July 15, 2015 at 11:09 am

We Don’t Trust Jimmy Conner with Penny Sales Tax Money

We Don’t Trust Jimmy Conner with Penny Sales Tax Money

One of the main reasons why we are opposed to renewing the Penny Sales Tax (Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum), as approved by the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, is the ordinance does not require real, independent oversight to monitor and ensure the tax money is being spent on the projects approved by the people. The current Penny Sales Tax provision has very specific guidelines as to how the money is to be spent. However, according to sources within Lake County these guidelines have not been followed. In fact, one of the reasons why the proposed Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum ballot language has been changed to include basically everything is because Lake County Commission Chairman Jimmy Conner was advised the County was out of compliance. The current appointed Penny Sales Tax Committee is feckless and has been a failure.

We encourage Lake County voters to cast their vote against the renewal of the Penny Sales Tax (Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum) in November. As part of a new Penny Sales Tax proposal for 2016, voters should require that an elected Penny Sales Tax Board be established to control, monitor, and audit how and where the money is spent. We must take the Penny Sales Tax out of the hands of politicians like Lake County Commission Chairman Conner, because he cannot be trusted.

Citizens for Better Government, L.L.C. has reviewed the 2008 and 2012 campaign finance records of Lake County Commission Chairman Conner. It appears a large number of his political donors do business directly or indirectly with Lake County government. Complaints of strong-arm tactics by many vendors against Commission Chairman Conner has filtered around for many years. One source told us, “Jimmy gets mad if you don’t give him money.”

Consider just these numbers gathered from the Lake County Supervisor of Elections Office on campaign financing. For the 2008 and 2012 election cycles, Conner shows donations of $51,250 directly from construction related businesses, of which many had direct business dealings with Lake County government. Plus, it appears many other donations were made on behalf of families and friends from those businesses. Conner has been very successful in convincing a lot of people who do business with Lake County government to also make campaign contributions to him. That is why our group and many others don’t trust him with this Penny Sales Tax.

If you don’t want Lake County Commission Chairman Conner using the Penny Sales Tax as a tool to garner campaign contributions, Vote Against the Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum (Penny Sales Tax Renewal) and demand that in 2016 they include an independently elected Penny Sales Tax Board in the ordinance.

On November 3, 2015, Vote Against the Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum (Penny Sales Tax Renewal), because the ordinance 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.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.
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July 9, 2015 at 2:40 pm

Big School Numbers Expose Oversupply of Student Stations and Sagging Enrollment Numbers

Big School Numbers Expose

Oversupply of Student Stations and

Sagging Enrollment Numbers

As most know, government officials and politicians will spin information and numbers to fit any scenario they are trying to convince the voters to swallow.  However, the smart people understand if you look at the big numbers that usually tells the whole story.  For example, anyone who thinks the United States economy is doing great should look at the huge $18 trillion debt and the dismal labor participation rates.The same applies locally with the Lake County School District.  The School District is always bemoaning they need schools and money, yet they have funding sources from the federal government, state government, local property taxes, a special property tax assessment, and one-third of the Penny Sales Tax.  Plus, the School District has already imposed the most expensive school impact fees in Central Florida, and they want to increase the amount.  In fact, they want to increase school impact fees on a new home to $9,324.  These fees are a job killer and family dream buster.Understand, Sumter, Marion, and Citrus Counties do not have school impact fees.  The other issue is the senior demographics in Lake County actually help the School District.  According to the 2013 United States Census, 25.7 percent of the Lake County population was over the age of 65.  That is 82.3 percent more than the rest of the country.  Lake County has a huge percentage of the population, who do not have children in school, paying school taxes.  Based on that statistic alone, the Lake County School District should be flush with cash.

Here are the big numbers the Lake County School District can’t explain.  According to the Florida Inventory of School Houses Report (FISH)

Click here for the report

dated July 2, 2015, the Lake County School District reports 50,841 student stations.  As of June 4, 2015, the 2014-2015 Student Enrollment End-of-the-Year Report

Click here for the report

shows the School District had 41,931 students, which is an increase of 343 from last school year.  Based on these two reports, which the School District reports to the state, Lake County has 8,910 more student stations than they do students.  The Lake County School District is almost 25 percent overbuilt.  That is the reason the School District is in so much debt, not growth.  The School District is paying for unused student stations that are in the wrong schools because of poor planning, which occurred while current Lake County Commission Chairman Jimmy Conner was a School Board Member.  It’s like owning a home with no renters.  Don’t blame growth for your budget woes.  Instead, blame poor decisions and greed by local politicians.Here is another big number that tells the true story about the Lake County School District.  In 2008-2009, the School District had 40,405 total students. In six years, the School District has added 1,526 students, or on average 254 students per year.  Based on student growth to the School District’s current number of student stations the Lake County School District has a 35-year supply of student stations.  Instead of increasing school impact fees, there should not be any school impact fees, because by law school impact fees can only be used for new growth.  There will be no time soon in which the Lake County School District will have more than 50,000 students.  This big number demonstrates why the School District’s new bought-and-paid-for Impact Fee Study is wrong—it literally means nothing.

In fact, many experts in education expect enrollments to decline as online classes, home schooling, and other methods of education take hold.  With the Lake County School District’s below-average performance in English and Algebra this year, it would not be difficult to envision more parents taking their children out of the Lake County School District.

The citizens of Lake County have been told a lie by the politicians of Lake County School District and School Board to cover up their gross incompetence.

On November 3, 2015, Vote No on the Penny Sales Tax, because the Infrastructure Sales Surtax 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.

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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