Newly elected Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Wednesday proposed cutting last year's budget by 19 percent and reversing the tax hike ushered in by recalled mayor Carlos Alvarez, The Miami Herald reports.
He wants to do it, and close the projected $400-million budget shortfall, by cutting 1,286 positions from the county; 402 of them are already vacant, and the rest would be eliminated with layoffs.
Gimenez also proposed increasing county employee contributions to health care insurance, cutting his office's budget by 20 percent and the county's operating budget by 7.3 percent, or almost $350 million.
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His total proposed budget comes to $6.1 billion, down from $7.6 billion last year. But the cuts in the operating budget, while mostly sparing essential services like fire departments, will result in 13 libraries being shuttered, according to the Herald.
Though cutting his own salary in half was a positive step towards revitalizing trust in a mayor's office tarnished by widespread dissatisfaction with Alvarez, Gimenez has not always been particularly careful with public money (yes, that stupid $1 billion port tunnel is still being built), and he just hired Genaro "Chip" Iglesias into a $225,000-a-year gig as chief of staff and "deputy mayor," so we'll have to wait and see how effective Gimenez's cost-cutting turns out to be.