Thursday, May 14, 2020

Evaluating Palmetto Bay's efforts in Tallahassee at the 2020 Legislative Session. Part 1 Goals set.

We are deep into the month of May. It is time to start serious thought about the upcoming Palmetto Bay budget. The preliminary tax roll is released June 1. The final property tax roll is released one month later, July 1, 2020. However, Palmetto Bay is behind the 8 ball financially. So instead of preparing for the upcoming budget, the current mayor and council are still trying to correct the current budget failures they created in this current fiscal year. They need guidance from the community. When you love this village like I do, you want to assist through a much-needed grassroots effort to get this budget back in order. This is our money.

There will be a series of articles preparing readers for the Palmetto Bay budget. The upcoming 2020-21 budget will be key for the Village due to the unique year - two huge impacts to the 2019-20 budget, those being:

1. The unprecedented first-time ever budget deficit, caused, in my opinion, by the mayor and council failing to follow their own budget ordinance (an ordinance is a law) that they enacted - the budget is an annual financial strategic plan.

2. COVID-19. This will have a profound impact on revenues - for the remainder of this current budget year as well as next year. Affected revenues will include gas tax and state sales tax revenue sharing.

I ask the current mayor and village council to tread carefully for this upcoming year. Many businesses and residents of Palmetto Bay have suffered greatly from the economic impacts of the COVID-19. This coming year should be a return to my "government lite" and avoid the recent government excesses as well as the failure to follow the budget plan that is causing the current "million dollar" deficit.

Here is part 1 - Evaluating Palmetto Bay's efforts in Tallahassee at the 2020 Legislative Session - goals set.

What were the legislative goals set by the current mayor and village council for the 2020 legislative session?

The Village Council passed resolution no. 2019-121*, through a unanimous 5-0 vote on September 23rd, 2019. This was the annual legislative agenda which set the following priorities for funding:

A. Supporting legislation that provides funding for traffic calming projects and public transit improvements and extensions for Miami-Dade County;

B. Requesting funding for South Florida Water Management District specifically for canal bank restoration to address the critical erosion needs in the Village of Palmetto Bay;

C. Maximizing all available appropriation and funding opportunities to implement storm water and other needed infrastructure projects throughout the Village;

D. Supporting any legislation and requesting funding assistance and partnership opportunities that support the age friendly city initiatives and the development of unique opportunities for individuals with special needs;

E. Support any legislation requesting funding assistance and partnership opportunities for projects that enhance mobility and create a network of interconnected lanes in support of bicycle and pedestrian activity within the Village;

F. Seeking funding assistance for the Village’s FRDAP and other such FDEP projects to address park capital improvements and park property acquisitions.

The year prior - 2019 legislative session - Compare / contrast the present status of the Palmetto Bay appropriation requests (2019):

$ 1,790,800   Total money requested from the legislature limited for 3 projects, broken down as follows:

$   745,900   Multimodal center – location undisclosed (23% of the total estimated cost)
$   745,900   Enviro Center to be constructed at Coral Reef Park
$   299,000   Drainage for sub basin 61 (50% match from Village)

$ 1,790,800  Total money requested from the legislature to cover:

$ 6,089,800 Total cost of these proposed projects to the residents of Palmetto Bay.
$   ZERO        Received from the State of Florida for the 2019 efforts.
Please note that Palmetto Bay Resolution 2019-121 is NOT currently available under the resolutions page posted on the official Palmetto Bay website - only resolutions 1-33 are posted (CLICK HERE to view this page. CLICK HERE to view a screen shot of the page as it existed on 4/14/2020 - to document where this page has been updated in the interim).  

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