This is a part of history. Remember it or repeat it.
This is a Paid Political Advertisement. Paid for and approved by Linda McKinney 6025 Keystone Ave. Port St. John, FL 32927. Independent of any group, organization or committee.
First, may I apologize in advance for the attitude on this page? It is getting very frustrating dealing with the deceit, half-truths, misleadings and amazingly blatant lies of PSJ4T. I get very frustrated dealing with people who lie. Not being a Clinton-like self-appointed political hack, I don't know how to do the things they are capable of, and I wouldn't do them if I did know. (Although I can call a rat a rat...) I can't understand people like this. I have spoken to several people who are in politics as their lifetime occupation and most of them say that they have also never known politics to be so dirty, so full of deceit and underhandedness as with this bunch, PSJ4T. Thus, my frustration point is at a maximum here. And, I must admit, it reflects on the page. Please forgive me.
Second, PSJ4Taxes has made so many mistatements of "facts" verbally and with their publications that it is difficult to know where to begin refuting them. I will not go in any particular order: some subjects deserve to be refuted while others are too trivial to waste your time on. If, however, you wish to get nitpicky about it and want me to go point by point by point, e-mail me and we can get into it.
I decided to start with one of their most recent releases, "The Top Ten Misleading Civic League Statements On The Incorporation Issue (more later)."
Look at the "Facts" PSJ4T has below #1. After alleging that Mr. Lowe's statement was wrong, they assert that "Randy Ball (383-5151) and Howard Futch (722-5353) support the process." Look at what they said: "support the process." The process is the way anyone would go about getting an unincorporated area turned into a city. The process is what Mr. Ball and Mr. Futch support; not necessarily PSJ becoming a city. There is a difference. Words have meanings. PSJ4T asserting that Mr. Ball and Mr. Futch "support the process" means nothing in regard to what they allege is a "misleading statement" of the Civic League. I heard Rep. Bob Allen state that they were all displeased with the way things happened in this case. Mr. Lowe's statement was basically correct.
PSJ4T asserts that PSJ's schools will be impacted by the Flagler development on Grissom Blvd. and that PSJ's schools are "nationally rated." Truth is, they aren't "our" schools! They are Brevard County schools. Yes, our children go to them, but where have our high school age teens gone for years? Titusville. So what's wrong with a little quid pro quo? If our kids have used Brevard County schools in Titusville for so long, why can't Titusville kids use Brevard County schools located in PSJ? They are not "our" schools. As to the schools in PSJ being "nationally rated": they all are. Every school in the USA is evaluated and put on a national report card. That is where the ratings come from. No matter what score the school gets -- A or F -- they are all "nationally rated."
A lot of small businesses will be affected. There is no way around it. Imagine you owned a local falafel restaurant and your taxes went up along with everyone else's in PSJ and the four communities forcefully incorporated into PSJ against their wills. Now people have less money to spend at your falafel restaurant because PSJ4T's budget was not what the City Council decided to go with because they couldn't do anything for the residents of the city on it. They had to raise taxes more than the 0.5 mil PSJ4Taxes is promising. In this scenario, we have people in PSJ facing a city millage rate of 6.3% and their taxes - instead of being the approximately $25 per year they were promised by PSJ4T - are now over twelve times that: $300 per year; almost $20 per month more than they were paying as an unincorporated area. Well, there goes the night out at your falafel restaurant, or the new shoes, or the kitten for Sally, or the monthly layaway payment for Christmas. Businesses will have to be affected, won't they? Your falafel restaurant will have to be effected, won't it? Fewer customers spending less money equals hard times for small and big businesses. There is no way around it.
PSJ4Taxes seems to be able to see the future. All Happenings quotes in this section are from the September 2002 issue, page 10: "PSJ would be a member of the League of Cities. This means that we would be involved at a level where decisions are made about our future." This is so much hogwash it's hard to find a place to start. First, becoming a member of the League of Cities does not happen automatically when you become a city. It happens by vote of the city council and it costs money. Do you want to pay for this? Second: The League of Cities does not make decisions "about our future": those decisions are made in Tallahassee by our elected officials, not the League of Cities. The League of Cities is a lobbying organization, a "helper" organization for new cities, an organization that helps make new laws more "city friendly" and a place to make political contacts for city officials etc. There is an old saying that PSJ4Taxes could learn from: "'Tis better to remain silent and thought a fool, than to speak up and remove all doubt."
Same issue of Happenings, same article, same page: "We can do this without any additional taxes except for the 0.5 mil addition to the property tax". Yeah, right. Your crystal ball lied to you, PSJ4Taxes: big time. The cities listed on my Reality Check: Budget page and my Compare page will tell you that cities smaller than us in both population and square miles are working with budgets bigger than the one PSJ4Taxes put together. It will also tell you that the millage rates (tax rates on property owners) are much higher than 0.5 mil. If it's a bigger city -- like Rockledge (who is still smaller than us in both population and square miles; but still has over 60 police officers [how many does the PSJ4Taxes budget give us?]), for instance -- their budgets are two to three times what PSJ4Taxes put together and their millage rates are much higher, no matter the city's size.
Same issue of Happenings, same article, same page: The PSJ4Taxes budget calls for a Half Cent [sic] Sales Tax that "[t]he county already collects" and which "THEY [PSJ4T's underline and caps] decide where to spend it." If it's County money, the City of PSJ will have no right to it. County/City are two different entities and never the twain shall meet as far as crossing budgets is concerned. Once the City of PSJ's monies are decided by the powers that be, and we are given that amount for revenue sharing or whatever, that's it. We don't get any County money: that is "their" money. We get nothing more from them. Period. PSJ4Taxes's crystal ball lied again: unless PSJ4T's half-cent sales tax is in addition to the Brevard County half-cent sales tax. Then, it would be something we would be able to "keep at home", but it would also be a tax PSJ4T is not admitting to.
