23 October 2005

I'm back ... sort of

I've been away from the blogging scene for awhile. I frankly didn't see the need to simply report the news and duplicate the efforts of other good blogs like Florida Politics and Florida News.

I intend to post from time to time, but not on a regular basis - just when important issues arise. This blog will feature more editorial-type pieces instead of a listing of regular news events.

Welcome back and thanx for visiting!

37 Comments:

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9:51:00 PM  
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7:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a great story. Waiting for more. here

9:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will the state legislature open the doors for cities to escape review by DCA for development plans and projects?

Letting municipalities bypass state controls over development just sells out more of the state to developers and profiteers. Look at Surfside, Florida for example. Under good stewardship, it controlled development and allowed zero variances. Under other 'leadership' heavily influenced by developers, it has turned course, towards becoming another overdeveloped profit center like Sunny Isles Beach. Look at the history.

Surfside 1935: Local residents obtain state approval and create an independent municipality, the Town of Surfside, based on their desire to maintain a community with independence from Miami Beach and to have a small, accountable, and efficient local government to reflect the priorities and well being of its own residents. Over the 7 decades to follow, Surfside has its ups and downs, but generally does a superb job at serving its residents, remaining debt free, and being a widely recognized example for cities and towns and villages all over the nation.

Surfside 1990 - 1992: Mayor Eli Tourgeman enacts foolish budget policies with a 3-2 vote of his Town Commission that put the Town into the red, ending his term with town deficits. Tourgeman supports a number of major zoning variances and tries to break down the zoning code to get approval for a 20 story condo despite a height limit in the code of 12 stories. The voters turned back Toureman's approval in a referendum that defeated and reversed the condo project's variance approval. In 1990 he was elected mayor, in 1992 he was voted off of the commission when voters saw his real priorities and he came in last from a field of 10 candidates.

Surfside 1992 - 2004: Mayor Paul Novack and a new Town Commission unanimously enact budget corrections and fiscally responsible policies and every year for 12 years the town operated under balanced, stable and efficient budgets, with production of increased levels of town services, and numerous capital projects undertaken and completed that upgraded the parks, playgrounds, streets, drainage system, business district, Veterans Park, Town Hall, and much more, all with no debt, no bonds, and with the building of significant town surplus funds to serve the town's present and future. The town attracted a new Publix and many new restaurants and shops for the business district and made improvements and expansions to town parking facilities. Plans are made for a new town library and hi-tech information center to go on newly acquired property on the west side of Collins Avenue. The town was internationally recognized as a model community, and in 2003 Novack was honored as the state-wide "Community Steward of the Year" in Tallahassee. Mayor Novack was elected by the voters six times to serve as mayor, not one variance for height or density or setbacks or uses were ever approved during his tenure, and he retired from office in 2004 with official tributes from the Florida House of Representatives, the United States Congressional Record, and many others.

Surfside 2004 - 2006: Mayor Tim Will and a new Town Commission operate the town carefully and responsibly with balanced budgets, continued expansion of town surplus funds, obtaining a grant to help pay for the new library project, and making plans for the renovation and upgrading of the Community Center. The project would have made vast improvements to the facilities and would not have involved any closure or reduction in use by residents. There was no debt, no bonds, and yet there were even further enhancements of many town services. The town was honored by statewide organizations for superb levels of municipal accounting and auditing and outstanding transparency and performance with public funds. After several productive terms on the Town Commission, and service on the Town's Planning and Zoning Board, and a term as Mayor, Mayor Will retired from public service.

