GatorTown Review

City and County Commission public video clips of interest

Sound policies are those that consistently produce time tested tangible results, while shaky, all hat and no cattle policies result in horrific revenue management and tax increases. Shaky policies that promise much but produce very little are easily exposed by going back and looking at what was promised and comparing it to what was delivered.

Reviewing policies based on chronological video evidence allows us to see who had/has vision and who lacked/lacks vision. Video evidence from the past has a tendency to make one look like a genius, or a fool. Gatortown Review by means of short video clips fact check what was said then, and how it compares to what is being said now, and subsequently what were the results.

 Urban Cluster & MMTM

History of Alachua County roads mess...

  • County Still Subsidizing Developers

    2022-01-26 20:58:17
    Who really pays for growth was the sixty-four thousand dollar question put before the board in 2011. Almost twelve years later we at least have a partial answer to that question. Developers do not pay for growth in the Urban Cluster. In 2011 Growth Management floated a plan to the board that was as close to a subsidy as one can get without it actually being called a subsidy. Alachua County chose to give developers a huge break on impact fees in order to spur growth in the then heralded urban cluster area. It was made official when the Board of County Commissioners approved a plan that rejected the traditional Proportionate Fair-Share Mitigation model in favor of a devised home rule plan called the Multi-Modal Transportation Mitigation (MMTM) program for dealing with development impacts and traffic concurrency. The MMTM model has left huge deficits that must be made up by creative assessment schemes like Special Assessment Districts (SADs). Developers today continue to enjoy the generous offer of limited impact costs if they confine their development projects to the urban cluster.

     1,156     643       7
  • Just-In-Time Solution

    2021-12-11 19:09:52
    The idea of just in time infrastructure money from Washington sounds like music to the ears. The Multi-Modal Transportation Mitigation fee experiment has failed. The County's road infrastructure budget is now officially bankrupt. What shall we do now? County Commissioner Cornell says don't worry, things are going just the way we planned it. He knew we would be rescued just in time before the day of reckoning. We just needed to be ready that's all.

     566     137       35
  • Why not turn to Tallahassee for a solution?

    2021-12-11 19:07:09
    Proportionate Fair-Share Mitigation was put in the Florida Statues (163.3180 Concurrency) as an option for counties to deal with growth, but Alachua County would have none of it. Now that the MMTM program has officially bankrupted Alachua County's infrastructure budget, the mood now is to see what Tallahassee can offer up as a lifeline. Tallahassee should have anticipated some counties would not be able to bring themselves to follow the framework of the Proportionate Fair-Share Mitigation program recommended by the State. Surely those jackasses in Tallahassee made provisions for those who went astray from State recommendations and would not follow the State's tried and true, time-tested methodology on how to best handle growth. What should we do now?

    Consult the attorneys, hire mercenaries from UF, call in the Chaldeans, whatever it takes to get us out of this mess. Public Works has found a way forward that is worth giving a shot. Unfortunately, using provisions in the statues to implement Special Assessment Districts (SAD), while still clinging to the MMTM program will not work.

     521     266       45
  • What is the biggest issue with the County's MMTM program?

    2021-12-11 19:04:05
    After ten years of the Multi-Modal Transportation Mitigation fee being used as a way to fund roads in the urban cluster, the current Board of County Commissioners are experiencing the day of reckoning previous Boards knew would come. Previous Boards recklessly changed the County Comprehensive Plan in ways that lowered costs to developers in order to promote a certain type of growth. MMTM lets developers off the hook too easily. Developers are eager to build in the urban cluster because they get huge breaks on impact fees from the county.

     745     588       14
  • Looking back at what we were told about how to handle growth

    2021-12-11 18:54:43
    The Urban Cluster design calls for Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) and Transient Orient Development (TOD). High density neighborhood development will be required in order to comply with the rules of the Comprehensive Plan. High density can be achieved by limiting where new development can take place in the County. Transportation Concurrency was not a priority in the beginning but it did start to creep into the discussion as density levels ramped up.

     501     188       15
  • Is Alachua County staff making the right recommendations?

    2021-12-11 18:51:19
    Alachua County staff recommended, and the BoCC approved a plan to get around the Proportionate Fair-Share Mitigation Fee methodology put forth by the State. The Florida Statues allows Counties the option of using the State's recommend framework to manage growth or a County could devise its own custom methodology, as long as it satisfied the requirements on the Comprehensive Plan. Alachua County's natural impulse is to reject any recommendations from Tallahassee, so a roll-your-on methodology was adopted.

