Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Deerfield Beach City Commission Orchestrated, but to What End????17/5/11

Has anyone taken the time to go back and look at the video for Last Tuesday nights, 17/5/2011 orchestrated City Commission Meeting?  I say was orchestrated because watch as Miller throws the others for a loop, which makes all of theirehearsed and written responses error and hot-air filled.  Popelsky has to save the Group of 4 from total humiliation, but only compounds the problem by pointing out and clarifying the mistakes made by Ganz and Hanson.

Oh and Commissioners, saying we should support a tax because it is for the kids does not make it right.  What did you with all the ad valorem tax, bond, and grant revenue from previous years.  It is apparent those funds were not used wisely, so don't bring up the kids now that you three have pilfered the City Coffers til a laughing stock level.  It's your fault and instead of penalizing the tax payers you all man up and start looking at innovative (for Deerfield Beach, anyway) cost saving ideas that many of the residents have been proposing.

At 1:38:36 Commissoner Miller ask Dunkley, Finance Director, for the numbers on the how the tax will affect "commercial establishments".
1:38:39 Dunkley says "I don't believe we have a...blah, blah, blah. we don't know consumption patterns"

Now, right here, I would have stated and then asked (if the public was allowed to speak) "when you brought this up last year August, the Commission ask that you go back and research it.  Well, part of that research should have been the financial impact statement on ouresidents and our "commercial establishments".  So, where is it?

1:39:34 Commissioner Miller states that "it seems like without us having hard numbers, the vast majority of this is going to fall on the businesses."  He goes further to indicate the cost saving practices that can be initiated by residents, but expounds up on the inability of certain businesses like Publix, to do the same.

Again, right here I would have told them that without the hard numbers why are we rushing into this vote.  We need the data to make an informed decision before we approve this Tax, especially considering 8,000 registered voters are without their duly elected representative. But, hey that is just me.  I guess Peggy, Ganz, Popelsky, Dunkley, and Hanson had other plans and researching the affect of this tax on residents and businesses, alike, was not one of them.

1:40:58 listen as Peggy interrupts Commissioner Miller as his common sensical approach to the tax, asking that the Commission wait a year or two to impose it, gains him applause from the audience.  Well, the Queen Empress Peggy Noland couldn't have that.  Common Sense on the DIAS???  Not on her watch.  So, she steamrolls Miller and tells him "to remember that the Ad Valorem tax (AV tax) will go down for business".  So, Joe in turn ask her if he has a guarantee of ad valorem taxes going down and he ask can see the millage...Peggy interrupts him and says To which Noland replies something which sounded like "that's up to us, you can trust" (I may be wrong on that and will have to wait for the minutes.)

1:41:13 Miller had asked about the millage going down 1 or 1 mil and Burgess Hanson, City Manager, replies that he cannot guarantee that because he has not received the numbers from the Property Appraiser's office.  So with that said he continued, after being motioned to stop by Peggy, and indicated that "Yes" the businesses will be impacted (Now this is guaranteed and no study needs to be done on this part because it is common sense that businesses will be impacted by a utility tax).  He goes on to say that they will benefit because the millage rate will go down (this is not guarenteed as no real research has been shown indicating that this will be the case).  He then indicates that the monies from the utility tax, an estimated $6,000,000.00, would help improve the infrastructure and bring down foreclosures rates because the monies can "make the city look good" and they would start offering amenities so that young families will move in and help Deerfield's economy.

I would have stopped him there and said to him, "what you are telling then is you can't guarentee me that you will use the money to lower the millage rate because you don't have any research to prove that assertion.  You are now playing on my hopes of a lower property tax to get me to vote "yes" along with Peggy, Ganz, and Popelsky, is that right so far.

Well, at 1:42:40 Hanson begins stating things that Boca has and begins listing all of the taxes that they impose.  Well, at 1:42:48 he indicates that Deerfield does not have many of those same taxes like a "stormwater fee" and he states that they "are not proposing a stormwater fee, tonight".  He goes on to state "that hopefully in a couple years we can look at a furthereduction of the millage rate and other fees".

