Written by Miami Today on April 15, 2010
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STREAMLINE GOV’T: Looking to streamline county government, Miami-Dade Commissioner Carlos Gimenez is asking the administration to report and recommend how to "effectively fund" departments named in the charter and those under the commission, plus no more than 25 departments under the mayor. Mr. Gimenez said he’s "trying to consolidate the number of departments," as he believes the county could function with fewer than the 50ish it has. Commissioners supported him in committee Tuesday, calling also for a history on how many departments the county had in the past and how it got here. The full commission is to vote May 4.
PENSION TENSION: Miami commissioners last week deferred a measure to allow more investment flexibility for its general and sanitation employees’ retirement trust. The city faces $892 million unfunded pension liabilities. The stalled measure would allow investment advisers to invest up to 15% — up from 10% — of the market value of the trust fund in international securities and also allow investments in fixed-income securities to include euro and foreign credits up to 3% of the total portfolio. The item has come before the commission several times over almost two years.
LOOK OUT LESSEES: To snag a deferral, abatement, credit, reduction or other adjustment to a City of Miami lease, four of five commissioners must give the OK.
Commissioners approved the Richard Dunn II measure last week. Mr. Dunn has said the move was "prompted by the city’s financial circumstances." The new law also requires lessees seeking a payment reduction to provide audited financial statements to justify the need.
GETTING STARTED: Miami’s new Budget Task Force is to meet for the first time at noon today (4/15) to start analyzing the city’s beleaguered budget. Miami could face an up-to $28 million deficit this year. The committee of outside advisers — Commission Chair Marc Sarnoff’s brainchild — is to begin with a briefing from the city attorney on open government laws and a presentation of the February financial report, followed by open discussion, the agenda says. They’ll also schedule their next meeting.
ELECTION: Miamians are to vote Nov. 2 on new commissioners for the Allapattah/Grapeland Heights and Overtown/Liberty City areas. Angel Gonzalez and Michelle Spence-Jones were removed from office last year. Willy Gort and Richard Dunn II are filling the seats now. Should either election result in a runoff, it would be Nov. 16.