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Here’s The Scoop … LBTS 7/27/10 Special Hearing … Fire Assessment/ Millage/ Budget For 2010- 2011 … Preliminary Pie Slices …

July 31, 2010 by Barbara

NOT READY TO SERVE ….YET …

Dear Readers … the 7/27/2010 Special Hearing included the delayed budget which is still a work in progress due to the terminations of former Town Manager Colon…Olinzock…and Finance Director King … But the new crew of Int. TM Hoffmann…Int. Asst. TM Bentley…and Int. or “Acting” Finance Dir. Haag produced a budget with some staff that was more than up to snuff …

First up was the fire assessment and it was left at $130 once again after no public comment was made ….It will provide a $62,000 overage to go into a Town Vehicle Replacement Fund that the VFD agreed to and an independent auditor advised as well… VM Dodd asked about the shared profits fire inspection monies received from the VFD and while the TM verified they were received and placed into an account at present and will be placed in the VR account …no mention of the fact that 2 longtime Fire Marshalls have informed that his is a violation of State Statute…Fire inspections are supposed to only cover the cost of the inspection and not to produce a profit…Comm. Vincent made sure the public knew this covered their contract and the increase …HUH?…of course that is what this is about…Comm. Sasser asked about a drop in inspection fees year after year and that will be looked into… This writer recalls some back and forth about an increase in inspections after VFD took over in which they made claims of the BSO not doing inspections each year…Nothing was ever researched to verify those claims… The VM brought up the”relief” some businesses were looking for in fire fees and while his recall was verified…no answer came of any inclusion of this being addressed…The VM made the motion…with a 2nd by Comm. Vincent…passed 5-0

