Cooper City¶s 50th Year µCheck-up¶ July D&R Article ± Cooper City Corner Commissioner John Sims

Cooper City has turned fifty, and it¶s time for a thorough check-up. Those who have turned fifty are advised to get a check-up in order to assess current state of health, and current and future health risks. This is exactly the advice and prescription that Cooper City requires, and it needs to µsee the doctor¶ right away. That µDoctor¶ is a forensic auditor, which everyone on the Commission promised they would support during the last election, yet I could not garner a second on a motion as such, on two occasions. How can we decide where to go and how to manage our budget when we don¶t know exactly where we¶ve been or where we stand? Based on the latest financials, it¶s been a proverbial µshell game¶ played with your hard earned tax dollars, which include questionable items on the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report that the new general auditor didn¶t agree with. As of May, available assets were over 18.1 million dollars. Our General Employees Pension Fund is underfunded by 4 million dollars, which we are obligated to fund to parity, yet no one on the Commission, except me, wants to fund it while we have the cash in the bank. We must also address the loss of $5M in unrestricted reserves, the 23% budget increase with the assumption of raising taxes in the near future, among other serious issues. The commission questioned why we should put money into the pension fund when it is likely to lose value. My thoughts were that either they had not thoroughly read data provided by the City Manager and the Actuarial report, which showed gains in investments as well as major losses in stock equities, they didn't understand basic pension fund management, or they totally missed it when the pension fund manager specified that the fund managers had begun to make changes in the portfolio towards higher interest bearing investments rather than continue to invest in stocks and mortgage backed securities. It's a no-brainer. We have an obligation to our employees. I urge you to support Sheriff Lamberti¶s FY upcoming budget and the fight against any reduction of it. This politically created issue is not about party politics, it¶s about keeping our streets and our families safe in a time of turmoil. Criminals are in our neighborhoods and communities as evidenced by the BSO Red Alert of March 12th, with no regard for our life, our safety, or that of our community. Ensuring the safety of our communities at large is the absolute number one priority of any government entity, especially for those who contract with BSO. Don¶t allow the County¶s apparent mismanagement of taxpayer money get in the way of your safety and that of your family. I would like to thank you for expressing your concerns, asking questions and requesting answers regarding city business. I encourage and appreciate your concerns and look forward to continued resolution. As always, you can contact me any time at 954.445.6997 or by e-mail at 500 words

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