    The County's methodology gave major concessions to developers compared to the plan put forth by the State. The plan recommended by the State stressed developers should be held accountable for impacts through a fair share mitigation fee. The framework put forth by the State is transportation concurrency centric.

    What is Transportation Concurrency? In the simplest terms, it means measuring to determine if the transportation network is adequate to accommodate the growth that the Comprehensive Plan anticipates. In other words, if a developer plans a large scale development project, can the surrounding infrastructure handle it? If not, the developer is required to pay a fair share of the cost for upgrading the infrastructure.

     1,062     670       25
  • Sticking your neck out for something you don't understand

    2021-12-11 18:47:01
    MMTM, TND, TOD, Urban Cluster and Transportation Concurrency talk took the Board of County Commissioners by storm, and left them looking like deer in headlights.

     607     295       13

  • Gambling with the future of County infrastructure

    2021-12-11 18:45:32
    Growth Management decided to place a bet in a high stakes game of dice when they adopted the TND and TOD approach to development. Developers took advantage of their bliss and were able to avoid paying millions in impact fees.

     542     234       6

  • MMTM program offers a mulligan to developers

    2021-12-11 18:43:39
    Cutting corners to fast track the MMTM program was a major mistake and the consequences will forever be felt. No development should be allowed to move forward until the concurrency issues are resolved.

     613     119       5

  • Is it mandated that a TND, TOD model must have to a Multi-Modal Transportation Mobility Fee?

    2021-12-11 18:40:32
    The State does not mandate mobility fees. An acceptable Comprehensive Plan must list some type of provision for traffic concurrency. Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) and Transient Oriented Development (TOD) are somewhat ubiquitous terms simply because they grant ample wiggle room for implementation. Growth Management's gamble on cutting impact fees for TNDs and TODs indicates a reflection of their degree of moral hazard. The Board of County Commissioners went along simple because of staff's embellished recommendations.

     611     115       12
  • Replacing the Proportionate Fair-Share Mitigation Fee

    2021-12-11 18:37:50
    The County Manager did not bite his tongue when stressing to the Board what replacing proportionate fair-share mitigation with MMTM. He knew this was a big deal that shouldn't be taken lightly. The move was highly speculative at best with no use cases that could be pointed to as a working model. This move has turned out to be a high stakes proof of concept that has bankrupted the Alachua County roads budget. When will the proof of concept end is the question we should all be asking.

     460     131       4
  • Sub-prime Transportation Concurrency fees

    2021-12-11 18:34:30
    The urban cluster model has front and back-end costs. Back-end costs usually fall on the homeowners in the form of new taxes. A Special Assessment District is a good example of backend costs a homeowner can pay to compensate for incentives that were given to the developer.

     401     90       4

  • What fundamental changes did MMTM bring about?

    2021-12-11 18:30:34
    If the discounts the County offered to developers on impact fees weren't enough, now under MMTM other projects could dip into the road infrastructure kitty and take money that used to be designated solely for roads. The MMTM Fee began to become a slush fund for pet projects. Many road projects were forced to take a back seat to various types of mobility projects.

     405     108       19
  • Blue light special on urban cluster developer fees

    2021-12-11 18:28:28
    Growth Management convinced the County Commissioners that even though they would lose infrastructure funding dollars on every developer project within the urban cluster, they would be able to make up for those lost dollars through increased project volume.

     423     83       5

  • MMTM Fee? who must pay it, and how often must they pay it?

    2021-12-11 18:26:46
    Transportation concurrency fee formulas are not an exact science. Basing an important fee on assertions can be very risky. It could lead to serious shortfalls in the infrastructure budget if not assessed correctly.

     402     62       2

  • Doubling down on the Multi-Modal Transportation Mitigation fee

    2021-12-11 18:25:01
    Preventing developers from having a choice of where to build by drafting strict County regulations on land development was a strategy applied by staff prior to adopting the TND and TOD land use models. However, given the incentives developers are receiving for building within the urban cluster, developers have very little desire to build anywhere else in the unincorporated areas. The restrictions and regulations (which weren't needed) that were put in place to discourage development outside the urban cluster do not come without nasty side effects.

