Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cooper City Budget Hearing on Monday and More...

I am writing this evening to urge all of you to attend Cooper City's first budget hearing, regarding the 2010-2011 budget, which is going to be held this coming Monday, September 13th at 6 PM, City Hall. We must all show up and reject the commission's inflated and pork filled budget!

Let me say this loud and clear...Your elected officials in Cooper City have been feeding our local residents and business owners the same ol’ ‘stuff’ for a long, long time. They call themselves ‘fiscally conservative’, yet our budget alone has grown $6.6 million over the last 5 years.

They talk about reducing waste and expenditures but they are actually cutting vital services and raising taxes, fees and assessments, and also controlling what the residents say while continuing to grow their political bureaucracy and their already inflated budget with even more unnecessary and wasteful ‘pork barrel’ spending.

They say that they are looking out for residents and business owners, but we know that they are taking care of themselves, and their self-serving political agendas with your hard earned money.

The wasteful spending must stop now! Attend the September 13th & 27th public budget hearing on the proposed 2010-2011 budget, millage rates and property taxes at city hall (6PM) and voice your concerns.

Here is just one example (and a fine one I might ad) of an open letter from a concerned resident, Edward Wooley, a smart and well seasoned individual, regardless of what those that tend to discount him say, with a Harvard MBA and a man who is an economist...

"YOUR BIGGEST TAX INCREASE IS COMING FROM YOUR COOPER CITY GOVERNMENT"

Yes, Cooper City is leading the tax hikes on your county tax notice! The Commission is proposing larger hits than the scandal-ridden school district and Broward County commission.

Proof? Like most of you, Broward County’s appraiser reduced my residence’s market value by 14% and State law increased my assessed values by 2.7%. That is typical. Here are the hard dollar numbers ranked by dollar increase for my home.

TAXES and FEES _____Tax Year_____________ Difference
______________2009____ 2010______$______%

Cooper City___ $1,206.87__$1,328.59__ $121.72_ 10.1
County Comm _$1,194.29__ $1,299.63__ $105.34_ 8.8
School district _$1,832.63__ $1,937.90__$105.27__5.7
Total _______$4,827.93___$5,214.26__$386.83_ 8.0
(small Items Not shown)

The biggest % increase in Cooper City’s taxes/fees is the Fire Assessment Fee—18.8% (and we don't even have a fire department!).

So, the big winners in the tax race seem to be our mayor and those commissioners and staff who are supporting such large increases. Remember, the cost of living index for property tax purposes is only 2.7%. Why is our city raising taxes by an additional 7.4%? Do you feel it is justified in these difficult economic times?

Think about the hurt to retirees on fixed incomes, to those living on social security, to the under and unemployed and to the residents living on modest incomes. For many, the impact can be the cost of two weeks of groceries or months of prescriptions. In these hard economic times, it is simply immoral to treat a large percentage of our neighbors this way. Particularly when it is not necessary to achieve a responsible city budget.

I urge you to let the Commission know quickly what you think about them being the tax champions. Contact info: mayor, commissioners and city manager
(954) 434-4300

Mayor: Mayor_eisinger@coopercityfl.org. Generally votes for $ tax increases

Mr. Curran: Commissioner_Curran@coopercityfl.org. Same as the Mayor

Mr. deJesus: Commissioner_dejesus@coopercityfl.org.
Has opposed some increases. Often open-minded. Fire fee sponsor

Ms. Mallozzi: Commissioner_Mallozzi@coopercityfl.org.
Opposed millage rate increase. Generally votes to raise city revenues. A leader in pushing for red light cameras.

Mr. Sims: Commissioner_Sims@coopercityfl.org.
Generally opposes tax and fee increases. Often the only one.

Mr. Loucks: Bloucks@coopercityfl,org. Proposes tax/fee increases in the budget.
City manager, no vote.

Respectfully, Ed Wooley Phone (954)433-1039 ed.wooley@comcast.net

Also, to add fuel to the fire, I had recently asked the commission to discuss the city attorney budget already over budget by approximately$72,000.00 as of last january, and the monthly billing on an average of approximately $27,000.00. The commission voted 4 to 1 NOT to address the potential overage of $180,000.00 for this year. Then the commission voted 3 to 2 to adjourn the meeting without giving me the opportunity to speak during the Commissioners Concerns. What does that tell you? Now we are in September and we have 'busted' the budget with 'rainmaker' attorney's fees!

In fact, we don't even have a year-end analysis of where we will end up as of September 31st, so how in the world can we know where to go from here? Take a look at the budget online here, and you tell me, what is it we need to cut? I can think of plenty of items, and I have already addressed them, that would in fact allow us to lower our taxes, but unfortunately, we are dealing with a commission who says it's a great budget...NOT!

Also, the Cooper City Civic Association Blog contains articles that will help inform and educate the city's residents about the budget and other issues that directly affect them, as well as their pocketbooks. Here is the link: http://coopercitycivicgroup.blogspot.com/

I want to also wish all of my Jewish friends, neighbors and the Jewish War Veterans 'L'shanah Tovah' and everyone a reverent Patriot Day. Please remeber those who died for your right to vote on November 2nd, and those who died on September 11th. We owe our freedoms to those heros, and I pray for their family and friends....

Please check out my website at http://www.keepsims.com/ or my facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/JohnBSims and I thank you for your donations, no matter how small, your valued support and vote on November 2nd.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cooper City Commissioner Neal de Jesus Resigns!

Just to keep everyone updated on the political events of Cooper City…if you have not heard yet, let me advise you that Commissioner de Jesus has apparently tendered his resignation effective November 2nd. Of course, I have not seen an official letter of resignation, and many rumors are flying as to the reason(s) for it. I believe that the basis for his resignation is simple, a better opportunity and future for himself and his family, which I fully admire and support. While many are speculating that there may be some ulterior motive or unscrupulous cause(s), I for one will not accept that as a valid reason.

Commissioner de Jesus and I have not always agreed on all items regarding city business, and we have agreed on some very important issues on your behalf, but I have found him to be straight forward and true in his motives for moving Cooper City in a positive direction, even on some occasions in direct conflict with the Mayor. As such, I commend Commissioner de Jesus for his contribution to our city and its shareholders, and know that he will continue to help move our city in a positive direction. I also wish him the best and Godspeed in whatever endeavor he chooses to pursue.

Because of this, and the opening of the District 3 commission seat, I am asking each and every one of you to look about and see if, in your friends and acquaintances, there exists someone that you would believe can represent you and could continue to move the city in the direction that you want for the city? Asking the question “would they be an effective leader and a true representative of the values and desires you have for our great city?”

If you can answer that question, then I urge you to speak to them now and over this holiday weekend, as the period of qualifying will unfortunately only be limited to this coming Tuesday and Wednesday, ending September 8th at noon. The reasons for this short timeframe are not totally clear, but these are the circumstances we are faced with.

Contact them today and ask them if they would be willing to represent you as a city commissioner. Naturally, they must reside in the areas of District 3, which are essentially Rock Creek, Flamingo Gardens and Country Glen. (Further description can be found on the City Website for District 3.)

Please take this communication as a call to action, so that the unscrupulous forces that are sometimes present in circumstances such as these do not win out and extinguish the desires of the residents, local businesses and taxpayers as to their wants and desires.

The place we call home, and a place that many refer to as 'Someplace Special', is in need of a true leader such as Commissioner de Jesus, not a follower, and I urge you to take action today! Don’t wait another minute. It is your city, it is your hometown and to a larger degree it is your responsibility to act.

Enjoy your weekend and have a safe holiday!