Saturday, June 4, 2011

Peggy Noland, Bill Ganz, Marty Popelsky, and Burgess Hanson: Deerfield Beach Needs Utility Tax for Lights at Parks.

This comes from City Commissioner Bill Ganz's Newsletter that was sent out to individuals who subscribe to the District 4 Monthly Newsletter.

At the May 17, 2011 meeting, the City Manager and staff recommended the implementation of a Public Service Tax. The Public Service Tax is being proposed at this time to be part of our Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Budget, as one piece of the puzzle to lower our millage rate and take the burden of the costs of services from single family homeowners. The new tax is also being recommended to further diversify our revenue stream. The new tax will generate approximately $6 million, and the City Manager has guaranteed that at least $3 million, if not more, would be used to lower our ad valorem tax. 

[If you were at that May 17, 2011 meeting than you know that Burgess Hanson indicated that the funds *could possibly* be used to lower the ad valorem tax, at no point on the record did he guarantee or commit any funds to the lowering of the ad valorem.] 

See my blog post for more information on what was actually said.

The remaining funds would go towards a $20-$25 million revenue bond, which would be used to fund various capital projects including building new baseball fields with lighting, resurfacing streets, and completing right-of-way improvements. 

[Bill may not have been here in 1994 when the City voted to approve a $2,000,000.00 bond to renovate the City's parks.  Well, some things promised were done and somethings promised weren't and somethings that were done weren't done correctly.

Key items included in the bond issue are as follows:
-- Westside Park: $848,000 to build two racquetball courts behind the gym and construct a Little League field, baseball/softball field, football field and a concession stand, restroom and pressbox building on nine acres across the street.
-- Constitution Park: $159,500 to expand the existing recreation building and install lights at the tennis and basketball courts.
-- $156,000 to build a bike path on Dixie Highway between Southwest 15th Street and Hillsboro Boulevard.
-- Villages of Hillsboro Park: $75,000 to build two racquetball courts and construct a half-mile, asphalt in-line-skating trail next to the jogging track.
-- $71,000 for a beach pedestrian walkway.
-- Southwest 11th Way Park: $70,000 to construct a pavilion and restroom.
This was the original promise which as of 1998 was never fulfilled
Four years after voters approved almost $1 million in bonds to improve a park on the east side of town, the city still hasn't bought the land _ and it has already spent most of the money for improvements on other park expenses.
As a result, while improvements paid for by the bond measure have already been made at parks elsewhere in Deerfield Beach, mostly in the western end, neighbors of Westside Park are still waiting for the Little League field, two racquetball courts, baseball and softball fields.
And city officials say there probably won't be any money left over to finish the improvements at Westside Park.

In 2001 Westside still had not had the park the City of Deerfield Beach had promised under then Commissioners Peggy Noland (Current CODB Mayor), Gwyn Clark reed House of rep and the now jailed Gonot, Capellini, and Trinchitella.

Since the above we have had several bond issues over $40,000,000.00 and Westside Park, Pioneer Park, and many others still have not got all of the amenities that we were originally promised back in 1994.  The residents however, have gotten the bill for these bond issues as we have seen our increase in property taxes, fire assessment fees, and now a proposal of 10% Utility Tax.   

Noland who was Commissioner at the time of all of these bonds issuance is pushing hard for this Utility tax to give the City Commission more money for lights.  After the third time she asked us to give her money for lights, I sincerely hope everyone has caught on to the City's pattern.  How much money do we need to give this woman and then sit back and watch as she spends it irresponsibly or manages to make improvements to some part of the Fire Department and then screw the residents of Deerfield Beach.]

In District 4, the bond would pay for the construction of the Quiet Waters Elementary School Park/Baseball Field, street resurfacing in the Starlight Cove and the Gates of Hillsboro areas, and repairs to existing parks and facilities, such as the Villages of Hillsboro. 

The Public Service Tax is not based on the total dollar amount of your electric or water bill. It is mainly based on the consumption of either electricity or water. The average price for most Deerfield Beach homeowners is under $10 each month. The tax is paid by any person who has an electric, water or liquefied gas account in the city, including the annexed areas still being serviced by Broward County. Implementing such a tax means that the city will also capture payment for the cost of services from those property owners who pay little to no property tax.

As many of you know, athletic facilities are one of the greatest needs for our city. The Quiet Waters Ball Field project will definitely start us in the right direction to improve this deficit.

Parks and Recreation director Bob Harbin recently met with Tom Lindner, construction chief for Broward Schools, to discuss plans for the baseball field at Quiet Waters Elementary School. Staff from Broward Schools is currently preparing the construction documents for bid, and Parks and Recreation staff is working on other details of the project with the city’s Building Services and Purchasing divisions. This collaboration will ensure the timely completion of this much-needed project.

I would like to thank Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs and Broward School Board Member Nora Rupert for their support of this project.

So, do we fall for it again!  Oops, this time they have actually taken it out of the voters hands and according to the City Manager, Burgess Hanson, this decision should be a management decision.  Wow, no wonder they voted to give themselves American Express credit cards, because they know that they will have a lot of money to play with in the near future, if they have their way. I hope they don't the way of Gonot and hit up Vegas with those City of Deerfield Beach AmEx cards, especially since they'll have an influx of cash $20-$25 million worth if the utility tax goes through.


The Deerfield Middle School complex, McKeithen Park's new cooking pavilion ,the tennis center and roller hockey rink at Pioneer Park and improvements to Westside Park were the most visible projects of the 12 million dollar bond issue approved by the voters in 1999. General Obligation bonds 2003----:  5.272 million for park improvements. The commission borrowed 11 million in 2005 in a revenue bond issue using the FP and L franchise fees as the payment source. 6 million to complete the MOCenter, and 5 million supposedly for acquisition and development to the east of I 95 and concentrate on the community to the west. 

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