July 1, 2015 at 12:43 pm

Lake County Spends $440,000 to Suppress the Vote

Posted by in Lake County

Lake County Spends $440,000
to Suppress the Vote

Typically, liberal groups make charges of voter suppression, but this time it’s coming from a group on the Right Side of the Lake.  The Lake County Board of County Commissioners must really be scared of Lake County voters, because they have scheduled the election for the Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum (to renew the Lake County Penny Sales Tax) on Tuesday, November 3, 2015.

We contacted the Lake County Supervisor of Elections Office, and we were told this special, off-year election is costing Lake County taxpayers $440,000.  The only elections scheduled for 2015 include just a handful of small city elections and this one county-wide Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum (Penny Sales Tax).

2015 Election Calendar
Election Book Closing Date Election Date
Lake County Special Election October 5, 2015 November 3, 2015
Town of Astatula October 5, 2015 November 3, 2015
City of Clermont October 5, 2015 November 3, 2015
City of Groveland October 5, 2015 November 3, 2015
Town of Lady Lake October 5, 2015 November 3, 2015
City of Mascotte October 5, 2015 November 3, 2015
City of Minneola October 5, 2015 November 3, 2015
Town of Montverde October 5, 2015 November 3, 2015
City of Mount Dora October 5, 2015 November 3, 2015
City of Tavares October 5, 2015 November 3, 2015
Because of the Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum (Penny Sales Tax), every polling station in the county will have to be open, every citizen given the opportunity to cast an early vote, and thousands of absentee ballots mailed out.  You and I are paying for a General Election in an off-year, not to mention the extra work it is putting on everyone associated with the Supervisor of Elections Office.

Now, here is a fact that will make every taxpayer in Lake County very mad.  According to the Florida Division of Elections, Lake County will have three county-wide votes in 2016.  First, the Presidential Preference Primary Election on March 15, 2016, next the State and County Primary Election on August 30, 2016, and then the National and Florida General Election on November 8, 2016.  Adding the Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum (Penny Sales Tax) on any of those dates would virtually not cost the taxpayers one single dime.  So much money, time, and work just wasted!

Why did the Lake County Commission schedule a 2015 off-year election at a cost of $440,000 to taxpayers?  They don’t want you to vote.  The politicians and political elites know that most taxpayers are in a nasty mood from government regulations, failed government policies, and too many taxes.  They calculated their best chance in getting the Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum (Penny Sales Tax) passed is to hold the vote two years early in hopes that you stay home while they muster enough of their friends and political elites to vote the tax in on you.  The current Penny Sales Tax does not expire until December 31, 2017.  So, there is absolutely no problem with holding the vote in 2016 or in 2017.

This is voter suppression in its most diabolical form.  If they are so confident that the taxpayers of Lake County will vote for 6 pickle ball courts, then hold the vote when everyone is coming to the polls.  It is under the same principle that the Lake County Commission uses to schedule their meetings, which are held at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning.  They don’t want working taxpayers to show up for meetings, because that would get in the way of all of their special interests.

Even if you support the Penny Sales Tax, you should be against this type of voter suppression.  Taxpayers and working people across the county shouldn’t have to pay or be bothered with a special election on the Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum (Penny Sales Tax), which is set to expire some two-plus years later, and when there is a full Presidential Primary only four months from the date.  You should vote against the Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum (Penny Sales Tax) on November 3, 2015, and send a message that you do not condone voter suppression and the wasting of taxpayers’ money.

On November 3, 2015, Vote Against the Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum (Penny Sales Tax), because the referendum is badly written and you don’t want to give the politicians a blank check.  Let’s make them do it right—the ordinance should only be used for new schools, roads, and utilities while protecting Lake County taxpayers and workers. 

If you would like someone to come and speak to your group about the Penny Sales Tax, 

Please get the facts out to your family, friends, and neighbors by sharing this email with everyone in your address book.

We would like to hear from you on today’s newsletter.  Go to www.lakecountygov.infoand let us know what you think.  You can leave a comment on this newsletter, or you can click on the “What’s on Your Mind?” button to leave a comment about something you feel strongly about.

