to hear about John. Hope all is well.
But there are other members on that Board who could speak, no?

Jessica said...

Darrian is VP and from what I understand they are asking him to do John's presentation.

For the record, I am adamantly opposed to the presentation and its contents. I asked to have my objection noted at the start of the presentation but don't know if they will be doing so.

Anonymous said...

Hypothetically.... if I were a City Manager...... say even the best City Manager ...... ever...And I wanted to increase my staff from.... hypothetically.... say 5 people in finance to ..... say .... 17 and start up a new bureauracy, er... ah no.... a department and call it ... something important sounding.... like the "OFFICE of BUDGET & MANAGEMENT"... ya that's a good name.. And each well qualified person in this new "office" which will be kept close by so I can "manage" them properly and pay them well..... no... very well.... say over $100K plus benefits.... but I need to come up with the money to pay for them....

That's like $1.2 to $1.4 million extra.... but budgeting is tight.

Where can I find $1.2 to $1.4 million.....?????

Hey.... I got it!! Let's blame huge increases on Firefighter Pension costs. Even though we've been paying them all along, we'll make it seem like it's new because they wanted to keep the County Fire Rescue. So we have to make up these pension costs somehow. Ya.... that's it.

Divert their attention that I just increased costs with my new "office" by the exact amount I want to raise through assessments.

If I could just get that pesky Maxwell to shut up... hmmm.

Just keep feeding the other useful idiots the party line.... "You all wanted to keep the County...."

They will forget that I've laid off 70 low level employees and not dropped one top level manager or cut salaries for any top people.

They are IDIOTS!!!

Just saying..... Hypothetically....

Anonymous said...

Delegate someone with a little time on their hands to go thru virtually every new tax and assessment and put a price tag on it for the entire city. This would require combing thru the information contained within the CIP and gleaning from it the number of homes in LW, and the number of business' in LW (all this info is within the body of the CIP). Then take the budget and begin scrubbing from it everything that is not imperative, or that which can be pushed out into the future (three items right off the top of my head would be the new tie line to Hypoluxo, the 13.2 kV conversion, and McVoy's wind turbine at the beach). Those three items alone are worth $15 million. Subtract those items and any other items which can be eliminated or deferred from the total of the new taxes and assessments. That new number would then represent the total of the reduced taxes, or a rebate to each homeowner, depending upon whether the budget cuts were greater than the tax increases. That would be fair to everyone, as well as fair to the city.