Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It's your money and your decision.....

As a first time and therefore humble contributor to Scott's wonderful blog I wanted to share an email which I just received.

Please contact your City Council member regarding the budget cut they voted for.

However the cut will cost the citizens of Tampa more with the cuts of programs including cuts in Code enforcement and other projects that we have all been fighting for. I question all of you
Tax cuts need to come from the STATE and FEDERAL Government. Not local City and County Governments.

This is a decision to be made by each of you. If you support this go ahead and write to the city council.

City Council Email: tampacitycouncil@tampagov.net


Anonymous said...

I hope they cut the whole d@mn code department.
For being p*ssys.
They did exactly what they said..
They wrote the whole neighborhhod up.
Mother Fu@kers.

Anonymous said...

That's such a joke.

I work for a government agency which usually experiences multiple budget cuts throughout the year b/c of the industry we serve/regulate.

We do just fine, we cut and cut and cut and learn to do less with more.

Cutting takes discipline.

These bloated local agencies just have no discipline and can't adjust.

It's laughable that Kevin White has the gall to stand up in a budget hearing and talk about the "potholes that aren't going to get filled" b/c of the miniscule budget cuts instead of exhibiting a shred of leadership and telling the agencies to step up and make due.

Any idea where these flyers came from?

Anonymous said...

What flyers?

Anonymous said...

They havent been filled in years...what makes you think they were going to get filled with this budget.
I hope they start trimming at the top of all departments.
Trim the fat.
I am sure I could find a lot of fat if they want me to look.
They are not the poor city they want us to think they are.

Anonymous said...

City workers are very WELL compensated. They make TOO much. I have a doctorate-level degree and most city workers in management make $10-$20 more than me. The department heads make aobut $50,000 more than me (i.e., Curtis Lane, McCary, etc.). Cut them damn taxes and quit paying those buruecrats more than they are worth!!! Keep the programs, lower their lazy ass wages.

mightbesharon said...

Cut the budget from the damn riverwalk to no where! This mayor has got to learn to live/spend within her means. She is by far the worst mayor ever.

In regards to the code comment, I think it is time we all stand up against the code department. With the exception of very few code employees, Kristen being one, I think they should all be terminated. At the very least, The three top leaders should be removed.

I think that we as the largest neighborhood should protest at city hall. I think it should be an organized event / media circus demanding that they Mayor step up and make change in this department. I have seen the gazillion earlier post regarding this issue, yet nothing seems to get accomplished within the city.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what it takes to impeach a mayor? I think you could start your protest by announcing you are collecting signatures to impeach the mayor. What our elected officials seem to forget is they work for us the people. Based on this, the current mayor and most local polititians should be fired! They all SUCK!!!

Rick F. said...

If the original e-mail writer looked at what is going on with spending in this city they might have a different tune.
Since they didn't give you this information. I will put it in my post (you can see more detail on my lifeinseminoleheights blog)
Tax operating funds were 389.1 million in FY 06. They were projected (before millage cut) at 422.4 million for FY07. An increase of 8.6%. With the millage cut it will be 419.05 million.
Property tax revenue in FY 06 was 139 million. Without the millage reduction would have risen to 167.7 million. A 22% increase! With the millage cut it will only reach 164.35 million.

Meanwhile the budget has 93,000 for a part time (no benefits) assistant to the Mayor? $700,000 for the Riverwalk but only $680,000 for traffic calming?
Meanwhile in code enforcement the Director, dep. Director and an Amministrative Assistant pull down combined salaries of over $300,000.

Lastly, City Council cannot legally raise the millage rate on the 28th of September. It is a done deal.

The question is how will the Mayor punish us peons and serfs for expecting prudent use of our hard earned tax dollars.



Bloggerwife said...

I did notice that the mayor said that "we" would suffer, when she found out taxes would be cut. She didn't seem to include herself in that equation.

Anonymous said...

I agree


Anonymous said...

I do think it is crazy that she spends millions more on the riverwalk when what we have is lack luster. Where do you park to got to it? Once you are there what is there to do? Where will shops be able to be put. The entire idea is crazy. While if the RE along the river would have been open for business an restaurants, it would have been nice. Instead it will be a strip of grass with not enough space to accomodate events, etc. It will be a drain on the taxpayers and the one thing that this mayor will be remembered for. "Instead of fixing Tampa, she wasted millions on building a park"

Are you kidding on the earlier post. Curtis Lane, Bill D and an admin assistant make over $300K combined. If this is true, I am outraged. These are the two most bumbling idiots in city government. They have not done crap for this city, held back property value and put the city in liability issues time and time again. Fire them all, hire the girl working the window at McD's to replace them. She is much more smarter and capable of doing the job!