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June 24, 2015 at 4:18 pm

Penny Sales Tax Should Be Used for “Needs” not “Wants”

Penny Sales Tax Should Be Used for
“Needs” not “Wants”

At the special election on November 3, 2015, Lake County citizens should Vote Against the Penny Sales Tax initiative (Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum) because the politicians are not addressing the real priorities of Lake County.  For the last 15 years, Lake County officials at all levels said the priorities of Lake County are new student stations (schools), roads (which supposedly have no funding mechanism), and city utilities.Instead of proposing to fund priorities of the county, the Lake County Board of County Commissioners developed a hodge-podge list of items, which already have multiple funding sources.  Instead of taking care of the infrastructure they are taking care of political “wants”.

On Lake County’s website there is a complete list of “wants” but not “needs”.  Too much is at stake to let this money be used as political pork to pay off political friends and donors.

Here are some points to consider:

  • There are proposals to raise the salaries of both Lake County and Sheriff’s Office employees for a second year in a row.  How many working people are getting yearly raises?  That is your best indication they don’t need this sales tax.
  • The Sheriff’s Office has been openly criticized by the Lake County Commission for not participating in good faith in budget cuts since the start of the Great Recession, but yet they want to give them more money.  Law enforcement budgets should be going down with the advances in technology.
  • The Lake County politicians are using fire fighters as their pawns.  The county’s Fire Department has multiple funding sources, which include general property taxes, a special fire assessment, and fire impact fees, but yet the politicians say they need money for equipment.  Let’s be honest, the politicians are playing a shell game with the fire fighters’ money.
  • With impact fees for roads, parks, and libraries in addition to state and federal grants, state sales tax, and regular property taxes—all of these areas have millions of dollars available to them.  Also, don’t forget in 2004 Lake County voters voted for a one-third millage rate assessment to buy environmental lands—you are already doing your part for the environment.
  • Finally, you the taxpayer were nailed for a 13.8% property tax increase last year, because the politicians needed to do things like give county employees pay raises and build up their emergency reserves.  We suggest that if you didn’t get a 13.8% raise last year and you were unable build-up your family’s emergency bank reserves, you should probably Vote Against the Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum at the special election on November 3, 2015.
What this tax is all about and how they propose to spend it is double, triple, and quadruple dipping money out of your pocket.  The bottom line is the Penny Sales Tax should only be used for roads, new student stations (schools), and utilities—the real “needs” and priorities of Lake County.  ByVoting Against the Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum at the special election on November 3, 2015, you will force the Lake County politicians to re-do this ordinance to establish the correct priorities, and allow for real transparency and accountability, while giving a real opportunity to Lake County workers.Below we have taken directly from Lake County’s website how they plan to spend the Penny Sales Tax money, and we have rewritten the November 3rd ballot based on Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Advisory Legal Opinion on full disclosure for Infrastructure Surtax Referendums.  We suspect it was not written this way (including all of the politicians’ “wants”) because the politicians realized most taxpayers would reject all of these local pork projects.

______________________________________________________________________________

INFRASTRUCTURE SALES SURTAX REFERENDUM

SHOULD LAKE COUNTY ORDINANCE 2015-___ EXTENDING THE EXISTING
ONE-CENT COUNTYWIDE INFRASTRUCTURE SALES SURTAX FOR FIFTEEN YEARS
BE APPROVED?

PROJECTS ELIGIBLE FOR FUNDING:

