The following has been distributed by the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops:
O God, we acknowledge You today as Lord,
Not only of individuals, but of nations and governments.
We thank You for the privilege
Of being able to organize ourselves politically
And of knowing that political loyalty
Does not have to mean disloyalty to You.
We thank You for Your law,
Which our Founding Fathers acknowledged
And recognized as higher than any human law.
We thank You for the opportunity that this election year
puts before us,
To exercise our solemn duty not only to vote,
But to influence countless others to vote,
And to vote correctly.
Lord, we pray that Your people may be awakened.
Let them realize that while politics is not their
Their response to You requires that they be politically
Awaken Your people to know that they are not called to be
a sect fleeing the world
But rather a community of faith renewing the world.
Awaken them that the same hands lifted up to You in prayer
Are the hands that pull the lever in the voting booth;
That the same eyes that read Your Word
Are the eyes that read the names on the ballot,
And that they do not cease to be Christians
When they enter the voting booth.
Awaken Your people to a commitment to justice,
To the sanctity of marriage and the family,
To the dignity of each individual human life,
And to the truth that human rights begin when Human Lives
And not one moment later.
Lord, we rejoice today
That we are citizens of Your kingdom.
May that make us all the more committed
To being faithful citizens on earth.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Shortly, the Economic Council and others will be spending over $200,000 to convince you that the county sales tax should be raised to 7%. You will hear that the infrastructure is crumbling, that the children are sweating in their classrooms with broken air conditioners, that the roads have potholes and the bridges are falling down. You will hear that a sales tax is good because 25% of it will come from tourists, and that tens of thousands of jobs will be created to rebuild those roads and bridges, county buildings, the jail and the parks.
Don’t be fooled. This 17% increase in the sales tax will generate much more revenue than is arguably needed to repair the infrastructure that was neglected by conscious choices of county staff and commission. Over the last 5 years, the ad-valorem budget has grown 33%, yet Engineering and Public Works only saw a 3% growth. At the same time, the Sheriff’s budget grew by 28% and county employees saw 12% in across the board raises (3% / year for 4 years). These conscious choices indicate that those running our county and school system were willing to defer maintenance until a pitch could be made for a new source of revenue.
A bond issue could have funded the critical needs. Instead, they want a sales tax that will generate $2.7B over 10 years whether it is needed or not. Do not doubt that they will spend every penny.
1. A 17% increase in the sales tax is a net tax increase of $270M per year, with no offsets to property taxes.
2. It is regressive and will affect low income residents the hardest.
3. It is not subject to the scrutiny applied to the annual ad-valorem budget.
4. It creates an incentive to purchase outside the county (Both Broward and Martin are at 6%, many internet retailers do not collect sales tax).
5. It is not an “infrastructure maintenance tax” but includes many new capital projects.
6. Unlike an infrastructure bond that would raise just enough money for critical needs, this granular tax generates a specific amount of money, and low priority projects will have to be funded in order to spend it all. Like previous proposals, it is a grab-bag of projects, many of which would never be done without a “must spend” windfall.
7. Charter schools get nothing.
8. Many of the municipalities (PBG, Boca) didn’t want the money.
9. It comes on top of the largest ad-valorem tax haul at the county level in history, up 8.2% over last year and up 33% since 2012. If passed, the 2017 equivalent tax hike would be 18%.
10. Over the last 5 years, the county has consistently underfunded engineering and public works (+3%), while increasing the Sheriff’s budget by 28% and giving across the board raises to employees of 12% (3%/year for 4 years). When the overall ad-valorem budget increased by 33%, engineering saw a total of 3% in 5 years. This was a conscious choice.
Don’t be an enabler!
Show your support for Ron by attending this upcoming Meet & Greet. RSVP to Tom Plante, 561-236-8891.