Shadowlawn said...

The decrease in the millage rate saves me $20 a year, what a joke. The Mayor had nothing to do with this, as it was a council decision. Tampa is one of the nastiest looking cities I have ever experienced, and then they cut social and aesthetic services further, ugh. Now you bitch about the riverwalk. The parts that are in place are very pleasing to the eye and relaxing. This city, north of Kennedy, is a s&%thole, and this mayor is trying to help. The last mayor only helped the developers (i.e. New Tampa, Tampa Palms). Support the riverwalk, it may be a thing of beauty when complete.

Anonymous said...

Please stop ragging on the Riverwalk project. I want all of the current naysayers to promise, that once the Riverwalk project is completed that they will NEVER USE IT! People that talk trash about major public infrastructure projects are those that have never visited other cities in our country or in the world. We want people to move into downtown Tampa, but we must provide a good reason for them to do so. In the mean time we see Orlando paving the way to progress. Have you ever been to Lake Eola park? Look at the wonderful things they have done with what is basically an urban drainage pond. It is a beautiful center of neighborhood activity that everyone enjoys. It is a QUALITY OF LIFE PROJECT. Look at downtown San Antonio TX. Anyone and everyone that visits there talks about how wonderful their riverfront is and then comes back to Tampa bitching about how Tampa never does anything interesting for the public. The riverwalk is an important investment in our downtown that will benefit all of us for years to come. We can build it AND fix the pot holes with the money we already have. As far as the monkeys at the Code office are concerned: FIRE THEM ALL RIGHT NOW! What a useless bunch of crap we have on our payroll. $300,000 of taxpayer money used to fund this zoo.

Anonymous said...

OK, I think the last two posters may have missed the good point by the anon 8:38. First, there is no where to park to enjoy the riverwalk. Second once you get there, what is there to do? Hell you can't even sit on the bench with all the homeless sleeping on them. To compare Tampa's riverwalk to San Antonio, are you kidding. They have a commercial corridor along thier riverwalk. We don't have the real estate to allow this. This mayor is a boob and has no clue. She said in her first speech that she would be the mayor to build a river walk. (She is almost like George W--we all knew he would go in to Iraq to finish what daddy couldn't. We all agree it needed to be done, but not now, not as he did.) Same with the riverwalk. Not now, not as she is doing it. How can you support a riverwalk project when you or your neighbors are being forced to sale their homes because they can't afford to pay the taxes. You have to put your car in the shop monthly to get the tires balanced from driving on Tampa's streets. Most neighborhoods look 3rd world because you don't have an effective code leader.

Yet, we have a beautiful (though not user friendly) riverwalk, we have Curtis Lane making over $122,138. per year!! (How many of you make this much?) We have pot holes on every street, we have beautiful historic buildings rotting all over the city due to poor code.

I think we should put this spend thrifty mayor on a plan just like we do our kids, earn and save then you can spend. If she would pull her head out of her ass for once, she would see that by being tougher on code would accomplish several things. One, it would increase the values on a larger base of Tampa, therefore generating more revenue. Second,it would generate income from fines and leins. Wanna see an eyeopener, read her budget See what code cost with salaries, etc versus what code brings in. It is absurb.

I agree with everyone that Pam has got to go. But, who will come forward to replace her. Who would want to inherit her mess.

Beerwulf said...

Anon 10:43 - Yeah, and can you imagine the howls from people when they start getting code violation notices en masse that have been allowed to slide for years? As for parking to go to the riverwalk, that will take some creative thinking but it's not impossible. Of course, creative thinking is lots harder than pissing and moaning and complaining. You sound like someone whose candidate for mayor didn't win last time. Poor widdle baby.

Pam campaigned on a platform of a more livable city, and for my money she's delivering. I don't really mind the potholes; they keep speeding down in SH, and unlike traffic humps they're self-maintaining. Tampa is growing, and more people means more services needed. More services needed means more money. Or do you think there is such a thing as a free lunch?

As far as the homeless sleeping on benches, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. You *could* round them all up and move them along, but where would they go? And you'd have to keep doing that to take care of the new batch that would migrate here from colder parts of the country. Plus you've got that pesky "Freedom of Assembly" thing in the Constitution to think about. Think things are expensive now? Try paying off multiple seven-figure judgements, not to mention paying (ick) lawyers.

