for Satellite Beach City Council
Daniel "Danny D" D’Agostino
-Why Are You Running For City Council?.
I have decided to run for City Council for a number of reasons.
Largely, I decided to run because I love the city and the people of Satellite Beach, and believe that it can be so much more, and so much better for all the residents of our great city.
Also, I have been encouraged by my friends, family and neighbors for a number of years to run, feel that I have received a specific call to run for this office, and that I have a heart for public service.I also know that I possess a strong record of leadership in the community including a strong record of accomplishment in group problem solving, and formal training in the skill set needed to drive common sense solutions through consensus. I am not running for me, instead I am running particularly for those who are struggling, those who have been left behind in this "new" economy (i.e. the elderly, unemployed, disabled, single parents, and anyone on a fixed income) who keep seeing more and more of their hard earned dollars taken by increasing taxes in our city and squandered or not spent wisely, especially with thoughts for the longer-term.(My opponents are currently publicizing an insignificant reduction in the millage rate, and a restoration of the city's reserves (to just under $1.3 Million (of borrowed CRA money)) they intentionally set up just for purposes of this election. Please don't fall for these ploys, look instead at the constant raising of the millage over 16 of the last 17 years they have been in office), Here in our great city we do not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem, coupled with a lack of planning problem.
The current administration does not consider anything past the near-term consequences of anything they do, maintenance, upkeep, cost/benefit analysis, sunken costs and mid to long-term capital planning prioritization (3-10 years forward) is not even a fleeting thought in their process.
I pledge to be the voice of all those in the city who do not currently believe they have a voice, within this corrupt, good old boy system of cronyism that is the current city administration. There are currently 3 of the 5 governing positions (Mayor and 4 City Council) that have been in office in excess of a minimum of 17 years. It is clearly time for a change, for some new blood and for a forward vision other than to try to keep the city where it was back in the 1970s.
Is there anyone that can name me three good things that they have done over that time? Lord knows I can't over the twenty years that I have lived here.
But I can certainly and quickly name you a number of items on which they have not done a very good job:
-Purchase of the lot at the corner of Desoto Parkway and Hwy. A1A for 1 Million Dollars at the top of the Real Estate market "bubble" in 2006,
This purchase was made with our tax dollars despite there being no purpose in mind for the property at the time of purchase, and there are still no plans for its usage (purportedly it was acquired to keep a "major convenience store chain" from purchasing it). This property is currently valued at approximately $600K, but despite being for sale for a while it has not sold. The mortgage on this lot is costing us about $100K/yr. to finance that debt/mortgage adding to each city property owner's tax burden with no benefit; That's about $100/yr. for each and every city resident just for this one item, and for what?).
-Botching the Annexation of the South Patrick Housing Area (i.e. Pelican Coast). The city has extended Police and Fire Service to this area, but without the necessary taxes. Instead the city gets just $250K/yr. in lieu of taxes fees from this area (which does not even come close to covering the costs the city incurs to manage the area, again adding to each city property owner's tax burden with no benefit;)..(In a recent flier, one of our incumbents, Mr. Brimer, attempted to take credit for this annexation as "increasing our tax base". This just serves to illustrate how out of touch he is with his own Council activities as we have yet to receive a single "tax dollar" from this area, and they are not now subject to, nor do they pay any taxes to Satellite Beach, His flier stating differently is misleading at best)
-The Rebuilding of Roosevelt Avenue This project was recently completed at a cost of right at $3 Million and it was extremely well done. However, had the city had a strong, capital prioritization and planning function in place, it could have been done for about a third of that cost, through maintaining and repaving, instead of having to pay more for a complete re-build. Our current Mayor, Mr. Catino, in a recent flier took credit for this fiasco, and I quote "Pro Infrastructure. Frank presided over the reconstruction of Roosevelt Avenue..." This job could have and should have been done some number of years ago before this street degraded to the point that it required a full rebuild at three times the cost. This is once again indicative of the lack of proactive capital planning and prioritization in the conduct of city government.