     401     95       5
  • Can we sweeten the MMTM pot a little bit more for developers?

    2021-12-11 18:12:25
    Why let a good Multi-Modal Transportation Mitigation special go to waste?

     401     54       10

  • Thinking outside the box when it comes to infrastructure spending

    2021-12-11 18:09:44
    The Multi-Modal Transportation Mitigation way of doing things really upset the apple cart when it came to funding projects from the MMTM fees. Funding traditional roads designed for cars became secondary to County staff and the Commissioners. This idea has backfired and exacerbated the road infrastructure problems of Alachua County.

     402     73       13
  • Is the Multi-Modal Transportation Mitigation program just another fallacy?

    2021-12-11 18:07:10
    Is the Multi-Modal Transportation Mitigation program just another fallacy? The Proportionate Fair-Share Mitigation program is tried and true. The fact that it can impede growth because of the cost developers would have to pay to meet concurrency standards can be viewed in two ways: a) If the project is valuable enough to the developer they will not let impact fees stand in the way. b) A government who strictly insist on adhering to the Fair-Share program will never find itself in road infrastructure budget financial hell.

     400     111       13
  • TND rules were made to be broken

    2021-12-11 18:03:34
    The guaranteed outcome for any government that makes a commitment to urban cluster principles but refuse to strictly adhere to those principles will be a bankrupt roads budget.

     400     67       17

  • There was some malaise when it came to implementation

    2021-12-11 18:01:20
    Multi-Modal Transportation Mitigation is not a proven methodology for collecting the proper amount of impact fees from developers. The proportionate fair share model put forth by the state is tried and true.

     400     101       6

  • Infrastructure budget priorities should not favor roads

    2021-12-11 17:59:00
    It is high time Alachua County staff take a long look in the mirror to decide whether it will follow the will of the overwhelming majority of the citizens, or cater to the desires of a few neo-liberal elites.

     400     132       23

  • What is the main issue we now find with MMTM?

    2021-12-11 17:50:44
    After ten years of the Multi-Modal Transportation Mitigation fee being used as a way to fund roads in the urban cluster, the current Board of County Commissioners are experiencing the day of reckoning previous Boards knew would come; yet previous Boards recklessly changed the County Comprehensive Plan in order to implement the MMTM program. MMTM lets developers off the hook too easily. Developers are eager to build in the urban cluster because they get huge breaks on impact fees from the county.

     400     77       9
 HB1463-Single Member Districts
Support Single Member Districts...

  • Just call and we will be there

    2022-03-01 21:23:00
    The ability to paint a rosy picture is a must have attribute, if you value your political life in Alachua County these days. The art of mollifying plays extremely well in a world where symbolism is treated as the be-all and-end all answer to whatever ills that may be out there rearing its ugly head. It would be very nice to be able to call any commissioner and they come out to see what the problem is.

     614     170       23
  • What year was that vote?

    2022-03-01 21:19:46
    The voters who voted for the rules of the charter are probably in the minority now. It is not like the voters of Alachua County get to vote on the rules of the charter every year. When the rules for changing the constitution were put in place, they were intended to make the process cumbersome but not impossible. Now we have a situation where the constitution has been weaponized in a way that makes it impossible to change unless the change is to make way for a new neo-liberal idea.

     523     342       54
  • Clean it up!

    2022-03-01 21:14:11
    There have never been three African Americans serving on the Board of County Commissioners simultaneously. It sounds good when you are trying to give the impression that the county is color blind. What difference does it make if there were two or three or whatever serving on the board at once? Besides, we don't believe in that old two is a crowd three is a riot stereotype.

     563     116       15
  • My County

    2022-03-01 21:07:52
    This is my county, I run it the way I see fit, and I don't want anybody telling me what I can or can't do. My county serves everyone equally and fairly, therefore there is no reason for Tallahassee to be concerned about what we are doing in my county. All the citizens of my county are in lock-step on the direction the county is moving in and we are all extremely happy. My county does not need Tallahassee, Tallahassee needs my county because we are the best thing that has happened to Florida.

