April 14, 2011 1 Comment
Congratulations to Messrs. Cason, Quesada and Kerdyk. Thank you for your willingness to take on the big issues of the city of Coral Gables.
We trust you will forge hard questions about the considerable problems we are facing.
Here are a few big challenges for the near term:
- Shift the financial and institutional leadership back to the commission from the city manager. This means more commission involvement in pension reform, financial planning and organizational restructuring.
- Create true financial transparency, not hiding audits, honesty about reserves, no more games with the budget–people are expecting no more tax increases.
- Do some minimal long-term financial planning.
- Introduce new practices of citizen involvement and participation.
- You need to think the unthinkable. Shouldn’t the city consider the full range of alternatives for the Biltmore, including its semi-privatization or its return to the federal government, with all of its liabilities (I know, that’s unthinkable). Can the city cannot continue with the Biltmore as a large financial albatross–let’s hear a serious discussion of this in the commission.
- Take a hard look at the city’s public security costs. Will the commission and city manager please evaluate publicaly the police and firefighter needs at a technical and administrative level, rather treating these services as “untouchables.”
- Pension reform requires an active commission with clear goals and plans, not just piecemeal negotiations.
- The city seems to be stuck with a nonfunctional museum that may need its permanent financial support. Can someone make an open and honest appraisal of what is going on at the museum.
- Miracle Mile now denotes a certain declining quality in its retail businesses, rather than it being a leading and dynamic retail center. Miracle Mile has lost its way–can we get an objective view of that before we spend millions on its so-called “streetscape.”