The Debt Surge and Management in Coral Gables
June 27, 2011 2 Comments
The Commission (except for one of the commissioners) is missing the point of the city manager’s renaissance spending plan (the $22.2 million Debt Surge).
The Debt Surge was conceived in the dark, pulled out of the sleeve of the city manager at the first commission meeting after the election, and its funding comes first, rather than last after priority spending should have been discussed with the community.
The financing package makes no sense with permanently low interest rates that are certain to not rise for years (not months, not weeks), with refinancing could easily be done in stages in tandem with spending needs, and the savings used to solve intractable financial weaknesses.
Apparently, some of the outgoing commissioners are looking for projects on which to stick their names, the city manager projects his new role as the “Machiavelli of Coral Gables”and he marks the end of the “Middle Ages” (i.e., the Slesnick Years) to redress the Decline of Coral Gables.
This city cannot afford a period of pharaonic spending to glamorize the city’s progress. The Commission needs to fix the city’s pension liabilities, maintain its infrastructure, fix the Biltmore mess and hold down taxes for a few years and build its reserves,i.e. place the city on very sounding financial footing.
Above all, we need a city manager who is committed to the highest standards of democracy, citizen participation and transparency–something we didn’t have for years and we still don’t have.
The city manager, it would appear, has fully assimilated the methods of the Slesnick era (the “Middle Ages”) with secrecy, back room negotiations and resentfulness of citizen comments and participation.