To the editor:
The May2 Cape Coral Breeze "City Beat", featured a Cape Coral councilmember rationalizing the Fire Assessment Fee (FSA) and my reply is "you just do not get it." The Public Service Tax (PST) and the FSA fee are added costs to the citizens of Cape Coral without a ballot vote. The current progressive liberal socialist movement infecting our city government panders to the failed policies of Detroit and other cities with poor economies. Increasing taxes and fees and permits and codes and surcharges without placing these financial burdens to a vote for the electorate is their policy. Shifting money from the general fund or the dedicated funds with skewed accounting and shuffling like the con with a pea under nut shells for the voter to guess where the peas have gone. Using the police and fire personnel to justify the increases in tax and failing to provide salary increases, reasonable pension benefits, and education reimbursements, this is common practice in Cape Coral.
PST and FSA funds can be used to increase spending, however, "you still do not get it": There are constituents who want you to reduce spending and not in the public safety service areas. I have heard some people having increases in the thousands of dollars. This is without a vote by the electorate. And then the biggest overreach or scam, failing to exempt those citizens who are exempt under the ad valorem or property taxes such as the homestead law, elderly, disabled veterans, or other fixed income people. Blaming the State for allowing this injustice when we all know the "Home Rule Doctrine" allows the city to make these exemptions.
There is a conservative movement within the city to recover the power of the voter to limit government spending by passing laws to require all new taxes or tax increases, or permits or fee increases to be place on the ballot for approval. The "Freedom Amendment" is being circulated within the city to establish procedures for charter amendments so citizens of Cape Coral can initiate law. It is our plan to establish amendments to provide procedures to recall elected officials who fail to keep promises or lie, to develop procedures for citizens to write their own laws like "No taxes or fees unless voted on" to be placed on the ballot,and to return accountability to city government for a more responsive, responsible, and representative government.
Jack Mattachione, MRC