Time to Change Miami-Dade Government

MiamiHerald.com | 10/26/2006 | Two administrators fired in Dade water department case

Two top administrators at Miami-Dade’s Water and Sewer Department were fired Wednesday — fallout from the discovery of a $1 million fraud ring allegedly rooted in the department’s mailroom.

Mitchell, 47, was a 24-year county employee who was paid $157,600 a year. This summer, she was selected by County Manager George Burgess to help clean up the county’s scandal-ridden Housing Agency (emphasis added).

Mogel, 53, was a 16-year county employee whose salary was $110,000 a year. Neither Mitchell nor Mogel returned calls seeking comment on Wednesday.

This story suggests a number of questions for Miami-Dade County Manager, the County Commission and the good citizens of the county.

  1. Do we not have a simple, functioning mechanism for supervising and auditing county spending? These were long-term senior employees that mismanaged these funds so who can we expect to trust in the present system.
  2. After the experience with the Housing Authority, this million dollar employee personal slush fund, the corruption in contractor licensing, overpayment for lost cell phones, the unreasonable cost overruns at MIA and the Carnival Central for the Performing Arts, is anyone really in charge and fully accountable for maintaining vigilance over the use of the monies of our now heavily-taxed citizens of Miami-Dade?
  3. Do you think that the citizen really care about mismanagement and corruption or do they think that this is part of a culture of the Commission-County Manager form of government?

Conclusion: Now is the time to change the form of government in Miami-Dade and to create a strong mayor and county manager each fully responsible and accountable for the future of the county and citizens’ taxes. Management-by-committee (Commission!) has lead to corruption, misuse of funds and the use of tax monies and projects for personal political gain that lead to misuse of funds (for example, the Housing Authority).

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About Stephen E. McGaughey
International consultant in economic development programs and projects

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