Saturday, October 8, 2011
It's no surprise that a potential fire fee that is not off the table, yet, keeps coming up in council meetings. At a time when most of our residents are hurting financially, the last thing we ever need is an added expense to add insult to injury.
As unemployment continue to rise, the price of food increasing, home values continues plummeting, and foreclosures and short sales becoming the norm in the real estate industry, many residents are making sure that an additional fee is neither added on their utility bill or tax bill without their consent, first. One Palm Bay citizen demanded that a letter be sent out telling people what the fire fee is for.
Council Member Ken Greene said that "the fire fee is not for the pension," which already has the tax-payers in the hole for $50,000,000 and will continue to rise by over $80,000,000 as pensioners are promised at least 100% of their salaries at retirement with cost-of-living adjustments which can certainly put many of these bloated pensions over the top, and push residents (as well as small business owners) over the edge. Make no mistakes, the fire fee is considered for the purpose of paying the pensions either directly or indirectly. However you want to put it, the fact that a pension fund is out of control and growing, and more money is being sought by fleecing residents indicates that an ever-growing problem isn't going away, and the answer seems to be simply to find new forms of revenue - according to three sitting council members.
Even a report by the Finance Department admitted that additional cuts will have to be made over the next 2 to 3 years just to build an emergency reserve fund which we don't have right now.
Please keep in mind that there will be a phone town hall meeting toward the end of October concerning the fire fee. I encourage all to attend, as the message need to resonate in the minds of our elected public servants that they need to adhere to the people and the charter.