5 things to know on Mayor’s $6.2 billion Miami-Dade budget

5 things to know on Mayor’s $6.2 billion Miami-Dade budget
  • Sumo

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos “Cry Wolf” Gimenez will present his budget today for the first time publicly — his proposal to Carlos Gimenezrun the $6.2 billion business that is county government and, more specifically, the $4.45 billion that is the general operating budget (the other $1.6 mil is for capital improvements).

Oh, that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to sweat over it for the next 10 weeks or so until the final budget is approved by the commission, which will get to publicly talk about it for the first time July 15. In fact, there will be much hand wringing and wiping of the brow between now and then.

Oh, the drama. The humanity!

This is the mayor’s first try, after all, and it will include layoffs and other cuts — as well as giveaways and pet projects — that the commissioners may find issue with. They will want to tweak it here and there. And it’s also a moving target, with “1,000 moving parts,” that could and often do change.

But let’s look at five quick things you should know before the mayor “unveils” (as if it were a work of art or something) his 2014-15 budget at noon:

Number OneThere is an increase in property tax values of at least $90 million annually since Gimenez took office — most recently about $50 million more this year than they expected a month and a half ago, one of the reasons for the constantly dropping shortfall.

According to appendices available on the county’s website, property taxes collected by Miami-Dade last year also increased by about $40 million, to $1.278 billion. The two years before that it was stagnant at $1.242 and $1.238, with a tiny drop actually from 2011-12 to 2012-13.

But it stands to reason that next year there will be more property tax money for the county to spend. The projections are there. The trend is in that direction now as the economy slowly recovers.

The only question is will the additional tax monies be spent on the necessary services for taxpayers or will it spend it on pet projects that go to connected contractors, welfare for millionaires and other waste, such as unnecessary consultants and $1 mil in pricy pavers for a county dump (more on that later)?

Number twoThe 700 lay offs called for in the budget — aimed at forcing unions to make additional concessions to the ones made three and five years ago — do not include eliminated vacancies. The county has been taking out some of those positions throughout the process, said Budget Director Jennifer Moon. But they’re not all gone. Last year, there were 520 budgeted vacant positions. There are still too many.

Moon would not give me an actual figure Tuesday morning because, apparently, they too are changing by the moment. “We are currently compiling the information regarding the positions that will be eliminated in the budget in order to be able to do the analysis of layoff impacts,” she said in a response to an emailed question. Really? Currently compiling? Do we need a task force on vacant positions?

Another source told Ladra that when you add budgeted positions that are never going to be filled to the number of layoffs in the proposed budget, the number is probably around 900, not 700. The largest number of layoffs are from police, who will lose 255 officers under this proposed budget. Libraries lose 95 employees, parks and recreation will lose about 70, public works loses about 40, and finance loses about 30. Even the budget department loses 10 people.

There’s more. Please press this “continue reading” button to “turn the page.”

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21 Responses to "5 things to know on Mayor’s $6.2 billion Miami-Dade budget"

  1. Yvonne and Doug Beckman   July 8, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Thank you for publishing this. These high salaried jobs should be posted more often and compared to the private sector. Also compare them to number of people who are looking for similar jobs. New graduates etc. Then start negotiating from that point.
    Many departments can be modernized with the goal to reduce manpower; Use persons that are trained in high tech skills to help accomplish this. Take a look at other modern countries and cities.

    I was just in Europe. We are falling behind in America.

    Reply
    • Marina Meadows   July 12, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      You are correct, unfortunately not even the media prints the reality in Miami Dade County Today.

      Reply
  2. Jose Nochea   July 8, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Well; if turning our county into a ghetto or banana republic is what the mayor wants to do, I guess that he is accomplishing just that year after year. The deterioration of the quality of life is advancing fast, making what used to be a place where people would want to invest and come to work and live, a place that caters to those who want everything for free. I was hoping that our mayor would lead our county into prosperity, it looks like that is not going to happen as we keep taking steps backward.

    Reply
  3. Tired of his lies   July 8, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    I work the streets folks, if you think it’s okay to cut services, you are wrong. The streets are violent and crime is up. I have never seen it this bad in 20 plus years under this Mayor. Remember, cops are first responders, if you, your mother, father or your kids have a life or death emergency a cop will be the first one there in most cases and they HAVE saved many lives. So for those of you who are okay with more cuts wether it’s police or fire, please think about your families. What’s more important to you, a safe environment for your family and kids to live in or more cuts by a man that can’t balance a budget when everything he asked for 3 years ago from his employees was given to him and yet, here we are again with his pathetic excuses again. A lot of the employees lost their homes because of these cuts and suffered in many ways. The Dade county employees did not put this County in this position, our politicians did with their stupid spending.
    Remember what you see In the media is only a small percent of what is really happening in Dade County. It’s your county, take control, you do have a say.

