Sunday, July 26, 2009
On The Road Again
Council woman Kristine Isnardi panties are in a wad and its about freakin time. Finally someone on the City Council thinks that there should be a little belt tightening with in the City budget. While we are trying to cut our own budgets and manage to live on what we have left after the Feds, State, County and City of Palm Bay have picked our pockets the City just keeps throwing our money around to take trips for business purposes all over the damn country. Our City Manager Lee Feldman keeps racking up the frequent flier miles like crazy. He is Palm Bay's jet setter. Of course they claim all of this travel is necessary for the good of the City. I would be real interested to see just exactly what the return rate is on how much is paid out against how much revenue all this travel has brought in.
The City managers office has spent $18,000 between October 2008 and May 2009. Hey Feldman I hope your not charging what you take out of those little refrigerators in the room to us. And why does Feldman need to bring staffers with him on those trips?
Feldman says that his departments travel and training budget included two departments that he now supervises: Economic Development and the City's public information office. He claims he is attracting business to the city, and get this..... Lobbying Congress. What did you do there Lee, take some Congressional staffers to a titty bar? and he is obtaining training to learn how to milk some cash from the big government tit known as the federal stimulus package. Hows that working out for us? You cant even successfully keep the adult softball leagues here with your managing. Is there training for that? What happened did you forget to sign up for it? Then there is all of this training for professional development like attending conferences such as the National League of Cities and the Florida League of Cities He and his staff learn new processes and "better smarter more efficient ways to run things". We can all see how that's going. Then there was the trip Feldman and Zonka took when they winged on up to Ohio to tour the Willard & Kelsey Solar Groups plant. That trip cost us $1800.00 Did they fly coach? You can get a flight out of Orlando on Southwest to a few Ohio destinations for $200.00 round trip. Must have been some nice hotel. Oh well they were invited to tour the place and Milo and Lee had get up there because ... they are going to lure them here to Palm Bay. It is not going to Happen! The state of Ohio just threw $10 million dollars at Willard & Kelsey Solar Group and Ohio officials are providing a $5 million economic development loan and a $500,000 grant to the company. So I doubt you can come up with that kind of Jack. Ohio needs jobs real bad so while you were up there didnt you notice the state kissing their asses. Again I want to know what our rate of return is here. I know its nice to get Fledman out of town and all.
The City parks department has spent $5,109 on training and travel so far. The Utilities department has spent $6,950 which is only half of what they have budgeted.
Growth Management's building division has spent $13,950 out of their $30,000 budgeted for travel. Growth Managements Administration and Land Development have spent $2,785 of their $6,000. The City Spent $1,831 for three board members of Palm Bay Community Charter School Patriot Campus to attend a three-day conference in Orlando. What the hell is the City doing running Charter Schools anyway? Don't we pay taxes to the County to educate the Palm Bay youth. Where's all those lotto bucks? We have no business as a City running a Charter School. Especially when the school failed. Thats money taken from something else. Feldman and Zonka could have taken a trip up to Alaska to see if he could lure the dog sled manufacturing business here. The City can barely keep the town afloat as it is.
Looks like Isnardi has got her finger on the pulse now and she finally spoke up. Watch out people! I doubt if it will do any good. If all of these trips were paying off so well the City would not be raising our taxes again the maximum allowed by law. Instead we would be running a lean efficient City with stimulus money falling out of the sky right into our laps. The City leaders would not have been begging and plastering the town with Vote Yes signs last May and they would not be raising our taxes again when we the residents are trying to cut corners at home just to survive this recession.