Monday, September 14, 2009

Compare and Decide

Compare Deerfield Beach to Pembrook Pines (whose city manager plus one deputy pulls down $755,000, but is laying off 84 employees and raising taxes) and our city manager starts to look pretty good. We have no layoffs, no fire fee increase, tax dollars the same as last year, money in our contingency fund giving some hope for next year and no cuts in services.

From Lisa Rab’s article in the New Times:

Many people who packed the Pembroke Pines City Commission chambers for a budget hearing last night were angry at political leaders they believed had failed them. Despite laying off 84 employees and outsourcing major city services, the city still faces a $27 million budget shortfall, and commissioners are considering raising property taxes to fill it.

The proposed hike, coming at a time when home values have plummeted, was not exactly welcome.But as residents stepped to the podium to plead for lower taxes, one audience member directed his wrath at a different target: City Manager Charles Dodge.

It's Dodge's job to prevent such financial catastrophes, Jay Schwartz reasoned, and he's handled the latest one terribly. "The city manager has failed to meet the expectations of the residents and employees," said Schwartz, who has lived in the city for 20 years. "I strongly encourage you to renegotiate the contract with the city manager."

… earns $755,000 a year from the city. That sum is divided between Dodge and his deputy, Martin Gayeski. Both men also receive free health insurance from the city, plus office space and staff at City Hall.

Read the entire article here:
http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/juice/2009/09/charles_dodge_budget_jay_schwartz.php

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