Here we are, once again, demanding from our elected public servants the right that our forefathers have fought for and shed blood, sweat, and tears: LET THE PEOPLE VOTE!
Is there anyone else on our City Council that believes in the VOICE of the People other than Council Member Kristine Isnardi and Mayor John Mazzioti? Why not LET THE PEOPLE VOTE? Unless an individual on the City Council have a personal agenda that is against the will of the masses and in the best interest of the few. This most certainly takes the term "General Welfare" to a whole new level - more like "Specific Welfare." The people don't have a say in the matter, and that's that! Right?
The video below is only 13 minutes long:
Council Member Kristine Isnardi rightfully brings up Article VI, Section 6.02 of the City Charter which states:
"Before the governing body for the city may levy ANY special assessment involving more than fifty (50) property owners or involving a project expenditure of greater than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00), the proposed assessment must first be approved, in writing, by a majority vote of the affected property owners who return a ballot."
The key word as she intelligently points out is "ANY." If a $300 firefighters fee is imposed on the home owner's of Palm Bay it would be categorized under Non-Ad Valorum Assessments, which is defined under Florida Statutes, Title XIV, Chapter 197.3632, as:
(d) “Non-ad valorem assessment” means only those assessments which are not based upon millage and which can become a lien against a homestead as permitted in s. 4, Art. X of the State Constitution.
(e) “Non-ad valorem assessment roll” means the roll prepared by a local government and certified to the tax collector for collection.
Since "ANY" special assessment (that means ALL assessments) would fall under Non-Advolerum Assessment, then according to our municipal charter, the firefighters fee has to be approved by the electorate of Palm Bay.
Otherwise, imposing this fee without our approval would be illegal and nullified and any collected fees would have to be returned to Palm Bay homeowners. (This process would cost the city even more money). Of course, if it were not a Non-Advolerum Assessment then it would simply be a voluntary fee that individual homeowners may or may not participate.
The City Council voted, 4 to 1, for the proposed tax hike of 9.0 Mil (or a 20% increase). The $300 firefighters fee is tabled until legal opinion is obtained by the local circuit courts. Public hearing will be held on:
Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 6:30 p.m., and then on
Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.
It behooves us to contact our elected public servants on the City Council before these dates and to attend these public hearings, as well. As Council Member Kristine Isnardi eluded to in the meeting, there will be many more foreclosures as a result of this tax increase/added fee which if it were not for this revenue-grabbing thievery, can save taxpayers hundreds of dollars a month and can go towards mortgage payments and actually keeping our homes, instead of losing them.
LET THE PEOPLE VOTE!!!
Harry Santiago Jr.