Florida Mayor Resigns Over $250M Budget Shortfall
Mayor Frank Hibbard of Clearwater, Florida, resigned his position during a budget meeting after a series of reckless spending proposals that were set to leave Clearwater with over a $250 million budget shortfall, according to Fox News.
This includes spending $90 million to construct a new city hall and municipal building — more than double the initial price tag of $40 million.
Hibbard, a full-time financial advisor and wealth manager, cautioned his colleagues at a recent budget meeting that, “I’m concerned where the city is going because this is simple math and we’re not doing very well on the test.” After his emphatic warning, he resigned.
Despite the city being in an already precarious financial position with a projected budget shortfall of about $250 million, city council members continued to vote for more spending.
The now-former-mayor was the only one on the council to vote against the construction project, with every other council member voting to increase the deficit by another $90 million.
Members of the Clearwater City Council have dismissed his concerns, with a council member telling Fox, the budget meeting Hibbard stormed out of was allegedly “to give direction to staff about budget priorities,” and not a formal vote to allocate funds.
Either way, every council member agreed to spend $90 million, which means the proposal will almost certainly pass when it comes to a vote.
Hibbard leaves localities and towns with wise words of warning: “Local government and government in general needs to be very careful with their resources and also be more creative in the way we solve problems.”
Governments everywhere should heed his advice.
Mon, 04/17/2023 – 19:00