Monday, May 2, 2011

Can You Afford a Greater Tax Burden???

The City Management wants to initiate a Public Service/Utility Tax that they estimate will help raise about $6,000,000.00 in revenue. [But former Mayor Jean Robb said any effort to impose a utility tax should have to go before city voters. Voters repealed utility taxes in a 1979 referendum and voted down a utility tax referendum in 1986] but apparently the city has run out of ideas to raise revenue except by taxing it's residents and the laying-off of its employees. 

[...] from Sun-Sentinel link

I have said many times on this blog that City Management needs to think outside of the box if they want to be effective in these hard times, where every residents purse is already stressed and many of the City's residents are living pay check to check as it is to make ends meet.

So, I scoured the internet for some revenue raising ideas, which I think if fully researched and implemented here could benefit the residents, as well as put a bit of change back in the City's coffers.  Some of these may already be in place, I did not have time to verify, but again these are just ideas for City Management to consider.  One idea would be mandated paid advertising of local businesses on the City's website.  This fee could be factored into many of the cost of doing business with the City fee(s).  The local business gets advertising and promotion on our City's website and the City gets a new stream of revenue.  Also, maybe the City's IT Department could be outsourced as there are many companies who now focus on IT development for local governments.

We could even outsource our code enforcement, it is not like they are doing such a great job anyway.  Heck, I see them more at Winn-Dixie on 10th Street (Vehicle 217) buying lotto tickets, than handing out Code Enforcement tickets.  I see many Code violations everyday, where is Code Enforcement to enforce our code.  Oh, I know they're over behind the partition wall in College Park/Alwoods cooling out in the shade for hours at a time, while vile violators violate the City Code.

How about we give our Mayor more responsibilities or get rid of the Mayor position all together.  We could add, in it's place, one (1) At-Large Commissioner's seat and breakdown the responsibilities of the City Manager between the Commissioners.  This would lighten the City Manager's load while not breaking the bank by hiring another high priced Assistant  and he would be able to focus on innovative ideas of revenue generation, while the daily business of running the City would still be taking care of.  So we would still get increased efficiency and productivity at City Hall with less cost.  Since the City Manager is currently to busy to do anything new except think up creative ways to get his friends jobs in the city to take over some of his responsibilities because he has all the weight of the City on his shoulders.  

I personally believe that an un-consolidating of power is needed in our City, so we can move pass this "oldway" of doing things.  Has anyone noticed a change in the efficiency and productivity over at City Hall since City Managers re-structured departments.  I know I haven't.   Don't get me wrong, I know progress takes time, especially in a system that is resistant to change, but change is needed across the board at City Hall and we need to stop hiring other cities garbage (They threw it out for a reason) and look for new fresh and  innovative individuals who will bring new approaches and solutions to old and new problems, not just new approaches to old ideas. 

Here are a few more ideas I found while surfing the internet.

Work day:
Departments using a large number of vehicles – water, sewer, transportation and recreation – should consider shifting to four (4) ten (10) hour work days. The fuel savings could be sizeable.

Competitive contracting:
When the city seeks outside contract bids for city work, require the affected city departments to submit their own competitive bid to do the work, using city resources. If the department lacks training or equipment for a particular job, invest in an investigation of work efficiencies to determine whether a properly staffed and equipped city department can do certain jobs at equal quality but less cost than outside contractors. Check with other cities with a similar policy for their experience. It’s hard to believe a lot of work presently contracted to outsiders can not be done more economically by city staff, with equally good results.

Internal Audit:
Require all audits conducted by the city internal audit department to be posted on the city website upon completion and approval by the director of audit. Accountability by departments and agencies using city money will be improved and beyond outside interference and public awareness will be enhanced.

Can we afford to not research every avenue possible before reaching into our residents pockets for more money.  

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