New Smyrna Beach City Manager Pamela Brangaccio rolling out jalopies to justify nearly 6 percent budget tax increase

Show Me the Money New Smyrna Beach Investigative Reports / Headline Surfer

No stopping proposed increases to already bloated municipal salaries

New Smyrna Beach rolls out fancy vehicle at annexation meeting / Headline SurferNEW SMYRNA BEACH -- City Manager Pamela Brangaccio is going to roll out the city's worst jalopies tonight at the Brannon Center for a budget meeting to justify a nearly 6 percent increase in taxes to support her proposed municipal budget.

At the same locale in mid-May, Brangaccio rolled shiny red fire trucks, police cars and other such vehicles in an effort to woo homeowners living outside the city limits to allow themselves to be annexed within the municipality.

The 500 citizens who shopped up then weren't buying into her car dealership mentality, especially wen she tried to talk down several of them, even reminding them, "You're in my house, the Brannon Center, the city of New Beach."

Muriel LaMee, one of those residents, said the city manager wasn't fooling anyone then and she won't be able to pull the wool over anyone's eyes tonight either with the vehicle show-and-tell display.

"It's really about taking care of themselves,"LaMee told Headline Surfer. "It's those big, fat salaries. She can start by cutting her own salary and the others instead of trying to dump it on the taxpayers."

Muriel LaMee says New Smyrna Beach city officials are paying themselves too much / Headline SurferMuriel lAmaee is shown standing outside the Brannon Center in May after a city annexation recruitment effort turned into a shouting match.

"It's really about taking care of themselves,"LaMee told Headline Surfer. "It's those big, fat salaries. She can start by cutting her own salary and the others instead of trying to dump it on the taxpayers."

The budget meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Brannon Center, 105 S. Riverside Drive.

Last mont, Mayor Adam Barringer and City Commissioners Judy Reiker, Jack Grasty, Jason McGuirk and Kirk Jones approved the city manager's proposed rate $3.58 per $1,000 of assessed value, a 5.9 percent increase over the rolled-back rate of $3.38 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Neither the mayor nor any of the commissioners returned the 24/7 internet newspaper's requests for comment via e-mail.

While citizens are struggling to pay their mortgages or rent and the added expenses of their children now back in school, Brangaccio's proposed $39.5 million budget calls for a 2 percent increase in municipal salaries. If approved, this would be the second consecutive year for 2 percent pay hikes.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.