Hollywood has been on a financial roller coaster over the past four years. We were supposed to be $38 million in the red and “financial urgency” was declared. Employees were laid off, salaries cut and our services diminished. We have fewer police and more crime. Our taxes and fees continue to be raised, making us the most expensive place to live in the Broward County. Last year our budget went up $102 million and is proposed to go up another $48 million this year.
Item 27 on the Sept. 3 commission meeting agenda was a resolution waiving the formal competitive bidding process and ratifying and authorizing a blanket purchasing order. Wow, no-bid and a blanket, no-conditions spending of taxpayer dollars. The worst part was that this has been going on for two years. And this was called a $1 million mistake?
There was approximately $1 million spent on contracts with a temporary staffing company and allegations that the service was paid more then what regular employees were paid for the same job. Overpaying is one thing, getting a temp with less training and no loyalty to the residents is another. But money spent without proper authority is worse. It seems the city manager and maybe others exceeded their spending authority.
What is more disturbing is our internal budget department and our outside auditor did not find this a serious issue. Can one assume that there may be other things like this they did not find? It is unclear as to whether or not the state auditor found this inconsistency or not.
It does not seem to me to be an honest mistake.
Pete Brewer, Hollywood