Please Come to the Workshop on Tuesday. These are the issues of utmost importance which you should be concerned about as a Taxpayer

  • The Town has made provisions for a Code Enforcement officer of $8,922.; however there is no job description except for that recommended in the Florida Statute. One must look at the Land Development Regulations if they are in order in the Town.  How many days a week does the $5,408 Salary plus $414 FICA comprise of?  The $2,000 for professional services, is that for lawyers and court proceedings?
  • The Sewer Revitalization Fund show Loan Income of $3,653,950 to fix our sewer pipes of which $730,790 will be required as the 20% cost share, we as the Town must have to pay. Where are the estimates of the loan which we have to come up with to pay the $730,790 in the budget and what will be the interest rate on such loan? And how many years will we have to carry the debt service. 
  • Has there been consideration to secure the funds from the HCDA, since PCS has been the cause of much of the contamination to our water and since PCS must at some point pay for new water pipes and possibly a well.
 
  • ·There is shown $ 205,138  in  TOTAL GENERAL GOVERNMENT EXPENSE which now includes Professional Services of $24,000 for Attorney expense for the FY 2018-2019; yet far more than $19,494.29 was spent in FY 2017-2018 especially with respect to the Rivers case, so one must ask where the other money was buried? 
  • Or, is this just our Town Attorney Koberlein’s expense and Attorney Larkin’s expense was eliminated so the budget would look better.
  • Also under Total General Government Expense, instead of a specific Lawyer or CPA expense, it appears there is $11,000 for Audit and Accounting. Is this money for our CPA?  Do we have a contract?
  • The only separate account for “Professional Services” appears to be specified for Attorney Darren Elkind of $8,800 which was the amount expended for the hearing in which Elkind defended Stacy Tebo and Staff. Attorney Elkind does not have a contract for the Town of White Springs, only staff, and there has been more money which Attorney Elkind has expended than the $8,800 and we would like to know where that money was taken from for the FY 2017-2018.  
  • Now it is shown Attorney Elkind estimate for the FY 2018-2019 is $12,000. Is this what was agreed upon for oral arguments and for defending the Town of White Springs?  
 
  • Where was the council approval that Attorney Elkind should defend the Town of White Springs, rather than our own Attorney, Ms. Hatton?
 
  • Although this is not part of the Budget, a new CBDG Grant is being sought for $600,000 to build a community Center after demolition of the Carver School, plus a playground, within a short distance of Willie Guy Turner Park. Now that it is understood that the School is under the endangered National Historic Register in Florida, will the demolition of $160,700 which will be deducted from the amount plus engineering, cease and desist?
 
  • Is another park within the distance of Willie Guy Turner Park a feasible use for a $50,000 Grant when we have LOFT money to provide a pedestrian walkway over Highway 41 with new speed signs and an amber light, so pedestrians may have the safety in crossing the highway?
 
  • Our Charter requires a “Public Works Department” and the job consisting mainly of mowing grass does not fit the definition of “Transportation”.Why has this Department been eliminated by stipulating all public works jobs are now “Roads and Streets”?
 
  • ·What is comprised of the “Utility Service” under Street and Roads of $ 23,000.?
  •  Is Ray Vaughn’s entire salary to be used ONLY for Roads and Streets?  If so, who will do the work in the charter, such as mowing grass, cleaning ditches, etc, which are part of Public Works?  Where is it listed in the budget?
  • With his entire Salary for Roads/Streets will Ray Vaughn be handling all the Road Work in town with his excavator and Backhoe rather than needing to hire outside contractors?  Does he have the experience?
 
  • The Total Roads and Streets Expense listed is $225,029. The Local Option Fuel Tax is estimated for the year at $210,738 so why did the entire $65,805 from the Enterprise Funds have to be transferred to the General Account and what is that used for?  We were told for Vaughn’s salary, and then for a new truck for Vaughn, but we would not need an additional salary if Vaughn is going to fix all the roads and streets in White Springs without independent contractors?  What’s the story?
 
  • In the “Roads and Streets Department, equipment, meaning the new excavator is listed at an expenditure of $30,693.00.  Since the Excavator digs below the surface of a road, can it be used as a plow or grader?
 
  • It appears that with health insurance, Mr. Vaughn’s salary and benefits come to $88,192 a year not including $1,800 for communication and travel and training.  With that kind of money, is someone else going to do the grass mowing and other duties of public works?  Again, is Mr. Vaughn going to handle all road and street repairs without hiring outside contractors?  If not, this is a lot of money for someone handling only Public works and using restricted LOFT funds to handle Public Works under the deceptive title of Road/Streets Department.
  • The actual money for insurance for Roads/Streets of $13,804; $50,000 for Repairs and Maintenance; $15,000 Operating Supplies and $2,000 Road Materials and Supplies, Totals $80,804.  Since it is listed under Ray Vaughn’s department, will he solely use these supplies?  Why then would there be a separate “Repairs and Maintenance” if Vaughn was to handle it under Road/Street Operations.  Why is it separated?
 
