Saturday, April 17, 2010

Four Days Later

What does NBV look like four days after the commission voted to fire the City Manager?

The Police - Sgt. Beatty has been reinstated. You might have forgotten the story as there are so many about the police in our little town, but his stands out. He conducted an unauthorized Internal Affairs investigation by dressing up in a combat vest complete with a recording device, and conducted the investigation at 3 AM. When he was reprimanded on this, he decided the thing to do was to pull over the same citizens he was interviewing at 3 AM, and harass them after being instructed to have no further conversations with them.

In 2009, the commission instructed the police to find $350,000 in permanent cuts owing to the budget crisis and set a deadline of March. Well March came and went, with no such cuts.

Next week, the rumor is that Roland Pandolfi will be hired back to be police chief. Pandolfi resigned earlier this month and the commission action to fire Schwartz was provoked by his resignation.

The Projects-In their condescending lock step speeches, both our new vice mayor George Kane and the man he replaced former vice mayor Rey Trujillo took great pains to praise Schwartz for his ability to construct, promote and find revenue for the project from outside sources. In fact, out of a total bond indebtedness of $35 million, the taxpayers have saved $11 million in one year.

Well, now our grant writer Arleen Weintraub, the one who does all the boring work like making sure the money is available and able to be used for the purpose intended has resigned.

Maybe we'll get the further grant money we are seeking. We no longer have the experience, the connections or the high level of professional grant writing available, but still maybe it will rain money.

The Budget - It's shot. Gone. As of March 1, our revenue shortfall was $200,000. Plus the planned cuts of $350,000 never materialized. We are at high risk to lose a $400,000 lawsuit that could have been settled for $16,000 and we are now facing the legal bills to defend ourselves against new lawsuits, in particular one about the commission violating section 3.06.8 of the City Charter in this week's coup.

We have a reserve of $1.2 million, about a 1/3 of the reserve we need if we get hit by a hurricane, which happens from time to time in Florida, and that will be spent to cover the budget shortfall.

Just a reminder, we run on a balanced budget system in NBV, so we are out of money, that's it.

Review - In one fell swoop on Tuesday, our commission ended our long civic nightmare of development, transparency, fiscal discipline and police restraint.


Kevin Vericker

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