Fort Lauderdale City Manager Lee Feldman released his 2015 proposed budget report and, according to what he writes, the city can add over 60 new positions without raising the tax rate.
Among the proposed positions, Feldman says ten new Parks and Recreation jobs can be added to aid several initiatives including new programming at Carter Park, a dedicated Homeless Activity Coordinator and full time Park Rangers.
"These proposed recommendations will serve to restore the staffing back to a more suitable level for the continued heightened volume of work that we now recognize as the new 'normal,' " Feldman writes in his report. "The total General Fund personnel complement for FY 2015 is proposed at 1,711 full-time equivalents, which includes full-time, regular part-time (year round) and temporary employees (year round for a fixed period of time). Seasonal positions, which supplement staffing for temporary periods such as summer camps or special events, are no longer counted towards the position count."
Also included in the proposition, would be to add at least three more mounted police units for crowd-control purposes, particularly for downtown and the beaches.
Feldman also wants to add four T-3 Electric Stand-up vehicles (like these), and two Police Marine Unite Boat engines.
Feldman says that the city's overall operating budget stands at $293.8 million. He has been tasked by Fort Lauderdale commissioners to keep the city's property tax rate for its operating budget at $4.12 for each $100,000 of assessed value.
According to Feldman, the 2015 total proposed budget for all funds is $571,805,176 not including balances, reserves, and transfers. This is approximately $8.5 million more than the FY 2014 Amended Budget of $563,292,814.
"Fort Lauderdale has a rich history and a bright future," Feldman writes. "Under the City Commission's leadership, Fort Lauderdale has achieved remarkable success and has overcome many of the recent financial challenges that have stymied other cities and counties across the country. Over the last several years, the City has successfully faced these daunting challenges, and, as a result, Fort Lauderdale is looked upon as a national role model for prudent fiscal planning, local pension reform and sound, well-timed investments in infrastructure that make it the envy of other local jurisdictions."
Overall, the proposal has 64 new positions added, bringing Fort Lauderdale's workforce to 2,330.
You can peruse the entire proposal below:
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