A Test For Democracy: Will City of Coral Gables Start Spending Again?
April 17, 2011 2 Comments
Seems like there is certain pressure from businesses and a willing disposition of the city manager and some commissioners to start spending big on city projects. It is said that we can do that because interest rates are low–not a good financial reason.
There is pressure from Chamber of Commerce, Miracle Mile businesses and the IBD to undertake the Miracle Mile and Giralda Streetscape Project. This is (and I underline) estimated to cost $16 million. You can bet that the project will cost more after government and businesses get their hands on the “vision” project. Why is this called the Miracle Mile Streetscape anyway, when it includes Giralda. Why include Giralda? Are you sure that this project will “pay for itself?”
One commissioner has already talked about spending money on parks and a senior center and speaks fondly of the free (subsidized) trolley and the Ponce street upgrading. Good projects, but can we afford more of them now? I think not. Why should the taxpayers subsidize the trolley. (By the way, subsidizing the trolley takes business away from the city parking lots, so the real subsidies are much larger than the operating and maintenance costs of the trolley).
Let’s hear from the mayor and commissioners just three goals: we need to fix pensions and hold salaries down for several years, freeze or reduce taxes and fix the Biltmore lease, and freeze and reduce salaries. Please, no more studies are needed–just decisions and actions by the commissioners.
Failure to do any of these will mean failure for the city’s finances and more taxes for us all in Coral Gables.