Letter: Margate should spend wisely not wastefully

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To the editor:

Keeping our beaches free of costly and ineffective dunes will end up saving, not costing taxpayers. It’s astounding that Mayor Becker and Commissioner Taube waste hundreds of thousands of dollars for personal and political agendas but won’t take any genuine action to try and stop a project that 65 percent of the electorate voted against.

Becker and Taube campaigned for a $600,000 code enforcement building we didn’t need, wasting $14,000 on architect fees. The majority was spent in violation of state budget law as well as a Margate resolution to stop spending until after the referendum that ultimately defeated the project.

They spent $135,000 (exceeding a $60,000 contract) on a whistleblower suit to defend accusations against the city clerk for which even the city’s Joint Insurance Fund has denied coverage. They continue to engage counsel without a contract in violation of state contract law. With talk of appropriating another $100,000, taxpayers could end up paying at least $300,000 in fees and a potential $500,000 settlement. The longer this fight continues the more it costs taxpayers.

They spent up to $10,000 for counsel to investigate Taube’s criticism of Marketplace Realty. Taube refuses to apologize, and the city will likely be faced with another suit.

Taube fired four public works employees before Christmas, against the advice of other city officials. A few months later she rehired all but one (another legal battle waiting to happen).

It is no surprise that the current budget projects legal fees of $325,000 – triple what they were. With little public outcry and Becker and Taube overruling Commissioner Blumberg’s opposition two to one, the  taxpayers are being robbed. If citizens could vote on this type of spending, as a Concerned Citizens Group member suggests, I guarantee an overwhelming no vote on all this irresponsible spending.

With one year left to their terms, I urge you to visit the Citizens for a Better Margate Facebook page to find out what is happening so you can make your voice heard and stop wasteful spending. 

Sharon Simon
Margate


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