Surfside 2006 - 2007: Mayor Charles Burkett and a new Town Commission spurs, devises, creates and presides over a course designed to make it easy to get variances and to make a slickened path for developers ready to exploit another oceanfront community. The Burkett administration also passes a new town budget that is the largest and by far the most expensive and bloated budget in the town's history, spending more on lawyers than ever, needlessly paying millions of dollars of town funds to "settle" dubious law suits that objective outside reviews found had no merit at all with payments made to the claimants (Burkett campaign supporters) just before Courts were set to rule in the Town's favor, spending over $300,000 on a town charette to document Burkett's plans to change zoning laws and other pre-conceived notions for the benefit of non-resident commercial interests, hired a large law firm for a minimum annual fee of $600,000, no town projects or improved service levels, serious draining of town surplus funds, hired many new consultants with large fees paid by the town, and initiated plans for a public relations campaign to approve putting the town into deep debt with bond issues for as much as $50 million to substantially raise tax burdens on residents for many years to come. The town newsletter is expanded to include political attacks and misinformation every month at a cost of approximately $100,000 in taxpayers' funds for the one year alone. No projects are undertaken, and the community center pool is closed on a ruse after a pool pump has a minor short that the town fails to repair or replace. During his first year in office many respected town employees leave Surfside including its Police Chief, Town Engineer, Town Comptroller, Tourist Director, Public Works Director, and others, all of whom are replaced with "old friends" and campaign workers of Mayor Burkett. Burkett refuses to release his financial disclosure documents from court cases and his membership on City of Miami Beach boards and committees. Information surfaces that indicates he is really a resident of Miami Beach despite owning a house (one of his many, many properties in Florida) in Surfside. Mayor Burkett seeks to contract out services such as fire service, sanitation services, police services, and administrative services to the City of Miami Beach and private companies. His first year in office ends with a disastrous record of misfeasance, a vastly inflated town budget, and negative results for the community.

7:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Surfside town situation has lot of lessons for cities, towns, and taxpayers and voters all over Florida especially in the coastal communities where the greed vs. public interest contest is most critical. The forces of overdevelopmemnt now come cloaked in all sorts of disguises, as they hide their true intentions behind rhetoric that is designed to manipulate voters and the process itself. Look at the hometown democracy amendment and all that it going on with that issue. Florida's future is at stake and so much is being done to gain power for government to be a puppet of special interests, and to disable in any way possible all present and former public officials and official procedures to help pave the way to, well, pave away.

12:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett has underbudgeted, mismanaged, overspent, and plundered the town budget. He has sent the town into a financial nosedive. He temporarily reduced tax rates to look good politically but most important he has bloated spending to historic high levels and his fiscal policies have squandered much of the town's reserve and put the operating budgets into risk of going into default in 2008. Burkett's "leadership" has been a disaster for the town but he is an actor and faker and finger pointer and a devilish manipulator.

2:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't know it but this blog is doing a wonderful service to everyone in the State of Florida who sees the evil in Gambling. The situation in Surfside, Fl is payback to former administrations which kept Gambling out of Miami Dade County. There will be a new referendum to allow Gambling in Miami Dade County at the end of January and the Money is flowing like tap water to every politician in sight, from Miami to Tallahassee. No wonder all 13 County Commissioners approved the referendum for the January election. Governor Charlie Crist sure does look like he is on catering to corruption on this one. The Attorney General should stay on top of this one big time.

4:23:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Graubart said...

Great comments...and, as they said in the late 60's - "RIGHT ON!"
Something(s) smells awfully wrong or fishy here...
Or, perhaps the new Surfside simply now wants to become so very much like all that is $o 'wrong' with miami - dade county? I hope not - hopefully and certainly, not within such a short period of time - ONE two year administration!
Keep 'tuned' as $urfside goes $o does the end of the $tory for the "County." As in:
"Without a word of debate. Miami-Dade commissioners overrode Mayor Carlos Alvarez's veto of developments outside Miami-Dade's Urban Development Boundary..."
Perhaps these Commissioners should read: "Pigs at the Trough" :by Arianna Huffington = or simply just wait until we runout of water completely?!!?!!
Surfside resident since 1956

11:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When "Mayor" Burkett first opened his mouth at the town meetins, I dubbed him "Slick" Charlie. He sounded like a snakeoil salesman, selling his lies to the "Indians".

He has pandered to minority groups and in so doing has created a bunch of followers who care nothing for the town of Surfside, only their own self-serving interests. Just look around you and see what Surfside looks like--garbage strwen everywhere, doggie-do all over the lawns, autos parked on the wrong side of the streets. It is beginning to look like a shantytown. I am surprised Mr. Burkett doesn't try to change the name of the town to Burkettside.


His is a great example of malfeasance, malevolence, devisiveness, and out and out stupidity. And many of those to whom he has pandered are just as stupid--still atttacking the past administrations.

I suggest that we hire a lawyer to pursue the withholding of a portion of our taxes that go to Surfside because of the loss of services (namely the Community pool)and other expenditures.

Burkett and his cronies (the Commission and other Svengalis)are bleeding the town dry. Their scenario is to spend, spend, spend, enriching themselves at the same time.