If you just wanted to keep them out of sight and smell, you could find someplace not near a heavy residential area - Drew Park comes to mind - and set up a large service center where they can sleep, bathe, get job training, hire out as day laborers or road crews picking up trash, and otherwise stay occupied and off our benches. But who's going to fund the startup? Who's going to pay to keep it going? How are we going to deal with the flood of homeless that will come down here for our weather *and* our services? And how would you keep such a large concentration of homeless people from reinforcing the habits and behaviors that made them homeless in the first place? Sure, some of them are homeless because of circumstances and just need a hand to get back on their feet. But lots of them are mentally ill, and lots of others are drug addicts.

If you want to do more than bitch uselessly and anonymously, try coming up with some actual solutions.

Anonymous said...

"If you want to do more than bitch uselessly and anonymously, try coming up with some actual solutions."

That's what our braniac elected leaders like Gwen Miller are supposed to do.

Oh yeah, she's in Spain.

Listen, the "more people, more services, more money" line is talking point number one for every elected official and goverment employee whose ever spent taxpayer money.

How about doing something novel and wisely spending what you have in a targeted manner. Cut the fat, implement a real performance bonus system for top employees and farm out work to third parties instead of keeping dead weight on the city payroll.

Anonymous said...

I did..
Salary cuts.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I was the fool that feel for Pam's last minute entry into the election. I now realize she waited until the last minute to announce her bid for Mayor so that we would not see her lack of experience and back bone. I will never vote for her again. I think she will pull the same crap this election and wait right before the election to gain support--say fire Curtis Lane 2 months before the election. Now she can say "look I am hearing you. Vote for me"

We need to send her ass packin back to S Tampa.

I am not saying the riverwalk is a bad Idea, what I am saying is if you don't have the money, and more importantly the money to do it right, THEN WAIT.

Imagine living in a house with a leaking roof and and ugly kitchen (describes many of our homes) Which are you going to fix first. She is cutting neccessary, quality of life issues to build her damn park. Do yourself a favor and go visit her dream parks now. THey are a huge multi-million dollar failures! She was so hell bent on being the mayor to build the parks, that is she overlooked many key components neccessary to make them successful.

Anonymous said...

Ideas to reduce spending? How bout we stop investigating strip joints by enjoying 90+ lap dances and drinks at taxpayer expense. Put those officers on street hooker patrol and maybe they'd do some good.

Anonymous said...

Its not like they spent a bunch of money or anything.
David Gee is very conservative with taxpayers dollars.
How about we do something about Ronda Storms for cutting the domestic violence funding after he came up with the money.

Tax me again please said...

What Happened?

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table
At which he's fed.

Tax his tractor,
tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries, then
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his Bass

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won't be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers,
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He's good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he's laid.

Put these words
upon his tomb,
"Taxes drove me
to my doom..."

When he's gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax,
Fuel permit tax
Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon)
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Interest expense
Inventory tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Road usage taxes
Sales Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax < BR>State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone federal excise tax
Telephone federal universal service fee tax
Telephone federal, state and local surcharge taxes
Telephone minimum usage surcharge tax
Telephone recurring and non-recurring charges tax
Telephone state and local tax
Telephone usage charge tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

COMMENTS: Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What happened?

Rick F. said...

Here is some of how the mayor want's to make us feel the cuts:
the Performing Arts Center, Humane Society, Lowery Park Zoo, Plant Museum, Florida Orchestra, Tampa Bay History Center, Ybor City Museum, kid City, Museum of Science and Industry, Tampa Black Heritage Festival, Tampa Photographic Museum, Tampa Theater, reduce maintenance at parks and ballfields, the Homeless Coalition, Mendez Drug prevention program, reduce museum maintenance, Clean City- reduce FDOT right of way maintenance, drug house demolition.
the Savings: $366,506
The cost of the Mayor, her richly paid special assistant, and the top 3 positions in Code: $510,803

Yes the code salaries came straight from the budget.
Please note I am not opposed to the idea of a Riverwalk, but I am more concerned that long standing neighborhood needs are met before we squander the "tax winfall" on another Mayorial Ediface. The Riverwalk is supposed to have significant private contributions...go to the Riverwalk page on the City's website...less than $600,000 but the city has coughed up public money of 1.7 million so far and another 700,000 is proposed this year.