     619     237       26
  • All about Scheming

    2022-03-01 21:03:20
    Whatever schemes that happen in Tallahassee should stay in Tallahassee. We insist on the schemes that are taking place in Alachua County be of no concern of Tallahassee. Let the locals figure out how to deal with our schemes. Our schemes are for the benefit of our county and we know best how to scheme against our citizens. Don't go meddling in our schemes Tallahassee, mind your own business.

     598     169       17
  • We make it hard

    2022-03-01 20:58:47
    The Alachua County constitution has been sealed and is off limits to change by certain elements in the county. The unwritten ordinance the county is operating under go something like this: Whereas, no deplorables shall be allowed on the county's Charter Review Commission. Whereas, no deplorables are welcome on the Board of County Commission. Whereas we make sure no deplorable shall have time to do the work of gathering signatures by making sure they will be too busy trying to pay their taxes.

     604     462       36
  • Getting elected is only half the battle

    2022-03-01 20:51:53
    We shouldn't assume being elected means serving your constituents. Again, being elected does not mean you are going to fight for those you are supposed to be serving. Alachua County has had a huge underserved community since the birth of a nation. The question the woke crowd is now asking is how does the underserved community deal with deadbeat commissioners; Commissioners who do not serve them? The underserved communities' fate is constantly in the hands of deadbeat commissioners who are hard to get rid of. HB1493 makes it easy to get rid of deadbeat commissioners who refuse to serve their district.

     588     220       19
  • When is it voter suppression?

    2022-03-01 20:38:49
    The opponents of house bill 1493 are trying to prevent the voters of Alachua County from having the ability to vote on what type of county government they want. The proponents of the bill are trying to give the voters the ability to vote for the type of government they want. How is making voting easy, while at the same time limiting what gets on the ballot, any different from denying one the right to vote?

     773     187       17
  • She didn't mean it

    2022-03-01 20:36:28
    She said it but she did not mean it. I agreed with her views on HB1493 until I disagreed with her. All the commissioners have their own opinions and on occasion one of those opinions may wander off the reservation but it's all good. Since the current version of the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners is trying to implement a nanny state form of government, it makes since the board would want to engage in a public brainwashing campaign in order to make it work. I would like to think my BoCC rolls out the red carpet to all no matter what their political party affiliation is. If that isn't true I wish someone would correct me on this.

     576     219       12
  • Did not say 'may I'

    2022-03-01 20:33:20
    The word on the street is, because the author of HB1493 did not ask the leaders of the underserved community if they have his blessing on the bill, they should vote against it. Deadbeat commissioners are on the run from HB1493 the single member district proposal, and they are the ones who are screaming the loudest and trying to make sure it does not pass. They are resorting to the oldest trick in the book by telling the underserved they support racists if they vote for single member districts. Why is that? It is because HB1493 gives each county commissioner an ultimatum. It says serve your district or get voted out by those you underserve. The prospect of having to work hard to earn the underserved communities' vote, if they want to keep their job, frightens some commissioners. Vote YES for single member districts.

     610     214       24
  • Why pick on us?

    2022-03-01 20:31:55
    The question is why us and not the other counties in the district? The answer is, this is not a one-size fits all solution to be applied. The BoCC loves one-size fit all solutions, so it makes sense why the chair of the board would ask why not apply the proposed single member districts to other counties?

     683     118       12
  • You can trust me

    2022-03-01 20:29:04
    I harbor no ill will against any district in the county. I've taught every type of youngins and white kids too, so I know I care. HB 1493 would be bad for our youngins and I will try to convince the voters to vote it down. Besides, the lie of omission does not apply to county districts.

     457     91       0

  • Being underserved is good for citizens

    2022-03-01 20:27:59
    The underserved communities of Alachua County will remain underserved forever unless the underserved are granted the power to vote out the bums who are underserving them. The underserved citizens of Alachua County are being held hostage by a nanny state.

     709     214       14

  • Clearly out of touch

    2022-03-01 20:26:43
    To say that there are just as many African Americans living in the three western county districts as there are in the two eastern county districts is not only facetious, but shows the extent deadbeat commissioners will go to keep from serving the underserved. It is high time we hold elected officials accountable for what they say. This applies to democrats and republicans. Any politician who brazenly tries to deceive the public should be thrown out of office.