Here are the candidates that Mel and the board have picked for the November Election:
Disclaimer: These election selections are the personal choices of the Palm Beach County Tea Party Leaders, not an endorsement by this or any other organization. Many members of groups with whom we work have asked for such a guide, as an aid to their own research. As such, we are asking you to look at the picks, then choose for yourself. Whether you agree or disagree, feel free to add your comments to the end of this post..
Any races not listed are no-picks.
For an in-depth look at all the candidates and the districts, use our Online Voters Guide
|President / Vice President||
|Congressional District 18||
|Congressional District 22||
|Congressional District 23||
|State Senate District 25||
|State Senate District 30||
|State House District 82||
Mary Lynn Magar
|State House District 85||
|State House District 86||
|County Commission District 1||
|County Commission District 3||
|County Commission District 5||
|FL Amendment 1
RIGHTS OF ELECTRICITY CONSUMERS REGARDING SOLAR ENERGY CHOICE
|PBC 1: County Sales Tax Surcharge
PALM BEACH COUNTY DISTRICT SCHOOLS, CITIES AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT INFRASTRUCTURE ONE-CENT SALES SURTAX
The Trump campaign is in need of sign wavers for the Jupiter location at the corner of Indiantown Road and Jupiter Farms Rd. (Publix shopping ctr.) on Oct. 8th for only about an hour or so starting at 10:30am. These folks would be our greeters and cheerers. As the Patriot Veterans and Bikers arrive we would like to show them support for the support they are riding for Mr. Trump and the Connected Warriors.
Mel and Barbara Grossman attended a lunch at the home of past Presidential Candidate Dr. Ben Carson on the subject of getting out the vote.
The meeting consisted of faith based projects with leaders of our community invited to discuss their thoughts.
Many of the subjects are in the process of being completed with a new book by Dr. Ben Carson, supported by video & full length movie by Kirk Cameron which should be out by Oct 2016.
Pictured is Willy Guardiola, Kirk Cameron, Barbara Grossman, Dr. Ben & wife Candy Carson, and Mel Grossman.
The PBCTP Candidate expo at Abacoa drew a broad collection of candidates for office and staffers at all levels – US Senate, US House, Florida Senate and House, County Commission, School Board, Sheriff, Property Appraiser, Public Defender … who mingled with the voters and made their case.
Here’s a few photos of the event:
- Alex Freeman for Sheriff
- Barry Carson with Stuart Mears (FH86)
- Rebecca Negron (CD18)
- Ron Berman (FS30)
- Make America Great Again!
- Mary Lynn Magar
- Dorothy Jacks (PA) Table
- Jane Pike for Paul Spain (CD21)
- East end of the hall
- Barry Carson with Linda Stoch Make America Great Again!
- Pam Wohlschlegel for Marco Rubio
- Marion Frank with Barbara McQuinn (SB1)
- Rick Kozell (CD18) with Terry Gallagher
- The west side
- PBCTP President Mel Grossman
- Brian Mast (CD18)
We had the opportunity to attend a candidate forum at the North County Neighborhood Coalition meeting, on Tuesday 7/26. While the primary focus was on Palm Beach County Commission candidates, each of whom got 15 minutes, we also heard from candidates for Florida State House and Senate positions, as well as judicial candidates for County Court, and School Board. Additionally – two candidates announced for Palm Beach Gardens City Council for the March 2017 Municipal Elections. Some candidates had already addressed the NCNC at a prior meeting and were acknowledged, but did not speak. Make sure you look up your Sample Ballot when you attend forums or Tea Party’s Candidate Expo on August 1st. Also – lookup candidate information on our Voters’ Guide. Thank you to Sal Faso, President of the NCNC and his board for a well attended event.
County Commission District 1 – November 8 Election
Hal Valeche, the Republican incumbent seeking his 2nd term, began with a brief bio. He then highlighted what he viewed has his key accomplishments:
- United Technologies HQ on the Briger Tract – which with it’s ‘smart building’ technologies and 450 new hires at $85K salaries should be an asset to the area
- Fought against raising Impact Fees
- Worked with PB Gardens to extend the North County Airport runway from 4300′ to 6000′, enabling larger corporations to consider bringing their HQ to north county.