Additionally, they feel they are not accountable to anyone--a true dictatorship. I am surprised that the commission did not ask for a referndum making them stay in office forever--Heil Charlie and his S.A.!!!

10:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can cities do whatever they want? What is the power of the Dept. of Community Affairs today? Can it protect cities from greed politics and destruction?

12:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surfside goes to the polls on March 18, 2008.

Will the deceptions of Weinberg and Burkett fool the voters or will change sweep clean to get rid of filth?

Charles Burkett, Howard Weinberg, Steven Levine, Marq Imberman, Mark Blumstein, you've got to be kidding.

11:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ethics not enforced in Surfside while Charles Burkett and Howard Weinberg preside! Not a chance.

The Surfside Town Charter, the Town’s primary and basic law, says that elected officials may not be paid anything other than one dollar per year. The Charter makes elected office purely PUBLIC SERVICE. That concept was rejected by Howard Weinberg. He voted for a Town Budget (the biggest in town history) with money in it to pay, who else, town officials! Each elected official could get $6,000 per year (or $500 per month) for starters. All five current officials voted FOR this. They specified that they do not have to turn in any receipts! And on top of the $500 per month they ALSO take money for “expenses” that they spend staying at hotels, eating at restaurants, etc. and it ALL gets paid for by taxpayers! Here is the record just from recent months on checks from the Town to Howard Weinberg (by the way – he PERSONALLY signs the Town checks himself!) NO accountability not even a hint of it.


JUST SOME OF THE TOWN CHECKS PAID TO HOWARD WEINBERG:


October 2006: $415.15 (hotel bill)

October 2006: $500.00 (monthly stipend)

October 2006: $205.00 (hotel bill)

November 2006: $500.00 (monthly stipend)

December 2006: $500.00 (monthly stipend)

January 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)

February 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)

March 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)

April 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)

April 2007: $205.00 (hotel bill)

May 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)

May 2007: $229.00 (restaurant meals)

June 2007: $1,148.98 (???)

June 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)

July 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)

July 2007: $703.57 (hotel bills)

August 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)

September 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)

October 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)

November 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)

December 2007: $500.00 (monthly stipend)

8:23:00 AM  
Anonymous 9293 said...

Come on that is only a partial list as insiders know so well. The checks along are more than $11,000 in just over a year and that does not include everything no not at all but who is going to look close at what is going on there

11:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howard Weinberg

Town of Surfside

Town Account 2116

11:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Joe said...

In March of 2004, over 91% of Surfside voters supported a Charter Amendment that requires voter approval for height and density changes to Surfside’s zoning code. I am running for town office and my opponent voted in favor of a new zoning code that would if finally adopted significantly increase height and especially density along Harding and Collins Avenues. For example, under that new code, buildings along the east side of Harding Ave. across from residential homes could be 40 ft. high instead of the existing 30 ft. height; hotels could be built on the east side of Harding and west side of Collins Avenues with units as small as 180 sq. ft. instead of the 360 minimum now required; many more units that are currently allowed, and apartment or condo units could be built above the shops in our business district. Will so many more small units become a detriment to the Town in the future?

Will voters stand up against the sell-out of their town and zoning code? Will stage agencies do their job by enforcing state policies about overdevelopment, environment, emergency/hurricane evacuation, transportation capacity, concurrency?

As one of a handful of people who attended the meetings to discuss these issues, it is apparent that the public has not been adequately informed of the significance of this new zoning code and the impact it could have on the quality of life in Surfside. Certainly there is no intention of allowing residents to vote on this critical matter as required by the Charter Amendment.

While serving a few years ago as Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Board, our board approved the Lanai townhouse project for a large site on 92nd St. taking up an entire block of Collins and Harding Avenues. This 32-unit luxury townhouse project met all zoning codes and was an excellent, low-density addition to Surfside. Now the plan is to build three stories of small hotel units on this site instead. There has been too much intimacy involving developers’ lawyers and lobbyists in tweaking the new zoning code to ensure that the maximum number of units can be built with the least amount of parking.

As we move forward, the future of Surfside depends on having the right kind of development that puts the needs of residents first. I believe Surfsiders are very clear that we enjoy the wonderful community we have and don’t want to see it destroyed by over-development. My opponent states that he won’t support high rises in Surfside. I would like to point out that there are other ways to ruin a community, such as more density and less parking. Ever try finding a parking space on South Beach? I do not want to see this here! I am adamant about protecting Surfside’s charm and unique scale and character. Positive redevelopment within the existing code: YES. More density: NO.

