Long live the Mayor
On Tuesday night, Sept. 15, Mayor Robb held her second “Talk to the Mayor” forum. During the 12 years I have attended commission meetings, no mayor took the initiative to actually to hear what residents think. Right out the gate, the first speaker criticized the mayor unnecessarily. Rather than applaud the mayor for her years of contributions to this city, she choose to malign her.
Most resident concerns centered on problems BSO needs to address, but, due to lack of boots, as stated by Chief Schnakenberg, these problems don’t get resolved. Rather than spend over a million dollars to purchase unbuildable beach lots, which residents do not want bought, the prudent move would be to add additional police officers to make our city safer … rather than being concerned about a couple of signs which are unnoticeable and a RV that doesn’t block one’s ocean view.
What should incense the citizenry of Deerfield Beach is paying a group of lawyers over a million dollars for property that cost them $4,000 twenty years ago. Yes, you read that correctly. Four thousand dollars annualized and compounded for 20 years, if invested in the stock market would bring a fair investment return. Even an unusually high 19.85 percent would be $150,000, not a million and a half dollars, which is more in line with what the lawyers are seeking.
Questions to ask: “Why didn’t the city buy these parcels a few years back when they had the opportunity before our city leaders made the horrendous mistake of giving Boinis an additional $200,000 for a beach lot the state was giving $200,000 for?” “Why didn’t the City allow a Sweet 16 for a lawyers’ daughter when the lawyers were always generous when the city would request using their land for events?” And, thus, the ensuing problem. The answer to these questions are mismanagement by our City Manager and the department heads under him, plus the City Commissioner who “expedited” the last beach sale by giving that owner an extra $200,000.
There is a public referendum procedure in place when it comes to selling city property above a specified dollar amount. Likewise, a public referendum is warranted before the city goes forward with purchases in excess of a million dollars.
Thanks for community input
It is my pleasure to let you know that the budget for fiscal year 2015-2016 was passed at our last meeting on Sept. 21. I want to thank those of you who came out to give us your input and those of you who contacted me directly to share your thoughts and views on how your tax dollars are being spent.
Friends, I am proud that we are moving the city in the right direction, financially. We are fiscally stronger today than we have been since the economic downturn we all experienced a few years ago. I am pleased to let you know that we [the commission] voted to lower the millage rate in this budget, from a rate of 6.7688 to 6.6688, which is approximately one-tenth of a mill.
This decrease in the millage also resulted in a decrease of about $500,000 to the budget. While it isn’t as much as I would like to have seen, this rate reduction still provides tax relief while maintaining service levels and a healthy reserve.
Our next commission meeting is scheduled for Oct. 6, 2015 in City Hall Chambers located at 150 NE 2 Ave. The meeting begins at 6:45 p.m. and I hope to see you all there!
If you have any concerns or questions for me, you can always email me at bganz@Deerfield-Beach.com