NEW March 3, 2009 - WE have added emails of State officials so if you want to email a suggestion or complaint, find them at the bottom of this document! (Donated by Chris White)
LINKS - Below are links to organizations and references relevant to improving the fiscal management of local government agencies in Lake County, FL
Lake County Government, Lake County, FL - http://www.lakecountyfl.gov/
You can get the budgets here and download the annual financial report. The internal audit dept. page is buried deep under the Clerk of Court Dept.
Lake County School District - Ths School District also has a new internal independent auditor who reports to the Board, plus there are external auditors for the financial statements and some other projects - http://www.lake.k12.fl.us
Florida Chamber of Commerce: http://www.flchamber.com/mx/hm.asp?id=home
Florida Auditor General - Conducts audit of County School District's about every 3 years, and you can read audit reports via this website for the Lake County School District, AND Lake Sumter Community College, but there have been no audits of the County government or local cities in recent years. http://www.myflorida.com/audgen/
Citizens Against Government Waste - CAGW - is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization representing more than one million members and supporters nationwide. CAGW's mission is to eliminate waste, mismanagement, and inefficiency in the federal government. Founded in 1984 by the late industrialist J. Peter Grace and syndicated columnist Jack Anderson, CAGW is the legacy of the President's Private Sector Survey on Cost Control, also known as the Grace Commission.
(Note - I have a copy of the original published Grace Commission Report - vj)
In 1982, President Reagan directed the Grace Commission to "work like tireless bloodhounds to root out government inefficiency and waste of tax dollars." For two years, 161 corporate executives and community leaders led an army of 2,000 volunteers on a waste hunt through the federal government. The search was funded entirely by voluntary contributions of $76 million from the private sector; it cost taxpayers nothing. The Grace Commission made 2,478 recommendations which, if implemented, would save $424.4 billion over three years, an average of $141.5 billion a year all without eliminating essential services.
The 47 volumes and 21,000 pages of the Grace Commission Report constituted a vision of an efficient, well-managed government that is accountable to the taxpayers. CAGW has worked to make that vision a reality and, in a little over two decades, has helped save taxpayers $944 billion through the implementation of Grace Commission findings and other recommendations.
(I recommend you go to the CAGW website and donate $25 and get the printed "Pig Book" for the current year to see all the earmark and stupid government programs they list. You can also download a free pdf 70 page summary version of the Pig book. vj)
The CAGW "Swineline" blog is HERE at http://swineline.org/
Many government agencies must publish advertisements to announce public meetings, and they are published in the "public notices" section of a newspaper. The agency might publish the notices in any paper, and not the one you read. Many court issues, including rezoning hearings, etc are also published in the Public Notices sections. However, now many agencies also publish meeting schedules in calendar section on their website.
But, if you need to search current, or older public notice ads for any Florida newspaper for a specific purpose, you can go to the website above and search their online records.
Note: As of April, 2010, there apparently is a move to implement a new Florida law that would eliminate newspaper public notice publishing requirements, but instead, rely on the government agency website. Naturally, the newspapers are against the loss of ad revenue, which can be several pages of ads, so they are fighting it. It makes sense to me, but only if each agency also had to contribute to the central online posting website, and probably pay a fee, so that there is a central site that acts as an archive, since it is too easy for the government to "lose" the files. There also should be a standard format for every agency website so they are consistent, READABLE, and can be searched online.
Florida Tax Watch - www.http://floridataxwatch.org/index.html
This is a non-government operation that monitors tax and government issues in the Florida legislature, and publishes an update newsletter each week when legislation is in session. You can "join" and get the emailed newsletter, but it may not be free. They don't publish the cost to "join" and may use a sliding scale, so all you can do is submit the form and see what it costs. The newsletter provides weekly updates on various bills, etc. in Tallahassee.
Created in 2006.
The Council on Efficient Government’s mission is to review, evaluate and provide advice on agency outsourcing and best practices, as well as to codify lessons learned to improve government accountability. It is the Council’s goal to define the process for reviewing business cases and implement standard processes for outsourcing initiatives.
Taxpayers for Common Sense - This group in Washington DC focuses mostly on Federal government issues, but has some useful info on their website. Taxpayers for Common Sense is an independent and non-partisan voice for taxpayers working to increase transparency and expose and eliminate wasteful and corrupt subsidies, earmarks, and corporate welfare. For instance, there are a number of interesting recommendations under the menu item "transparency".
Economic & Demographic Data Sources
UCF Institute for Economic Competitiveness - Sean Snaith - publishes Florida & Central Florida economic studies
Publishes many US wide studies on taxes, and calculates the annual tax freedom day. Tax Freedom Day® will fell on April 23 in 2008. Thus Americans worked on average until April 23 to pay all their taxes. " In 2008, Americans will work 74 days to afford their federal taxes and 39 more days to pay state and local taxes. Meanwhile, buying food requires 35 days of work, clothing 13 days, and housing 60 days. Other major categories are health and medical care (50 days), transportation (29 days), and recreation (21 days)."
Thus, average Americans worked 39 days of the year just to pay their state and local taxes. See the section on Center for State Fiscal Policy for data comparing state taxes, etc. Click HERE to see the Florida section.
Candidate Research Sources:
http://www.opensecrets.org/index.php - lists details on contributions to Federal congressional members. Very good for drilling down to see committees and what industry was providing contributions to each congressional member and prior members (i.e. Keller vs Grayson)
EMAIL Addresses of Florida State Officials
State Officials (provided 3/3/2009 by Chris White)
the emails - cut and paste them and start sending your complaints to these
Charlie.Crist@MyFlorida.com, Jeff.Kottkamp@MyFlorida.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org,
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, bullard.larcenia.web@flsenate. gov, email@example.com ov, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org, haridopolos.mike.web@flsenate. gov, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org ov, email@example.com ov, firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org ov, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org ov, wilson.frederica.web@flsenate. gov, email@example.com,