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Front Page » Profile » Xavier Suarez Brings Ideas On Transportation Playhouse Employee Pay And City Traffic To County Commission Post

Xavier Suarez Brings Ideas On Transportation Playhouse Employee Pay And City Traffic To County Commission Post

Written by on October 20, 2011

In his first five months on the job, Miami-Dade Commissioner Xavier Suarez has adamantly pushed to downsize the scope of county government.

Assuming the seat that Mayor Carlos Gimenez recently resigned, the former City of Miami mayor is putting his experience to the test. With $213 million in voter-approved Building Better Communities General Obligation Bonds at his fingertips, Mr. Suarez said that he plans to push a number of projects, including the restoration of the Coconut Grove Playhouse.

The theater, which closed its doors in 2006, is in desperate need of redevelopment. The commissioner is working to transfer its title to the county and raise additional funds in hopes the project will soon reach completion.

"Almost everyone agrees that you need about $30 million for refurbishing and reconstruction," he said. "There’s $20 million available from [general obligation] bonds, so we have to find the other $10 million. I’m working with some private-sector people who are going to be kept anonymous until we’re sure we have an agreement."

His push, however, may hit a roadblock. The commission recently moved to lower the county’s millage rate to 2009 levels, blocking a number of projects from immediate funding.

Mr. Suarez said he is dissatisfied with the 2011-2012 budget for a number of reasons, the greatest being the pay-cut discrepancy between county employees making more than $50,000 and those who earn less.

"I’m opposed to the budget as now presented," he said. "It doesn’t streamline the bureaucracy, it doesn’t reduce salaries and it doesn’t reduce the number of people who earn those high salaries."

Mr. Suarez discussed his plans for District 7, his thoughts on the recent county reconsolidation and his push to strengthen the county’s transportation system several weeks ago with Miami Today staff writer Ashley Hopkins at his downtown Miami office.To read the entire issue of Miami Today online, subscribe to e -Miami Today, an exact digital replica of the printed edition. To read this profile article in its entirety, subscribe to e-MiamiToday. With the e-MiamiToday you will be able to read the entire contents of Miami Today online exactly as it appears in print. Or order this issue, to receive a regular printed copy of this week’s Miami Today. You may also subscribe to the printed edition of Miami Today to receive the newspaper every week by mail. If you are reading this in Miami Today’s “Online Archive” as an archived web page and would like to see the entire article that was published, call Miami Today, 305-358-2663 and ask for the Circulation Department.   Top Front Page About Miami Today Put Your Message in Miami Today Contact Miami Today © Copyright 2011 Miami Today designed and produced by Green Dot Advertising and Marketingvar gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : “http://www.”);document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src='” + gaJsHost + “’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”));var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-4990655-1”);pageTracker._initData();pageTracker._trackPageview();