Commissioner Wants to Talk About Extra Money


ST. PETE BEACH — Commissioner Jim Parent told the commission he wanted to discuss what to do with the extra money in the budget. The city finds itself with extra money after a 14.7% tax hike designed to pay for a city police department. Residents voted to outsource the police department in early November, after the commission approved the final budget.

At the first meeting after the vote, Commissioner Parent asked that the clerk place an item on the agenda so the commission could discuss the extra money.

“I believe that we need to have as explicit discussion about what we will do with what now will be some unallocated funds,” he said “as opposed to just letting them disappear into our disaster fund.”

Read more from: St. Pete Beach News
Member Opinions:
By: Steven on 11/25/12
Ok we have extra money so lets spend it as opposed to having a surplus. Typical politician. Wasteful spending then cry poverty and destroy the St. Pete Beach Community be selling off its assets that make it the community it was.

By: JimPSPB on 11/26/12
Steven, Thank you for your input. If you had listened to what I said during the commission meeting you would have heard that I am not advocating spending any "extra" money at all. What I said was that we needed to talk about it so that we made an explicit decision as opposed to "letting it happen". In the past we (the various commission members) have talked about using it to pay down the retirement funds' debt, or putting it into our (hurricane) disaster fund, or establishing an operating reserve fund for things that are unplanned like the recent sewer repairs, or putting it into the general fund and lowering taxes next year, or determining if there is some legal, practical way to rebate our taxpayers or any combination of these thoughts or anything else that was suggested. The bottom line is that I stated I thought, as fiduciary trustees of the City, we owed it to the residents/taxpayers to have a clear and open discussion of what we could/might do and try to get public input. It is quite odious that you describe me as 1)a typical politician, engineer-OK, politician-not so much, 2) someone who promotes wasteful spending, 3) someone who cries poverty, 4)would do anything to destroy (let alone harm) my St Pete Beach Community, and 5) would sell off needed assets. Do you have any positive suggestions about your thoughts on what we should do?

By: Steven on 11/29/12
Get rid of Bonfield and all the poor financial decision made in the past. I will take some of the sting back. I have to give you credit when you shot down Shavlin in his crazy idea about borrowing. You have spoken in the past about public input but I fear that this commission does not really mean that they want public input, as seen through the Sheriff process when numerous members of the public were shut down or attacked in blogs or in public about their thoughts. I would like to know what happen to the police chief and his input regarding the Sheriffs? Any comments on that? Thank you for your service and what you try to do to make St. Pete Beach a better place is greatly appreciated even when I may not agree with you at times. Thanks for the response.

By: JimPSPB on 11/30/12
Steve, I do appreciate the dialog but I gotta be honest about where I stand. I am one of Mike’s biggest cheerleaders as witnessed in my annual appraisal of his job performance over the past three years. I have a lot of experience with managers (as we all do) and I was a manager for 75% of my career. I am comfortable that Mike is one of the best I’ve worked with so I can’t trade you for sting.
That being said I hope I did not sound like I tried to “shoot down Shavlan”. I always try to address ideas and not people. I think Marvin is a great guy who really cares about the community but I don’t always agree with his ideas or he with mine. That is the way it should be. To have 5 commissioners who walk in lockstep is not good for a thorough examination of the issues before us. As for input; I do welcome it but I can only speak for myself. My impression is that the other commissioners also enjoy public input but you may want to check with them.
Maybe I am naive but I know of no instances “when numerous members of the public were shut down or attacked in blogs or in public about their thoughts.” I never saw that at the multiple public meetings we had with and about the Sheriff, all of which I attended. As for Dave Romine, our Chief of Police; in my impression, the management of an organization owes it to the organization to support it, or at least not oppose it as a member of that organization. That is my personal opinion. We commissioners do not, in fact are prohibited by the City Charter, from directing any City employee about anything. If you want you can send me your email address to and I will add you to my semi-sorta-bi-weekly email community email update list.