Thursday, September 24, 2015

Lake Worth Commissioner McVoy: the roar that became a whimper

The attempt to raise the City's electric rates by commissioners McVoy and Maier failed spectacularly, so much so that Commissioner Maier barely uttered a word at the last city commission meeting on 9/22 in defense of McVoy and his plan. He was out there on the ledge all by himself. Here is the headline from The Lake Worth Herald on 9/17 after the first meeting to approve the City budget:
What also made things very difficult for McVoy and Maier was their cheerleaders complete ignorance of how a City budget works vis-à-vis the Beach Fund, the Casino complex (including the pool), parking revenue at the BEACH!, etc., all of which is separate from the General Fund. Their cheerleader, The Other Blogger (TOB), has been in full retreat ever since I exposed her ignorance on the subject. 

Simply put, McVoy and Maier want to raise the electric rates and the parking rates so at some point they'll have the money to cover up the failing Casino complex at the BEACH! The failed business plan continues to lose money and the loan is increasingly difficult to repay. The Post's Kevin Thompson mentioned this in his article on 9/22 after the budget was passed (on a 3-2 vote with McVoy and Maier dissenting):
     [Vice Mayor Scott] Maxwell said he would not support a budget if it included a hike in parking rates. Water rates were increased 3.5 percent. [emphasis added]
      The city said it intends to use the money to help pay back a $6 million loan [from the water fund] it took out to help repair the Lake Worth Casino building.
     At last week’s meeting, the commission voted to keep the beach parking rates the same and revisit the impact of that decision in April.
     In the new budget, more than 300 workers will get a 4 percent raise — the first pay increase in eight years. The city said rising property values is one of the main reasons why it was able to boost salaries.
     The city said the 2015 taxable value of property increased to more than $125 million, 10.5 percent more than the previous year, making it the third consecutive increase since the market collapsed in 2008.
     The city approved a tax rate of $5.49 per $1,000 of a property’s taxable value, a figure that will generate $6.9 million in revenue, up from $6.3 million the previous year.
Of course, if you're a regular visitor to this blog you know the Casino building was never "repaired". It was 94% demolished and you can read all about that here. Here is a picture of the Casino building as it was being 'repaired':
As you read the balance of the article by the reporter you see the financial situation in the City continues to improve. The one thing that is holding our City back is that albatross at the BEACH! The failed Casino project was delivered to you, the taxpayer, by this previous city commission (do you recognize anyone?):
Note the Casino business plan is not 'failing'. It is now a confirmed failure.

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