Friday, August 19, 2011

City of Deerfield Beach needs a Budgetary Plan B and a Full Audit to Avoid Becoming the Next Lauderdale Lakes

Since I was discussing the City having a Plan B and Jean Robb was kind enough to take time out of her "UNPAID" schedule to do the City Staff's job and look at alternatives or create a Plan B for the City to consider, which she has been suggesting since before the Utility Tax was so arrogantly imposed on the residents by those three individuals Peggy Noland, Bill Ganz, and Marty Popelski, with Joe Miller being the lone voice of common sense and reason.  City Staff and Commissioners have stubbornly ignored her and the  viable options that she and other citizens have suggested to try and save the taxpayers money.  I wonder why...

On Sept. 6 , the Rescind Unfair Taxes will present 6,000 signatures for verification by the SOE and ask the commission to rescind the action take on June 7th when the 10% utility tax was imposed. Since the 10% has already been plugged into this budget, there has to be a Plan B. The tax is supposed to generate 6 million dollars to lower the millage rate by using 4,622,065 of the money.Last year's budget passed with 8 million in the undesignated reserve. This year there is 10,596,455 in that fund. Take 2,596,455 to lower the millage rate. The city can still maintain its bond rating with a percentage rating of the general fund which stands at 74 million.Where is the 2.9 million the city was to save with the BSO merger for the Fire Department? The budget sheet for the Fire Dept. lists costs at 18,192 thousand which reflects only 577,000 less than last year's budget.We hear everyone should pay his fair share. If so, if the worker bees are giving back 5% than why aren't the people making over 100,000 giving back 10%?The fire assessment fee was passed so everyone pay their fair share. It would seem more logical to increase that deductible fee to offset the money needed to lower the millage.The Charter says the commission can not make changes in their own salaries, but there is nothing to prevent them from voluntarily giving back 5 % of their salaries and make a move to end their pensions as part-time emplyees are not eligible.There are ways to lower the millage to 5.67 without adding a new tax to the mix.

Since the City believes that residents are spreading false information about the tax and are now looking to sue us.  Prove us wrong..put an article in the David Eller's Observer with the facts about the revenue of the tax and how the millage rate was lowered.  Explain to us why the City seems to be administratively loosening it's financial belt while tightening it's grip around the necks of the non-uniformed employees.  Discuss the deficit created by lowering the millage rate in the manner in which you have planned to do and explain the City's plan on how to solve the deficit problem. Explain to us which options are truly tax deductible and benefit the residents more than the City. Discuss all the monies available to the city in the different funds. Discuss where the money goes for vacant positions that are funded but are never filled (If you take a look at the Parks and  Rec.  some of those positions have been vacant for years and yet they are still listed and funded.  Some of those people listed haven't worked for the City in ages.)   Basically, I dare the City to for once tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help us GOD and disspell the supposed false information.  Illustrate the City's financial hardships because you are not doing a good job of demonstrating that we are in any financial crisis, because making expensive office renovations at City Hall and the Golsby location (which btw, the City is slated not to renew the lease at Golsby, so why would you authorize office reno's in that location...another example of the fiscal irresponsibility of teh City Manager and City Staff.  Just because you conveniently kept the cost under $10,000.00 so the Commission and then the residents wouldn't be aware, but we are watching you Mr. Hanson/Mr. Klopp and I for one think you should stop wasting our money, trying to sue us and take some of that money and have yourselves audited.  Hell, you spent enough money on Kessler to audit specific Departments that you, Noland, and Ganz decided, well the residents would like a full accounting of all the departments so we have an assurance that our City is being run properly and fiscally responsibly so we don't end up like Lauderdale Lakes.
Like in Hollywood, Lauderdale Lakes' manager is blamed for bungling the city's finances. Anita Fain Taylor was fired last month amid accusations that she hid the seriousness of the fiscal situation from commissioners. The budget she and her staff put together -- and which elected officials voted into law -- now is considered so far-fetched that one commissioner said someone must have fabricated the numbers. Sun-Sentinel, June 18, 2011 Lauderdale Lakes bungled its budget, wants bailout -- and must make hard decisions by Megan O'Matz, Georgia East and Brittany Wallman.
It's time to call in a real auditing firm (with CPA's licensed in Florida) and make sure the City Staff's numbers are not misleading us down the road to another Lauderdale Lakes debacle here in Deerfield Beach, we just can't afford that to happen.  

With the CODB Mayor and Commissioners insistence on shutting the residents out and shutting us up, combined with the City's lack of providing information to the residents, and the City's irresponsible reliance on "the word" of it's experts, instead of asking foreal impartial and unbiased reports and studies be commissioned.  This will help to ensure that all viable options are considered and takes a bit of the politics out of the daily running of our City because no Mayor, no Commissioner, no City Manager, and no Fire Experts can argue with a report performed by an outside third party unbiased and unbought professional firm.

It's time we as residents ask for better.  If we don't we get what we deserve and I know the residents of this City do not deserve to be hoodwinked and bamboozled to the point of Lauderdale Lakes by Peggy Noland, Bill Ganz, Marty Popelski, Burgess Hanson, Keven Klopp, and any other individuals who have thrown their stock in with that lot.  It's time the residents request, no demand fiscal accountability and responsibility from our City, in the same manner they want us to demand it from the DBHA, the Community Development Department, the Westside Businessmen, and the Mango Festival.

Is it just me or is it ironic that all of these handpicked forensically audited departments are directly related to District 2...hmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!

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