When you have less income – spend less

SPECIAL OFFER FOR HISTORIC CITY NEWS READERS

In comments from St. Johns County Administrator Michael D. Wanchick that were received by Historic City News last week, it appears that staff sees the writing on the wall; another $12 million of lost revenue in property taxes next year.

In addition to reduced property tax revenue, Wanchick points to five unfunded mandates which must be met, including an emergency radio system, storm-water discharge, a fire rescue master plan, transportation infrastructure, and County jail capacity.

St. Johns County did not create the economic conditions that have depressed property values continuously since 2007, however, it appears that they still are refusing to talk about the 500 pound gorilla in the room — you simply can’t spend money that you don’t have.

Staff is telling the Board of County Commissioners and public that they have “cut til’ they can’t cut any more” without impacting our quality of life.  The problem in many people’s mind is this — what the Administrator proposes to cut and what staff assumes must stay in the budget may not be the same as what the taxpayers see as important.

Wanchick says we must “find the proper way” to address those revenue losses.  His suggestion is implementing a local option sales tax, bringing St. Johns County to 7 percent.  By way of justification, Wanchick points out that most other counties in our region and throughout Florida collect an extra penny.

In his newsletter, Wanchick thanks “everyone for being willing to work together in the best interest of the entire community”.  I wonder if by “everyone” he means county employees, including him, or, just taxpayers?

County spokesperson Karen Pan told Historic City News that county personnel are budgeted in terms of “full-time equivalents” which are managed, as to full and part-time, by the administrators.

In this year’s budget, St. Johns County has allowed for the following employee head count:

Board of County Commissioners – 1,233 full-time equivalents
Sheriff’s Office – 577 full-time equivalents
Tax Collector – 66 full-time equivalents
Property Appraiser – 52 full-time equivalents
Clerk of Court – 21 full-time equivalents for County-funded positions
Supervisor of Elections – 12 full-time equivalents

Because of the shared functions of the Clerk of Court, Cheryl Strickland’s office does employ others who are funded by the State.

Pan emphasized that these are “budgeted positions” which doesn’t necessarily mean that they are all filled; the actual head count could change frequently depending on the day or the week during the year.

The St. Johns County Commission has to decide if raising taxes is the way to cope with declining property values or if “the entire community”, including administrative overhead, can be reduced.

“Without a new revenue source, these mandates will drain revenues from existing programs and services such as parks and libraries,” Wanchick wrote.  Nowhere does he write reduce personnel or administrative overhead.  New taxes are wrong; whether sales tax, ad valorem tax, income tax, or government fees.

Wanchick wrote recently, “While difficult challenges lie ahead, I remain confident St. Johns County’s best days lie ahead.”  I say, let’s hope so, but take responsibility for spending only that money that is available and you will reduce one of the most pressing challenges facing us today.

ST JOHNS COUNTY PAYROLL FOR PERSONNEL EARNING AS MUCH OR MORE THAN COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

