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BCC 7/20 – Meg Shannon


I am Meg Shannon, Director of Operations for the South Florida Tea Party, which is a coalition partner in TAB, the Palm Beach Taxpayer’s Action Board.
Many government entities and grass roots groups have found ways to make significant spending reductions at the local government level. Here are some examples.

Orange County, FL

A Taxpayer Review Board identified tremendous waste and duplication of services due to a lack of technology and a failure to use private services.

Lake Worth, FL

A recent Palm Beach Post editorial concluded Lake Worth was “talking about real cuts while Palm Beach County commissioners spent the week avoiding them”.

New Jersey

A Citizens’ Campaign issued a “Jersey Call for Service” to inspire 5,000 citizens to participate in the leadership of their communities and reverse the tide of government waste.

San Jose, California: (June 28, 2010 Ventura County Star)

They saved $ 4 million by hiring private contractors for custodial services at $12.83/hour, including benefits, compared to $40.41 for city custodians.

South Florida cities

Sunrise, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, and Fort Lauderdale are cutting back on pension benefits.

Other Examples

Many, many other examples could be discussed, such as Charlotte, NC, Beverly Hills, CA, Orange County, CA, Las Vegas, NV

Conclusion

We won’t accept a position that says we have to cut basic services to cut spending. WE KNOW SPENDING CAN BE REDUCED WITHOUT AFFECTING THE LEVEL OF CORE SERVICES, BUT IT CAN’T BE DONE WITHOUT RESTRUCTURING HOW GOVERNMENT OPERATES.

We ask the Commission to require that all departments of county government, including constitutional offices, cooperate with TAB as it goes about its work. We expect to have a huge reaction from the public as we ask them, including our South Florida Tea Party members and current and former county employees for their suggestions on cost savings. We will look at what has been done in other states and counties.

We expect the support of the news media in shining a spotlight on any failure of county government to work to decrease spending and restructure itself. If necessary, we will pursue state legislative efforts to require local government units to cooperate, consolidate, and study ways to achieve significant reductions in expenditures.

Duplication must be eliminated. Services must be contracted outside government where it can be done cheaper. Government employees should only be doing core government functions, not providing services the private business sector can do cheaper and more efficiently, and without the long term pension costs resulting from government employment.

I’m a member of the TAB coalition and one of the taxpayers picking up the tab for county spending.

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