State of Monroe County – 2015

bullTook a vacation last week.  Still catching up on all the excitement.  Looks like the new state of the county report is out – 56 pages of recycled bull-pucky.  It looks nice though.  Somebody’s very artistic.

None of the budget over-runs on capital projects are mentioned.  The county loves lying by omission.  So expect spending to continue running amok.  If the county won’t even acknowledge the problem, I don’t ever expect to see a solution.  The current Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) is all too happy marinating in their delusions.  Soothes the conscience I guess.

The report tries to excuse the inflated cost of the Cudjoe Regional project by saying that it is a “rural” area.  But let’s not forget that project started out at a cost of $147 million.  It now stands at $196 million.  The area did not somehow become $49 million more “rural” since it was first bid in 2012.  Clearly, the project has been mismanaged.

Technology choice has certainly played a role.  So has poor public relations.  The primary problem there, of course, is chronic dishonestly.  The county constantly breaks the first rule of public relations:  DO NOT LIE.  All that lying means they can’t get their arms around the facts, which means they are incapable of making smart, well-informed decisions.  In the end it’s the taxpayers who suffer.  Always.

On the positive side, the county didn’t outright lie about the Army Corps funding this time.  Refreshing!  Does this mean they will stop jeopardizing this particular funding source with their foolish antics?  I very much doubt it.  At least they had the decency to not pretend they played some role in securing funding this year, when the exact opposite is true.

The bright light, of course, is the Florida Keys Stewardship Act.  Looks like it’s progressing nicely!  The Keys very much need funding for a variety of projects, including but not limited to wastewater.  Unfortunately, the county’s ongoing mismanagement of the wastewater projects and other matters makes the difficult task of securing state funding even more difficult.

Hopefully the good work of the other entities will be enough to convince the state that this money will be handled responsibly.  We’ll just have to wait and see.  Also the Keys has a not-so-secret weapon – Rep. Raschein and her team.  They work smart and they work hard.  They have the integrity that our county officials lack, which gives the Keys  a certain amount of credibility they wouldn’t otherwise have.  There’s definitely reason to be optimistic.


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