Commissioners sound off get stance

 

Commissioners sound off get stance

 

Date: September 9, 2009
by: Kurt Schultheis | City Editor

 
 

With the Longboat Key Town Commission set to discuss and pass on first reading and public hearing its fiscal year 2009-10 budget at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14, The Longboat Observer asked each commissioner some key budget questions before the regular meeting. The budget will be approved on second reading and public hearing at 5:01 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29.

Lee  Rothenberg

Mayor and District 1
Commissioner


Does the town’s millage rate need to be higher than its current 1.5 millage rate or lowered? Why?
The millage rate should go to 1.6 mills. It brings us closer to the number that provides us with the same revenue as last year.

Are you worried the town’s level of service will be affected if the town approves a recommended budget with a lower millage rate?
Yes. The town’s level of service has already been affected. We have somewhat reduced police protection and I think that’s a dangerous move.

Is the town’s general reserve fund of $4.7 million adequate for future storms or emergencies?
No. It’s nowhere near adequate.

Peter O’Connor

District 3 Commissioner

Does the town’s millage rate need to be higher than its current 1.5 millage rate or lowered? Why?
It doesn’t need to be higher. The town manager’s recommended budget (which recommends a millage rate of 1.4952 mills) balances the budget.

Are you worried the town’s level of service will be affected if the town approves a recommended budget with a lower millage rate?
No.

Is the town’s general reserve fund of $4.7 million adequate for future storms or emergencies?
It’s not the only reserves or funds we have available. The town’s financial position is adequate.

Robert Siekmann

Vice Mayor and District 5 Commissioner

Does the town’s millage rate need to be higher than its current 1.5 millage rate or lowered? Why?
I believe the millage rate will end up at the town manager’s recommended rate of 1.4952 mills. The town manager said he could run the town at that rate.

Are you worried the town’s level of service will be affected if the town approves a recommended budget with a lower millage rate?
No. I don’t think it will be. I think people will have to work perhaps harder and differently. It puts a strain on the staff to maintain that level, but it’s invisible to the town’s  population.

Is the town’s general reserve fund of $4.7 million adequate for future storms or emergencies?
Absolutely. I suspect it’s more than adequate. I think $4 million should be the minimum number necessary for reserves.

George Spoll
District 2 Commissioner

Does the town’s millage rate need to be higher than its current 1.5 millage rate or lowered? Why?

I will support the town manager’s recommended millage rate (1.4952 mills).
 
Are you worried the town’s level of service will be affected if the town approves a recommended budget with a lower millage rate?
No. Both the town manager and the chief of police have been very clear that the level of service will not be affected with the budget that’s been presented.
 
Is the town’s general reserve fund of $4.7 million adequate for future storms or emergencies?
Yes. It’s adequate for any event, short of a major storm surge.


Gene Jaleski
At-Large Commissioner

Does the town’s millage rate need to be higher than its current 1.5 millage rate or lowered? Why?
I would like to see the millage rate lowered and no higher than what the town manager recommended.

Are you worried the town’s level of service will be affected if the town approves a recommended budget with a lower millage rate?
No. Not at all.

Is the town’s general reserve fund of $4.7 million adequate for future storms or emergencies?
We have $34 million in insurance and federal funds available to us. Our reserves are more than enough.

Jim Brown
District 4 Commissioner

Does the town’s millage rate need to be higher than its current 1.5 millage rate or lowered? Why?
Nothing I have seen or heard indicates the millage rate needs to be raised.

Are you worried the town’s level of service will be affected if the town approves a recommended budget with a lower millage rate?
I know there’s concern about a loss of service, but the town manager said he didn’t see any noticeable change in service based on the recommended millage rate.

Is the town’s general reserve fund of $4.7 million adequate for future storms or emergencies?
I don’t think that alone is enough, but it’s not all we depend on. We have additional sources of revenue.

Hal Lenobel

At-large Commissioner

Does the town’s millage rate need to be higher than its current 1.5 millage rate or lowered? Why?
I would like to see the millage rate higher than 1.6 mills because I don’t want to cut any services whatsoever.

Are you worried the town’s level of service will be affected if the town approves a recommended budget with a lower millage rate?
Yes. I’m very concerned.

Is the town’s general reserve fund of $4.7 million adequate for future storms or emergencies?
I think it’s adequate. But I would never like to see that fund fall below $4 million.














 

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