City of Orlando is actually cutting their budget for the first time in a decade

By
Real Estate Agent with Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. BK627826

Wow, I am impressed.  Well maybe just a little bit.   Mayor Dyer's proposed 2009/2010 Orlando budget is actually about $50 million less than last year's.  Finally a lightbulb went off in his head or maybe reality hit just a tad. 

  

Last year at this time, myself along with a group of local real estate investor and Realtors were gearing up for a big tax protest at the City of Orlando's budget hearings.  This year while they are apparently holding the millage rate the same, they did raise a ton of fees from permits, parking meters, utilities, etc.  But at least they are actually reducing the budget for the first time ever since Buddy Dyer became the city's mayor.  Back in 2008 I did send in An open letter to Orlando Mayor Dyer and all Orlando City Commissioners along with a tea party teabag.  I never did get a response to that letter, but I do see that many of the cost cutting ideas I wrote in that letter are actually being implemented by the city.  Even though the tax protest was not successful, maybe it was just enough to get the city a little bit back on track this year. The tea parties earlier this year probably helped a bunch too.

Now the city's 3 unions are of course fighting any spending cuts tooth & nail.  Which is expected.  City of Orlando employees have some of the best benefits anywhere in Central Florida (pension plans, fully funded healthcare, lots of vacation and holidays off, company cars, etc.)  My big question is why does the city even allow their employees to be unionized?  The unions only benefit the employees and are of no benefit whatsoever to the taxpayers.  Just simply not renew their stinking contract when it comes due.  And if they threaten to walk, then threaten them right back with a merger of services with Orange County and a massive layoff. That will get their attention big time. 

One of my big pet peeves is the fact that many city police officers and other employees get a "company car" to drive back and forth from their homes even if they live far outside the city limits.  Some employees drive as far away as Deland, Cocoa, and Kissimmee - all on the taxpayer's dime.  For a mere $70-$90 per month the employees get full usage of a city owned vehicle including free car insurance, gas, wear & tear, etc. I read in the Orlando Sentinel just this morning that now the city is going to require the employees to pay full cost if they want a "company car."  Good for them!  Of course these union employees are sounding like a bunch of crybabies, but come on - what do they want next? For the taxpayers to go grocery shopping for them too? Give me a break!

The city still has plenty of cost cutting to be doing because the budget is still nearly double what it was when Mayor Dyer took office, but we should all encourage him to continue to cut costs and expenses out of the City of Orlando's bloated budget.  And definitely lower all the crazy fees.  Budget hearings are coming in September, so be ready to speak up. 

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(Copyright © 2009. Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. All rights reserved.)  

Rob Arnold - Your full service and investor friendly Realtor ® in Orlando and Central Florida.

407-389-7318 / 1-877-389-7318 www.SDRhouses.com   We Buy Houses Florida

We sell foreclosure, short sale, and bank owned REO house home throughout Central Florida, metro Orlando, and the Space Coast. We sell and list Central Florida real estate and Orlando real estate. Free list of foreclosure and short sale houses available.  Our firm also provides flat fee MLS listings, For Sale By Owner, and menu-based services in most parts of Florida.

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