Tuesday, March 15, 2022

WANTED: Watchdogs, not lapdogs: F.S. 129.03(3) request

County Commission neesd to exercise oversight powers over the budgets of the Sheriff, Clerk of Courts and Comptroller, Tax Collector, Property Appraiser and Supervisor of Elections. 

I've requested once again that our Commission pass a resolution requiring the five constitutional offiers to present their tentative proposed budgets on May 1 each year, allowing for zealous scrutiny and public participation on the budget of the Sheriff, et al.: 

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Slavin <easlavin@aol.com>
To: bcc5hdean@sjcfl.us <bcc5hdean@sjcfl.us>; bcc1cwhitehurst@sjcfl.us <bcc1cwhitehurst@sjcfl.us>; bcc2sarnold@sjcfl.us <bcc2sarnold@sjcfl.us>; bcc3pwaldron@sjcfl.us <bcc3pwaldron@sjcfl.us>; bcc4jblocker@sjcfl.us <bcc4jblocker@sjcfl.us>
Cc: dmigut@sjcfl.us <dmigut@sjcfl.us>; hconrad@sjcfl.us <hconrad@sjcfl.us>; sheriff@sjso.org <sheriff@sjso.org>; taxcollector@sjctax.us <taxcollector@sjctax.us>; voakes@votesjc.org <voakes@votesjc.org>; wfusco@votesjc.com <wfusco@votesjc.com>; bpatty@stjohnsclerk.com <bpatty@stjohnsclerk.com>; mminer@stjohnsclerk.com <mminer@stjohnsclerk.com>; eddie@sjcpa.us <eddie@sjcpa.us>; waltbog@nytimes.com <waltbog@nytimes.com>
Sent: Sun, Mar 13, 2022 2:40 pm
Subject: Addition to Consent Agenda for 3/15 SJC BoCC meeting re: Preparing Draft Resolution Changing Constitutional Officers' Tentative Budget Submission Deadline

Dear Chairman Dean, et. al:
1. Would you please be so kind as to add to the March 15, 2022 St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners Consent Agenda a direction to staff to prepare a resolution requiring Constitutional officers to submit tentative proposed budgets by May 1 each year?  See F.S. 129.03(3), allowing Florida BoCCs "by resolution, [to] require the tentative budgets to be submitted by May 1 of each year. "
2.  Passage of the resolution would mean for the first time that we can discuss in detail and ask questions about tentative Sheriff, Supervisor of Elections, Clerk of Courts and Comptroller, Tax Collector and Property Appraisers budgets at our annual May budget hearings. 
3. In asking for a 15%+ sales tax increase, we must start with candor.  Let's have honest discussions of the constitutional officers' budgets. 
4. I have made this modest request for several years, since learning of the statute from Mr. Jesse Dunn's briefing to BoCC. 
5. Please require that staff answer all budget questions, with all budget meetings televised with remote and in-person public participation.
6. Curiously, our County Administrator told me at the May 2021 hearing, "I don't have to answer your questions."
7. Chairman Dean and Commissioners, will you kindly help protect our free speech and petition rights and our Right to Know?  Please help extirpate end end forever the continuing hostile working environment toward First Amendment activity, too often violating rights secured by Article I, Section 24 of our Floida Constitution, adopted by the will of 3.8 million voters in 1992 (83% of the vote).
Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,

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