Coral Gables as a Miami-Dade Island?

Public statements by Coral Gables Commissioners at the First Budget Hearing defied critics, taxpayers and citizens by rebutting or ignoring the protests of voters and taxpayers against increased taxes and new fees.

The new city manager, who has now put himself in the corner of Mayor Slesnick, Vice-Mayor Kerdyk and Commissioners Anderson and Withers, has increased city spending back to about $155 million where it was in 2007.

In the extended political theater of the night, the Commissioners shifted the full responsibility for the budget to the new city manager, as they declared full loyalty to the manager. No commissioner questioned the budget details or stood up against manager’s demand for a 14 percent property tax increase (although Mr. Kerdyk briefly hestited.)

The press has reported in the past few days that essentially all of the municipalities (including Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami, South Miami, Homestead, Miami Beach), except for Coral Gables and perhaps two or three others, have rejected increases in property taxes and spending.

On a morning interview on Channel 10, the Mayor of Homestead declared as “disingenuous” any increases in fees.  All municipalities are taking the strong medicine to cut present and future spending and pension liabilities, but Coral Gables government stands along against its citizens by untenable spending and tax and fee increases.

Thus the Coral Gables Government is proceeding as an island unto itself, indifferent to the citizens’ well-being.

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

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