How egotistical can our Cape Coral Council get?
To the editor:
Councilmember Dan Sheppard’s comments about city volunteer committees and boards being a waste of city time and resources shows a total lack of respect for citizen input. Mr. Sheppard believes that the eight elected officials should receive all city management input versus the public getting any data firsthand.
One of the committees the council would like to eliminate is the Budget Review Committee (BRC). It was stated that the committee is becoming too knowledgeable about the operations of the city and was overstepping its bounds in its preparation for the upcoming 2024 budget review. According to the council, this knowledge should be reserved for the council. The qualifications for being selected (by the council) to the BRC requires extensive educational, financial, and budgeting experience.
It is safe to say that most of the council members would not qualify to be BRC members based on these standards. How do we expect this council, with half of them only having a high school education, no big business or big government experience, properly review a 330-page, $1,200,000,000 budget?
The BRC attends all retreats and workshops, takes the time to read the budget, prepare questions and takes eight days of discussion with the Finance Department to complete their review. Many of our council members would not spend this amount of time or have the background or experience to ask the right questions.
Furthermore, The Breeze editorial in the prior week’s edition spelled it out perfectly concerning how the city processes are broken. The process of most projects, including the budget, go through city administrative channels with little or no involvement with the public or the council for that matter.
The city administration will gleefully prepare ordinances to eliminate these volunteer committees. Another big step backwards for an open and transparent government.