Is the City Commission and the Mayor Really Doing their Homework?

I wonder about this because of the few questions and comments coming from the dais during the budget hearing.

Do you puzzle over–based on questions raised or not raised–whether the city commissioners and mayor are doing their homework; I have my doubts.  It seems more often that the commissioners and mayor come to the dais without having done the detailed time-consuming homework or examination of legislation, budgets and master plan modifications, on which they are going to rule. Perhaps they assume that the boards are doing the work, but more than once the Commission goes against the decisions of the boards, or ignores their ideas completely.  So it is not that.

How many times have the commissioners and mayor raised serious questions about the budget execution during the year.  I think a very few times, if any.  Their response to citizen comments, while not entirely disrespectful, are generally testy on fundamental issues of taxes, spending, salaries, pensions, organization, etc.  Too often the presentation of the Director of Finance boarders on the insulting to taxpayers, and he seems to be operating under strict instructions of the city manager.

Why is there a culture of secrets, a closed government in the city of Coral Gables?

Why have we not gotten a report from the city manager on the purposes and progress in reorganizing government?

Why does the commission spend time on issues like leaf blowers and the Boy Scout House that seem to be simple distractions from the deeper problems of the city, a sort of entertainment for citizens.

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

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