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Apopka City Council

ROI: Nesta urges Apopka City Council to focus on return rates at investment banks


May the best bank win.

Commissioner Nick Nesta laid his cards on the table at the May 17th Apopka City Council meeting. The first term-commissioner shared his plan to ensure the City is getting its money's worth on investments. Nesta encouraged City staff and administrators to demand more proactivity from banks. He suggested taking their business to the better candidate.

According to Apopka Finance Director, Blanche Sherman, the City's funds are divided and deposited into three different banks: Seacoast Bank holds around $5 million, One Florida Bank has approximately $30 million and Synovous Bank has about $80 million. 

Nesta suggested a motion to merge all the funds into Synovus after explaining that the returns on investment with Seacoast and One Florida are at 4.7%, while Synovous has a higher return rate of 5.3%. He said this percentage differential equals thousands of dollars in monthly interest rates.  

"What I would like to happen is to move the other two accounts into that one account now or into Synovus saving account with similar yield as that's what our investment policy dictates," Nesta said. "We are leaving a lot of money on the table, and this helps to pay for what we need." 

Nesta said that their investment policy suggests that the objective should be the safety of principles, providing liquidity and maximizing investment income or yield. Still, Sherman added that the policy also indicates the need to diversify by institution. 

Commissioner Smith and Mayor Nelson disagreed with Nesta's request and advised that they first negotiate with the other banks for a higher percentage.  

"I think what we ought to do is go to the other two banks and say, 'Hey can you match this?' Let's do that,'" Nelson said. "Then I can see us refiguring the numbers and putting more with Synovus and less with the others." 

But for Nesta, if Synovus is already voluntarily offering them better rates, they should stick with them. 

"We have a bank that's already increasing our returns without us having to ask, so they are being proactive, and they have the most amount of our money. Then we have these other banks that are not being proactive, and we are leaving money on the table," Nesta said. 

Commissioner Becker's concern over Nesta's request was what the changes in the return rate would be like if they were to merge all the money into one account. 

"What I want to know is, if we went that route, would they honor the same rate even though we're shoving all the money there," said Becker.

Commissioner Velazquez asked if Seacoast had offered to raise their rates. 

Sherman replied that Seacoast had previously declined to increase their rate on investment returns because it would force the other banks to increase their rates and potentially create a continuous competitive race. 

Commissioner Smith said it's best to wait until an investment advisor comes in instead of moving the funds around. 

"I would like to see what the investment people are going to say," Smith said. "If we're going to move money tomorrow, and then they come in and say, 'Why did you do that? You should've put it here or put it there.'"

Sherman also added that an investment advisor could review the situation and give effective suggestions. 

"I think by the time we get an investment advisor under contract and let him come in, take a look at everything, give a report, give you some suggestion on how we need to approach from an overall standpoint instead of getting out here in this market race," Sherman said. 

Although Nelson agrees that rates are important, he also said they shouldn't be the only consideration factor.

"We have to be very cognizant of what the rate is, and I think we have to take that into prime consideration, but I don't think that can be the only consideration because we can't just be constantly moving big money around," Nelson said. 

The City Council reached the final agreement to request the banks for higher return rates and more proactivity.  

"We need to do what's fiscally responsible for our residents, and every day it's a loss of interest, so that’s all my point is," Nesta said.

Apopka City Council, Apopka, Banks, Synovus Bank, One Florida Bank, Seacoast Bank


8 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • MamaMia

    I wonder if anybody can tell what color eyes Nick has, with those big dollar signs always in his eyes? $$$$$$$ You know, when I ride through the drive thru of our bank, and cash a check, or something, usually they will tell me, hey, if you bring us a customer, we will give you $50.00 dollars for referring them. Bring us in five customers, and we will give you $250.00. I guess Nick must be after his $50.00....you think? LOL

    Monday, May 22, 2023 Report this

  • wheresthepopcorn

    This is personal…Its all about Arrowsmith. Nesta dis not come up with this…the mole got in his head. The commission is trying to micromanage. It is never a good idea to put all your money in 1 bank. this commission doesn’t seem to be too fond of the charter. They have no say in hiring a new atty. They have no say in a lot if things.

    Monday, May 22, 2023 Report this

  • MDuran

    @MamaMia- It’s Apopka’s tax dollars that isn’t working hard enough for the residents. I think it’s important to note also, the commissioner Nesta donated his own money to make baby land at the cemetery free for the next 10 years since the mayor thought it was important to get the 200.00 from a family that just lost a new born or infant. However, the mayor doesn’t seem to think that losing around 10,000 a month is note worthy from a bank that is under performing.

    In the last 10 months of fighting for outside help for the fire department, lost interest could have paid for 3 or even more years of this needed service. However, it appears that the mayor will trip over a nickel to try and save a dollar, all the while our firefighters lives are being risked.

    BTW, if you had paid attention, Austin’s mother spoke in city council and noted that the city could move money around to fund this needed position. The city’s own finance director doesn’t seem to think losing 10k a month is significant. How much money do you leave on the table each month ?

    Monday, May 22, 2023 Report this

  • MDuran

    @Popcorn- do you live in the city ? It’s the residences that are losing 10k a month of their hard earned money. Is this how you would invest your own money ? The commission would not need to micromanage if the city had better staff looking at ways to improve. According to your mayor, everyone is perfect. Everyone is doing a good job. Yet, here we are.

    Monday, May 22, 2023 Report this

  • Richard

    Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great. John Rockefeller quote. That’s exactly what Commissioner Nesta and others are saying. Why lose taxpayer money in a non performing friends bank. And to top it off it’s all very questionable to have taxpayer money in a bank where the Officer of the bank is under investigation by law enforcement officials who brought his name up in the Joel Greenberg scandal. And I think the Mole guy is in way to many other heads than the Commissioner’s. That includes Mr Popcorn and Ma Mia TR too.

    Monday, May 22, 2023 Report this

  • wheresthepopcorn

    I think the only commissioner whose head doesn't have me, the mole or MamaMia in it are the ones who have people who manage their social media for them. The mole is only relevant if you make him relevant.

    I do live in Apopka but I also know the charter reads a certain way. I am sure y'all want to interpret however you like but they can put the money wherever they want without asking the commission. In my experience, you don't keep all your money in 1 place. I can't change the charter. Yes, we are being shorted that money.

    THE ONLY WAY TO FIX APOPKA IS TO CHANGE THE CHARTER AND IGNORE THE MOLE. The recall didn't work so now try something else. And Dennis needs to ignore the mole as well. Stop reposting what he posts. You are smart man who loves where he comes from, you don't need him.

    I am not trying to get into anyone's head. I am trying to make people understand that government doesn't always make sense. The mayor is not perfect, no one is. I have never met him personally but I don't place judgment based on whatever shows up on social media.

    Monday, May 22, 2023 Report this

  • MamaMia

    Michael Duran, It is very apparent you are looking for a fight with me. I have been nothing but respectful to you, and your family. Your day in court will come, and you can share all of this info with the court. Why is my opinions so important to you? I am not a council member, I am not a City of Apopka employee, I don't have friends or relatives in the fire department, but I live in this city, and will speak my mind. Now you are bashing me about your wife speaking at the council? I have not said anything about your wife.

    Monday, May 22, 2023 Report this

  • MDuran

    @MamaMia- I apologize if you took my comment as an attack on you. I promise you, 100% that was not my intention whatsoever. You have been extremely respectful towards me and I had hoped I was doing the same to you in return. I absolutely do not wish to ‘fight’ with you. I reply to you the most because I appreciate your diversity in response. I hope it’s just a misunderstanding and lost translation in text form vs an actual conversation. Again, I am absolutely not trying to pick a fight with you. Please accept my apologies if that is the way it came off.

    My anger over the last 10 plus months take every fiber of my being to bottle. Maybe sometimes it seeps out and that is not intentional. That is not me as a person. I was only trying to point out that the city is leaving a lot of money on the table and it was also Austin’s mother that spoke in council about low hanging fruit and moving money around to address and fund a department that failed to provide training for our son.

    Again, my deepest apologies if I came off as argumentative or combative with you. On the contrary, I respect your opinions and points of view. And you have been completely respectful to me and I only mean to be respectful to you.

    I apologize.

    Monday, May 22, 2023 Report this