County Votes to pay 35% of cost of Convention Center Hotel

This morning, the Board of County Commissioners voted 4-2 (Marcus/Aaronson/Vana/Burdick in favor, Abrams/Taylor against, Santamaria absent) to “conceptually approve” a county subsidy of $27 Million to The Related Companies to build a 400 room Hilton next to the convention center. They also approved $200,000 from the General Fund Contingency Reserves to fund consultant and legal services to further develop the proposal. While most would... [Read More...]

Today, the Taxpayer Won

4/1/11 Update: Wheelabrator has decided to protest the bid and will be heard at the SWA Board meeting on 4/13 at 9:00. They will have 45 minutes to make their case and B&W will have an equal time to rebut. See Agenda for more information. Low-cost bidder Babcock and Wilcox recommended by committee for SWA mass burn plant. This afternoon at the Solid Waste Authority Visitor’s Center on Jog Road, the committee tasked with selecting one... [Read More...]

Pension Reform and Implications for Palm Beach County

Highlights Governor’s FRS reform worth close to $100M / year to Palm Beach County (with schools included) Senate bill SB1130 implements only portions – reducing savings to about $30M Any change in special risk accruals are strongly opposed by the police and fire unions The legislature lacks the political courage to support the governor in these changes With the legislative session about to open, a battle is brewing over the Governor’s... [Read More...]

Public Sector Compensation – Some Perspective

With the conflict over public employee compensation raging in Wisconsin and likely to spread across the country, there are still misconceptions about how public employees are compensated (and how well), the role of unions in setting the levels of compensation, and the political aspects that typically are more significant than the economic aspects. We at TAB believe that setting equitable compensation for public employees is as important to budget... [Read More...]

Florida Cities, Counties Can’t Afford Promised Pensions

In a recently released study, the nonpartisan LeRoy Collins Institute at Florida State has concluded that many local governments throughout the state cannot afford the pension obligations they have promised to their employees. According to the Sally Kestin, in a Sun-Sentinel article today, municipal pensions account for more than half the payrolls in Miami, Pembroke Pines and Hollywood. Called a “time bomb” by the report, and a “catastrophe”... [Read More...]

TAB Legislative Wish-List – an Update

Since we published our “Legislative Wish List” last month, the outlook for the coming session has come into focus. Two of the 4 items appear to be off the table, while one of them – FRS reform, has been exceeded by the just announced proposal by Governor Scott. Here is an update. FRS Reform We support the county’s desire to require employee contributions to FRS, modify the fixed 3% COLA, reduce the DROP program, explore Defined... [Read More...]

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