Is anyone else getting the feeling that the our City Manager either did not do his homework by researching the fiscal impact of imposing this tax on Deerfield  residents and businesses or the numbers they arrived at did not fit the story that they are trying to sale us on this utility tax.  I personally think it is a combination of both.

At 1:44:44 Miller was about to speak and Peggy again cut him off because she wanted to say something.  She goes on to say that teh City is fortunate to have teh community redevelopment district in District 1, because in the other three districts "there's just no money".  She indicates that the City acquired more land for a baseball field at Quiet Waters and that park needs lights.

Wait, wait, hold up...a new park when you can't afford maintenance of the old parks???  Is that fiscally responsible?hmmm, I think not!

1:45:05 Peggy states that "if we don't keep kids off the street and light up some of these fields, what are we gonna have?  Their gonna be knocking us down and taking our purses."

Peggy, we don't have to worry about the children doing that, because the City Commission and Management, with their inability to take a good hard look at cost saving ideas regarding our Fire Department, is doing a fine job of that themselves.  You talk about Pioneer Park, what happened to the Bond money allocated for that Peggy?  You people didn't do what you were supposed to do with it and now you want us to pay again.  No, thank you.  I wouldn't trust you people to with my quarters to put in the Beach's Parking Meters, let alone another tax to fund your pet projects, oops I mean capital projects.  I wish you just say that you want the money because you spent what we had on the Fire Department and now you people are looking for more and then you are trying to use some funny numbers against three of the City's district to justify why the money is gone.  The money is not there because you spent it irresponsibly, that is the real answer.  The answer is not to impose a new tax to try and make up the shortfall that you caused.  Heck, you people already have that money spent before it is even collected.  If we are in such bad shape why just last week did you approve to give yourselves AMEX credit cards???  Broke people don't apply for credit cards.  Maybe we should get a grant to have Suzie Ormond come and teach the Commissioners and Management a class on budgeting, saving, and being fiscally responsible.

Also, by the way, after teh Commission meeting at about say 9:20pm as we exited the Commission Chamber and looked directly to our lefts towards Pioneer Park.  What did we see, but the lights left on at the tennis courts and no one was out there. I wonder how many times have that happened, Peggy???  Most happen a lot since residents complain about it in the Observer March 24, 2011 and God knows how many other times.

Pioneer Park

Dear Editor:
It has been over five years since the renovations to Pioneer Park were initiated.  The new playground is a disaster and has been shut down more than open for the children to play. No Community Center has been built yet and the ballfield is poorly maintained. The city has too many projects that are unfinished.  I have noticed the Tennis Center and field lights left on all night at Pioneer Park on three separate occasions over the past few months. The Middle School Athletic facilities are poorly maintained as well. What is going on? The residents deserve better than this.
3Michael Weiss
Deerfield Beach

1:48:50 Bill Ganz, possible Mayoral Candidate, stated that he would not approve the utility tax unless it lowered the AV tax.  "We just heard the City manager say..sigh..He commited $3,000,000.00 of what was gonna be pulled from this to go toward the lowering of the millage rate." he continued "So why he didn't give you a great commitment of a firm hard number, he did extend himself and stick his neck out to say that $3,000,000.00 of that he commited to going toward the decrease of the millage rate."  He then started talking about the City Managers marching orders were to lower the millage rate.  He then basically told us that the residents why whining "why, why, why" and comparing CODB with other cities, when it's not "apples to apples" comparison.  He stated that we can't compete with other cities because they have all sorts of taxes that we don't.  He then gives a business reference as if the City is running a business and states not to put all our eggs in one basket.  

Well, Bill, speaking of putting all our eggs in one basket how many of those eggs will be in the BSO basket if this merger goes through.  Half the City's eggs (about half of the City's budget will be controled by BSO if the City's plan to merge our Fire Department with BSO goes through.)  Now, to me that seems like putting your eggs in one basket.   Umm, why don't you just admit that you guys spent almost all the money each year on the supposed Public Safety, namely the Fire Department.  Can you show us a report of how many fires have our highly trained and highly paid firefighters have actually put out.  If we use them for mainly EMT services then pay them for that and if they so happen to put out a fire here and there then pay them at that point for the time expended actually firefighting.  We have expended all of the AV tax revenue ont the firefighters and now (using your words) "you've neglected all other areas and now have nothing to fallback on."  "It's impossible to continue on with that."  Yes, that is true!  Just not in the way that you meant it.

