4
| Columns |

Millions in Car Allowances and Other Perks Safe From Budget Cuts

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Tomorrow evening, Miami-Dade County Commissioners will finally set the budget for the upcoming year.

We already know that Mayor Carlos Alvarez is proposing some seriously draconian cuts and will make good on his promise to lay of 1,700 employees, which does not bode well for south Florida, where the unemployment rate has soared past ten percent and where we are still seeing a record number of foreclosures take place.

And to further close the gap on a $444 million shortfall, the mayor (who earns a salary and benefits package totaling $344,947) is also proposing a 5 percent pay cut for all county

employees, freezing longevity bonuses, and gutting approximately $30 million

in funding for arts groups, social service, and other agencies that

help get kids off drugs and fight domestic violence.

But the mayor, the county commissioners, County Manager George Burgess, his assistants and assistant county managers, department directors, assistant department directors and approximately 400 other county employees who take advantage of tax-payer-funded car allowances, cell phones and other perks won't have to worry about losing out on their benefits.

Even though Miami-Dade County spends an average of $5 million per year on county executive benefits, the county will not be making any cuts to the pot of money used for those perks, according to Alvarez spokeswoman Vicki Mallette. In the case of each county commissioner, they each recieve a package worth $18,720, as does every department director and several assistant county attorneys.

Remember that if you plan to attend the budget hearing that starts at 5 p.m. tomorrow in the commission chamber at 111 N.W. First Street in downtown Miami.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.