Thursday, September 20, 2012

Palmetto Bay budget Review, part 3. Starting to separate voting fact from campaign fiction A/K/A The proposed raid on unallocated reserves

The facts:

The strength of Palmetto Bay is dependent upon the council continuing to make sound financial decisions.  I was involved from the first budget up through the budget for fiscal year 2010/2011 (budget approved in September 2010).  The unallocated reserves totaled $11,491,109.00 by the end of fiscal year 2011 (see budget, document page 41, actual online page 45). 

Remember that the first council was paying special police services costs (up to $400,00 per year) for the first 5 years and mitigation (up to $1.7 million per year) for 8 years until I successfully fought off this mitigation that ended completely (after a short phase out) for the 2010/2011 budget.

Protecting the unallocated reserves were key then and should have been made easier for this current Viallge Council when Palmetto Bay was relieved of the mitigation tax.

The reality – budget priorities are shifting under this current council – the Vice Mayor supports the proposal to spend down the reserves by well over $3 million in a single year :

There is more to fear in Palmetto Bay than the fact that the hard work of citizen committees collect dust on a shelf (Palmetto Bay budget Review, part 2. Department of Building & Capital Projects). Vice Mayor Brian Pariser may say “Conservative fiscal policy is the bedrock of good local government practices. My continued commitment is to limit the role of local government to provide core municipal services: public safety, parks and recreation, public works, planning and zoning.” His voting record, however, says quite the opposite.

Mr. Pariser recently voted on first reading to approve the 2012/2013 operating budget that actually proposes to SPEND DOWN these hard fought unallocated reserves from $11,491,109 by over THREE MILLION DOLLARS - $3,076,525.00 in a single budget year.  That is more than ¼ the total reserves in a single budget year. 

The final vote will occur at the second/final budget hearing to be held on Monday, September 24.  Maybe we will see someone on the council wake up and slow down the proposed raid on reserves.

I am shocked that Vice Mayor Brian Pariser calls this type of a spending plan ‘conservative fiscal policy’. The vote does not match the campaign rhetoric.  Many of us are waiting to hear the explanation, the political double speak that will be used to deny, or worse, misrepresent, that the numbers stated on line, presented here, are somehow not what the actual numbers reveal.

Remember as well, Vice Mayor Pariser, voted last year to allow a raid then on the unallocated reserves to the tune of nearly $1,000,000 for the ill-advised Thalatta plan, money that thankfully did not get spent only due to fierce public opposition against the proposed wasteful spending by Mayor Stanczyk and Vice Mayor Pariser in attempting to retool a public park, providing much needed public access, into a for profit wedding venue. 

Didn't he promise in his 2008 campaign to use the mitigation relief for tax cuts for the village taxpayers? If so, talk about a change in position from 2008 campaign promises to his actions as an elected official.

Financial health is dependant upon fiscally responsible spending.


  1. Thank you Gene. You need to send this out on your South Dade Updates e-mail to alert everyone as to this wasteful spending!


  2. There should be a law requiring a supermajority vote of the council, a finding of urgent need, before approving a budget that takes money from reserves.

  3. Why are they spending $3 million out of reserves? It is a rainy day fund. It is not raining now, but this council is working its best to do a rain dance.

  4. The council is raising taxes this year. The newspaper listed the budget notice as a notice of tax INCREASE. Palmetto Bay is collecting more money this year than last, yet they have to pilfer the reserves? They are taking money from reserves and not giving back any money to the residents. Even the county is cutting the tax rate. Something is rotten in the state Denmark.

  5. SO much for saving money. When will these drunken sailors be put to sea?