    Reply
    • Concerned Citizen   July 9, 2014 at 9:02 am

      I couldn’t agree with you more! Thanks for your clear and concise summary of the issues.

      Reply
  4. Daisy   July 8, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    When the shootings outside your house, the potholes on the street, the weeds on the median, the broken pipes, the overflowning trash, the inoperable bridges and causeways, etc., become to much to bear, the uninformed and aparhy filled voters of this county will come to regret not having paid $20 more in taxes to maintain a standard level of county services, having approved a strong mayor format and having voted for a self serving blue blooded wannabe SOB such as Carlos Gimenez.

    Reply
  5. Got-A-Point   July 8, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Daisy,

    The Miami-Dade Police Union is a powerful lobbying group who supported the strong mayor format, because their pal at the time, Mayor Carlos Alvarez, was lining their pockets.

    Please do us Miami-Dade County Residents a favor and stop with the short-term memory.

    By the way for the person who several days ago stated my budget figures for Miami-Dade and Broward County, respectively, was incorrect. I beg to differ. You never took into account the Capital Budget.

    Please understand. When I make a point, usually 9 out 10 times, I will be on point.

    Reply
    • No nonsense   July 9, 2014 at 9:37 pm

      Good government is a perspective where you have standards or interests prioritized based on your needs. I hope you have access to a firearm and possess good skill sets if your home gets burglarized, become victim of any physical confrontation, or defend the life of a loved one/friend. Since you live across the street from the arrogant cry baby tyrant, you shouldn’t have any problems …right? Both of you cowards aren’t sustainable due to your deliberate indifference in securing the citizens/taxpayers. Why not cut his deputy mayors and legal staff? Have you investigated their earnings? Have you investigated how much the Tyrant’s son has earned from the red light camera system contract in the county? Do you know how many pensions your man is collecting? And how about his spouse? She earned more than 100k per year at DCPS. What a fraud! It appears you have insufficient knowledge as a true advocate of “good government”. Just the facts! There is nothing sacred in politics. Reduce from the top and prioritize county services as promised across the country.

      Reply
  6. Dean Barrister   July 8, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    Dear Got-a-Point: hate to advise you but the police labor union never supported a strong Mayor form of government as they already had several tastes with Hialeah’s several ill fated “Strong Mayors “. So, as you can see, this is one of those one out of ten times that you are not on point. In fact, they have publicly been vocal that it is a failure. Another fact is that Gimenez himself publicly stated that a strong Mayor form of government is a bad idea.
    If we really want a dictator, then let’s travel 90 miles from here and examine how that’s working for its people.
    Lastly, Gimenez semis to wanting to destroy the county and give much to the City of Miami, where he once came from and seems inserted in being the city Mayor-leaving the rest of us high and dry.
    Lastly, look at communities that have little or no crime to speak of. They are either gated or have high police presence-maybe both. Either way, they pay more taxes for that security and quality of life.
    Thank you for your attention to details

    Reply
  7. Dean Barrister   July 8, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Btw, I was remiss in saying great article Ladra! Great job

    Reply
  8. Old timer   July 9, 2014 at 12:41 am

    Gimenez and this community has forgotten what the old days in this County was like with its violent crime. In the late 80’s homicides were at an all time high. Robberies were at 6,400 a year and tourists were being killed on a daily basis on our streets. As a result in a desperate attempt they created the Robbery Intrrvention Detail (RID). Robberies are now lower than 2,000 a year. Narcotics were being sold in every street corner predominantly in low income neighborhoods, as a result they created the Tactical Narcotics Team (TNT). These units along with more officers on the road helped bring violent crimes down. We are now down 400+ officers, 300 more have to retire, and now there’s the threat of losing another 250 officers. Really?

    Gimenez is not a leader, by far. How can you put your community’s safety in jeopardy. At first the deficit was $200 million now it’s $62 million so what is it? I know you want pain, “there’s going to be pain.” What leader says that. You are the worst leader and divisive mayor Miami-Dade County has ever had.