WANCHICK, MICHAEL DAVID COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR 170,000.48
MCCORMACK, PATRICK FRANCIS COUNTY ATTORNEY 156,558.17
SHOAR, DAVID B SHERIFF 131,538.00
LOCKLEAR, DARRELL M ASSISTANT COUNTY ADMIN 122,370.36
HUNT, MICHAEL D DEPUTY COUNTY ATTORNEY 112,274.33
BOLANTE, JOEL S CHIEF OF STAFF 111,807.00
SHINKRE, RAM S UTILITY ENGINEER MANAGER 111,502.66
YOUNG, WILLIAM G DIRECTOR/UTILITIES 111,498.14
KONCHAN, SUZANNE SAMUELS DIR OF GROWTH MAN SRVCS 109,316.33
THIBAULT, WYLIE D DIRECTOR/MIS 107,172.88
HALL JR, ROBERT V FIRE CHIEF 106,704.80
HALYBURTON, PENNY L SUP OF ELECTIONS/ELECTED 105,223.29
CAMERON, JERRY THOMAS ASSISTANT COUNTY ADMIN 104,441.92
WHITEHOUSE, JAMES G SR ASST COUNTY ATTORNEY 104,349.31
BISHOP, TERESA L DIR LONG RANGE PLAN DIV 101,600.14
TIMMS, DOUGLAS G DIR/MANAGEMENT & BUDGET 99,011.17
CLINE, MATTHEW GENERAL COUNSEL 98,654.00
CYR, FRANCIS P DIRECTOR OF CORR 98,654.00
DONLON, SUSAN J DIR OF ADMN SERVICES 98,654.00
MAY, ARTHUR F DIR OF LAW ENFORCEMENT 98,654.00
SIMPSON, MARK E CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER 98,654.00
BLOUNT, MARYANN DIR LAND MANAGEMENT 96,983.64
STEPHENSON, JOSEPH P DIRECTOR/PUBLIC WORKS 96,983.64
TOMPKINS, HERBERT P COUNTY ENGINEER 96,983.64
SHANK, CARL OPER CHIEF/ASSIST CHIEF 96,535.37
WOOD, SHELLEY M LOGISTICS CHIEF 96,535.37
WOODWARD, GEORGE ROBERT EMS MEDICAL DIRECTOR 96,277.57
ASHTON, EUGENE RAY DIR EMERGENCY MANAGEMEN 95,082.00
HASTINGS, GLENN L DIRECTOR/TDC/EXECUTIVE 95,082.00
COLSON JR, JOHNNY C DIV CHIEF/TRAINING 94,642.52
THOMAS, VENERRIA LUCAS HEALTH & HUMAN SERVC DIR 93,300.44
CRAWFORD, THOMAS M DIR/HOUSING & COMM SVCS 93,217.65
SOLANA, GERALD E UTILITY OPERATION MGR 93,217.65
CANFIELD, STEVEN J SUPPORT SERV SEC CHIEF 92,786.78
PREVATT, JEFFREY A FIRE MARSHALL 92,786.78
OLIVER, PATRICIA G COUNTY SURVEYOR 92,364.36
RUBIN, MICHAEL B MANAGER/CONSTRUCTION 92,364.36
WHITE, HOWARD T BLDG SERVICES DIRECTOR 92,022.38
BLEVINS, SAMUEL T DIR RECREATION & PARK 91,389.85
CAMPBELL, MICHAEL J GIS MANAGER 89,731.94
GIBSON, DEBRA RHODES DIRECTOR/LIBRARY 89,597.89
OAKES, VICTORIA C SUP OF ELECTIONS OFC 87,360.00
MERGL, FRANK G BATTALION CHIEF 87,335.13
BURNS JR, GENE T MANAGER/FAC MAINTENANCE 87,188.31
HERRING III, ROBERT E BATTALION CHIEF 85,622.67
BRUTNELL, RAYE A FINS DEPUTY DIRECTOR 85,500.00
HESSON, REBECCA P SHERIFF’S EXEC MGR 85,500.00
HAGA, LINDSAY KATHLEEN DIR OF DEV REVIEW 84,430.10
BONNEVIER, CHRISTOPHER J BATTALION CHIEF 83,943.80
KAUNATH, KURT M BATTALION CHIEF 83,943.80