I will respect the wishes of the voters. Please vote on Tuesday March 18.

Respectfully,

Joe Graubart

JoeGraubart.com

11:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SURFSIDE
Surfside property taxes, service fees could spike
Property owners might see higher a tax rate and service fees next year.
Posted on Fri, Sep. 12, 2008
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By MICAELA HOOD
mhood@MiamiHerald.com
Surfside residents could see a hike in property taxes and service fees, including the cost of garbage pick-up, recycling and sewer fees.

At its meeting Tuesday, the Surfside town commission voted 3-2 to approve a proposed tax rate of $4.732 for every $1,000 of a property's value, an increase of 11 percent from the current rate of $4.25.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, fireworks erupted after several residents complained about the town's plan to finance a $16.5 community center by issuing bonds. Voters would have to approve the bond in a November referendum.

''You do what you can do with the money that you have,'' said Philip Namiech. ``We don't have money for $16.5 million. Maybe we only have $5 or $7 million. So let's build something for $7 million.''

Surfside, which won't collect as much in property taxes because of the slowing real estate market and statewide property tax reform, will experience an 11 percent decline in its tax base, according to finance director Martin Sherwood.

''Surfside lost $41 million in property assessments this year because of Amendment 1, which allowed most homeowners to increase their homestead exemption and pay less in taxes,'' he said.

Sherwood said under the proposed tax rate, a homeowner with an assessed value at the town's average of $293,423, taking the standard $50,000 homestead exemption, will pay about $1,152 in municipal taxes. Other taxes come from Miami-Dade and the local school district.

''This amount results in an annual average household savings of $210 as compared to last year,'' Sherwood said.

To make up for the revenue shortfall, residents will see increased fees for services.

Collection and recycling will go up by 59 percent, to about $23 per month for a single-family home. Water fees will go up by 41 percent, to about $15 per month. Sewer charges will go up 37 percent to $4 per month and storm water fees will more than double to $5 per month for a single-family home.

Mayor Charles Burkett, who voted against the proposed tax rate, said he nonetheless supports raising service fees, noting it will cost the town more to provide water and services to its residents during the next fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.

The proposed preliminary budget of $9.7 million represents an increase of 1.2 percent over last year's budget of $9.6 million.

Commissioner Elizabeth Calderon, who sided with Burkett, said the town should be looking for other ways to cut spending.

''If we're not taking in as much money as we did last year, we should not be spending as much,'' she said.

But Commissioner Howard Weinberg disagreed.

''We're No. 1 [in Miami-Dade County] in lost property tax revenues, and in order to have the same level of service we're used to, we need to raise our taxes,'' he said.

Regarding the community center, several residents raised concerns over the $16.5 million price tag.

''You've already knocked down the community center, and now we're voting on a way to fund it?'' said Brett Ellis. ``Something is backward here, and I think a pool and snack bar is what we really need.''

But other residents, however, disagreed.

''I don't live in Overtown; I live on a beach community in Florida,'' said Richard Iacobacci, who said he's waited years to enjoy a new center with his children. ``I want my damn community center, and it's up to this commission to give us that.''

6:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Chutzpahinsurfside said...

''I don't live in Overtown; I live on a beach community in Florida,'' said Richard Iacobacci, who said he's waited years to enjoy a new center with his children. ``I want my damn community center"

This published quote from a person appointed by mayor burkett and commissioner weinberg and commissioner levine and commissioner imberman and commissioner calderon to be on the city zoning board.

12:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howard Weinberg Vice Mayor Ego Bloater will look you right in the eye and put on his puppy dog good ol' boy face and lie to you flat out over and over and over again. He thinks himself the ultimate politian. Wow.

12:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Privitizing Surfside government has it brought costs down for taxpayers or has it ultimately ended in soaring costs for taxpayers. That will judge the credibility of claims from town officials who wanted the town to be in their own image no matter how hurtful for residents and taxpayers.

12:08:00 AM  
Anonymous AndyGriffifth93 said...

