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Commission Candidate Speaks to Budget Priorities

A call goes out. First responders are on the way. You wait and wait for help to arrive. It seems like an eternity and you’re standing there feeling impotent to help your loved ones. Now, get ready for that feeling to last even longer if two city commissioners have their way. ___________ Remember the old saying, “A penny for your thoughts.”? With inflation it is probably up to a nickel. A nickel a day is the worth of the tax cut that two commissioners are looking to push through as a millage rate reduction for most Margate single-family homeowners at the city's first budget workshop in July. Over the course of a year a nickel a day comes to...wait for it...a whopping $18. This is nothing but a symbolic gesture. So they have the ability to go around in two years, when they are up for re-election, and say, “I cut your taxes.” Fantastic, but at what cost? The cost is to the safety of your families and to mine. Their trade-off is not funding a sorely needed fire engine to service our city! A new fire engine costs upwards of $1 million and prudent planners are putting the money away, bit by bit, to purchase it. This is a critical need. The fire truck we have is past its prime and with the additional apartment units built in Toscana, Celebration Pointe and upwards of 900 more units being developed in our downtown area, this is not the time to cut and delay. It is time to update, upgrade, expand our personnel and equipment to be able to continue performing as a Class 1 rated city. We are talking about people’s lives, our quality of life, and the safety of our families and friends. Remember, this is a nickel a day per household. For a family of four, it’s little more than a penny per person per day. Are your family members’ lives worth less than a penny and a half per day? God forbid you have a family emergency. But, what would you rather have? A first responder to get there quickly with the right equipment or $18 to spend on a pizza after you’ve left the morgue? Now, I know that elected officials often say, “We have to raise, or we can’t cut your taxes because we need the money for such and such.” But, we all know that’s usually a smokescreen. Can we have a millage rate cut and a new fire engine? Absolutely! It’s just a matter of getting our priorities straight. In real life, we know there is only so much to go around and we have to make choices as to what’s most important. So, what’s more important? A new up to date fire engine or the $400,000 dog park planned for Rock Island Road this year? The equipment our first responders need to do their jobs effectively or to build a public bathroom that will hardly get used? Yet, those are things that certain Commissioners have proposed. Public safety is a city’s number one job and something it must do right. Symbolism vs. Safety. Now you know where I stand. Let your Commissioners know where you stand. Email, call or write them today. It could literally save your life.

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