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.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Olive Branch Part II

Working together in a spirit of cooperation is essential

At this morning's Committee of the Whole, I will again bring forth some potential ideas for helping with our budget impasse with the Escambia County Sheriff Office.

Last month I brought the Blue Penny Proposal--portions of which were not well received, portions of which received some support (or at least some questions and queries that lead me to believe they could be supported).

My goal today, in the workshop setting, is to find out what parts, if any, of the Blue Penny Plan might garner support from my counterparts and staff members.  I also want to try to formalize some sort of an offer so that we can continue to move forward in the spirit of compromise.

It is understood by those who understand the process we are currently in that the objective is to achieve compromise, the objective is not to push the process to the wall and make the Governor solve our issue.  He has other pressing business with which to attend -- including hurricane recovery.

So to keep the process going forward, I need to flesh out the following items:

1.  Do we agree with setting a baseline budget for ECSO with increases commensurate to BCC yearly Total Budget year over year percentage increases?  Do we set a floor and a ceiling for such an arrangement?

2.  Do we agree with giving a dollar for dollar match, up to $350,000 yearly, for any County LET expenditures requested by ECSO for utilization in the SRO program?  (Could generate $700K yearly in freed-up general fund dollars for ECSO)

3.  Do we agree with giving a percentage of unexpended revenue back to ECSO at the end of the FY to help with ECSO payscale issues?

4.  Are we absolutely, 100% opposed to the 5th cent levy in order to offset public safety expenditures at our beaches?  If so, why?  (eg. hoteliers want LOST $ for things like convention centers, field houses, roundabouts and tunnels--why can we not broker a compromise on these issues utilizing the 5th cent and working toward the necessary legislative fix to enable this?)

These are items that need to be discussed to move forward with a spirit of cooperation.  The public at large in Escambia county are weary of this and expect us to work together to solve this deadlock.  We can move a step in that direction today if we have the will to do so.

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