REC Meeting 05/12/10
The monthly PBC Republican Executive Committee meeting was filled to the brim with attendees, information and candidates.
State Senator Paula Dockery was scheduled as the guest speaker but her staff called informing she was unable to attend. Therefore, former Palm Beach Gardens Councilman Hal Valeche was asked to speak about our county’s financial issues and the Taxpayer Action Network (TaxpayerActionNetwork.com).
Mr. Valeche expressed deep concern for our country and our county. Pensions are underfunded and solutions must be found that do not involve property taxes. We must demand that programs be cut.
In 2002, 2003, property values were up 15% and our commissioners spent the increases. Now, property values have dropped 15% and there is a shortage. Most of the monies are designated for government employees’ salaries and benefits. That cost has doubled over the past 5/6 years. We are dealing with a boom size government and a bust size budget, $120,000,000.00 short.
70% of local government monies is for the government employee – salaries, pensions and benefits. Soon our personnel cost will consume all of the budget (i.e. CA and NY).
The excuse that if we cut the budget we must cut services is a scare tactic. Currently, the dollars are going to the employees, not for the service. We must reduce the cost of producing services. Government workers are paid more than private workers. A 10% pay cut and the same level of service is a solution.
YOU are needed. We must have a LARGE group to send messages to councilmen, commissioners, representatives and congressmen. YOU are needed to attend the meetings and to voice your opinions. Go to taxpayeractionnetwork.com and become a fan on Facebook.
Also discussed was the Fire Rescue Sales Surtax. Palm Beach Councilman Bill Diamond reported that the City of Palm Beach voted NO on the tax and to remove $42,000,000.00 from pensions. (THANK YOU, PB!)
We are not a servant to the government. The government is a servant for the people.
Chairman Sid Dinerstein announced that Abacoa Town Center is in foreclosure and CityPlace will most likely follow suit. He also shared that in April, the Federal deficit has consistently shown a surplus due to tax receipts. 2009 was the first year to show a deficit – $20,000,000,000. This April, 2010, the deficit is $80,000,000,000.
Gold is rising.
After Pres. Obama’s call to Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, the bailout for Greece increased from $20,000,000,000 to $1,000,000,000,000 (That’s $20B to $1T, if you don’t care to count the zero’s.)
Mark Hoch discussed Judicial Code of Conduct for Campaigns. Candidates for judgeship may attend club meetings but all candidates must be invited. They cannot attend fund raisers. Please call Mr. Hoch if you have any questions. He encouraged the clubs to be within the law for the consequences to the candidates are severe.
To answer concerns over the difficulty of truly knowing where a judge stands on issues, Jack Furnari reminded the committee that every year, following research, he produces the Jack Furnari GOP Voter’s Guide which include Judgeships.
Chairman Dinerstein congratulated Jack Furnari on his excellent Sun Sentinal Blog. Palm Beach Post writer, George Bennett recently published that Mr. Furnari was the first to suggest Gov. Charlie Crist would switch from R to NPA. http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/news/opinion/theslant/blog/jack_furnari/
State Committeewoman Fran Hancock announced the National RNC Conference will be held in Tampa, August 27, 2012. At the recent special Executive Board meeting held in Tallahassee, Jim Greer was formally removed from the party. Under Senator Thrasher’s leadership, the party raised $7,250,000. An oil painting of Gov. Crist sold on ebay for $6,700. Mrs. Hancock reviewed Rule 9 – REC members are prohibited from supporting NPA candidates. You may personally support contested primary candidates but not as a Committeeman/woman. You must formally revoke support of Crist and ask for return of donations.
State Committeeman Peter Feaman is impressed with Senator LeMieux sincerity and his 100% support of Marco Rubio. Mr. Feaman will be our speaker, May 26 for Right Nights.
Chairman Dinerstein explained how the Fire Tax Swap is the latest scheme from our PBC Commissioners. The AVERAGE salary for fire/rescue employee is $114.617. The suggestion is the 1% sales tax will be taken out of the budget – a swap – it will lower property taxes. The problem is 1) they are under no obligation to lower taxes and 2) if they did, it would more than likely only last one year. The BCC has done nothing to help homeowners nor create jobs. The average county employee makes $92,000 while the private sector average is $54,000. The gap must be reduced.
The REC unanimously passed the following resolution:
TAX SWAP RESOLUTION
WHEREAS, Palm Beach County has an unemployment rate above 12%; and,
WHEREAS, Palm Beach County has one of the highest Foreclosure rates in the State of Florida: and,
WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners of Palm Beach County seeks to raise sales taxes by 17% (from 6 to 7 cents) for the express purpose of removing the Fire and Rescue expenses from the Property Tax budget; and,
WHEREAS, such removal is not guaranteed to lower property taxes now or in the future; and,
WHEREAS, said Commissioners want to hold this referendum in August in an attempt to “blindside” the electorate into ignoring this ill conceived significant tax increase; and,
WHEREAS, said Commissioners have a proven record of high annual tax increases with no intention of being fiscally responsible,
RESOLVED, the Republican Party of Palm Beach County strongly OPPOSES this job killing, foreclosure causing Sales Tax increase; and,
Furthermore, RESOLVED, the Republican Party of Palm Beach County strongly OPPOSES the placing of this Referendum on an August date as an attempt to fool the taxpayers into ignoring this major tax increase.
Heather Landstrom encouraged everyone to go to nonewsalestax.org (THANK YOU, FRED SCHEIBL!) to get informed and to get involved.
Philip Nicozisis, Christopher Kammerer and Michele M. Poole were elected to the REC.
Committeeman John Parson requested an amendment to PBC REC Constitution. He would like the County Executive Committee to consist of members from each precinct instead of each district. He implored us to be more organized for the upcoming elections. The districts are too large to organize.
Committeeman Jack Furnari moved to table the request until December when multiple studies could be presented to the REC.
Mr. Parsons requested a roll call vote rather to table or not; 44 voted to table and 66 voted no. Since several committee members left the meeting early, Mr. Parsons agreed to postpone vote until the June meeting. REC members approved.
The meeting concluded with candidate speeches and member announcements.