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City should get legal opinion

December 8, 2012
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

The Florida Uniform Accounting System Manual describes all sources of Revenues on pages 27 through 86 and all Expenditure transaction activities on pages 90 through 112.

The Cape Coral City Council just approved a Budget Amendment (Ordinance 34-12) which contained a statement:in the preamble which said Revenues and Expenditures were being increased by $18.7 million. Not so.

While Total planned Expenditures may have increased by $18.8 million, Total budget Revenues did not so that it was not a balanced budget. The Ordinance included as an attachment, a chart which said that $13 million of the $18.8 million of additional budgeted revenue was the money borrowed from Sewer and Water and Stormwater which I believe was an illegal act. I also say this borrowed $13 million was not "New Additional Revenue" as stated in the Ordinance preamble. It was just money being moved from the other funds into the General Fund. Total available revenues for spending in the 2012 Budget did not increase by $13 million (of the $18.8 million). It is a fact that the Finance and Budget Directors and I went round and round on this issue more than once at FAC meetings where I said the city was just moving money from one fund into another fund, like taking money out of your right pocket and moving it into your left pocket. When you do that, you still have the same amount of money to spend. The same thing happens with the total money available for spending in the total budget. It remains the same when you move it from one fund to another fund.

I also say the city is still ignoring the Auditor General audit finding which said the city was not declaring all available net assets in its original Budgets. That $13 million should have been included in the Original Budget which it was not. What is needed is a State Attorney General opinion as suggested by the State Auditor General back in 2006 on whether or not the city is violating State Budget Law FS 166.241.

Sal Grosso

Cape Coral



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