Former Gulf Breeze City Manager Proposes To Help Century

June 19, 2019

Longtime Gulf Breeze City Manager Edwin “Buz” Eddy has offered his consulting services to the Town of Century to help them solve the numerous problems identified in a recent report.

Eddy made the unsolicited offer after reading a report by independent financial consultant Bob Inzer, whose services were provided to the town by the Florida League of Cities following a scathing grand jury findings. Inzer repeatedly told the town council that Century needs to hire someone for a chief financial officer type position to have direct oversight over the town’s finances.

Eddy is not currently seeking a full time job with Century. Instead, he is proposing an hourly rate of $35 as a consultant.

“I have read Mr. Inzer’ s report and I have had a couple of informal conversations with Mayor Hawkins over the past few months. I am available, if the Mayor and the Council decide to secure additional administrative assistance, to help out,” Eddy wrote in an email this week to council President Ann Brooks. “Using the Inzer report as a basis and individual interviews with the Mayor and Council members, we would develop and assist in implementing a series of steps to get the Town of Century back on track.”

After meeting individually with the mayor and council members, he said the next action would be to evaluate utility operations, including billing and service-related issues.

Eddy recommended that the town set aside $5,000 for the initial phase, providing for 143 hours of service.

Council members collectively indicated that they would be interested in Eddy’s services, but they would want to first have him attend a meeting with the council to fully present his proposal.

Eddy met with the Century Town Council in early 2018, explaining a new tax up to 10 percent that the town could levy on electricity, municipal water, propane and natural gas usage within the town limits. He also told the council that they could add an additional 25 percent premium to the bills of those outside the town limits that use town water or natural gas services, and up to a 5 percent communications tax to phone and internet bills.

The council never acted on any utility tax increases.

Eddy served as the Gulf Breeze city manager from 1992 until his retirement in 2017. He also worked as the city manager in Coral Springs, Florida, from 1988-1992.

Pictured above and below: Consultant Buz Eddy explained possible new tax revenue to the Century Town Council in February 2018. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Comments

21 Responses to “Former Gulf Breeze City Manager Proposes To Help Century”

  1. Niknak50 on June 21st, 2019 10:22 am

    “The devil laughs when a poor man pays the rich”. (Sicilian proverb)

  2. Bewildered on June 21st, 2019 5:08 am

    No consultant is needed. Any idiot can see what needs to be done – starting with collecting all outstanding debts. You can never help anyone who refuses to admit they have a problem. The mayor of Century is proud of his position and accomplishments and makes sure everyone knows it. Go figure!

  3. Me on June 20th, 2019 6:36 pm

    The Town of Century should really consider this offer. $35/hr for a consultant who can recommend and motivate others to change is a steal!

    Century will have growing pains. More than likely taxes will go up. But once the town is operating they way it should, businesses will want to invest there. This will have a positive effect on the economy. I would expect it to take years for the town to recover… so it is best to get started now. Maybe the next generation will be proud to call Century home.

  4. Rasheed Jackson on June 19th, 2019 9:22 pm

    Century needs to start collecting the fees that are owed for services, and the people that have let residents slip by without paying need to be fired. They also need someone who can help them with the declining water and sewage systems before they become inoperable.
    If the town starts raising taxes the people that live in Century and actually pay their bills will leave.
    Century definitely needs someone to help them out of the mess but raising taxes should be a secondary option.

  5. James Korinek on June 19th, 2019 6:17 pm

    Buz Eddy is one of the finest Gulf Breeze city managers we have had. I was a Gulf Breeze city councilman elected to 5 terms in the 1980’s to the 1990’s. In fact our council was the one who hired him. It was very difficult to find the highest credentialed individual to fill this slot. We all did a tremendous job for the future of Gulf Breeze along with Buz and our hard working mayor, Ed Gray. You folks at Century would be so fortunate by accepting a very accredited individual to be your advisor. The city of Gulf Breeze had been looking to the future for the stability of the city’s finances during our terms. Thank you, Buz !

  6. chris on June 19th, 2019 5:19 pm

    @ I’m Available: You forgot the catfish farm.

  7. I'm Available on June 19th, 2019 3:43 pm

    I can beat that offer. I’m available for $32.50 an hour. I’ll get started for $4,000 up front and will give an honest evaluation of the situation. Also, if you give me a $100,000 interest free 100 year loan, plus 2 years of free rent, I’ll start an Electric Car / Security Camera Installation / Oil Field Trucking Company / Helicopter Repair business in that empty building and hire 100 people to work there.

    Hey, it’s the deal of the century! No pun intended.

  8. Chelleepea on June 19th, 2019 2:51 pm

    We don’t need anymore consulting that costs money….mr. Inzer was pretty thorough in his assessment. We need someone to come in and start working.

  9. Collections!! on June 19th, 2019 1:34 pm

    Collect for Utilities Served and not Paid for THOSE THIEVES that allowed that to go on have contributed to the demise of the rest of their neighbors as well as the mismanagement of the utilities.