Let's go back to the "The Top Ten Misleading Civic League Statements On The Incorporation Issue (more later)" that PSJ4T put out.
Page 2, #5: The Advisory Board will run the city between November and February. That is an error. The wording in the "City of Port St. John - Charter" (Who put that together?) is a convoluted 80 word sentence. Look at page 22, item (b), "All powers and duties of the Brevard County Planning and Land Development Regulations Council, any boards of adjustment and appeals created pursuant to statutory trade codes, the Port St. John Dependent Special District Governing Board, and the County Commission of Brevard County, Florida, as set forth in these transitional zoning and land use regulations, shall be vested in the City Council of Port St. John until such time as the city council delegates all or a portion thereof to another entity." Whew! Legal mumbo-jumbo. But, this is where the mistake was made. The Charter does not say that the Advisory Board shall be vested in the City Council; it says that the "powers and duties" of these other entities shall be vested in the City Council when the City of PSJ is formed. That's all it says. I can see where the misunderstanding came in, though. Eighty words?
I taped PSJ4Taxes asserting at their September 12, 2002, meeting that Titusville had threatened to sue Brevard County if the County did not agree with Titusville in its plans to make Kings Highway its southern boundary. Sounds to me like PSJ4T agreed to it in the page 32 Happenings article of July 2001: "It is for these reasons, that it is the position of Port St. John For Tomorrow (PAC), that in an effort to move the Feasibility Study forward, we are in agreement with the City of Titusville’s request and Brevard County, District 1’s concurrence, to use Kings Highway as the Northern Boundary line for the purposes of the approved study, with a caveat stating that by agreeing to this new boundary line, it will in no way preclude us from meeting the minimum statutory requirements in order to be considered a city." Fact: I called Commissioner Scarborough's office September 23, 2002, after reviewing my notes on the PSJ4Taxes meeting. I asked about the threatened lawsuit. Comm. Scarborough said that Titusville did NOT threaten a lawsuit against the County. Yet that is exactly what PSJ4Taxes now says happened. I have it on tape. In my opinion, Mary Tees and Maureen Rupe sold us out to (quoting their own words) "move the Feasibility Study forward." That was their goal and objective. They put everything else secondary to getting their precious Feasibility Study moved forward. They sold us out. But they claim to speak for us. With friends like these, who needs enemies?
PSJ4T claims (in their List of Nonsense Numbers) that if we incorporate we will have the finances to enable us to have two Sheriff's Deputies patroling our streets -- all 16.5 square miles of them -- every day. For how long have the leaders of PSJ4T been complaining that we only have two Deputies in PSJ? How long have they been complaining that it isn't good enough? So how does their "budget" fix the problem? In order to get better coverage, we have two options: vote an increase in the MSTU we already have (higher taxes) or, if we incorporate, the City Council votes to raise taxes higher than PSJ4T will ever admit to so that we can afford a greater Sheriff's presence in PSJ. Those are our options. Oh, and there's something else I could mention: be satisfied with what we have now and with our taxes as they are instead of increasing them. When our house was burglarized, the Sheriff's Deputies were here within five minutes of reporting it. We hadn't even had time to round up our new kittens who had gotten out when the burglars left the door open before the Deputies were here. Now, let's not go the, "Yes, but if we had more Deputies, your house might not have been robbed," route. At the time we had no neighbors on that side of the house, there was no one around, we had no alarm system (we do now) and it was broad daylight. The burglars had plenty of time to do whatever they wanted because we were gone all day. It's not the Sheriff's Department's fault that the men who burglarized our house decided to break the law. It's not the Sheriff's fault that they didn't have a Deputy stationed outside our house to prevent the burglary from happening; that's not the way it's supposed to work. The perpetrators were caught and prosecuted. As far as I know, they are still doing their time. I'm satisfied with the coverage we have and have no complaints with the protection we have.
PSJ4T has had the oppotunity time and time again to tell the truth regarding sewers. This is something that has been a big scare tactic for them; their latest sign is "Stop Titusville Sewers..." How long have they known that Titusville has no intention to put sewers in PSJ? After all, Titusville's own ordinace prevents that. And, if you consider political truths, no politician, or group of politicians (except PSJ4T apparently) wants 22,000 people angry at them all the time. It makes sense to not infuriate 22,000 people by forcing them into your city. Think of the damage they can do to your political career. But, let's just take a look at this issue. According to this letter from Titusville Mayor Ron Swank, PSJ4T has known about Titusville's disinterest in putting sewers in PSJ since at least March, 2002 (look at the date). Also, if you read about the LEGAL agreements between Cypress Woods and Titusville, it says that Titusville has no intention to sewer south of Kings Highway/Ranch Road. That LEGAL agreement is dated 1994. Look at what Mayor Swank's March, 2002, letter says about the 1991 and 1994 agreements between Cypress Woods and Titusville: "Please note that the agreements indicated we would not provide services south of Kings Highway/Ranch Road." These are LEGALLY BINDING DOCUMENTS, folks. They are not open to debate. They are binding in a court of law.
So, since 1994, Titusville has stated in LEGAL documents that they don't want to put sewers in PSJ. Did you know that PSJ4T has these documents? Did you know that they have had access to them since 1994? Can you see the scare tactic? Can you see the truth? PSJ4T has LIED AGAIN.
Look for the TRUTH, people. The TRUTH Shall Set You Free!
Copyright © 2002 Linda McKinney