     1,170     670       4
  • Using taxpayer money against the public

    2022-03-01 19:35:49
    Telling the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners they can't spend tax dollars is worse than banishing them to eternal purgatory. The mandate by the legislature that says taxpayer dollars can't be spent by the BoCC on anything that tries to sway voter opinion on HB1493 may be a case where complying by the rules can be a death sentence. Voters' minds should be so made up on this matter until the county commission couldn't sway them with all the money in the world. We all want county single member districts.

     592     160       22
 Economic & Environmental Justice

Reconciliation and present day truths...

  • Is this how a true liberal talks?

    2022-02-28 14:38:10
    Words can give you away even when the choice of words is said to be politically correct.

     710     92       35

  • I know we can change and do better

    2022-02-18 16:15:37
    There is no reason to continue practicing the same old environmental racism polices. The only thing standing in the way of changing environmental racism policies is the will of the politicians. When will a local government official stand and say 'not on my watch' to those who find comfort in following status quo policies?

     677     229       3
  • We should all be concerned for our neighbors

    2022-02-18 15:47:56
    A hazardous dump does not belong near any type farm let alone an organic farm that supply food to local school children. A residential neighborhood, an organic farm and a construction demolition dump trying to coexist. If you listen to the Alachua County Health Department and the DEP, they will tell you the three are a match made in heaven.

     558     105       6
  • Dumping on communities of color

    2022-02-18 15:38:32
    The only way to stop the dumping is to make the dump a campaign issue. That is where the rubber meets the road and how you enact real change. Voting for candidates who support dumping then turning around and complaining about dumping to those same candidates makes no sense.

     704     552       34

  • Eastern Urban Cluster

    2022-02-18 10:09:52
    Was the eastern urban cluster development plan just part of a shell game the county used in order to get support for the western urban cluster? The Unified Land Development Code did not favor the eastern urban cluster in the ways it did the western urban cluster. Since the ULDC plays such a major role in determining what get built where, the eastern urban cluster never really got off the ground. The county never officially scrapped the eastern urban cluster idea; it just eliminated it through the process of omission.

     598     92       26
  • The Eastside Shall Be First

    2022-02-17 20:58:02
    The plan to develop an urban cluster had to be sold to the public in a way that had all the earmarks of fairness. Initially it was billed as an eastside activity center initiative. The eastside was asking what about us at the time, so it was granted the right to lay claim to being the location of the first urban cluster in the county.

    Meanwhile behind the scenes the planned west side unincorporated urban cluster was raring to go, the only thing needed was a little show and pretense to appease some who may have had some malaise about what the county was getting ready to pull off. Many county staff members were complicit in the way this was handled.

     586     127       26
  • Location matters

    2022-02-17 20:24:20
    You know something is wrong when the Chairman of the County Commission along with the other board members and staff, go to great lengths to defend having a hazardous demolition debris dump smack dab in the middle of a residential neighborhood. If that is not strange enough, try this, they even voted unanimously to allow the size of the dump to grow exponentially.

     753     329       8
  • Dump enlargement approval with relish

    2022-02-17 20:14:58
    Chairman Chestnut and board of County Commissioners hurriedly approved Construction and Demolition dump expansion in African American residential neighborhood in Southeast Gainesville.

     672     284       15

  • Asbestos, Lead and Mold

    2022-02-17 19:43:54
    Demolition debris from old buildings commonly contains hazardous materials of yesteryear. It is not uncommon for drywall in old structures to have several layers of paint that dates back to a time when lead paint was fashionable. Once crushed and pulverized at C and D dump facilities drywall that contains hazards like mold and lead transform into dangerous particles that can become airborne.

    Better codes and standards prevent new construction from making the mistakes of the past that resulted in immeasurable amounts of health issues. When old buildings are razed the dangerous demolition debris has to go somewhere, and oftentimes that somewhere is either in or near communities of color.

     924     339       17
  • Do They Care?

    2022-02-17 17:46:58
    The BoCC doesn't believe the data that says residents living in close proximity of the Florence Construction and Demolition debris dump suffer a higher rate of health related issues than those who don't. There has been no action taken by the BoCC to try and mitigate this problem. One must ask do they care?

     803     298       15
  • The primary goal is to create a set of primary goals

    2022-02-17 17:38:07
    What!? Equity plans must be very complicated before they can be effective. In other words, before you can address equity issues you must undertake the painstaking process of figuring out how to determine what the goals should be.