  1. If Ray Vaughn is also handling public works under the deceptive title of “Roads/Streets, how can he be worth more than Kenny Hutcherson when Hutcherson handled  Water Distribution and Sewer Collections which is now part of Andrew Greene’s position? Plus Hutcherson had more experience with a backhoe and did not require an excavator. Why is Vaughn worth so much money for doing less?
  • It is understood, a new vehicle is being purchased for Ray Vaughn’s use; Where is that expense in the budget? Is that what we are using our enterprise funds for? What is wrong with the vehicle Public Works has used all of this time?
  • Andrew Greene has now taken over the areas Hutcherson handled relating to  the Sewer Collection and Water Distribution Tank handling. It is noted that Greene does not have a “Distribution System Operator Certificate/License” so how can he be paid salaries and benefits for both of these operations of $44,090?

 

  • How can Greene check pipes for contamination, etc if he does not have a “Distribution System Operator Certificate?

 

  • When is Greene going to get the Certificate?  Who will pay for his schooling? Where is that in the Budget?
  • Andrew Greene does have his Sewer and Water Plant Operations Certificate and collects $46,792 of salary and benefits.  With the addition of the Water Distribution and Sewer Collection funds of $44,090, How does Greene warrant $90,852 for fully automated systems?
  • Why does Andrew Greene receive a Fire SUV for his personal use along with credit cards for its fuel, maintenance and use when he does not fight fires and is a danger to other firefighters?
  • What portion of the $6,073 budgeted for Fire Salaries and the $5,000 Fire Fee Salaries including $845.00 FICA apply to Andrew Greene?  What portion applies to Steve Stith?  

 

  • Steve Stith does not have a current Firefighter I or II Certificate.  How can he be a Fire Chief?  Kevin Pittman had the appropriate certifications and was ousted for allowing his instructor’s license to expire, but Stith has never had an instructor’s certificate nor has he placed together Standard Operating Procedures like Pittman. How can the town feel Stith should be the Fire Chief?
  •  How can the proposed budget be assured that Hamilton County intends to provide $17,000 towards the Fire Department in White Springs, When we technically do not have firefighters nor a currently certified Fire Chief?
 
  • Has the County agreed to the $17,000 shown in the budget?  Or has the County agreed to $30,000 with a deduction of $1,500 for every fire WSFD does not show up for and another $750 deducted for each call not taken?
  • When will the Town remove Greene and Stith from the WSFD and rehire Kevin Pittman and the former brotherhood?  The Town by Charter is required to provide the Citizens of White Springs with a viable working Fire Department instead of fake rosters of people who do not live here? When will the council do something about this?  Do the Citizens have to sue the Town when their properties burn to the ground before Jasper and Genoa can make it here?
  • Also it is listed under the Enterprise Accounting is $3,000 under Sewer Plant Operations and $3,000 under Water Plant Operations for a contract operator. When Jasper’s Harry is asked to step in for Greene, during leave, he does not work with the Sewer Plant Operations; only the Water Plant Operations.  Therefore, what is the $3,000 for under the Sewer Plant?
  • Since Harry is an expert and he essentially gets $3000 to handle leaves, does that mean Harry only receives $36,000 a year in Salary in Jasper or even double that at $72,000, why is a novice like Andrew Greene receiving more in salary and benefits than Jasper pays their operator?
 
  • How can the Special Events Committee operate the Wild Azalea Festival and the May Day Festival if the Revenues received are anticipated as $8,500 but the expenditures are $8,900. If one cannot make money on a festival, but rather go into a deficit of $400, shouldn’t one consider different approaches with new blood and new activities?  Paige has not brought new ideas or creativity since she has headed the events.
  • If no one attends these festivals where it is same old same old, why doesn’t the Town just eliminate both festivals, like they have eliminated after school programs for the children?
 
  • Why are the Local Option Fuel Tax funds listed under “Sales and Use Taxes” other than a RESTRICTIVE FUND TAX OF $210,738?
 
 

One Reply to “Please Come to the Workshop on Tuesday. These are the issues of utmost importance which you should be concerned about as a Taxpayer”

  1. Joe, Simply no point in attending the Gang of 3 are going to do whatever they want and will back Tebo. They are not going to stop until they break the town bank.

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