With the final draft budget only being available for the last few weeks at best and the distraction of a Category 5 hurricane only now over, there was little if any time to digest the entire citywide budget and form probing questions to fully participate.  That is the overall circumstance we often operate under in Boca Raton…there is no doubt that transparency and cooperation for the benefit of the residents is sorely lacking….that point has been made over and over from the podium with little response from staff or, for that matter, the elected officials collectively….

With that said, may I recommend that you be sure to view Jack McWalter’s video in this issue of BocaWatch on the topic of the 1 cent sales tax; its  factual accuracy; its direction for spending; and its lack of transparency by whom spending decisions are made, spending decisions that are allegedly in the interest of the general resident(s) without input from the general resident(s).  Since there has been no public discussion leading up to the upcoming final two budget hearings on expenditures ( the first of which is scheduled for September 25th), one can only imagine some ‘smoke filled’ room with special interests planning usages with developers plotting for position on their individual projects with Council Members that are bound under the Sunshine Law from discussing this in front of or with another Council Member.

BocaWatch actually, in this first blush, calls attention to what the city has determined to be a proper use of funds as  budgets are finalized.

In the transmittal letter penned by City Manager Leif Arnell, there is a section titled “Other Funds”.  This title grouping includes the city’s proceeds form 1 cent sales revenues.    Demonstrated within the document are what is the proposed spending on projects.  The good news is that we have the money to spend…

What appears to be the bright side is that the city has allocated $15.8 million dollars to the voter approved one-cent program; the wildflower being included. If you are not fully confused following the dictates of this transmittal letter, I suggest you review this list and its financials and compare it to those presented within Jack’s video in this issue on the same subject, to with: the 1 cent sales tax….in Jack’s terms “…Unacceptable…”

Al Zucaro