    The county is doing that with EMS uncollected bills. Ask them how they are doing that.

    Why did they let this go on so long, Why did past administration spend money from the wrong account and why did the town accountant and attorney allow it?

    And yes why doesn’t the state step in, even if the government will not report the financial emergency themselves?

    AS.THEY.SHOULD.!!

    Denial is and perpetuating the problem is not solving it.

  10. northend resident on June 19th, 2019 12:50 pm

    OH NO…..this offer and solution smells fishy and stinks. He’s not the solution to fix Century’s problems, he will only make things worse. Keep brainstorming and listening to the residents recommendations as they pay taxes and support the local business, they should have a say in this matter.

  11. Glad I don't live in the city limits on June 19th, 2019 9:01 am

    Gulf Breeze is a rich little “touristy” town. You don’t walk up to a man who is bleeding profusely and say “I can help you but first you have to give me a quart of your blood.” If all those taxes are implemented, Century will become a real ghost town. I’d be surprised if travelers would even want to drive through Century on their way to their Pensacola vacations. This man is bad news for the town of Century. Don’t punish those who have been paying for utilities for years by saddling them with more taxes. Find those who have NOT been paying for services they have been getting and make them pay! I don’t think the mayor is dealing in reality, more likely, he is residing in the “State of CONFUSION!”

  12. Nut's on June 19th, 2019 8:55 am

    Sending him back to Gulf Breeze where all the Doctors, Lawyers, and Realtor live. He come from a different world ….

  13. IMHO on June 19th, 2019 8:15 am

    Why would Hawkins listen to him, there’s nothing wrong in Century!

  14. Chris on June 19th, 2019 8:06 am

    Tell him to go back to Gulf Breeze, and stay there. It’s easier to collect $35 an hour and bounce suggestions off a council that will never take heed of them.

  15. tg on June 19th, 2019 7:52 am

    Buzz Eddy will say we can tax our way out of this mess. Thats how he thinks. Lets pretend were in Gulf Breeze.

  16. Oversight on June 19th, 2019 6:38 am

    Taxes, taxes, oh glorious taxes! Pay Buzz Eddie $5,000 for a start to have him tell the town to raise taxes on everything to cover for the miss management of the town. LOL!!! This just doesn’t get any better. Here’s a better solution. Start billing for all the services like gas, water and sewer that the majority of the town is getting for free because Century doesn’t even know how many actual customers it has. Yes TODAY, walk every inch of the town street-by-street, house-to-house, businesses too, and find every service that is connected and not being paid for. Immediately lock it out until the customer goes to town hall and pays.

  17. sam on June 19th, 2019 6:17 am

    nope. every time the politicians and bureaucrats foul up they come down on the tax payer. terrible management of our city government got us into this mess. not billing most of the folks for water and gas as an example. now this guy wants to tax anything that we have. NO!

  18. SW on June 19th, 2019 6:15 am

    So this cat wants to jump in there for $35/hr to tell Century how to fix the money problem. However, it’s gonna cost them at least $5,000 to find out. His earlier solution was to tax everything but the air people breathe.

    A town that cannot pay its bills, with a mostly low-income citizenry in the city limits, with only a handful of businesses, is going to raise rates and initiate taxes? Oh, and raise rates on the consumers outside the city limits, too?

    Yeah. Do that. Can’t wait to see how that works out.

    I wonder when/if Tallahassee will finally get the message to take away the charter and shut the town down?

  19. Sam on June 19th, 2019 4:46 am

    Raise taxes on the people that have been poorly served by elected officials? Same ol stuff. If the elected officials are incompetent stick it to the public. NO, hell no!

  20. Bama on June 19th, 2019 4:42 am

    I am so glad I don’t live in Century, inept leadership, and now higher taxes to cover for it.

  21. Citizen on June 19th, 2019 1:34 am

    If they change the charter by Florida law they could also raise the property tax to 10 mils.
    It may be better for the residents to disincorporate but rates may go up any way and then property owner and businesses would have to pay for street lights on an MSTU anyway, I think
    How many actually own homes, compared to people who rent in affordable housing?
    Century doesn’t provide anything like police, animal control and their mismanagement over the years is not doing the people inside the boundaries much good.
    If they use the incorporation status to get GRANTS to pay for the lift stations, that would make more sense for people who live here.

    It still looks like consultants and elected official are looking out for their own self interest and not necessarily the needs of the public.
    This guys wants to pay himself. He does not reside here.

    Gulf Breeze needs the second signature for the CTA.

    Hard to believe the other article was in Feb 2018, before all the professional feed back, and the billing and spending got so out of whack. (or at least called to public attention)

    It seems the accountant should have been fired long ago and rather then hire a clerk, should have hired someone more knowledgeable back then.

    Perhaps fire the clerk and the accountant and hire this guy but tell him to not run it like Gulf Breeze.

    People are emotionally attached to the notion that having the additional layer of town government is necessary, but it may not be if the same services such as water, sewer and trash pick up are provided by another source.





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