Criteria for valid public expenditures In order for an expenditure of public funds to represent a lawful expenditure, it should meet both of the following standards:
- Public purpose. A public purpose for the expenditure must exist.
- Authority. Specific or implied authority for the expenditure must arise out of a statute or from the Town’s charter. Specific authority usually is fairly clear. In contrast, whether a particular statute or charter provision implicitly provides authority for an expenditure often becomes subject to interpretation. Towns should consult with their city attorneys regarding whether implied authority for a specific expenditure exists.
- Does paying Stacy Tebo more than any other manager we have had, and yet allowing her to work only a four day week which does not follow the charter, serve the public interest?
- Does increasing the Sewer Rate 250% over and above any other municipality locally, serve the public interest?
- Does the utilization of Sewer and Water Funds for the General Fund serve the public interest?
- Does spending $250,000 from HCDA to build a park instead of its intended purpose of a business incubator serve the public interest?
- Does the Town’s inability to follow LDRs, the Charter, and the U.S. and Florida Constitutions serve the public interest?
- Does bias toward some citizens and allowing other citizens rights they should not have in similar circumstances serve the public interest? (Not following LDR’s and dropping any charges because of special interest and nepotism like in the Harris case)
- Is the public interest served when there is no cap on legal fees but instead money is taken from other necessary budget lines.
- Do Meetings in the darkness and a lack of transparency serve the public interest?
- Does spending money without council approval ($25,950 Rivers case and Attorney Elkind representing the “Town” without a contract) serve the public interest? (
- Does using your authority as an official of White Springs to incarcerate some and to walk others out of jail serve the public interest?
- Does spending money which should be utilized solely for Grants and retained in special accounts serve as the public interest?
- Does retaining inefficient personnel who are not performing the duties of their position well serve the public interest? (A good Town manager could have independent contractors handle accounting and wastewater treatment positions without expending benefits, FICA taxes, etc.)
- Does the refusals of officials to cut the General Fund budget by more efficiency serve the public interest?
- Does the poor treatment of our prior Fire Chiefs and volunteers serve the public interest? (Firing John Peeler and taking over $10,000 in donations and the termination of Steve Stith by a manager who does not know how to treat Fire fighters and finally our best Chief Kevin Pittman was forced to retire and Steve Stith was made Chief because of his love of Andrew Greene)?
- Does the allowance of Andrew Greene to utilize the emergency fire SUV for his personal use as well as being given a credit card for fuel and maintenance serve the Public Interest?
- Is it ethical and does it serve a public purpose to pay for the defense (over $8,700) of a Town Manager who is suing a Town Council Member for the purpose of removing the Council Member from her elected seat.?
- Does shutting off water because of the high cost, and yet charging astronomical start up charges, so that people’s health may be at risk for lack of water and sanitation serve the public’s interest?
- Does ignoring complaints from Citizens, or, on their behalf, who have the interest of the Citizens at heart serve the public interests?
Council members are elected or appointed to govern by and for these interests, acting as specialists on what best serves the local population. Therefore, a council’s written determination of a valid public purpose based on reasonable findings of fact, along with the advice of the city attorney, should not be underestimated.
- When were the citizens ever asked what their interests in making White Springs a better place to live ?
- When have the officials ever went out into the public to ask the public what their thoughts may be or what problems they may have ever happened? Except of course when these officials want your vote; then they will be at your door and set up a site where they can campaign and tell you more lies about how they are good for you? But really, what have these officials (with the exception of Dr. Miller) really have done for you? Do they have your interests at heart? Do they have compassion for you in this poor economy? I would say absolutely not. Spencer Lofton went out into the public to ask what they wished in the Town and bragged about it but in talking to people, the majority of us have never seen him. And the only reason he had so many votes is that many did not wish to vote for Willie Jefferson or Arthur Natteal and decided on Spencer Lofton.
Judicial review focuses on (1) whether the expenditure benefits the community as a whole; and (2) whether the expenditure relates to the functions of government of whether specific expenditures qualify as a proper use of public funds. II. Common questions on public spending Common questions often arise from public officials regarding certain public expenditures.
- Since the Town of White Springs refuses to abide by the law and place the public’s interest first above their own agendas, the only thing left are the courts. And maybe, just maybe, someone from the State of Florida will investigate the lack of Public Interest and the Corruption in White Springs.
In determining whether illegal activities are substantial, it must be borne in mind that actions by members and officers of a Town do not always reflect on the Town itself. Because Towns act through individuals, it is necessary to distinguish those activities of individuals that are done in an official capacity from those that are not. Only
(1) acts by Town officials under actual or purported authority to act for the Town,
(2) acts by agents of the Town within their authority to act, or
(3) acts ratified by the Town
should be considered as activities “of the Town.”
Karin for the blog