    Reply
  9. teresita   July 9, 2014 at 9:31 am

    and let’s not forget that the “I don’t like you ” mayor is very generous with his salary because he receives from the city of Miami a retirement check of $12,000 a month, so when he leaves Dade County he will have another retirement check of close to $10,000 a month, and then the little wife will have her retirement from the school system of probably around another $10,000. Now my question is would you be satisfied with more than $ 30,000 a month ( of tax payers $ ) coming into your bank account for your expenses, I can’t think of anyone that would not like it, “Gee” some people are so lucky!!! Poor tax payer:(

    Reply
  10. The Hurricane   July 9, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    There is a reason I live in Coral Gables and I’m glad to pay for better services. This is the goal of the Mayor, to screw the citizens of the unincorporated areas and force them to either annex or incorporate. He is either gambling on the hope that crime will not rise until he is out of office or he has really bad advisors on Public Safety. If things go wrong he can always do what he does and blame the greedy unions. Forget that he once enjoyed the benefits of being a union member and that his wife does as well. The quality if life in Miami Dade County will continue to decrease and that is the measure if a Mayor.

    Reply
  11. Got-A-Point   July 9, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Dean Barrister,

    Your deliberate attempt to rewrite history is futile. I am not a Gimenez supporter nor anti-police, but I am a true advocate of “Good Government”. The Miami-Dade Police Union absolutely supported the Strong Mayor format as they knocked on my door to support it several year’s back. So please do me a favor and do not tell me otherwise.

    Furthermore, no organization whose personnel cost consist of 80% of its budget expenses is sustainable. I know it is tough to hear, but the County must shrink. I am not saying that all personnel reductions must come from the Police Department, but there should be no sacred cows in the reduction process.

    Reply
  12. Daisy   July 9, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Got -a-point, the loss of our budget is due to the hiring of unscrupulous contractors who hang around the Stephen Clark building like vultures circling carrion. Those same contractors, such as the Munilla brothers and consultants such as Garcia Toledo and Jorge Luis Lopez are the ones kicking back political contributions and Lord knows what else to Gimenez. Just like you I’m pretty tired of John Rivera’s antics but to be honest with you I believe Gimenez is ten times worse than Rivera. As citizens we pay taxes for services not to build museums, sports stadiums or to give it away to out of state contractors. Let’s get rid of Gimenez and bring some sanity back to local government.

    Reply
  13. Gloria   July 9, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    The 2014-15 budget proposal is an insult to the community!
    Remember “For the People by the People”
    Why not ask the what the people’s choices are?
    We, the people are the tax payers after all.
    Top priority should be our safety at home, on the road, in schools, and at events; therefore it is not a good idea to reduce the police force, the same goes for the fire department.
    Miami lives from tourism, visitors want to visit and feel safe.
    Libraries, parks, stadiums are nice but not a life saving necessity.
    Reduce and eliminate the $200 mil and more (downtown) office county employees’ salaries.
    Revisit the numbers of animals killed at the shelter at a cost of $300 per animal killed (FY2005-2012 147,011 animals were killed; tax payers cost $42 million)
    Increase retention and adoptions which creates revenue for the general county fund.

    Reply
  14. Julio A. Gonzalez   July 9, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    Got-A-Point: Yes, it was me who set your figures straight. Apparently, you still don’t get it. That’s ok. You can always go back and re-read it if needed. I did my homework and my figures are on “point”…no pun intended. Police has already done more than their part in helping to balance the budget? What do you propose? How much more would you like police to give back to “balance” this budget? When is the community gonna help with the budget? Shouldn’t the millage be adjusted already? There is a lot that can be done, besides what the police has already done, to balance this budget and it is NOT being done. You either really don’t get that or just don’t care.

    Reply
  15. Scorned Reporter   July 10, 2014 at 8:41 am

    The mayor has awoken a sleeping giant by the name of Jim Defede. The mayor was cocky and unprofessional in his interview with Defede, and if he thinks this is the end of it, he’s in for a nice treat.

    Defede will do whatever it takes to uncover the wrong-doings and injustices that he allowed.

    Reply
  16. Old timer   July 12, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Gimenez’ is not a leader, by far. His little rage episode with Defede demonstrates who he really is. I hope he keeps exposing the mayor and his real agenda. This guy can. Remember Defede and former Commissione Arthur Teele and how that ended. Hopefully this will be the end of of the divisive tyrant.

    Reply
  17. Marina Meadows   July 12, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    We need the whole media exposing the facts the way it is.
    As long as a deliberate attempt exists to covert the truth by the Media in Miami Dade County, we will not be able to bring back confidence to the public, as the credibility of local Government will continue to shattered.
    Read my twitter page at mycampaign2014

    Reply
  18. Titi Sin Pena   July 22, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    All comments are good, but it’s a lot of talk. The only way we can stop this, is to go out and protest! Only way it will works. By making comments which he doesn’t read or care, he will get his budget passed. The pressure needs to be put commissioners! Need to send letters to them and make calls. Have people sign petitions and present to the commissioners that they will be recalled.

    Want to see results, only way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

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