PUBLIC SAFETY
SHERIFF
Vehicle Replacement

  • 175-200 vehicles
LAKE EMS
Ambulance and Equipment Replacement
  • New ambulances – 20 to 25
  • Ambulance re-chassis and patient compartment
    refurbishments – 3 to 5
  • Quick response vehicles – 3 to 5
  • Cardiac monitors – 25 to 30
  • Stretchers – 25 to 30
FIRE RESCUE
Fire Apparatus Replacement
  • Apparatus – 25 to 29
    Includes fire engines, squads, aerial ladder trucks, water tanker trucks, and utility brush trucks
FIRE RESCUE
Fire Station Renovations and Repairs
  • Stations – 9 to 12
    Includes building remodels, roof replacements, water/well systems, generators, and HVAC replacements
QUALITY OF LIFE
PARKS
East Lake Community Park Park
Approx. 80 percent of build-out
  • Sports lighting of all athletic fields
  • Path system throughout the park
  • Internal road and parking lot
  • Buildings at ballfields, multipurpose fields and maintenance (3)
PARKS
South Lake Regional Park Park approx. 40 percent of build-out
  • Ballfields with lights (4)
  • Multipurpose fields with lights (2)
  • Building – restrooms / concession (1)
  • Internal road, parking lot and path system (50% completion)
  • Renovate existing building for maintenance staff
  • Site clearing and grading
  • Utilities – water, sewer, electric, irrigation well or reclaim water
PARKS
Lake Idamere Park Park Completion
  • Sports lighting
  • Resurfacing internal road, parking lot and trail
  • Restroom
  • Path and parking lot lighting
  • Pavilions
PARKS
P.E.A.R. Park Park Completion
  • Path system throughout the park
  • Pavilions
  • Internal road and parking lots
  • Pickleball courts (6)
PARKS
Ferndale Preserve
  • Central observation tower
PARKS
Minneola Athletic Complex Park Completion
  • Multipurpose field with lights (1)
  • Little League field with lights (1)
  • Tennis courts with lights (2)
  • Basketball courts with lights (2)
  • Restroom at multipurpose fields
  • Additional parking / lighting
  • Pavilions
  • Playground
  • Scoreboards, bleachers, etc.
PARKS
North Lake Community Park Park substantially completed
  • Sports lighting of Little League field (3)
  • Sports lighting of multipurpose field (3)
  • Pavilions
  • Path lighting at Little League fields
PARKS
Pine Forest Park (Active Side)
Park approx. 65 percent of build-out
  • Multipurpose field (1)
  • Ballfields (2)
PARKS
Other County Parks & Boat Ramps
  • Resurfacing internal roads, parking lots and internal trails
  • Renovations to courts and athletic fields
  • Sports lighting
  • Playground replacement
  • Pavilions
  • Boardwalk replacement
  • Site furnishings (bleachers, scoreboards, etc.)
  • Restrooms
TRAILS
South Lake / Hancock Trail
  • Boardwalk replacement
  • ADA improvements in phases
PUBLIC LANDS
Ellis Acres Reserve
  • Improvements to existing structure (Educational Center)
  • Parking lot improvements
LIBRARIES
Cagan Crossings Community Library
  • 12,000 S.F. interior build-out of second floor
  • Creation of multi-use space
LIBRARIES
Marion Baysinger Memorial Library
  • 5,000 S.F. addition
  • Expansion of spaces for computers, collections, meetings and youth
PUBLIC WORKS
RESURFACING
  • Resurface 75-95 miles
SIDEWALKS
  • Construct 7.5 miles & $2.5M for repairs
INTERSECTIONS
  • Complete 9  projects & install 9 traffic signals
WATER QUALITY
  • Complete 1 project (Magnolia Lane in Lake Harris Basin)
VEHICLES & EQUIPMENT
  • Replace 75 items
OTHER PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE
BUILDING REPAIR & MAINTENANCE
  • Energy plant cooling tower refurbishment
  • HVAC control system and air handler replacements
  • Fire alarm system replacements
  • Annual roof replacements
  • Generator replacements
CONSTRUCTION/RECONSTRUCTION/REMODELING OF SCHOOL FACILITIESVEHICLES & FLEET

  • Annual light vehicle replacements based on established schedule
TELEPHONE SYSTEM MODERNIZATION
  • Replace all 26 systems that are at end-of-life
FIBER OPTIC NETWORK EXPANSION
  • Connect all county buildings into the fiber loop
  • Build out two miles of underground fiber or four miles of aerial fiber per year
____  FOR the 1-CENT Sales Tax____  AGAINST the 1-CENT Sales Tax

______________________________________________________________________________

Isn’t this over the top?  It’s time to say no more—Vote Against the Penny Sales Tax on November 3, 2015.

If you would like someone to come and speak to your group about the Penny Sales Tax, 


Please get the facts out to your family, friends, and neighbors by sharing this email with everyone in your address book.
We would like to hear from you on today’s newsletter.  Go to www.lakecountygov.info and let us know what you think.  You can leave a comment on this newsletter, or you can click on the “What’s on Your Mind?” button to leave a comment about something you feel strongly about.
The easiest and fastest way to get your copy of The Right Side of the Lake is to “Like Us” on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rightsideofthelake.Please forward this email to everyone on your list.  If you have not signed up for our free email newsletter service, be sure to sign up at our website www.lakecountygov.info.

Donate to The Right Side

Funding for the The Right Side of the Lake comes from readers like you. Please help support our efforts to provide a non-partisan voice for the working people in local government issues. We will continue to fight all taxes, fees and regulations which unduly burden the lives of working men and women. Please click the “view in browser” link at the top of the page in order for the Donate button to work.
Visit Us Online

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