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General Election November 7 Tuesday: Why the Politicians are hoping you won’t show up

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by Howard Melamed

Suckers come in all shapes and sizes.  Most however are those people that have registered to vote and are either apathetic or completely lazy to turn out and express their viewpoint. The very same people are the ones that seem to bitch all the time about how bad the politicians are and how much taxes are going up.  If those people would only realize that every election there is a lot at stack. Especially this one coming up on Tuesday.

There are no less than 8 constitutional amendments , and a few of them are what I would categorize as “pull the wool over the eyes” . I am not talking about if you should vote Republican or Democrat. That would be partisan of me to say the least.  However, constitution amendments and petitions placed on the ballot to usurp the power of the citizens due to the knowingly low expected turnout is what I am talking about.  Here are some of the issues on the ballot and why you need to vote against them:

Penny Increase on Sales Tax: Nothing but a Lie.

There is a proposed increase of 1% of the sales tax  deemed by our politicians to be the Penny Tax even though it has nothing at all to do with a penny.  Here is the wording of the amendment you need to vote no on Tuesday:

FUNDING FOR COUNTY-WIDE TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENTSShall Broward County implement an enhanced county-wide plan to reduce traffic congestion, synchronize traffic signals, improve roads, expand transportation services for seniors and disabled individuals, provide expanded, more frequent bus services, provide safe facilities and amenities and provide convenient rapid transit systems and services, by levying a one-percent sales tax for transportation purposes only, with proceeds deposited in a designated trust fund with oversight of expenditures provided by a citizens advisory committee?

(SELECT ONE ONLY)

Do you see any mention of a Penny? It is clearly spelled out as 1 Percent. However our politicians want you to think this is a small number, and as such of course you are stupid enough to vote it in place. 1 cent. That is what a penny means. It is no penny. Instead it is more than 260 million dollars coming out of the pockets of every citizen in this county.

There is no creative thinking on the part of our County Commissioners. They have not decided to reduce wasteful spending or lower some of their give away money to special interest groups. With record revenues from properties that were wrongly appraised at highest market levels, the Broward County commissioners have failed to spend wisely the money we gave them., In fact, with record amounts they are spending record amounts with absolutely no belt tightening. They are single handedly destroying the real estate market place while at the same time forcing you to either remain where we live or move out of the county all together.

They plan to spend the money, without telling you how, on  some important items as Buses.  No doubt this is something needed in Coral Springs, where most people do not even know that the bus exist. We have survived without the Buses up until now, and I am sure that here in Coral Springs, we will see absolutely no benefits to the increase revenues the county will suck out of each an every one of us.

 Bottom Line : The Penny Tax is a lie.  You should vote NO and let them revisit this when they become fiscally responsible to the Taxpayers.

Coral Springs City Commissioners want to make more money: Vote NO!

Then we have our Coral Springs Politicians, the guys sitting on the city commission asking for a 215% increase in their salary, while we have a shortage of Policeman, and they still have not yet even repaired all of the damage caused by last years Hurricane Wilma! If there was ever an issue to get you out to vote it is this one.

Here is what the proposed petition says:

AUTHORIZING ELECTED OFFICIALS’ COMPENSATION AND EXPENSE ALLOWANCE TO BE ESTABLISHED BY ORDINANCE

Section 4.08 of the City Charter, “Compensation and expense allowance,” is revised permitting the Commission to amend the compensation and expense allowances for the mayor/commissioners by ordinance, subject to the recommendations of an outside accounting firm and a citizen-based Compensation Committee. For fiscal year 2006-2007, the mayor’s compensation shall be $30,000 and the commissioners’ compensation shall be $28,000, or an amount recommended by the accounting firm and Compensation Committee, whichever is less.

Ooops.  They left something out  The mayors current salary is $18,000  so he wants $30,000 and the city commissioners get $13,000 per year and they want $28,000.   Am I missing something here? These are the same politicians who told you all that the reason they deserve the office is because of all the volunteer work they have done in the past. They new before they signed up for the job what they were going to earn. If the money was better maybe other people more qualified than those that we elected would have stepped forward to run.  Are the citizens of our city that stupid as if to think that they will actually vote yes on a 215% increase in a salary? We shall soon find out.

Other Amendments  and petitions to Watch out For:

 

Repair of Court House : $450,000,000 BOND.  VOTE NO!

The politicians of our county want to float a bond worth $450,000,000 ( that is 450 million dollars) and place the Burdon on us for the next 30 years of repaying it through our taxes.

Here is what is on the ballot:

THE DEVELOPMENT AND IMPROVEMENT OF NEW AND EXISTING JUDICIAL COURTHOUSES BY ISSUING GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS
Shall Broward County fund the construction and development of a courthouse complex to replace the existing, outdated and overcrowded courthouse complex serving the needs of the court system; and renovations to three aging existing satellite courthouses; all which are necessary in response to demands of the rapidly growing County by issuing general obligation bonds not exceeding $450,000,000, bearing interest not exceeding the maximum legal rate, maturing within 30 years, payable from ad valorem taxes?

This is to repair the courthouses and other government buildings,.  It gives the county an open end as to how to spend this money without any financial restraint.  Until there is control of property taxes in line with reality and the population wishes the last thing you want to do is give the Broward county commissioners more money to wastefully spend.  The Penny Tax is $260,000,000 and this is another 450M, adding to gather places a burden on the population of close to 1 Billion dollars no matter how you look at it.  They need to show us that they can reduce the burden of taxes on the population by spending less, before we give them more.  Are we really that stupid? We will find out on Wednesday.

I am not pushing one candidate to vote for versus another.  That decision rests on your shoulders since we all know that nothing much changes here in South Florida.  However, if you do not go out and vote on Tuesday, especially against the amendments and petitions I outlined, don’t blame me when you wake up on Wednesday and you find out that living here in Broward County has now cost all of us $1 billion dollars more.

Come out and VOTE on Tuesday!  Make a difference.

About the author / 

Howard Melamed

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