Saturday, February 11, 2012

Watch your wallet as financial times for local governments are about to get tougher.

Times are about to get tougher for local governments as the Florida Legislature cuts local revenues. 

Tallahassee tax cuts put squeeze on cities, online Miami Herald, posted on Sat., 2/11/2012

local governments will have to sort out how to balance their budgets as Tallahassee lawmakers pass tax cuts to businesses and homeowners.  Expenses/spending will need to be cut to match the Tallahassee imposed revenue reductions.

Maybe it is time for the Palmetto Bay Mayor Shelley Stanczyk and Vice Mayor Brian Pariser to put their grandiose plans aside of taking away the public access public bayside park and converting it to a wedding facility.  I am not sure they were paying attention to the pending bills in Tallahassee as no positions were taken by this council on the revenue reduction bills in the Palmetto Bay legislative program even as the Florida League of Cities made fighting these unfunded Tallahassee mandates a legislative priority.  I am surprised that there was no mention at the last council meeting from the council members fresh back from Tallahassee as to any efforts they made to preserve the tax base.  Are they paying attention?  Maybe Mayor Stanczyk asked Governor Scott to veto these bills while she was ceremoniously doling out paella to him as a guest server at the Dade Days "world famous paella fest" earlier this month.

We, the residents, are going to have to ride Mayor Shelley Stanczyk and Vice Mayor Brian Pariser and make them focus on the shifting budget realities.  The years of saving 10 million dollars into unallocated and emergency reserve accounts as we did when I was part of the initial council are over, at least for the time being.  There can be no frivolous spending from reserved for unproven pet projects.

Addendum to a few e-mail responses.  (click "Read more")
To publicly respond to those who privately e-mail me rather than post (and yes, thank you for the comments by whatever means of transmission, public or private): I have attempted to speak with this council, and often do with 3 of the 5.  I spoke at the council meeting prior to the Tallahassee trip.  There was no public transparent discussion of legislative priorities.   Mayor Shelley Stanczyk and Vice Mayor Brian Pariser apparently do not want help or advice from anyone.  I will continue to speak out. often through my posts.  See past posts under the tag "Palmetto Bay", but also take a look at my December 19, 2011, post:

Palmetto Bay council continues to ignore the warning signs, trends of a low tax revenue future. Could the financial future of Palmetto Bay be at risk due to continued ill-advised financial behavior? 

Another e-mail exchange I had with someone who asked me what I would have had the council do in Tallahassee.  My response was as follows:

Take a stand. Staying quiet equals acceptance.

But I guess that may ruin their photo ops with state officials who may not be smiling as broadly for the photo if Shelley and crew mention something as unpleasant as hey, don't cut the revenue I use to serve the people.


  1. Gene,

    You expect far too much from this group of current officials.


  2. I could have written your article is fewer words:

    The Mayor and Vice Mayor went to Tallhassee.
    The taxpayers paid for their trip
    The Mayor and Vice Mayor had no clue as to what was going on in Tallahassee
    Our property tax bills will probably go up due to their incompetance.

  3. I told you before. The first council was about doing things for the good of the village. This current council is about doing things for themselves.

  4. Palmetto Bay Mayor Shelley Stanczyk and Vice Mayor Brian Pariser have many of the marks of bad leaders:
    • They talk a good game, but do not walk it.
    • They never listen to anyone. They think they know everything.
    • No one ever sees them come out of their offices to talk to people during except when there's a problem they want solved.
    • Neither of them will ever accept responsibility for a screw up—especially publicly. It's always someone else's fault unless there is a perceived success, then it's all her doing. (Mayor Stanczyk does not ever share praise)
    • There is no progress. Things go to the council for a decision, but unless they know that their handlers agree, items just sit off agenda for months until there's a crisis. They just won't go against their handlers even if it's the right thing to do, regardless of how important it is to the remainder of the community.
    • Residents in-the-know and even village staff wish that things would change for the better, but leopards never change their spots.
    • Everyone can compare the prior mission and the current inaction: even though the core values look great on the wall, they've become a bad joke around Palmetto Bay.