Nancy Bostock: Tough Choices for the Commission, But No Tax Increases Likely
By Spartacus Thrace
On Monday evening, February 14th (Valentine’s Day), Pinellas County Commissioner Nancy Bostock addressed the monthly meeting of the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee (PCREC) at the St. Petersburg Marriott Clearwater hotel. Bostock, a conservative Republican, painted a picture of tough future budgeting choices for her and her fellow commissioners, but told the more than 120 assembled Republican activists that she was looking to a future where the primary budgeting concern of the Commission will not be what to cut, but how to spend the $1.6 billion in revenues they have.
Commissioner Bostock made early reference to the conservatives on the commission — referred to by some as “the 3 Ns” (for Neil Brickfield, Norm Roche and Nancy Bostock) — who, with other commission members, have changed the way the commission does business for the better. Bostock told the crowd that, among other impacts of this new way of looking at the budget, millage rates for property taxes will not be going up this year, despite a budget shortfall of approximately $21.5 million.
In the course of her 22-minute address, Commissioner Bostock covered a myriad of issues either before the Commission or affecting its work, including who’s up for election in 2012 (Kenneth Welch, Karen Seel, Neil Brickfield, and Nancy Bostock), the suggestion of a future storm water tax (which she opposes), usage fees for county parks, and recycling and garbage collection, emergency medical services, light rail, and other matters.
Commissioner Bostock’s bottom line was that taxes are not going to be raised but the commissioners and heads of county government agencies are going to have work together to come up with ways to trim their own budgets. She also made a plea for more of the regular taxpayers (as opposed to those with special interests in the county budget) to provide their input to the Commission either in person, by letter, or by electronic means about the tough choices that lie ahead. Bostock specifically asked citizens to participate in the public hearings on the budget set for September 6th and 15th at 6:30 PM at the County Courthouse.
Here is exactly what she said:
[Video of Nancy Bostock courtesy PCREC]