     762     312       28

  • Equity has to be fought for

    2022-02-17 16:37:57
    The word on the street is president LBJ during his quest to pass the civil rights act had to engage in what can only be described as WWF style diplomacy with several members on the house and senate. He even kept a pair of Texas pointed toe 'diplomacy boots' in the oval office specifically for those who were not committed to equity. The first thing any member of congress who was invited by the president to the oval office would look for was if he is wearing his diplomacy boots.

    The point being there will always be opposition to equity, so the real question becomes how will you deal with it? There are two possible ways; don't make waves and just draw a paycheck, or be willing to fight for equity, even if it means losing your job. Any equity officer, who doesn't cause waves in an environment that saw a need to hire such a person, probably is not worth their weight in salt.

     936     499       9

  • Stormwater assessment blues

    2022-03-28 17:07:46
    The blanket stormwater assessment the county levied against the residents of the unincorporated area may not offer a benefit to your property. If the county invested in stormwater infrastructure near your property, then and only then should your property be hit with a stormwater assessment tax. If there is nothing near your property that resembles county stormwater infrastructure investment, you are being assessed illegally.

     1,103     266       19

  • Storm water assessment-the lazy way

    2022-02-07 19:46:43
    The storm water assessment has some merit.
    There is very little disagreement over it being a tool county government can use in its fight to better manage storm water issues. When the county invests in storm water projects that benefit property in a community there can be an assessment levied against that property to help cover the costs. Since the storm water project was a benefit to the community, and every property benefited from it, everyone gladly pays the assessment right? That's the way it is supposed to work, if implemented correctly.

    However, this method requires too much work. The taxing authorities would have to know exactly what properties benefited from a given storm water project. Instead, the county decided to go with the blanket approach. That means all properties are assessed whether they received benefits from a county storm water project in their community or not.

    The amount of time and energy the commission invests in conjuring up false narratives and excuses for their lazy implementation is more than what would be required to sort out who deserve or don't deserve the assessment.

     787     309       25

  • Stall and delay and hope they go away

    2022-02-01 17:34:47
    If the County Commissioners would spend half their time discussing meaningful fiscal impactful issues as they spend on mundane issues, we would eliminate much of the waste and many of our problems.

    The Board of County Commissioners is guilty of the following:
    -Having a knack for gagging on gnats and swallowing camels
    -Having a propensity to regulate the mice while letting the tigers roam free
    -Believing they have the ability to remove the speck from your eye even when they have a board in their own eye

     719     319       18

  • Making the fiscal year tax increases official

    2022-02-01 16:19:06
    The Board of County Commissioners dashed the hopes of all those who were hoping they would have a change of heart before finalizing the 2022 tax hikes. The county received over $50M from the federal government in the form of stimulus funds but it wasn't enough to satisfy the insatiable spending appetite of the BoCC. The months of lockdown and cutbacks in service levels that took place across all county government evidently didn't net the count any savings. Other counties actually experienced a boom from the lockdowns and benefited from the CARES ACT. Alachua County appears to have experienced loses from the lockdowns and didn't benefit from the CARES ACT. Hence, the need for more tax increases.

     1,352     332       21


    2022-02-01 16:09:46
    What do you mean by benefit to the property? The county commission thinks that if it funds a storm water project in Jonesville, they have the right under home rule authority to say that project offers a benefit to some poor guy's property in Hawthorne. Skirting the law in this manner may be considered legal in the mind of the County Attorney but it is shameful to see the County Commission resort to such bottom of the barrel tactics just for $1.5M of new revenue.

     828     319       17

  • We have a unanimous decision

    2022-02-01 15:58:50
    Every round of the millage and tax talk resulted in unanimous votes for increases. The Board of County Commissioners is now the undisputed champion of tax increases.

     1,576     318       21

  • Another prediction that has come true

    2022-02-01 15:15:40
    It has been said many times that the lowering of the County's general millage has come about because of tax cuts. The truth is the general millage was lowered not because of tax cuts but because the fire services were taken out of MSTU(ad-valorem) and placed in non-ad valorem as an assessment. This move happened at a time when the general millage was running out of cap space. The cap is set at 10 mills by the legislature to protect the taxpayers from rapacious taxing authorities. 2.3 whole MSTU fire services millage points were stripped from ad valorem and given a new identity under non-ad valorem as a fire service assessment; an assessment that has no cap restrictions. This rearrangement or shuffling of items on your tax bill should in no way be mistaken for a tax cut.