- When baseball in the Gardens ‘fell apart’, Hal was charged with finding a new location and is proud of bringing the Astros and Nationals to the WPB site. He pointed out that the $$ come from Bed taxes.
- Uber – working out temporary agreements that permitted Uber to keep operating in the County despite opposition by the taxi industry.
- Sales tax referendum – while he voted against it, and still feels County infrastructure maintenance backlogs should be funded by issuing bonds, he was glad that the Cultural Council and Economic Development proposals had been removed from the referendum.
As for big upcoming issues – he focused on Water Management as being a key issue.
Tony Bennett, Hal’s Democrat opponent, is new to politics. He is a native Floridian, who spent most of his life in Palm Beach County. A young attorney with young children, Tony is often asked why he is running:
- His primary concern is Growth. While he is for economic opportunity – Quality of Life is primary and needs to be managed and protected. He doesn’t think that the recent big projects approved will keep North County and in fact much of Palm Beach County special, and fears that the County will become like West Broward.
- Traffic explosion, the backlog of current maintenance and infrastructure projects made him critical of the current Commission. He feels that his experience as a practicing attorney has taught him the ethical obligation to account for and spend as the client – which is the voter, not the developer, wishes.
- Tony is for the Sales Tax referendum, and is very concerned about Water as well – and fears an algae bloom in Palm Beach County.
County Commission District 3 – August 30th Primary Election
David Kerner, one of two candidates for District 3 replacing term-limited Shelly Vana, spoke next. Most in the audience would not be able to vote for David but as Commissioners vote on all County issues, he wanted to reach out. Dave also went through his bio which included being a police officer, game warden, FL State Representative. Among his concerns are looking at the Sheriff’s Offie as well as the County Budget.
During Qs and As for the Commission candidates:
- Valeche opposes the sales tax; Bennett and Kerner support
- All pledged to work with the City of West Palm Beach to examine/revise coastal impact fees.
- All were outraged by the ‘sham city’ of Westlake but it wasn’t clear much could be done about it.
Judicial Candidates – August 30th Election
- Marnie Bryson – County Court Group 7 – cited her bio and trial experience as well as endorsements
- Tom Baker – County Court Group 11 – some trial experience, mostly family law, general magistrate for 9 1/2 year – listed endorsements as well
- Dana Santino – County Court Group 11 – now in private practice but lots of varied experience as a probation officer, rape/homicide counselor, State Atty and Public Defenders offices and degrees in Law and Taxation.
Palm Beach County School Board District 1 – August 30th Election
- Ellen Baker – 26 year Palm Beach Gardens resident, 15 years a teacher. Need to reign in the new administrator and watch the spending. She is for the Sales Tax referendum
- Note – there are 5 candidates in this non-partisan election – others had already spoken at the NCNC.
FL House District 85 – August 30th Republican Primary
- Andrew Watt – current Aide to Representative Rooney and lifelong Palm Beach Gardens resident, said he was the only candidate in the primary who lived in the district and could vote for himself. He also described various accomplishments working on issues with Representative Rooney.
Fl Senate District 30 – August 30th Democrat Primary
- Bobby Powell – urban planner, was a graduate of PB Gardens HS. Listed his endorsement
- Michael Steinger – listed his primary issues – schools, gun control and background checks, Medicaid expansion – wants it accepted.
The winner of this primary will go on to compete against Republican Ron Berman in
FL Senate District 30 – November 8th
- Ron Berman – spoke very briefly – speaking of his various business experiences and co-founder of Quicken Loans.
Palm Beach Gardens City Council – March 2017
- Mark Marciano – running for Bert Premuroso’s seat – open due to term limits
- Matthew Lane – running for Eric Jablins’ seat – open due to term limits