Amid searing criticism from the Miami-Dade County police union for a budget that had slated layoffs for nearly a quarter of its force, County Mayor Carlos Gimenez proposed a revised plan last night that would see the number of layoffs reduced by half, with a chunk of the savings coming at the expense of the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM).
"My administration has spent most of this summer trying to save as many jobs as possible," Gimenez said at a County meeting last night, the Miami Herald reported. "We have made significant strides."
The new plan would call for 110 County police officer layoffs, down from 228, the Herald reports; it would also cancel the proposed $1.5 million in additional funding for PAMM that would have come from hotel taxes.
The proposed budget would still force numerous layoffs of county employees and reduced services, although all police layoffs could be avoided, the mayor's budget director said, if unions agreed to a new -- more expensive -- healthcare plan for county workers.
"I think these are all P.R. numbers at the moment,'' Terry Murphy, a consultant for the unions, told the Herald. "I'm a little skeptical."
Prior to yesterday's meeting, John Rivera, the county police union president, told Riptide that numerous police agencies had reached out to his officers offering jobs in light of the expected layoffs, which he called "insane."
"We know he's crazy," Rivera said of the mayor, "but up to what level is what we don't know."
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.