I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Clause for Outside Agency Funding Agreements Generates Concern

Charitable entities and 501(c)3 organizations that receive funding from the BCC recently received notification like this one above-- about a clause that will be added to their agreements to address a potential BCC contingent liability...

At the conclusion of our budget meeting a few weeks back, when we were discussing the funding of outside agencies, the BCC decided it would be good to have a mechanism in our funding agreements with these agencies to address a contingent liability that may be hanging over our collective heads.

As we have all heard, the Sheriff has stated that he intends to appeal his budget allotment to the Governor--he wants an additional $2.7 Million over what we gave him (his total demand was for an 8% year over year budget increase which we could not afford) The BCC compromised-- and funded his office such that all ECSO employees would get 3% pay increases (the fifth year in a row that his men have been funded by the BCC for 3% raises)--but he still wants additional money.

Although it is unlikely that the Governor would compel the BCC to fully fund the Sheriff's request-we nevertheless need to prepare for any eventuality.

Raising property tax rates on existing property owners in the county is not something I will support, and I doubt the full BCC would raise tax rates to fund any shortfall either.

Therefore, the  BCC added a clause to all agreements that allows the funding to such outside agencies to be cut and pulled back in the event of an adverse financial outcome for the BCC as a result of the Sheriff's appeal.

The discussion that day on the dais made it clear that this (pulling money back from charitable entities and 501 (c) 3 organizations) would only happen as a last ditch effort, if a worst-case scenario came to be.  Alternate funding, or other grant funding, would be sought for these groups in the event an appeal by the Sheriff is upheld by the Governor's administration commission--that was my sense of the conversation that day.  We truly do not want to pull money back from any of these groups.

Be that as it may, we had to let the outside agencies know what was happening, and therefore an email like the one above was sent out to the appropriate contacts at each of the agencies that received the funding from the BCC.  The total amount of the funding for outside, charitable entities and 501(c)3 organizations was just a bit over $1.6 Million.


Anonymous said...

I feel like as a citizen, I am in the middle of a peeing contest.

2.7 million

So it has to come from outside agencies. Why is that?

Jeff Bergosh said...

It does not have to come from outside agencies, and I hope it does not come to that. The problem is that we were not able to meet the sheriff's demand for an 8% year over year budget increase.... 8%. But we worked hard and provided enough for a 3% salary increase for all of his employees. We have provided money for 3% raises for the Sheriff's employees five (5) years running now. We have had challenges over the last 10 years ( recession, oil spill, ice storm, floods) and so we have not always been able to provide raises. But for the last 11 years, we have given 3% rasisesin 7 of the 11 years--21% total over 11 years. I tried personally to meet with the sheriff to avoid this impasse. Commissioner Robinson did as well. We compromised, we worked in good faith. Apparently, nothing but a full capitulation by the BCC for the Sheriff's full 8% budget increase is good enough? We don't have the money to give an 8% year over year increase so I certainly hope we are not forced to pull money back from non-profits; I can guarantee that to do this would be a last resort move by the BCC--we certainly appreciate all these organizations do for our community!!

Anonymous said...

From the way Haines and Morgan have acted it makes the public think that a lot of deputies probably leave because they may be poor managers of people, they come across as arrogant and downright sarcastic and even a bit of a butt holes. (maybe they need to know that but many people will not speak out because they hold a very high position and can be very intimidating (as guard dogs are) They come to the budget meeting swinging, seeming to stir up drama and chaos. * but also* the county budget probably has room to fund the 2.7 million. Many traffic studies and consults and over runs are spent so it does not have to come from non profits. The entire process has seemed distasteful and reeks of some sort of ego or something involved. How about all you testosterone home rule guys work it out?