     1,252     207       7

  • Over taxation have real consequences

    2022-02-01 15:03:17
    Over taxation eats at the fabric of a community. Government is responsible for providing certain core services to the community that must be paid for by taxpayers. The line between core services and neo-liberal ideas have become so blurred in Alachua County until county government has forgotten its prime function. Taxpayers have to resort to survival mode in order to stay afloat in their own homes.

     1,017     152       17

  • Put your heart into it if you know it is right

    2022-02-01 14:51:09
    : Raising taxes is not a game for the faint of heart. If you are willing to move the adoption of a resolution that is going to increase the size of the budget so much until tax increases will be inevitable; please Commissioners, do it like you mean it. This clearly looks like the commissioner is reading a hostage note written by staff and orchestrated by Commissioner Cornell.

     1,053     202       15

  • Just how far does the taxes extend?

    2022-02-01 14:30:07
    Alachua County taxpayers are not the problem. The County has a revenue management problem that it refuses to acknowledge. Like any other addiction, before it can be treated the subject must first admit it has a problem. Instead of blaming the taxpayers and constantly looking for ways to create new taxes, the board should take responsibility by diligently directing and persuading staff to get in line with a new culture shift. That mission statement for the new County culture should be: We only raise taxes as a last resort and only after every other possible avenue have been explored.

     1,098     219       7

  • Where is the transparency?

    2022-02-01 14:17:12
    "Accordingly, the BoCC has determined that a proposed millage rate of 3.5678 mills for the MSTU law enforcement is required to fund the MSTU law enforcement budget."

    Is the BoCC really making these determinations or is this something that was recommended by staff? The constitutional officers present to the board what they want and the board is supposed to adjudicate their requests in a way that balances their requests with the will of the taxpayers. There were no public meetings held by the BoCC to discuss the methodology they used to determine why the MSTU law enforcement millage rate had be raised. Why is the board making such determinations without sharing with the taxpayers their reasoning behind such increases? Where is the transparency?

     982     178       10

  • Hold your head up!

    2022-02-01 14:07:37
    Looking down while speaking was thought to be a sign of submission. It was also thought that if the speaker is looking down it portrayed them as being non-threatening. The County Manager and all the Commissioners obviously think tax increases are in no way threatening to the public. Their heads were bowed throughout the FY22 taxes and millage rate policy making process as a symbolic gesture to the public of their humility. However, as for submission, this board does not believe in yielding to the will of the taxpayers, nor does it consider itself to be under the authority of the taxpayers. Over taxation by the BoCC is a threat to the way of life for most of the citizens of Alachua County.

     1,065     179       15

  • The quick and the dead

    2022-02-01 13:44:11
    Alachua County didn't reach its current level of taxation by accident, nor by being diligent on matters involving spending. As witnessed in this clip you can see why taxes always trend upwards after each budget season. The word reckless comes to mind when I watch how taxes and millage decisions are made by the board; everything is on auto pilot. The process is quick and lacks hardly any discussion regarding the proposed increases before being given an approval by the board.

     858     214       8

  • Be ready to catch them when they fall

    2022-02-01 13:40:17
    Was this a heads-up to the myriads of non-profits in the area? One week after gloriously handing down tax increases to the citizens of Alachua County, which includes those who are living from paycheck-to-paycheck, this clip proves the board is aware of what's likely to follow. If the commissioner's concerns were genuine she should have raised them during the tax and millage rate hike discussions.

     1,327     417       23

  • What's the County Manager's story this time?

    2022-02-01 13:11:39
    One of the more common reasons there is always a need to raise taxes is the fact that every project comes in over budget. It is safe to say County Manager Lieberman does not have the Midas touch when it comes to managing projects. However, since it is not a job requirement, the taxpayers must live with that fact. The $2.7M Camp McConnell upgrade has exceeded $4M and is still counting. This is just one in a long line of over budget projects that can be laid at the County Manager's feet. It is almost inevitable that consistent over budget projects will lead to revenue shortages. How does the county remedy revenue shortfalls? The answer is a simple one that is all too familiar to the citizens of Alachua County. That's right, you guessed it?we will make up for it in our next iteration of tax increases.

     1,117     249       3