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Tax and spend, then fee and spend

August 23, 2013

To the editor: As a citizen of the City of Cape Coral that watches the Council meetings on a regular basis I wish to share my observations on how the Council is set up and how it works....

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Aug-27-13 2:14 PM

just post a sign at city limits you have to be wealthy to move here. new fire tax but was the person who failed to maintain the expensive fire apparatus fired? and why is the city in the land speculation business

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Aug-26-13 7:38 AM

@JustanotherBill: Yuo may not have to wait until November to see that the incumbent, like his 2 cronies, has been dumped by the voters. The tag, "Mayor of NO" reaches beyond just a few voters. The thousands of rate payers are just waiting to pay him back for stopping the UEP. Yes, in only a matter of a few weeks it could be over for the incumbent. Imagine, for 2 months he will have to sit as a "dumped Mayor" of the largest City between Miami and Tampa. His biggest voter support group, the Veterans, have been sliced & diced by Ashby & Cummings. What group is left? Oh, yea, the RAGs, but those losers were sent packing by the voters just 24 short months ago...put a fork in SULLIVAN, he's done!

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Aug-25-13 10:03 PM

1sandy, I am looking forward to November when the people of this city voice their opposition to the craziness this council is imposing on us. And yes Sullivan will still be mayor. Something you are obviously concerned about since you see the need to constantly make statements against him. Which, is an obvious sign you lack confidence on this issue. This is not necessary from those in support of him since common since will prevail.

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Aug-25-13 11:50 AM

Deperate men say & do desperate things...this is what went on yesterday at the RAGs "Candidate for Mayors" debate. However, all candidates were on their toes and caught the Mayor lying at every turn. From the figures on OPEBS to the actual lowering of the water rates with the start up of the UEP, the Mayor kept lying through his teeth. The Mayor was even asked why he was a NO SHOW at the East coast water summit regarding the water dumping from Lake Okeechobee that is impacting the quality of water on our beaches (Yacht Club Beach) and he replied that "the Council did not want him to go." This man does not deserve to be Mayor ever again. VOTE SULLIVAN OUT!

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Aug-25-13 8:34 AM

You have publicly made my point for me Lightswitch, there is no excuse for the two former point men of your beloved crew to have done what they did. Now you step forward and offer a lame excuse that they were forced to vote yes to raise the miilage an unprecedented amount. Stop with the double standard, and finally admit your two saints did the wrong thing. Don't blame others for their actions like they were children forced to do something, they ultimately opened their own mouths and voted yes when the time came. You know it's funny when you think of it, you keep calling out the current council for excessive taxation, but it was the council your heroes sat on which delivered the hammer blow to the citizens of this city.

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Aug-25-13 8:10 AM

FYI: New TRIM notices came in the mail this weekend. Actual numbers: 2012 millage for Cape Coral: 20.9077. Lee County: 15.7259. A difference of 5.18 mils.

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Aug-24-13 11:25 PM

Packer I agreed on the increase in millage but the water rates were going up 92% over 5 years (18,4% a year) this was not under the FAB 5. They REDUCED the increase of 92% over 5 years to 33% over 5 years or 6.6% each year. Interesting Packer if the North water plant had been stopped it would have been even less. The FAB 5 was stuck with the poor management the city had done in putting together a contract with MWH who oversaw the project. Not mention what city would put together a contract having to pay for damaged equipment being delivered for the project and unable to return it to the manufacturer? Where did the money go for the scraped brass and metal that could not be used and sold for scrap? No record keeping before the FAB 5 was ever elected. Ask Burch, Tate, Day, Bertolini and the others on the council in the MWH days! Some have turned up a question marks outside city government!

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Aug-24-13 11:06 PM

Rocco I finally has awakened! GOOD MORNING CAPE CORAL!

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Aug-24-13 11:03 PM

Fire Assessment headline Lauder Lakes, Fl. has a Fire Assessment Tax. Headline reads: 41% deficit

Will Cape Coral read Fire Assessment has deficit in a year or two? Where is the cap on this?

Will Cape Coral read Utility Tax on Electric kilowatts has deficit. Is there a cap on this? No. Will it increase to 8%, 10%. We know if energy cost goes up so do the dollars even if held at 7%.

Get rid of the Slick Six and THEIR city manager.

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Aug-24-13 10:55 PM

FAB 5, invested city money from inactive investments making next to nothing to active making interest instead of costing interest.

Fab 5 spent money on consultants but less than the current administration for a jazzed up color Excel spreadsheet with a charge of 10 $14K a show. I guess the city staff and the IT dept is handicapped?

The FAB 5 brought a bond rating from a D Rating back to an A rating. That allowed the borrowing of money to convert the bank loans, interest only loans, all at high unworthy credit status.

There were reductions in staff not even started under mayor Burch, Terry Stewart and Mark Mason.

The Fab 5 brought basic accounting practices to a 40 yr old city with a $432 million budget.

Best yet is a 5% BONUS now and no immediate relief on the pension until the end of the 25 year term.

This is over and the homeowners are going to you and this council your time is up!

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Aug-24-13 10:42 PM

onlythetruth from what you say about the FAB 5 you agree the city should have gone into default. Not paid for its bonds with the 2 $20 million dollar bonds to pay the interest and keep running the city.

