Months ago, Diane Bendekovic, the newly-elected Plantation Mayor and Democrat, announced Plantation faced a budget deficit of $5.8 million dollars.
Now, sources tell RED BROWARD the actual deficit is more than 8 million dollars. When Bendekovic’s father, the legendary Frank Veltri, was mayor Plantation was known for fiscal responsibility, low taxes and superior services. Veltri would have never allowed this financial mess.
What did Bendekovic and former Mayor Rae Carole Armstrong know about this financial disaster?
To put things in perspective, the City of Hollywood declared a financial emergency over an $8.6 million dollar deficit. People were fired. Services and salaries were slashed.
Hollywood is a bigger city than Plantation. Plantation doesn’t pay for fire services. How can Plantation’s projected deficit be just $400k less than Hollywood? Where did all the money go?
City officials are scrambling for answers before next week’s scheduled budget meeting. Stay tuned…
Demonstrating a severe lack of understanding of new laws affecting teachers, the Broward Teachers Union sent an email informing teachers they may have to shell out more money:
“Under the new FRS regulations, any monies paid after June 30 will be charged a 3 percent retirement contribution, even if the money was earned before July 1st if the public employee elected to have their earnings spread over 26 paychecks. It should be noted in response to numerous member questions that, however unfair, it does not matter when monies were earned by public employees, but only that the money is being dispersed after June 30th when the new FRS regulations take effect.”
Robert Sutton, a Broward School District employee and Teacher of The Year, knew something was wrong. Sutton contacted Union officials who put the blame on Governor Rick Scott and Tallahassee Republicans. Sutton told the Republican Business Network he tried to get several politicians to address his concerns.
Sutton said Broward GOP Chairman Richard DeNapoli made several calls to determine who could resolve this mystery. DeNapoli finally reached Garry Green, Operations & Management Consultant Manager, Research and Education Section, Division of Retirement, Department of Management Services.
Green informed DeNapoli:
“I spoke with the Broward County School Board who verified the union sent this out without fully understanding current reporting requirements in anticipation of the implementation of 3% required employee contributions.”
“Teachers who are paid out over a year’s time for their 10 month school year have their deferred salary payments reported to the Division of Retirement in June regardless of when the payments occur. For teachers in this circumstance this year, the 3% required employee contributions will not be deducted because they are not owed for payments made in June 2011.”
“The Broward County School Board indicated they will be sending information out to the affected teachers.”
So, when no one else bothered to look into the matter, the Broward GOP jumped into action. Broward Republicans, especially the Broward GOP chairman, believe all government employees should contribute to their pensions. Despite BTU and Democrat scare tactics, there will be no “double contributions” to pension plans. Perhaps next time the BTU will not jump to conclusions and blame Republicans; A little research can go along way to help our underpaid and poorly-represented teachers. Republicans do not believe in ex post facto…BTU should consult Broward’s fine history and government teachers if they do not understand the term.
Below is video of Robert Sutton’s announcement at the Republican Business Network: