Coral Gables Budget: Firefighters

The City Commissioners are reluctant to reduce public security staffing of police and firefighters.  It seems to be that they are reticent to be blamed for any public security event in the city, especially in an election period. Also, the firefighters and police are members of strong unions who are good negotiators and this make its hard to reduce  staffing, salaries and benefits of public security.   Also, these unions have been known to support candidates for the Commission.

The number of fire fighter will remain constant  compared to last year’s budget at 147 positions and salaries and benefits will increase from $21,968,223 to $22,886,809, which is a not insignificant increase of 4.18%.  Total salaries and benefits for fire fighters is creeping back up to the 2008-2009 budget amount of $23,494,578.  Average compensation of salaries and benefits declined from $157,681 in 2008/2009 to $149,444 in 2009/2010 to an estimated $155,693 in 2010/2011.

The total outlay for firefighting service $25,253,660 or 20% of the $127,706,578 estimated operating budget of the city of Coral Gables in 2010/2011.

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

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