Bill, you stated that you sat there and listened to people who want to dwindle down oureserves nearly to the point of laughing stock.  What people did you listen to, cause I was listening to you guys (as the audience should be seen and not heard) do just that.  The truest thing that you said was "It is impossible for us to maintain what we are doing".

At 1:51:01 (and this is where the showboating and orchestration fell apart for Bill) "If you look at the whole thing" and he stated that he looked and was concerned on how the Utility tax was going to affect the residents and the businesses. "when you look at the numbers, it's pretty scary.  But, I am sorry I really don't think Publix is gonna be and theirevenue by whatever increases we impose on them."  He continued and stated that he has seen nothing to prove the assertion that businesses came to Deerfield beach because we had "no utility tax."  

Hold up, so you saw a report which reflected the impact of the tax on businesses.  Why didn't Dunkley show that at the meeting?  

1:54:36 Miller asked to say something and Peggy cut him off and attempted to close the conversation and get a vote on the utilty tax to move it forward.
1:55:29 Popelsky spoke up and basically recited what seemed to be a rehearsed speech about the tax being a "survival tax".  One important thing he did do was clarify who said what.  He indicated "Burgess had mentioned where the money's gonna go, he's not commited himself to saying what the county will be, but has pretty much said it's gonna be a shortfall of approximately $3,000,000.00.  Commissioner Ganz indicated that that three million will go toward lowering the millage rate."  He actually summed up this Commission and the City Management staff for the last few years, when he stated "we have no vision, we have no sense of what we want to get accomplished".

Popelsky you said a mouthful...The rest you can watch for yourself.

I personally find what happened at the meeting appalling.  From the way that Ganz, Popelsky, and Noland defended the Utility Tax without having the "hard numbers" that demonstrate the fiscal impact of this tax on our businesses and residents.  They seem to just be concerned that they can continue with Tam O'Shanter or whatever pet project they have going on right now.  

We as citizens need to determine if we need another park, that we don't have the funds to maintain, created in Deerfield Beach.

I will reiterate one point, if you watch 2:45:16 Bill Ganz, in reading the email that he initially indicated showed support for sexual predators, demonstrated that the City was being asked to include an appeals process to the ordinance to review special circumstances cases that may arise from the ordinance.  At 2:45:40 he indicates "the problem with that is that the ordinance was written SPECIFICALLY, not including any other criminal activity, but sexual predators and sex offenders.  If you understood the ordinance, then you can't support it. in my opinion, that was my point."  

Well, Bill, like I previously said had YOU read the ordinance and understood it you would have seen that it excluded more than sexual predators and sexual offenders.  As this email was sent early in the day, why did you not take the time to read through it.  Had you done so, you would not have made a fool of yourself and have been the catalyst for your friend to call me a pedophile lover.  I take total offense to that because it is due to your actions, grandstanding while you knew I had no chance to rebut your statements.  Well, I am so glad that you said all of that on the record and I hope that once you have had a chance to review your error you will go back and include the language since you did say that you would be open to it.  

I apologized to you, do you think I can get an apology and maybe you will answer one of the many emails I have sent you since this incident.  Can anyone from Ganz's district who reads this please tell him he needs to man up and offer me an apology.  Because of his mistake someone in Publix called me a "pedophile" because a blogger using the grandstanding assertions made by  puffed up Commissioner, Bill Ganz saw fit to label me a "pedophile lover" based on said Commissioners mistake.  

Updated 24/5/2011:

Today at about 2:45pm, while at a stop light on Military and 10th Street, a man attempted to spit on me.  Thankfully, my window was partially rolled up so none of his saliva actually entered the car and because he was speeding off as the light had turned green, most of it hit the windshield.  As he sped away, he yelled "child molester".  What is going on here?  I guess there are many people out there listening to the erroneous pontifications of a certain political figure and taking that as gospel.  What else should I expect, though!  His mission was accomplished, he got people to not look at the actual law and played on the fears and hopes, like they are doing with utility tax.  Game well played, Ganz! Game well played.

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