The millage rate was next …we hear and it appeared on the livestreaming video that the hall was bare of taxpayers on this topic…and there was no public comment ….Comm. Clottey stated the 4.21993 proposed by Ms. Hoffmann is lower than the rollback but will provide a “significant” raise from the 2009-10 3.999 rate ….The Int. TM as predicted presented her “this is not a tax increase” for the majority of the taxpayers (see prev. post ob budget) …Clottey …not “clueless” on this topic stated she was against the increase….The Comm. to her left though … Comm. Vincent started out as though he was for it “Thank you Mayor, I’d like just for the public viewing this, my understanding is the reason for this increase or it’s not necessarily an increase, it’s just to cover the tax rate based on last years gross taxable value. We are down because of property values. Therefore your property values have decreased. This rollback will increase but your property taxes won’t. We need to cover our shortfall, I believe, if I’m not mistaken, If I can ask the Town Manager about the $600 thousand dollars that we’re trying to somehow recover”…The Int. TM replied that this projection was brought to them about a month ago and went through what was in her budget memo concerning the property appeals that occur after the budget process…She stated that now they were able to “bridge” that $600 thou gap and the shortfall would be between the $600 thou and the $246 thou difference…Comm. Vincent added the difference in assessed values and what was levied back to the town will drop from 7.6 to 7.5 million ..The Int. TM stated that would be accurate if you include new construction…The VM wanted clarification from Comm. Clottey on adopting 3.999 and Comm. Clottey remarked the “misnomer” that taxes will go down referring to the 3% increase plus seen by those who have homestead…The Mayor concurred and stated that was on page 6 of the budget proposal from the Int. TM (prev. post) …Mayor Minnet said we need to evaluate where we need to be at this meeting…Comm. Sasser wanted to clarify and reiterate what VM Dodd said at a prior meeting …the millage rate could come down from this initial meeting but could not go up…The Mayor concurred and clarified that statement…Comm. Sasser said he was okay with the rate where it stands but would be “hard pressed to agree to one” (mil. rate) higher than we have today (3.999) He stated we could “attack” and take it out of the CIP…He stated constituents and Commissioner would hear him say over and over again we need a plan…He said there could be significant cuts and there was still revenue items that are unanswered…He said the $600 thou could be found in what he was seeing and the millage kept the same… The Mayor did her annual list of cost cuts to reduce the budget and keep the 3.999 …The Chamber $55,000 curt to $45,000/Donations recommended to increase from $11,098 to $14,442 …cut it down/No increase in Comm. pay again this year/ Town Topics reduce the costs in distribution and the pages a $5000 reduction/ Fire the VFD and their 4% increase …they should forgo it/Recreation Contractual Services reduce $15,000 already have $12,000 in misc. special events…Comm. Vincent said he didn’t have “anything outlined” and that he “went though it with staff” and the Mayor’s recommendation were the same as what he recommended…HUH?… Come on! …VM Dodd thanked the Int. TM stating the budget was better than before and asked that the Chamber come forward with their proposal and presentation and he could not “chop it” just yet… He agreed as he had previously stated this year and in prior years to no Comm. salary increase…He agreed about the VFD and stated he was afraid their hands were tied until the VFD contract was up for renewal…He said it was not a matter of public safety but responsibility…The Mayor stated we have an opportunity with the budget to address the contract… The Int. TM stated there was 2 issues with the VFD budget being substantially different than in the past and it should be looked into to perhaps renegotiate it for the protection of the government..there’s a sizable amount of money going to the VFD …Comm. Sasser stated he was the liaison from the Comm. for the Chamber and they would take a hard look at the ROI (return on investment) …he stated again there could be a significant savings found within the CIP fund …Hr spoke of the sewer infrastructure …the sewer shortfall and how we handle that and those answers being required before the millage…He spoke of not tearing up the streets twice for stormwater sewers and then for waste …El Mar and having all these projects fall in their proper place…Comm. Clottey said she had gone over a lot of things with the TM “not in detail up here”…HUH?… Come on!…She went down the “rabbit hole” once again when it came to the Chamber and the “Community” Center…asking again for the Chamber to explain the percentage of out- of- town businesses who are member  and that the roof was not in the budget and should be…Apparently “Clueless” on the Chamber…The Chamber and others have repeatedly explained the Chamber could not exist on in-town members only…and the roof…it was on last year’s budget that Clottey approved!…OOPS!… She took another stab ..literally at the Dir. of the “Community” Center by stating a woman from Broward County told her the “going rate” for his position was $20,00 plus benefits …ARGHHH…Comm. Clottey has never seen what Armillio does… the hours he puts in…the individual time he offers and the FACT that it was he who made the program and the FACT that with her undermining last year the whole program would have been dismantled when it was stated if he went so did the volunteer instructors…who stated they offered their services because of Armillio….This is the first time in years he has a budgeted increase…does not have to pay for the Town Topics required adds and has some improvements coming in the center…Comm. Vincent stated he “respectfully disagreed with Comm. Clottey on the new roof on the Chamber building benefiting them that it  was “prudent protections” of the Town’s building …infrastructure … The Mayor asked for consensus on the fire dept. and giving the Int. TM direction to look at that …it was agreed …The Int. TM clarified that each Comm. can  meet with her one- on- one and this would be “wrapped up” by the end of August with the Commission wanting cuts… She also reiterated they were okay with her suggestion of recreation instructors being on a split earnings (prev. budget post) 80/20 or 70/30 (instructors get larger portion) with the Town …The Comm. agreed…The Mayor added the Int. TM other inclusion in the budget of merit pay vs. COLA …(see prev. budget post ) and Comm. Sasser added his take on the programs stating no charge for children and seniors but charging non-residents as we do now and instructors being paid on who shows up… VM Dodd agreed on the Int. TM version to charge  for sports activites and split the revenue with instructors and merit pay…The Mayor asked for the direction of the millage and stated more discussion would take place at Aug meeting (Aug. 25th 5:30pm) Comm. Clottey said she voted for the roof on the Chamber and it should be included in the budget (see above)…Comm. Vincent asked about “Community Standards” and the changes shown …(Clearly he did not read his backup…or the TM memo because the big change stated was the Asst. TM was moved from “Community Standards” to the Municipal Dept.because as the Int. TM stated she thought it was more appropriate as the Asst. TM duties did not involve landscaping to trash!)…Mr Bentley added the streetsweeper and other contracted services were in that account and Vincent replied it was a 10% decrease…(That was a change from the orig. proposal after the Int. TM was informed by some Comms. not to go through with the $500 thou transfer of funds from the Emergency Funds account)…Comm. Clottey wanted the Int. TM to explain the sewer fees and SRC (see prev. post)..The Mayor intercepted and asked the TM if she wanted to speak on it at this time …Ms. Hoffmann said Comm. Clottey wanted to know how they were handling the fees for SRC and spoke of the complexity of it and the water the 2 different municipalities (Pomp./Ft. Laud) and she would have a report in the next “several days ” …after speaking to the former TA and Pompano Beach… (Clottey would go here again at the Comm. mtg. when addressing the Town Mgr. Report )…The Mayor stated the 4.21993 millage would be seen on the TRIM notices and wanted constituents to be aware they will go down …asking for a motion… Comm. Sasser made the motion for 4.21993 “for now” with a 2nd by Comm. Vincent…the vote was 4-1 Clottey dissenting…

Let’s see who reads the next proposed budget for the meeting on Aug. 25th and who does not…

All budgets…justification sheets versions along with backup …minutes and videos are and will be online for taxpayers to be fully informed this year!…. http://www.lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov/

Adjourned….

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