Senate Bill 686 and the Cost of Corruption

church ladyUpdate:  There’s mention of a grand jury report in some of the linked newspaper articles.  Here it is.

I saw this news item while browsing the web:  Almost every top official in Texas city arrested in federal corruption case.  It really got me thinking.

Here’s a terrific editorial on Florida’s “Corruption Tax”.  Monroe County taxpayers have most definitely fallen victim to this.  The Acevedo scandal cost us over $400,000 – and that only came to light because of a courageous whistle-blower, who paid a steep price for doing the right thing.  Now another $20,000 has gone missing and the school board is wondering why employees are reluctant to come forward and assist in the investigation.

What about that $49 million over-run on Cudjoe Regional?  And Carruthers’s proposed “tax shift” to force county-wide taxpayers to shoulder the burden of the County’s run-away fire and EMS costs?  How about the $38 million over-run on the county’s other capital projects?  Why are Monroe County’s costs always so consistently high?  They’ve got a litany of excuses and justifications they cannot support with verifiable facts.  Why do Monroe County taxpayers consistently pay more than they should?  And why is that burden not distributed equitably?  Is corruption a contributing factor?  It certainly seems plausible.

Sen. Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) has introduced a bill to fight the “corruption tax”.   So far, it’s looking good.  Here’s more information about it.

I sent Sen. Gaetz a thank you note.

Thank you so, so much for sponsoring SB 686, and thank you for your persistence in pursuing it. Florida taxpayers very much need this. Fraud and waste not only cost money but public confidence in government. It creates a downward spiral. When corruption is allowed to continue undetected and unpunished, people become more and more alienated, which only allows the problem to fester and worsen. I am glad that you are committed to breaking that cycle.

I am the former General Manager of the Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District, and I am very concerned about how the sky-rocketing cost of government is affecting my friends and neighbors in the Keys. I cannot help but think that corruption is a possible contributing factor. It’s getting more and more difficult for working people to make it there, and I know many people feel uncertain about the future. I write a blog to help out where I can and I gave your bill a shout out. It is something that people need to know about. I very much support it and I urge others to do so as well.

If you like what Sen. Gaetz is doing, please let him know.

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