Credibility? NONE that's what Surfside Town Hall has today its all gone. Burkett Weinberg Imberman Levine Calderon running amuk and staff left clueless and confused and money being wasted and buildings being demolished and debt, bonds, loans, financial chaos, insults to veterans, beach decay, city facilities rotting, no mantenance, no caring, if it doesnt make profit for the big guys it goes to waste. Paradize lost, no, Paradise stolen.

11:46:00 PM  
Anonymous flii said...

Facts about Surfside politicians decisions on fleecing the taxpayers:

Property taxes up 11% for 2009
Sewer bills up 37% for 2009
Water bills up 41% for 2009
Garbage bills up 59% for 2009
Stormwater bills up 114% for 2009
Surfside municipal budget up to highest levels in the town's eight decades
Fat, waste, squandering, under the table dealing, siphoning money, flushing the town's savings, and pushing for a first round of debt of about 17 million if voters get hoodwinked and vote yes in November and then next year they already plan another 15 million dollar debt because they hide the truth about how bad the situation is and how much even one project will cost. These guys demolished a strong community center building that was really hard to take down under the lie that it was no longer a good building. Waste waste lie lie waste waste lie lie and they move away. That's the plan for the mayor and vice mayor, hit and run. All insiders know by now and they remain silent out of fear but their silence will just make them collaborators in the long run. Bad choice.

11:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Surfmil said...

America's Veterans
Surfside Veterans Park
Surfside Cannon

Decency under attack from egomaniac small town politicians.

12:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Surfmil said...

http://blogs.tampabay.com/military/2008/09/911-events.html

12:35:00 AM  
Anonymous CPAtrailer said...

Surfside Florida 2008 local government throws up all taxes and fees and increases spending and sets up for sacking the taxpayers with humongous bond issue debt. AND
Property taxes up 11% for 2009
Sewer bills up 37% for 2009
Water bills up 41% for 2009
Garbage bills up 59% for 2009
Stormwater bills up 114% for 2009

Financial quicksand and its taking down the taxpayers. Incompetent government or worse that's the only question left. Is Surfside going to do an investigation audit to look into the who and what and why this disaster came about in just two years under mayor charles burkett and vice mayor howard weinberg and commissioners levine and imberman and calderon?

5:36:00 PM  
Anonymous razedandscammedsurfside said...

Incomptence is ruining the financial condition of Surfside Florida. Debt, bond issues, deficits, the town is crumbling into financial chaos and town officials are covering it up and ducking and bobbing like the amateurs they are.

Worst politicians in the country are roosting now in Surfside Florida. They sure can smile while they rip us off. After raising all taxes and fees higher than ever before they want to put the town of surfside into debt for generations to suit their political agenda and fuel a money machine. The vote will be on November 4. But they already hurt us by giving this as an october surpirse:

Property taxes up 11% for 2009
Sewer bills up 37% for 2009
Water bills up 41% for 2009
Garbage bills up 59% for 2009
Stormwater bills up 114% for 2009

Mayor Burkett, Vice Mayor Weinberg, Commissioner Imberman, Commissioner Levine, Commissioner Calderon, this is horrible what you are doing to Surfside. Debt, bond issues, deficits, higher taxes and fees, and you just can't cover it up it is there for us all to see - and pay for.

5:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THESE ARE DIFFICULT TIMES. OUR COUNTRY IS IN ECONOMIC CRISIS, AND PEOPLE ALL ACROSS THE NATION, INCLUDING RIGHT HERE IN SURFSIDE, ARE HURTING FINANCIALLY.

CLOSE TO HOME, OUR TOWN GOVERNMENT IS IN ECONOMIC CRISIS ALSO. TOWN SAVINGS AND RESERVES HAVE BEEN VASTLY DEPLETED BY THIS TOWN COMMISSION. THAT WAS FINANCIAL INCOMPETENCE AND WASTE AT ITS WORST. FUNDS HAD BEEN PRUDENTLY SAVED FOR MANY YEARS UNTIL THIS COMMISSION OPENED A FAUCET AND LET MUCH OF THE TOWN’S MONEY FLOW RIGHT OUT. OUR RESIDENTS HAVE NOTHING TO SHOW FOR THAT. TOWN DEPARTMENTS ARE RUNNING HUGE DEFICITS AS CONFIRMED BY THE TOWN MANAGER RECENTLY AND MANY OF THOSE DEPARTMENTS FAR OUTSPENT THEIR BUDGETS IN THE LAST FISCAL YEAR. THE RED INK IS FLOWING, AND IT IS A VERY SAD AND UNFORTUNATE SITUATION FOR OUR COMMUNITY.

