Coral Gables: What Should We Ask the Candidates for Commissioner and Mayor? (1)

It is election time again.

There are a number of well financed candidates for the jobs of commissioner and mayor.  It is hoped that the candidates volunteer their views on property taxes, pensions, salaries, city management and organization, the Biltmore problem, the country club, spending on low priority items, among others.

We look forward in hearing about some of their specific proposals and suggestions for solving the cities problems.

Here are some critical questions that should be asked of the candidates.

These are just examples of questions that might be raised.  Send me your suggestions and I will add them to the list.

TAXES–

  • What are your proposals for future tax increases?
  • Should taxes be frozen for several years in light of the economic crisis the taxpayers are going through in Coral Gables, or should they continue to increase?  Do you favor a real tax freeze (not numbers games with the millage rate)?
  • Do you think that taxpayers are able to continue to pay more and more taxes, as they have in the past.
  • Do you favor increasing fees to make up for tax shortfalls?

BUDGET–

  • Do you favor having an open discussion of the budget by citizens, rather than the two-minute-moments they are getting now.
  • Will the city manager and staff be willing to accept multiple questions on the budget?

OPEN AND TRANSPARENT GOVERNMENT–

  • What will you do about making our government more open and more participatory?
  • Do you favor any of the following:  town hall meetings, open website with a page for comments and question, regular reports from the city manager,  quarterly progress reports on the budget, among others.

SALARIES, PENSIONS, UNIONS–

  • What should be the goals of the city negotiations with the police and firefighters?
  • Should the negotiations continues to be secret for the citizens?
  • Should police and firefighter salaries and benefits be cut.
  • Should  the number of police and firefighters be cut to help cut expenses and taxes?
  • Are you willing to take a strong stance against salaries and benefits in future Impasse Hearing?

PRIORITY SERVICES–

  • What services do you propose to cut in order to keep our taxes down?
  • Will you restrict unnecessary spending related to the Museum or other community centers in Coral Gables?

CAPITAL SPENDING–

  • What are your ideas for capital spending in the coming years?
  • Should we keep borrowing money for capital projects?

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

One Response to Coral Gables: What Should We Ask the Candidates for Commissioner and Mayor? (1)

  1. I would like to hear all the questions above asked at candidate forums – it’s too bad there aren’t real debates anymore. The reason I’m running for Commissioner Group V, is give Coral Gables a transparent government. I’m in vavor of including time for public input at all regular commission meetings. Hidden information like the results of the Biltmore audit we’re paying for is deplorable. I’m available to attend meetings and answer questions. Fax me at 305-663-8252 to arrange a date after Feb 10 – my old machine just died.

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