BURRELL, MAURICE I MANAGER/R&B 83,802.68
NGUYEN, PHONG THACH TRANS PLANNING MGR 83,657.25
AMES, ANDREW J ASST COUNTY ENGINEER 82,898.44
ROSS, REGINA DIONE ASST COUNTY ATTORNEY 81,149.22
GRACE III, MICHAEL HARRY MANAGER/FLEET MAINTEN 80,548.52
MCLENDON, DAVID TYSON OPERATIONS SUPERINTEN 80,548.52
ZAMMATARO, ROBERT JAMES CHIEF ENG/DEVELOPMENT 80,548.52
HALE, JOHN J OPERATIONS MANAGER 79,679.39
HOISINGTON, JR, ROBERT H HIDTA IT TECHNICIAN III 78,880.00
CHITWOOD, JR, DANIEL E PLNR UNIT COMM 78,402.00
FAGAN, MARY L INVS BUREAU COMM 78,402.00
MESSENGER, DAVID A PATROL BUREAU COMM 78,402.00
MIER, HERBERT N PROGRAM BUREAU COMM 78,402.00
REAMS, CONNIE K DET BUREAU COMM 78,402.00
SCOTT, GROVER M CORR UNIT COMMANDER 78,066.00
BURNHAM, JOHN PATRICK CHIEF ENG/CONSTRUCTION 77,420.72
KENTON, CHARLES F ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER 76,717.79
TUCKER, HOWARD W MANAGER/GOLF COURSE 76,717.79
WALTON, DANIEL R GOLF COURSE SUPT 76,717.79
SNEED, JOEL L BATTALION CHIEF-40 HR 76,059.78
CUZZORT, MICHAEL P BATTALION CHIEF 76,059.73
REAMS, JOHN D BATTALION CHIEF 76,059.73
PACETTI, ROBERT W BLDG OPERATIONS MANAGER 75,902.67
BREWER, JAN P ENVIRONMENTAL DEPT HEAD 75,770.95
WARD, ERIKA E SUP OF ELECTIONS/CLERICAL 74,880.00
BURCH, JOSEPH D PURCHASING DIRECTOR 74,414.38
FREDERICK, BETTY B EXTENSION SERVICES MGR 74,414.38
MILLER JR, LARRY K CHIEF ENG/CONSTRUCTION 74,414.38
KENNEDY, GREGORY B TRAFFIC MANAGER 73,738.74
BRYANT, DALE E DEP SECTOR COMM 73,362.00
HARDY, BETTY J CORR UNIT COMMANDER 73,362.00
CUBBEDGE, ANTHONY W LAND RESOURCES MANAGER 72,955.27
TIBBITTS, TOM A GIS ASSISTANT MANAGER 72,955.27
BUCHANAN, GARY A SUP OF ELECTIONS/CLERICAL 72,800.00
KRULISH, KENNETH TRAINING OFFICER 72,779.27
ACOSTA, CHRISTOPHER D DEP SECTOR COMM 72,635.00
QUINTIERI, THOMAS V DEPUTY SECTOR COMM 72,635.00
TANNER, BENJIMAN H DEP SECTOR COMM 72,635.00
PAULA, JAMES PLANS EXAMINER II 72,292.89
STEWART, BARRY E WATER OPERATOR SUPT 72,292.89
HOUSTON II, EDWARD F FIREFIGHTER/CAPTAIN 71,352.23
DONLON, JOHN W COMMUNITY SVCS COMM 71,204.00
LEE, BRIAN C YOUTH SVCS COMM 71,204.00
QUINTIERI, MICHAEL R DEPUTY SECTOR COMM 71,204.00
HALLMAN, DONALD J ENGINEER III 70,875.38
SHIELL, ALAN V SUPVR BUILDING INSPEC 70,875.38
STOUGHTON, LINDA M DEPUTY DIR OF EMERG MAN 70,875.38
MOORE, ERICA DENISE ASST COUNTY ATTORNEY 70,647.33
STANISH, STACEY BETH INTERIM HR DIRECTOR 70,647.33
BURCHFIELD, BRADLEY D SYSTEMS ANALYST III 70,122.33
PHILLIPS, DANIEL A SYSTEMS ANALYST III 70,122.33
