Time to stop the charade…with the firefighters’ union
Published: 28 Dec 2006
“I have only one thing to say to the tax increasers: Go ahead and make my day”
President Ronald Reagan, March 13, 1985
Mayor Capellini, Vice Mayor Militello and Commissioner Gonot voted wisely and correctly last week to delay approving the fire department union’s latest demand for guaranteed three percent annual raises on their pensions from the City, on top of their three percent current pay raises. The Mayor was correct in his analysis that this could cost the taxpayers of Deerfield Beach tens of millions of additional dollars at a time when few of us can afford another cost-increase to live here. We citizens are bombarded with local government-related costs already, either directly from the local government, or controlled by them in the form of ad valorem taxes, insurance, electric power or garbage disposal fees! It’s absolutely unsustainable and must stop before we force many of our citizens into poverty and permanently destroy the future and quality of life of our northeast Broward community.
It is not as though the fire union folks don’t already have a good thing going for themselves… Able to retire with substantial monthly income in their late thirties or early forties, they are the envy of most working Americans. However, true to their union bosses and their own specialized interests, they continue to push the envelope for more money and benefits from the citizens of this and other cities. It is now time to stop the charade and reverse course so that the rest of us can also afford to live here.
For guidance we have to look no further than the great state of New Jersey, from whence my wife and many Floridians came, to see what can and will ultimately happen here. New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the nation, with the average homeowner paying $6,000 per year to live there. Alarmed that people are leaving New Jersey by the hundreds of thousands, even the Democrat party legislators have recently reversed course and are now proposing the largest reduction in property taxes in state history–that is, 20 percent!
The political pressure is so great in New Jersey that even some union leaders, such as Gloucester County Democrat and Iron Workers Union official Steven Sweeny is calling for public employee “givebacks.” Deerfield elected-officials need to take note, especially the two commissioners who for some reason did not join the majority. It is way past time for all of our elected officials to ignore the firefighter special interest lobby and pay attention to the pocketbooks of those of us who live in this city, pay the taxes and VOTE!
David Eller, Publisher
Tis the Season to decide your own Direction!
Published: 21 Dec 2006
Here we go again. Christmas time and Hanukkah time brings out the worst of some of our “religious” elements. Last week it was reported that in New York only the Jewish and Moslem religions are able to display religious symbols on public property because of a previous state court ruling against Christian displays. Although this is outrageous on its face, the US Supreme Court last week decided not to get involved on this particular case at this time. No wonder Christians sometimes feel as though they are being discriminated against…especially and ironically at Christmas time!
These cases are generally argued under the guise of the alleged wall of separation between church and state. Although this concept is generally thought of to be in our Constitution, that is a concept that is absolutely not correct! Thomas Jefferson, who while he was authoring most of our Constitution, wrote a letter responding to the written concerns of some Rhode Island-based Baptists, alarmed that the Episcopalians (Thomas Jefferson’s church) was going to be made the official religion of the United States, as it had been in England. Jefferson wrote them back assuring them that the First Amendment would prevent “the establishment of a particular form of Christianity”.
Later on, a US Supreme Court used his letter in a grossly distorted fashion to imply that his letter was a part of our Constitution itself, and created a new interpretation of the First Amendment that went well beyond the Framer’s original intent. In fact, the Framers believed that religious liberty was vital and requires a separation of church and state to protect churches and individuals from government intervention.
It should be noted that Christians study and utilize the same Old Testament Scriptures used by our Jewish brethren. These Scriptures have much to say about the nature of man, the world, purpose, truth, morality. However, the secular world also has its own written sources. More often than not the secular world view is in conflict with the biblical one. For example: Where the secular world asserts that man evolved, the Bible says he was created and is ultimately repsonsible to God. Where the secular world says morals are relative, the Bible says they are absolute. Where the world says there is no need for salvation and redemption, the Bible clearly states that all people are in need of deliverance from their sin. The contrast is obvious and profound. Both cannot be true. This is the season for people to think about it, and choose which direction they will go.
Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas,
David Eller, Publisher
Firefighters about to kill the goose
Published: 7 Dec 2006
“Thinking to get at once all the gold the goose could give, he (they) killed it and opened it only to find………nothing”
Aesop, 550 B.C.
The Deerfield Beach firefighters are about to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. However, they are the ones who are going to be committing financial suicide if they are not careful. Their leadership is about to lead the younger ones over the precipice as they seek to intimidate the Mayor and City Commissioners into a really bad deal for Deerfield Beach taxpayers. Their demands for automatic three percent cost-of-living increases on their pensions AFTER they are retired, in addition to the three percent annual amounts while they are still working, will amount to more than a $2 million additional tax burden on the citizens and businesses in this community.
We simply cannot afford to have more financial burden put on our homes, businesses and rental properties, at the same time that insurance rates have skyrocketed with up to 600 percent increases, and Florida Power and Light Company gives us double-digit increases. Something has to give, and the City needs to start reining expenses in, not spending more. Frankly, if they don’t, many people and businesses in this community, being at their financial breaking point, will join a tax revolution unlike anything seen around here since the early 1970s, when nearly all the politicians were thrown out!
Back to the firefighters. It is not as if we’re not already paying enough for this “service.” With a budget exceeding $18 million for 133 firefighters, which amounts to over $135,000 per fire fighter per year, we are spending more than enough! Maybe it is time to go back to volunteer firefighters again, like we used to have in Deerfield.
Maybe that is the position the City should start with in their next negotiation. After all, you can only get so many golden tax dollars out of the geese in this town, and this goose, for one, has had enough.
David Eller, Publisher