Written by Miami Today on August 19, 2010
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BUDGET GAP: Two and a half months since Commissioner Joe Martinez called for a report on ways the county can collect the nearly $131.5 million it’s owed, Miami-Dade is once again working on a balanced budget. In June he suggested charging the Finance Department’s Credit and Collections Section with controlling all countywide collections in hopes that a comprehensive debt collection policy could increase revenue. However, most outstanding charges, said budget chief Jennifer Glazer-Moon, are liens on properties and wouldn’t yield immediate cash. "We do a pretty good job of collecting that which is collectable," she said. While Ms. Glazer-Moon acknowledges that working with a collection agency would yield some of the money, she said associated costs would not make it a permanent solution. "When you go to a private company you have to pay them," she said. "They take a piece of what they have collected." The commission is to host budget hearings at 5 p.m. Sept. 13 and Sept. 23 in commission chambers. The county is also to hold meetings throughout the area to discuss with residents the proposed budget. Details: http://www.miamidade.gov/budget/
NEW GABLES BRIGADE: Coral Gables plans its own downtown ambassadors program after hearing of its success in downtown Miami and other major cities. City Manager Pat Salerno said discussion started two months ago. "It will be a good utilization of our existing resources," he said about the four ambassadors who are to patrol downtown Coral Gables. The four will be existing members of parking enforcement, uniformed and driving specialized cars to be easily identifiable, he said. The purpose is to add hospitality and information resources. City staff, he said, is in the process of having the ambassadors properly trained and equipped before the program starts at year’s end.
IT’S FRESH IN BRICKELL: Mary Brickell Village is to begin hosting the area’s first open air market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays along the 900 block of South Miami Avenue.
DOWN BUT NOT OUT: Miami dropped to the No. 2 spot on a national petition supporting the US hosting of either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup. The change comes a week before representatives of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, soccer’s international governing body, are to visit Miami. During a three-hour tour — no, they won’t be joined by Gilligan or the Skipper — the delegation is to visit Sun Life Stadium and the Miami Beach Convention Center. FIFA is to decide the location of the forthcoming tournaments in December.
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