WHALEY, STEPHANIE CANTON CAPTAIN – 40 HR 69,953.17
COLLINS, BRYAN L PROJECT COORD III 69,550.14
PEARSON, JEFFREY R PROJECT COORD III 69,550.14
AGBUNAG, ROCKY S GIS COORDINATOR 69,485.66
CRAIN, CHARLES F PLANS EXAMINER II 69,485.66
CLARK, BECKY C ADMN UNIT MANAGER 68,938.00
HARRELL, SHARON M HIDTA FINANCE SPECIALIST 68,938.00
REGISTER, FLOYD S UTILITY SUPERINTENDENT 68,932.67
KIRK, CAROL A SYSTEMS ANALYST III 68,747.38
GERONA, JASON R FIREFIGHTER/CAPTAIN 68,581.53
YEOMAN, BRIAN M FIREFIGHTER/CAPTAIN 68,581.53
BLALOCK, SHERYL K COMM UNIT MGR 68,256.00
REEMS, ROBIN A COMM UNIT MGR 68,256.00
ACOSTA, JAMES L SUPERVISOR CD ENFORCEME 68,123.20
DRUMMOND, WILLIAM J PLANS EXAMINER II 68,123.20
TRIGG, SCOTT M ENGINEER III 68,123.20
MATTHEWS, KIMBERLY J HIDTA CO-MANAGER  67,613.00
JOHNSON, KURT K FIREFIGHTER/LIEUTENANT 66,891.31
MORGAN, JOHN W FIREFIGHTER/LIEUTENANT 66,891.31
NEWBERN, RONALD A FIREFIGHTER/LIEUTENANT 66,891.31
SCIOTTO, MICHAEL P FIREFIGHTER/LIEUTENANT 66,891.31
SLEMP, DAVID A FIREFIGHTER/LIEUTENANT 66,891.31
STAILEY, WILLIAM G FIREFIGHTER/LIEUTENANT 66,891.31
MULLIGAN, THOMAS W BUILDING MAINT SUPT 66,849.42
AMAN, JR, HENRY T LENF ADMN COMM 66,752.00
BRADLEY, II, CHARLES E FIU COMMANDER 66,752.00
COLEE, ROGER W CORR UNIT COMMANDER 66,752.00
KELLER, SHIRLEY A CORR UNIT COMMANDER 66,752.00
STEWART, ROBERT E DEP SECTOR COMM 66,752.00
STRICKLAND CHRISTOPHER DEPUTY SECTOR COMMANDER 66,752.00
KATZ, GEORGIA L PLANNER III 66,255.93
STUDIVANT, PAUL W ANIMAL CONTROL CHIEF 66,077.84
MISSICK, SHERMAN FIREFIGHTER/CAPTAIN 65,918.43
REYNOLDS, MICHAEL D UTILITY MAINT COORD III 65,664.97
MCCULLAR, CAROL E EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT 65,592.00
CONTESTABILE, JOHN M FIREFIGHTER/LIEUTENANT 65,579.72
HIERS SR, MICHAEL D FIREFIGHTER/LIEUTENANT 65,579.72
LEDDY, LENORA A FIREFIGHTER/LIEUTENANT 65,579.72
DAVIS, RICHARD F CHIEF BUILDING INSPECTOR 65,538.65
PARKER, DAVID MILTON WASTEWATER OPER SPV 65,538.65
MILLER, AMY HELEN UTILITY INFO COORD 65,477.89
STEPP, BETTY SUE PROJECT LIASON 65,477.89
ARLINGTON, DANIEL JAMES PLANS EXAMINER I 64,956.79
DACOSTA, JOSEPH E PLANS EXAMINER I 64,956.79
STOKEY, SANDRA A USER EXPERIENCE MANAGER 64,782.20
PARHAM, JACOB E. IT MANAGER 64,623.00
BRYAN, JOSEPH KENNETH COUNTY COMMISSIONER 64,264.83
MINER, MARK PARTRIDGE COUNTY COMMISSIONER 64,264.83
MORRIS JR, JOHN H COUNTY COMMISSIONER 64,264.83
SANCHEZ, RONALD F COUNTY COMMISSIONER 64,264.83
STEVENSON, CYNTHIA W COUNTY COMMISSIONER 64,264.83

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