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
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.