The Town of Palm Beach is to be commended on passing a budget without a tax increase…

The smaller budget is necessary because of a nearly 12 percent dip in taxable property values, which has reduced the town’s tax base, and because the council decided against increasing the property tax rate.

But their cutback, laudatory though it is, has a curious twist:

The budget calls for the elimination of 32.65 jobs and does not contain raises for employees. It does not, however, require layoffs because virtually all of the disappearing jobs have been vacated through attrition and a hiring freeze.

Eliminating 32 jobs, though painful to those affected (although it helps doing it via attrition), makes sense.  But what about this 0.65 job?  A 65% job?  We all know of employees who do a “two-thirds” of a job but are paid for the whole thing.  And we also know of people who have part-time jobs.  But I have never seen a part-time job–assuming that’s what’s being referred to here–delineated quite that precisely.


Meanwhile, while thinking about Florida, Charlie Crist is looking at a very deadly torpedo coming right at his campaign ship:

State Republicans moved the three-way U.S. Senate race to a new level Saturday, with party leaders pointing to an audit of their books they say implies Gov. Charlie Crist — now an independent candidate for U.S. Senate — ran up potentially “hundreds of thousands” of dollars in inappropriate charges.

Party Chairman and state Sen. John Thrasher said the expenses came to light during the just-completed forensic audit by Alston & Bird LLP — which was the examiner in energy giant Enron’s 2002 bankruptcy. He said the party may sue their former standard bearer to get the money back.

The announcement is rife with political implications, given that Crist and Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio are running neck and neck in many polls, with Democrat Kendrick Meek a distant third.

Although intraparty disputes like this may not be of interest to most people, up here in Tennessee we just witnessed a former TN GOP Chairman’s congressional campaign sent to the bottom under similar accusations not anywhere near this large.  This is potentially deadly.