Ruminations on the City and the Unions: Time to Give Back

What do we expect from the employee unions, except to protect their members.

What do we expect from the City Commissioners and the City Manager–Is it to protect Coral Gables residents and taxpayers?

The first is certain and the latter is debatable, but it is time for both unions and the Commissioners to grasp that it is time to give back to the taxpayers.  The taxpayers have been giving during good times and during bad times.  When have the employees and the unions given back? The benefits paid to Coral Gables are incredible–what company, international agency pays all of the employees insurance and pension benefits?

Unions and the city have taken the cream off the milk in the last decade, and now it is time to return something to its citizens.

Police, firefighters and general employees have been treated too well by the city and its residents.  It is time for the unions to frankly accept that taxpayers can no longer tolerate high salaries and outlandish pensions and medical benefits.

So far the city has just been cutting lower paid employees and this has done nothing to alleviate taxes.  Also, (average) personnel costs have been rising in the past two or three years and this will not lead to a stable long-term budget.  A budget with fewer but higher paid employees will not lead to a better budget, unless salaries are really cut and pensions are really reduced.  Let’s hope that we get the leadership we need from the City Managers and the Commissioners.

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

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