I agree. At that point I would rather have seen the default, the state send in a receiver, cut staff, payrolls and benefits, cut pensions already given out and turn the city over to the county to run after the bills were paid and the correct ratio of revenues and expenses were assessed correctly. So you see you AGREE with me that it was the correct thing to do. You just wanted it done at a different time 2010. THE FAB 5 saved the city from itself. If left to the slugs that were running it before it was going to happen anyway. Oh and as far as infrastructure it was failing before they got there especially the roads!

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Aug-24-13 10:27 PM

The millage rate was jacked by them because the council they replaced under the direction of Terry Stewart kept spending and borrowing. They even kept over spending so 2 $20 million dollar bonds at 30 year terms were issued to pay for the running of the city which the prior council in 2007, 2008, 2009 refused to cut overtime, and the number of employees. It is documented that police alone took 3 yrs to reduce overtime by 80%, and the dept. still functioned. That prior council under Terry Stewart, purchased interest only loans and other short term loans at high interest rates. The city was borrowing at 7 almost 8% and I as an individual could have borrowed at 4%. In other words they inherited a bankruptcy waiting to happen. The bond rate went from A rating to D under 7 years of that council and city manager. They bought $25 million in equipment for a project that was never voted on to go forward. The equipment rusts today on undeveloped land. Thank you then mayor Burch.

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Aug-24-13 9:28 PM

Oh 1sandy, spoken like a true city worker with the snout placed firmly in the trough. Just hanging out waiting for that monthly kiss in the mail. Does the Slimy Six just make you swoon.

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Aug-24-13 9:22 PM

McGrail got on council by buying it for 8k. Could not find anyone to support him. Well he has shown that he is incompetent and does not represent the people of his district. His concern is the unions and city workers. Well people on the north side of Pine Island Rd need to send this tax and spend liberal back to his tech job he talks about so often. We can get rid of the slimy Six a few at a time, then send the CM packing back to Troy. Oh wait they didn't want him either.

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Aug-24-13 8:26 PM

I will be paying approximately an extra $1000 this year on one improved and one unimproved property. That is just property taxes, not including any of the assessments. I consider a thousand dollars a significant amount of money.

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Aug-24-13 5:35 PM

I know at least 40% of the former Fab 5 had a hand in it Packer. Funny how you never hear TerryGolf1313, MrCommonSense, or LightSwitch admit to that fact. That's right, the former leaders of the now infamous Fab 5 voted to raise your property taxes in the form of the largest millage increase this city has ever witnessed.

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Aug-24-13 1:12 PM

@only: THANK YOU for finally mentioning the FACT that this council is not the one that did all the damage! They ARE the ones stuck trying to do as much as possible with no money left from the former councils terrible decision making. The "sensible six" deserve our gratitude for having the courage to put up with the lunatic fringe and making the tough decisions to put us back on a sustainable course.

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Aug-24-13 12:29 PM

CC: My point is that every person or household has a different financial threshold. Maybe you and I can afford a higher millage rate combined with a Public Service Fee and a Fire Assessment, along with numerous other fees being instituted everyday by our governments. But what about the person living in the NE or NW sections of Cape Coral that make $12/hr. trying to support a family because their spouse can't find gainful employment? How crippling are these new fees being instituted effecting them? What if the City were to institute a Police Protection Fee of $500/yr to all residents, and then try to enact a Pension Obligation Fee of $300/yr., and so on and so on. At what point is the straw that finally breaks the camels back for varying individuals. All because of, in my own opinion, a gross mismanagement of taxpayer funds over the course of several decades by our elected and appointed leaders.

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Aug-24-13 10:19 AM

Truthfully, Net, I was waiting for the next Q... What is a CAFR?

And, Lead/follow, perhaps in another 20+ years when the taxes and fees here are higher than what was paid to those areas from where I came, just like for so many in the Cape! I don't know about your taxes, but my Cape taxes are now basically what they were in 2007, and I know many homeowners have seen theirs drop. Empty lot owners have seen their taxes drop significantly. I'm not certain what your point is.

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Aug-24-13 8:50 AM

LeadorFollow, I am a strong proponent of the view that everyone, regardless of political slant, or ideology, has a right to state their positions and what they disagree with. What I do not agree with is when opposing factions try to destroy one another on a personal and professional level outside the political arena. That is being petty and does not belong in any debate.

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Aug-24-13 7:33 AM

Maybe one of you can answer a question. At what point would the burden of taxation and fees become too much for you to bear? Would you then move away quietly, or would you complain and try to stop it?

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Aug-24-13 6:59 AM

Come on now CC, terry and switch and gault don't want any facts to interfere with their opinions. How can they pass on BS if they have to know any facts? They were losers in life and now in their final days!

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Aug-23-13 8:37 PM

I know at least 40% of the former Fab 5 had a hand in it Packer. Funny how you never hear TerryGolf1313, MrCommonSense, or LightSwitch admit to that fact. That's right, the former leaders of the now infamous Fab 5 voted to raise your property taxes in the form of the largest millage increase this city has ever witnessed.

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Aug-23-13 8:09 PM

True or False? The fab five jacked the millage and water bills.

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Aug-23-13 4:36 PM

Please let Terry Golf know where to see the CAFR and/or purchase it for home use.

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