-City/State Beautification Grants; Palm Tree Additions. In 2007, the city decided to go after what they were terming as "free money" to further "beautify the city". What was really going on is that the State was offering native trees (mainly Palms) through a 50/50 matching grant. Long story short, the city bought just short of 200 Palm Trees with half the money coming out of our tax dollars. Many of them ended up on Desoto Parkway in the median. At the time, I personally asked the Council how they were planning to maintain these trees as ten years from now, they would be huge. I also asked if they had set aside funding to keep them maintained and hurricane cut during Hurricane Season, whereupon I was abruptly blown off. With the recent advent of Hurricane Matthew,and none of the Palm Trees even cut bac,k much less hurricane cut, many of the storm water drains were completely clogged by palm fronds (go figure!). Another illustration of penny wise but pound foolish spending of our tax dollars and related lack of planning!
Support of Local Business The incumbents, Messrs. Brimer and Catino purport to be strongly Pro-Business, yet neither can point to anything specific they have done in that regard. I would submit to you that instead, that are many onerous and costly city ordinances and regulations that drive businesses elsewhere. In just the last year, two of the major higher-paying employers in the city have left, specifically Lighting Science (was right next to Long Doggers on S. Patrick Drive) and Miillenium Engineering and Integration (was on the NW corner of Jackson and S, Patrick Drive). In his recent flier Mr. Brimer takes credit for "negotiating with the USPS to keep the post office" in our city (that's it?), and Mr. Catino, just states he maintains a business friendly environment. Doesn't sound like much of a list of accomplishments to me. These guys are such big supporters of local businesses in Satellite Beach that all of their campaign rallies this cycle were not even held in Satellite, but instead in India Harbor Beach. (In contrast, our rallies were held at Neptune's (formerly the Cove), and at Sun on the Beach respectively, both in Satellite Beach.) Again, they are being consistent with how they operate, say one thing, but do another and create the appearence ..
With what we pay in taxes, the second highest millage rate in Brevard County (behind only Palm Bay which is 10 times our size) we should demand and get better than this for our City Government!
-The Future of Desoto Park
The City or Satellite Beach currently plans to turn all of Desoto Park North of the Baseball Complex into a Storm Water Retention Pond. One of my opponents, Ms. Mindy Gibson is going around the city telling folks that it will be made into a "park." and it "will be nice." along the lines of Gleason Park in neighboring Indian Harbor Beach. Nothing could be further from the truth as currently there are no plans on the books for any kind of a park, and it certainly would not support a park along the lines of Gleason in any event, due to its much smaller size .I have committed in my campaign since day one to be the voice of those in the city that currently do not have a voice. In the case of Desoto Park, the voiceless are the children of our city and surrounding areas that currently use Desoto Park as their practice facility for youth sports. At various times of the year, more than three youth sport teams use this facility for practice. In fall it is the South Beach Seahawks Youth Football teams, three teams, four days a week. At other times of the year it varies between youth Lacrosse, tee ball. softball and soccer practices. The city's answer is to use the dilapidated and much smaller old South Patrick Housing field instead (roughly across from Beef O-Brady's on South Patrick Drive). There are a number of issues with this: 1) There is no parking to speak of; 2) The field has not been used in years and has not been maintained, but most importantly 3) A number of the children that currently use the Desoto Park facility walk, run, ride their skateboard or bike to practice. Most of these children are under 12 years old and having them ride almost 2 miles north on busy South Patrick Drive is a safety issue and is unacceptable. Most tellingly though, there has been literally millions of dollars of storm water drainage improvements already accomplished in the Desoto area, including a gate that diverts the water over to near the library such that there is no longer a flooding problem there (I just happen to live on Desoto Parkway). The flooding problem the city has now is not on Desoto but over from Cassia South to St. Johns and from Temple to South Patrick. It is unknown how Desoto Park was arrived at as a solution, it is right next to a canal where the Manatees gather in colder weather (so allowing any flow from this retention pond there could negatively impact them), there is no Comprehensive Storm Water Runoff Plan in Existence, but common sense dictates it would instead be smarter and cheaper in the long run to place it somewhere closer to where the problem still exists. (When it rains hard Olsen Field, the Public Works Facility and the Police Station (off of Thyme on Cinnamon) are now the first areas to flood.) Displacing all the children, jeopardizing some of their safety by having some of the self-travel well over a mile up busy South Patrick Drive, putting a Retention Pond in a non-flooding area, and not having a full and complete plan is not what should be even being considered, but is typical of how our city currently thinks (or doesn't think) and operates! . .