A packed house told Palm Beach County Commissioners to raise taxes and keep services on Tuesday night.  Special interests from Drug Farm alumni to the Cultural Council urged retention of key County programs and County Commissioners agreed voting 5-2 to adopt a budget that could saddle many residents with a tax increase of 15%.

Meanwhile, tax cut advocates were nowhere to be found at the public meeting.  While several in the audience questioned a budget that burdens those who are already struggling in difficult economic times, few called for further reductions in expenditures.

Palm Beach Town Council President David Rosow and Council member Richard Kleid addressed the Commission and suggested the County’s budget should be scrutinized for additional savings.  Their comments prompted an immediate response from Commissioner Karen Marcus who stated that, in fact, County costs had been exhaustively analyzed and cut to the bone.

In addition to Mr. Rosow and Mr. Kleid, Mayor Jack McDonald and Council member Robert Wildrick represented Palm Beach at last night’s session. Mayor McDonald made no public comment.

An additional public hearing is scheduled for September 21 before the final 2010 budget is adopted.