Dear Commissioners, City of Coral Gables
September 15, 2009 Leave a comment
The City of Coral Gables is facing a watershed moment next Tuesday, September 22. Either the City decides on a substantial reduction in salaries and benefits and the elimination of unnecessary capital spending, or the Commission will have to increase even more our taxes and fees in the years ahead.
As you know, more than anyone in Coral Gables, the conditions in the local real estate market and business and commerce may not improve much during several years, and even then conditions may get worse for a time. If the local economy does improve, it may be too little, too late. Therefore, the current budget should not be seen as a staying in a holding pattern.
Under the current structure of salaries only another real estate bubble will save the city from budget problems–a highly unlikely event. Therefore, there is a strong justification to meet the underlying budgetary problems now.
The full weight of the decision is on your shoulders. We need your support to hold the line on millage to the fall back rate of 5.5. A rate above that will hit our families hard in the pocket books and only signal postponing key budget decisions. Also we know that property insurance will be increasing soon, which is another reason to hold the line on taxes.
I am aware that you are considering a higher rate, but a new and different message could be sent to the community, management and unions in your next meeting.
Thank you for your consideration.
Stephen E. McGaughey