Subpoenas served at AP workshop

AVON PARK – Sebring private investigator Daniel Burke arrived early for the 8 a.m., Saturday Avon Park budget workshop armed with a handful of subpoenas.

On behalf of attorney Robert Grizzard II, Burke served the subpoenas to city council members and Interim City Manager Julian Deleon, Finance Director Renee Greene and Project Manager Maria Sutherland.

Grizzard is representing Police Chief Mike Rowan, who is suing the city claiming he was wrongly placed on unpaid administrative leave.

The subpoenas command an appearance later this month before County Judge J. David Langford concerning the Rowan vs. the City of Avon Park lawsuit.

Deleon started the workshop stating the 2012 budget is balanced, but there have been several challenges in developing the budget.

The city has lost $701,000 in revenue since 2009, he said. He noted that uncontrollable cost increases included pension contributions, insurance costs and the overall cost of doing business.

In developing the budget, staff looked at the council’s objectives to keep taxation levels unchanged or possibly lower the property tax rate, Deleon said. The tax rate could not be lowered because that would have significantly cut services.

All city departments were scaled back and vacant positions are not funded, he said.

Mayor Sharon Schuler asked about the 2012 contingency fund.

Greene said the budget has a contingency fund of $76,500.

Schuler said the city always has to be prepared in case there is an emergency, like when the hurricanes struck and the city had to pay several hundred thousand dollars up front.

It was noted that the city has a fund balance/reserve fund of $1.1 million.

Councilman Terry Heston asked if the fund balance could be used for contingency purposes.

Greene said, “Sure.”

During discussion on the police department’s budget, Deleon said the police chief position is funded, but the fire chief position is not.

He noted that police Lt. John King remains as the interim public safety administrator.

The total tentative 2011-12 budget is $14.8 million with a tentative property tax rate of $5.87 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

Mayor Sharon Schuler commented on the budget during a break: “They’ve done a great job, I think. I think departments have cut a lot.”

They have readjusted some things during the workshop and that money will go back into the contingency fund, she said.

Councilman Paul Miller said, “I think the budget looks pretty good the way it is. I don’t think there will be any drastic changes. I think it is cut about as much as it can be cut.”

Deputy Mayor Brenda Gray did not attend the meeting. Schuler said Gray was absent due to an emergenc

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn
This entry was posted in Law affecting Private Investigation, Private Investigation and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.