OpEd: Be on the lookout for … oh shit…
On September 13, 2012, L Lakes held the first required Public Hearing for the FY 2013 budget. Attached is Exhibit A from the Budget Ordinance.
Let’s look at Exhibit A. First up at #1- we see a transfer of 75,000 from the Fire Fund.
Wait a minute that fund has a 1.7m deficit, doesn’t it? Doesn’t that remind you of the OIG report- transfers from funds with deficit balances?
Let’s look at page 2. We see that out of the $7,147,063 being budgeted for Fire Rescue, only $2,145,323 (or 30%) is being funded from the General fund for EMS. Think of how many calls go out, wouldn’t you think that over 90% of those calls are for EMS? No matter how BSO responds to calls, there is no way only 30% of the cost is EMS.
How did that happen? The Fire Response fee went up 25% in 2012 and now another 8% in 2013 (see page 3). It is now over the legal limit and the General Fund is not paying a fair share for EMS. Think there would be a study to support this- no not in Lakes. But wait they are rushing to do one now to cover-up what they did. Goes well with CM Allen (lil Jon) and master puppeteer Comm. Eric Hanes’(aka Deadbeat Dad) motto- “Trust me this in the right thing to do now.”
Look at #2, 3 and 4 of Exhibit A- transfers from funds. Is there any explanation anywhere on how those amounts are derived? Must be a study somewhere to support this wouldn’t you think but no not in L Lakes. The motto- Trust me this is the right thing to do.
Look at #5, 6 and 7 of Exhibit A- Seems like they forgot the amounts of $41,750, $26,400, and $208,240 from pages of 71, 57 and 58 of budget respectively. Forgot or on purpose, debt is a sensitive subject in L Lakes. Also remember the incompetent FD Marie Elianor is at the helm with her Hello Kitty solar powered calculator. Our contacts at Oakland Park say that she could not even spell budget correctly 6 out of 7 times while there. When asked to explain the term LIBOR in relation to financing at a previous meeting, she responded that she had not even been able to look it up because it was over 4 letters.
See # 8 and #9 of Exhibit A-budgeted for the CRA TIF payment as both a revenue and expense. That cannot be. See page 4.
And finally, look at last page of attachment. Solid Waste will have a fund balance of 1.2m versus a budget of 1.5m. That is an 80% fund balance. Why not give the residents a break on something, cut the SW fees for 2013 by 50%. Why not- think back about the cash situation in L Lakes. Lil Jon and EH have to bank the cash from special assessments to pay for BSO and other General Fund operations.
They deserve a break. The residents are paying the highest taxes- up now to 10.8 mills in property taxes (highest in Broward County); fire fees jacked up 25% in 2012 and another 8% in 2013); Stormwater fees jacked up 160% in 2012 and staying there for 2013; and Solid waste fees staying virtually the same. All this to support lil jon and EH plans? Now they are even dipping into grant funding and taking money away home repair money being used for seniors to give to what- Comm Coleman’s improvements to Parks (or she would say her husband Frank’s grand plan).
He is coming back for the second review on Sep 25. Lil Jon has only scheduled an hour for this public hearing prior to the regular Commission meeting. We heard he is not expecting any public comments and the Commission- clueless again to what is going on.
Let’s blow the lid off of this. Show up. Confront the Commissioners. Ask why. Don’t accept his song and dance. It is time to storm the castle. Don’t accept business as usual by lil jon and EH- demand accountability not “Trust me this is the right thing to do now.” Someone wake up City Atty Brady from his nap in the Fish Bowl.