Miami-Dade County cuts $17 million to cover voting costs
By Ashley Hopkins
With one countywide and one district-wide election on the books May 24 and runoffs likely, Miami-Dade officials are working to pinpoint budget cuts to fund the balloting. No layoffs are expected.
County Manager Alina Hudak says budget officials have targeted nearly $17.8 million in cuts across 28 departments.
Former County Manager George Burgess had asked all department directors to cut general fund use 3% to help fund the elections. He said each special countywide election could cost $4 million to $6 million and district-wide elections $300,000 to $500,000, depending on turnout and number of early voting sites.
Now, his successor and her team are lining up where to cut.
Corrections and Rehabilitation stands to feel the greatest trim, up to $6.2 million. Police could lose $3.1 million and Parks and Recreation $1.3 million.
Small Business Development should feel the smallest cut, $4,000, followed by Film and Entertainment at $10,200 and the Americans with Disabilities Department $14,910.
While 18 full-time jobs are to go via cuts, 15 in Parks and Recreation, Budget Director Jennifer Glazer-Moon said 16 of the posts are vacant. The two persons affected will transition into other posts, she said, so nobody will leave.
Ms. Glazer-Moon said the county plans a wide range of cost cutting to make ends meet. To avoid layoffs, departments may hold jobs vacant, trim contract spending and delay purchases.
Despite the cuts, it's unknown whether the 3% saved would cover all election costs. While she expects property-tax supported departments to save about $20 million, Ms. Glazer-Moon said any shortfalls would hit the general fund.
Any savings not needed for special elections, she said, would slide back into the general fund to aid next year's budget.
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