Property owners, if you log onto the Dewees website, you can see the preliminary budget for Fiscal Year 2010. The link is on the front page about half way down. Right now, the POA dues set to be $7,039 in FY2010 vs. $7,615 in FY2009. That’s a rollback of $576. That’s nice, but is it enough?
Personally, I think the high annual dues are one of the things pushing some long-time island property owners to consider selling. I wonder how things would be run differently if dues were set at $5,000/year. What services would be eliminated and what services would be reworked in some way? Perhaps some tasks could be outsourced to improve efficiency.
The format of the proposed budget makes it impossible to see what various services cost. For example, it shows a lump sum amount for wages of $590,952, not including payroll taxes or employee benefits. It doesn’t show how much is spent on public safety or ferry service wages. I believe that public safety costs about $1,500/lot/year — but I can’t tell. One wonders if we’re really getting $1,500/lot/year of benefit? Just a few years ago, we had only one public safety person on the island — Chief Greg — and he wants here all the time. Now we have 24x7x365 coverage. Why?
Maybe we should be spending money on capital improvements rather than staff. I’d rather have another place to crab, fish, and watch the sunset than on 24-hour public safety coverage.
If you have opinions about how your money is being spent, you should express them to the POA Board now before the budget is finalized. I urge you to do so respectfully. The Board members are unpaid volunteers who spend lots of time on Island issues. I believe the vast majority of them are doing their best to try to do the right things for the Island. When addressed in a friendly way, they appreciate your input.