Miami To Cut 50 Jobs Freeze 30 Vacant Positions In Effort To Erase 35 Million Deficit
By Yudislaidy Fernandez
Miami city officials plan to cut 50 jobs and freeze 30 more vacant positions to help erase $35 million in red ink in the city’s proposed budget.
Residents are also likely feel some of the budget strain as the city hikes garbage collections fees by nearly $100 a year per household to avoid having the city’s general fund cover shortfalls in solid waste.
The workforce reductions and across-the-board budget cuts of from 10% to 12% in operating budgets of most departments represent a saving of about $24 million, City Manager Pete Hernandez said.
A quick calculation shows that the savings of those up-to-80 affected positions is about $150,000 per position.
He said the remaining $12 million of the $24 million in cuts comes from reductions in operational expenses.
Public safety, including police and fire, is to take a softer blow with an expected budget cut of about $2.5 million each.
Mr. Hernandez said revenues "are about the same [as last year]. We are dealing with the impact of fuel and utility costs, projected to go up by $5 million."
He also recommends increasing the annual solid waste fee to $419 per household from $325. He said households aren’t getting charged enough to fund the increasing costs of making upgrades and repairs to solid waste equipment and fleet.
City officials hope to meet with commissioners again before Sept. 11, when the balanced budget — projected at about $525 million — is to be unveiled.
Now, Mr. Hernandez said he is focusing on other strategies to help cover the remaining budget shortfall of $6 million.
"We still have quite a lot of work to do. We need to meet with commissioners to obtain more direction and take care of the priorities."