Reduce Govt Overhead, Not Essential Services: BOC, Constitutional Officers and particularly the Sheriff

Editor’s note: This post was sent as an email to the County Commissioners and Constitutional Officers by Dale Gregory on June 13, 2011.


I support in concept the proposals of the Palm Beach TAB advocated at the June 13, 2011 Budget Workshop.


I am appalled at the County Administrator’s appeal to emotion by proposing to increase Palm Tran rates, reduce life guards, and the like.  I pray that you will vote “NO” on any increase in taxes or reduction in essential services! This applies to the Sheriff’s response that he is going to reduce essential staff if the BOC doesn’t approve his budget demands.

In 2010 Martin County implemented a one day per month furlough (unpaid day off) as a means to balance their budget.  The County has also reduced staff levels.  Has Palm Beach County used this as a tool to balance the budget?

I have volunteered on a number of initiatives in Palm Beach County and learned early on:  If the County Administrator doesn’t take a personal interest, forget the initiative no matter how much it may benefit the community.

If the County Administrator could effectively collaborate with the Constitutional Officers we could dramatically improve the efficiency of government operations.  Examples include sharing information technology, telecommunication services, purchasing, human resource administration, real estate planning, logistics, and other back office functions.

There are similar collaboration and shared services opportunities between the County, Palm Beach School District, South Florida Water Management District, Children’s Services Council, Palm Beach County Health Care District, Library District, Port of Palm Beach District, municipalities, and nonprofit organizations.  Trust me, it works.  Take a trip to Martin County to learn more.

Collaboration is happening elsewhere in the United States, and taxpayers are benefiting immensely.  Unfortunately Palm Beach County’s reputation of corruption and insider deals impedes such collaboration.  County Administrative leadership is not a “poster child” for advocating trust, shared values, and change.

Elected officials need to leave their ego’s at home and start thinking about being better stewards of the combined “spend” of taxpayers – state, county, schools, municipal, and other taxing authorities.  This includes Constitutional Officers.


Most private sector and nonprofit organizations would not tolerate strategies that have been proposed by the County Administrator.  The most successful organizations would make changes at the top to transform their culture and develop a winning strategy to achieve organizational objectives.  Early 20th century thinking simply doesn’t work in today’s world.

If the Administrator cannot develop a strategy to balance the budget without increasing taxes while maintaining all essential services, the BOC should find someone who will.


I recently talked to a Commissioner from another Florida county.  I explained how the Palm Beach Sheriff appears to ignore the Palm Beach BOC, operating without sufficient checks and balances.  I was told that this would never happen in their county….. that the BOC would force the issue.

You were elected to serve the residents of Palm Beach County.  This includes a fiduciary responsibility to manage the use of all of our tax dollars.  It is time to put the Sheriff on notice:  Cut expenditures and maintain service levels.  This includes freezing  compensation of all who are not part of collective bargaining agreements.  If the Sheriff has the option to appeal his issue on funding to Tallahassee, go for it.  It is time to break the mold.


One Response to “Reduce Govt Overhead, Not Essential Services: BOC, Constitutional Officers and particularly the Sheriff”
  1. Wiley says:

    To start to get some “real” information about the Sheriff’s Office abuse of taxpayer funding check out the website:


    They are paying for and requesting public records requests to learn more about the excessive spending going on at this agency. There is even a posting on this site that tells you how to do a public records request if you don’t know how.

    One of the public records requests showed that the Sheriff has purchased 122 cars for civilian personnel (this does not include Corrections personnel or law enforcement). These cars include Yukons, GMC Acadias, Dodge Chargers, super-sized pick-ups and 4 x 4’s. Some of the vehicles cost close to $40 grand and are not stripped down versions. And what are the majority used for – to ferry these favored employees to and from home to work. With tax dollars at a premium and gas costing what it does should we not be asking them to conserve the fuel usage for the certified employees while on duty. And while speaking of certified deputies vehicles why are some still allowed to drive to and from their homes in Broward and St. Lucie counties.

    Why are we paying pension funds for high risk certified personnel who have strictly administrative jobs? Some are high level employees like the lawyer Col. Joe Bradshaw and some are plain old deputies who never leave the building. What is high risk about sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day.

    Tuition reimbursement is a nice benefit but during an economic crisis should we be paying for someone to go to college. I forget what the limit is now but $15,000 a year comes to mind. Again a public records request would provide the General Order that designated this benefit.

    Why does almost every office at headquarters on Gun Club Road have a large screen HDTV on the wall, some are top of the line too. 46″ Samsung, 240 Mhz, 1080p – they work out just find for the secretaries who have nothing to do but watch Dr. Oz. Some offices even have personal size HDTVs at the employee’s desks.

    How about the number of conferences to fancy cities that they continue to send multiple employees – is this a necessary expenditure during a financial crisis, or couldn’t they just send one representative?

    There are way too many employees who have absolutely nothing to do all day – so what do they do? They sell real estate, they watch You Tube videos or visit with their friends and relatives on Facebook. Again, another public records requests to Information Technology asking for a print out of the number of employees going on external websites daily and for how long each day would be a real eye opener.

    Why do the high-paid sworn Captains and civilian equivalents get FREE health care while they continually raise the rates on the lower paid employees. Seems to me Bradshaw is mandating the lower paid employees supplement the FREE insurance for the highest paid employees. Do they really need FREE insurance when some of them are making $170,000 + a year?

    I could go on and on – but the leg-work, if you are serious about bringing this budget under control, should be up to your group.

    Perhaps we do need to increase taxes, I would prefer that to a loss of important services – but first we need to cut out the real fat and stop listening to Sheriff Bradshaw spread his BS each year. I sent a similar email to the County Commissioners but they seem not to want to rock the boat as I think they want to protect their own “special” benefits.

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