Wednesday, February 27, 2013
As the deadline looms for $85 billion in federal spending cuts to kick in, take a look at what impacts might be felt in Largo and Florida as a whole.
While politicians in Washington, D.C., continue a blame game over who is responsible for the $85 billion in federal spending cuts that automatically kick in this Friday, March 1, if action isn’t taken, state and local politicians are sounding off about the cuts and what they could mean to Lutz and Florida as a whole. State Sen. John Legg, R-Lutz, says the cuts on the federal level could cause Florida to have to freeze spending in some areas. If the sequester kicks in with across-the-board federal spending cuts, “Florida must immediately look at all our core services and find a way to freeze all other spending until rational minds prevail,” Legg said. Even so, Legg hopes a last-minute fix will be found. “It is my hope that Congress and the …
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
The city commission will weigh in on raising business tax rates and some recreation fees.
The Largo City Commission will consider next steps in the process of trying to trim $2.8 million from next year's city budget. The city manager shared a budget cut proposal at the May 15 commission meeting. Next year's budget must be presented to the commission by July 1 for the budget, which starts Oct. 1. Some of the budget cuts could come in the form of fee increases. In order to change the fees, the commission must update a couple of existing city ordinances. City business taxes could increase three percent as of Oct. 1. This would be the first adjustment in the business tax rate since 1995. The rate change would generate an additional $19,000 for the city's general fund. For 2012, the city expects about $644,000 in business tax …
Thursday, May 17, 2012
The commission favored continued funding of police and grounds maintenance positions while exploring other ways to trim $2.8 million from next year's city budget.
The City of Largo has reduced its budget by $12 million in the last six years. More budget cuts are on the horizon. At its May 15 meeting the Largo City Commission reviewed proposed budget cuts, to give the city staff direction, as it develops next year's budget. The city manager must present the budget to the city commission by July 1. The next fiscal year starts Oct. 1. Preserving some jobs. The commissioners overwhelmingly supported continued funding of three police positions, which are a possible budget cut. Largo already has the lowest ratio of police officers to residents in the area, Commissioner Curtis Holmes said. The commissioners also favored keeping five grounds maintenance positions in house instead of outsourcing them. The …
Monday, May 14, 2012
The Largo City Commission will weigh in on almost $2.8 million in proposed budget cuts at its May 15 meeting.
The City of Largo's long term financial budget shows $2.8 million in budget cuts is necessary, according to a city report. This would be the sixth consecutive year of budget reductions. The cuts should allow the city to maintain at least a 10 percent fund balance, according to a city report. The budget reduction proposal includes cutting the equivalent of about 24 positions. The cuts include three currently vacant firefighter positions and three presently unfilled police positions. Based on the recommendations of the Largo City Commission, the city will develop the budget for next year. The city manager must present the budget to the city commission by July 1. The next fiscal year starts Oct. 1. The proposed budget changes include:
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
The city conducted an online survey asking what matters to the community to help shape city budget decisions.
As the city considers cutting $2.8 million from its operating budget for next year, residents were asked what they valued. The city published the results from an online community values survey on May 1. The city wants to work with the community to preserve as much as possible services and characteristics of Largo that matter to the community, according to a city report. The survey was available from March 15 through April 16. There were 760 usable responses from the web-based survey. The results as the city points out are not necessarily scientific. The total population of Largo is estimated at 77,648. The survey covered five broad categories: community identity, reliable infrastructure, vibrant economy, safe and secure community and …
Thursday, April 12, 2012
The city is considering having a private contractor maintain more of its parks, as a way to save money.
The city is exploring the most cost effective way to maintain its more than 400 acres of parks. One possible option is having a private contractor maintain more of the city parks, which could provide $126,600 in savings and would eliminate five currently filled city positions. The city commission had questions at its April 10 work session, about the cost savings if the positions were cut from the city budget. Commissioner Gigi Arntzen said she could not see eliminating five positions to save $126,600. "I guess I would have expected more savings," said Mayor Pat Gerard. The commission decided more information was needed to make a decision about possibly outsourcing more of its park's maintenance. In May, the city will bring back to the city…
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Pleas from Pinellas County Schools employees were not enough to stop school board members from voting in favor of the $1.33 billion budget and a small tax increase.
- Andy Kern
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Dr. John A. Stewart heard the plight of struggling teachers during his firstschool board meeting as Pinellas County's interim school superintendent. About 50 members of the Pinellas County Teachers Association clad in red shirts turned out at Tuesday night's school board meeting to plead with the board to find a remedy for their dwindling paychecks. One by one, the teachers came forward and spoke of not receiving raises in the past five years. They also expressed concerns about a state-mandated 3 percent contribution to the Florida Retirement System, a looming increase in health care premiums and impending furlough days. The teachers shared examples of their hardships, and several in the audience broke into tears when they heard the …
Thursday, August 4, 2011
City commissioners are set to go through the budget proposal over three meetings.
City commissioners will begin the final stages of passing the 2012 fiscal year budget in a work session at 6 p.m. Friday. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) proposed a plan that includes spending reductions for the fifth year in a row, and commissioners must now go through the details to propose changes, update revenue estimates and correct errors. The proposal reduces $2 million in general fund spending, leaving the fund with a balance of $12.5 million. Closing Fire Station 39 provides the largest single cut, and an additional $1.5 million is spread through all city departments. Special events in the downtown area would be cut in the proposal, saving $66,100 in operating and personnel costs. This includes closing the Downtown …