Council can reject the cuts designed to make us feel the cuts (read her ire).

I still want to know what a Creative Industries Manager does for that 100k salary line in Neighborhood services!

Council is 5pm tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

These are the things that eveyone in Tampa needs to know. There was an article recently about how everyone in Seminole Heights loves Mayor Iorio, but those in South Tampa and Ybor hate her.

I would like to see a group take out a full page ad right before her re-election and run statistics and fact like these. Thanks for sharing.

Shawn-non-anonymous said...

Realtor RickF says: "$700,000 for the Riverwalk but only $680,000 for traffic calming?"

Sounds alarming, doesn't it?

In a later post about a possible restaraunt near his billboard he says: "I would really like to know as well. Real estate is slow. The resturant would be at the property where my billboard is. A nice busy resturant could be helpful."

Which sounds very reasonable to me. But the two positions are a little at odds with each other. In the second quote he wisely displays an understanding that someone elses capital investment near his own billboard will possibly improve his business. At the very least, he correctly surmises it will increase the number of eyes slowing down to look at it. This is a good thing for all nearby businesses and commercial property owners as the improvement brings the area up, creates a stopping point for people with disposable income, and generally the people shopping there will be of a higher economic class than those using the lot to sleep, deal drugs, etc.

I agree 100% with him; the business, if it happens, would be good for all the stakeholders in that area.

Starbucks cost just shy of 1 million dollars to put that store on Central and Hillsborough. Most of that was for construction and such. Capital improvements like these where you pretty much have to start from scratch are expensive, even when the lot only cost 250K. It is now one of the top grossing Starbucks in Tampa Bay. (I hear it was #1 for a while.) Wow.

So $700,000 for a Riverwalk that is essentially a capital investment in the future our dead, dreary downtown. It's a place for people with disposable income to slow down and enjoy life and, yes, even shop. It's meant to create an attraction to a weekend ghost town--and investment in Tampa's future. (Or, if you want, think of downtown as one huge pothole and this is part of the effort to fill it.) For less than the cost of starbucks (less than the cost of a cup of coffee? [grin] ) we can create some good for downtown, a place for people to actually SEE the river that runs through the city other than by driving over it, and hopefully attract commerce to the area.

$700K is cheap.

CouldBeSherry said...

Thank you Shawn!

Rick F. said...

The arguments that Shawn-non-anonymous for the "riverwalk" as a capital investment sound great but..
That is what we heard for
Harbor Island
The Performing Arts Center
The Convention Center
The Aquarium
The Creation of Curtis Hixon Park
Centro Ybor
The Trolley to no where

That pretty much covers the past 20 years. Every time we are told it will be done without minimal or no tax dollars. The City had to bail out the Aquarium. Centro Ybor is on shaky ground. The Convention Center roof leaks. The trolley is a 55 million dollar boondoggle. And Curtis Hixon Park, of which I suspect is still part of our bond debt will be ripped apart to create the Mayor's "Art District" You know the one where she tears up a Park built with tax money, demolishes the current Tampa Museum of Art (which I have actually been to a number of times), and destroys a jewel by a renown architech.

Meanwhile the City "can't" afford the bid on Nebraska, spends more than half of the traffic calming dollars SOK, and comes up short on the 40th street project. Oh and whatever happened to the Greenways trails...?

The comparison of of the Riverwalk and "traffic calming" is an example of misplaced priorities. I could use the bloated salaries, the new positions, etc.

Hell, if it weren't for Pam moving positions out of her office, the Mayor's office budget would dwarf what is earmarked for traffic calming.

I am sure Shawn and others love paying taxes too much to be concerned with the waste, the fat, the cronyism. Or maybe, they haven't been in this town long enough to see it is the same song of every mayor.

As Shawn said before, the millage rate before was fine where it was and what was dumber than tax cut and spend. But not a word about the 1.2 million budgeted for pensions that wasn't needed. Does he believe that money would have found it's way to potholes or traffic calming?

Rick F. said...

Re: tax me again please

Those taxes may not have existed a century ago but...
we did not have a middle class to speak of
we didn't have children being raise by moma..they were dying in the mines and factories
...if you made it to 65 odds were you were in poverty (2/3rds) and there were no food stamps
..you worked 70 to a 100 hours per week and were lucky to own your own home.
and the average life expectancy was 47.

While I may not be fond of taxes, I think government can effect positive change and that takes tax dollars. Prudence and utilitarian wisdom should guide the use of those funds