AT THIS TIME OF NATIONAL AND LOCAL FINANCIAL CRISIS, YOU WANT OUR RESIDENTS TO APPROVE YOUR PLAN FOR A 16.5 MILLION DOLLAR BOND ISSUE THAT WILL PUT THE TOWN INTO DEBT FOR GENERATIONS. THAT IS THE WORST THING WE COULD DO NOW. THE COMMUNITY CENTER NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN DEMOLISHED. WE TAXPAYERS SHOULD NOT BE ASKING TO PAY SUCH A HEFTY PRICE FOR THE ERRORS AND MISJUDGMENTS OF THIS TOWN COMMISSION. WE MAY WANT TO HAVE A COMMUNITY CENTER, BUT NOT A TAJ MAHAL THAT WE SIMPLY CANNOT AFFORD.

THE FIRE SERVICE ISSUE IS, AS YOU KNOW, A FALSE ONE. THE MAYOR OF MIAMI BEACH HAS STATED PUBLICLY THAT SHE HAS NO INTENTION OF HAVING THE C.M.B. PROVIDE FIRE SERVICE TO SURFSIDE. THERE IS NO CONTACT ON THE TABLE, NO NUMBERS, AND NO DETAILS. THE RISKS AND COSTS OF VOTING FOR SUCH A VAGUE PLAN WITH NO BASIS IN FACT IS SIMPLY DANGEROUS FOR OUR TOWN.

I THINK THAT THE VOTERS AND TAXPAYERS SHOULD SAY NO TO YOUR REFERENDUM QUESTIONS AND INSIST THAT YOU RETOOL YOUR AGENDA SO IT MEETS THE NEEDS OF SURFSIDE, NOT YOUR POLITICAL AGENDA OF THE WISHES OF ANY SPECIAL INTERESTS. WE REGRET THAT YOU HAVE CHANGED THE ZONING CODE, AND THAT YOU HAVE PUT THE TOWN INTO FISCAL CRISIS. WE HOPE YOU WILL CHANGE COURSE BEFORE EVEN MORE DAMAGE IS DONE.

SURFSIDE HAS SUFFERED BECAUSE OF THE MISERABLE RECORD OF OFFICIALS LIKE CHARLES BURKETT AND HOWARD WEINBERG AND MARC IMBERMAND AND STEVE LEVINE. THE TOWN IS CRASHING AND ITS TOWN HALL HAS NO CREDIBILITY. SAD SAD SAD DAYS HERE, WE MUST FIND A LIGHT OF HOPE FOR THE FUTURE.

8:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Underwriting the downfall of town government in surfside florida is the taxpayers of surfside florida. Here comes a humongous sized bond issue debt that will put a hurting of over 35 million dollars on taxpayers for decades. Do the math yourself don't believe the town hall lies. And the debt hole comes on top of things town officials just imposed --

Property taxes up 11% for 2009
Sewer bills up 37% for 2009
Water bills up 41% for 2009
Garbage bills up 59% for 2009
Stormwater bills up 114% for 2009

11:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incredible incompetence. That is the best that can be said for Surfside Town Government in 2008 going into 2009. What a difference and what a crash. All caused by big time dumb decisions and so many lies from a mayor and gang of commissioners that have heads way deep into sand. 28 residents started together to inform the Florida Auditor General. Residents are waking up and standing up. The 28 told it:

The Town has failed to prepare and file the annually required independent comprehensive financial audit within the deadlines set by the State, and there have been statements at town meetings about their inability to reconcile accounts, about vastly depleted town surplus and reserve funds, and about conflicting information about the remaining level of town funds.

In the last two and a half years, there have been many questionable expenditures and procedures, and an absence of the open and accountable manner that is the standard of municipalities in Florida. Now with the failure to file the required outside audits over a year late, and significantly rising taxes, utility fees, and all charges made by the Town to the residents, we are worried that our formerly efficient, open and accountable Town has become quite the opposite.

The failure of the Town to comply with state mandated deadlines and auditing is the most recent in a long series of actions by the current Town government that create deep concerns amongst residents about what is actually going on with our public funds here. An awful lot of money has gone somewere with nothing to show for it.

1:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Collinsview said...

Cover up will only go so far. The facts are there for anyone to uncover just under the surface, under the mud and smoke and mirrors created by town officials who are privately embarrased by their complete failure and the coming exposure of their tyranny of lies.

Surfside Florida town officials have crashed the town's finances and they now crave a bailout from taxpayers in the form of a series of bond issues that will saddle the town with debt for generations. It will be money for capital projects like a new community center but it will be money to be siphoned off as well. Town officials have wasted a big surplus fund saved by their predecessors for proejects and emergencies. Now its gone. Sinking the town into debt will give the current officials a big source of cash to keep the town hall afloat on. In the mean time they jack up taxes and fees on Surfside Florida town residents and taxpayers.

In addition to a huge bond debt these crazies in town hall just put on the taxpayers back a lead straw of multiple facets:

Property taxes up 11% for 2009
Sewer bills up 37% for 2009
Water bills up 41% for 2009
Garbage bills up 59% for 2009
Stormwater bills up 114% for 2009

And with all the crash and burn economics the current town officials demanded the demolition of a historic, beautiful, functional community center.
Its dust now.

And so is the financial health of Surfside Florida. Surfside Florida taxpayers and residents and voters looking for some kind of light, some cause for hope. A complete cleaning out of officials, all of them so not to get hunkered down in the gutter of the insults they hurl at everyone including each other -- way overdue time, they never should have been trusted in the first place.

12:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surfside town officials are finding their lies no longer viable. Puffs of smoke are not enough anymore to hide what is really happening. Its hitting us - the truth is hitting us -

Good unique community center and pool demolished for political crazy reasons

Town facilities rotting away all over

Town services at lowest levels in decades

Property taxes up 11% for 2009
Sewer bills up 37% for 2009
Water bills up 41% for 2009
Garbage bills up 59% for 2009
Stormwater bills up 114% for 2009

Town officials are desperate to conninve and convince for a bond issue debt to bail out of their outragrous bad judgment and ill will towards the historic unique identity of the Surfside community.

11:41:00 PM  
Anonymous flyIV said...

A book on hypocrisy can be written just looking at Surfside's mayor and commissioners today. The record of the evolution of their public statements, from campaign to commission meetings to emails to town newsletters to internal memos, show just how stupendously large is their level of hypocrisy.

12:01:00 AM  
Anonymous FactsStandResearch said...

Surfside officials Weinberg and Burkett and Imberman have lied so often its something now that happens every time they open their mouths. Legal fees? More than ever. Taxes? Higher than ever. Government effort to deceive residents? One for the history books, an entry into Ripleys Believe It Or Not, an entry into Encyclopedia Brittanica, a part of Wikipedia, a factual account of how the most incompetent and deceiving group of officials ever now work together in Surfside Florida 2009

10:37:00 PM  
Anonymous 9301 Harding said...

Burkett and Weinberg found surplus funds, strong financial integrity, open government, and great facilities when they showed up in public office. In a short time they wasted all the savings, demolished the great community center and pool, went into a dark time where all of the public business is done secretly and where a wonderful community and neighborhood has been robbed of so much its incalculable. Liars.

8:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will the Auditor General do his job?

Will the Joint Auditing Committee do its job?

Will Florida State oficials do their job?

After all, Surfside mayor Burkett plans to run for state office in 2010.

Howard Weinberg plans to spin his public position into lots of private profits. Doesn't he get free meals and drinks in town already? He's the lobbyist for liquir and food and he is a town official pushing laws and then reaping benefits?

Corruption in Surfside Florida 2008, 2009, investigations? Audits? Enforcement? Indictments? When does accountability come to Surfside Town Hall? To Mayor Burkett? To Vice Mayor Imberman? To Vice Mayor/Commisioner/Egoman Weinberg? To commissioner/judge wannabe Levine? To clueless Calderon? Is it in process, underway, close to the big bang of justice?

10:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surfside Town Commission
Surfside
Florida
Surfside Town Hall
Miami Herald
Budget
Bailout
Taxes

11:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No city, whether Miami, Surfside, or any other, can cloak its financial condition and try to underhandedly bail itself out with bonds.

Bond insurance does not give any city a license to misrepresent its financial condition or withhold material information from the marketplace.

5:46:00 PM  
Blogger britney said...

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Britney
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4:25:00 AM  

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