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FY 2016-17 Adopted Budget: Mayor's Message

December 15, 2016

My fellow residents,

I am proud to submit to you the FY 2016-17 Final Adopted Budget and Multi-year Capital Plan. This document represents the collective efforts of my Administration, the Board of County Commissioners, and our residents to ensure our community is resilient and ready for the future, while controlling the cost of government and continuing the efficient and effective delivery of services.

We must be good stewards of the public’s money and ensure that our residents keep as much of their hard-earned dollars as possible. The FY 2016-17 Adopted Budget keeps the operating millage rates flat and reduces the millage rates for both the countywide and Fire Rescue voted debt. The per capita cost of the tax-supported portion of our government for FY 2016-17 is $494.00, which is 35 percent lower than at its highest over a decade ago. Since I became Mayor, taxpayers have saved more than $1.2 billion as a whole, which is the equivalent of just under $1,300 for the average household. We are always looking for innovative ways to manage costs while allowing for savings to be used to restore and responsibly enhance services.

I have always fought for the future of Miami-Dade County. Ensuring our children and grandchildren will have a safe, vibrant, financially sound community - a resilient community - has always been my focus as Mayor. In May 2016, Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami, and the City of Miami Beach joined together to become members of the Rockefeller 100 Resilient Cities global network. As part of Resilient Cities, Miami-Dade will work with innovative cities around the world to develop strategies to improve our local economy, provide greater opportunities for our residents, and strengthen our budget to better prepare for storms, sea-level rise, and other natural and man-made threats. Earlier this year, an agenda-setting session was facilitated by the Rockefeller 100 Resilient Cities organization, bringing together community leaders, climate change and resilience experts, and governmental officials to establish a foundation for our efforts together.

The FY 2016-17 Adopted Budget reflects this focus by allocating our resources to enhance the resilience of Miami-Dade County and enhance our residents’ quality of life. There are four dimensions of resilience that serve as the pillars of our resilience framework:

  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Economy & Society
  • Infrastructure & Environment
  • Leadership & Strategy

By analyzing the services we provide to our residents through this new prism, we have reinvigorated our efforts toward making our community a safe place to live, with ample employment opportunities, cultural and recreational options, social services and communications channels within a government committed to protecting and maintaining our natural and man-made assets. To provide these critical services for our community, having the organizational infrastructure and financial stability to support the services is monumentally important.

In FY 2016-17, we will increase the number of police officers in our community, add a new Fire Rescue unit and fund my Youth and Community Safety Initiative to find innovative ways to tackle the youth violence crisis in our community. My Employ Miami-Dade Initiative and our Summer Youth Employment programs are funded, along with other programs for youth in our Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department.

Funding to establish a relationship with the Small Business Development Center at FIU is included in the budget so we can provide another opportunity for small business capacity building, as well as support for eMerge Americas, a technology conference that brought together 13,000 attendees and 400 companies in 2016. Miami International Airport expects to receive 2.3 million tons of cargo and greet 45 million passengers and PortMiami anticipates cruise passengers and cargo to increase as a result of newly signed agreements and the Panama Canal expansion.

Libraries are open more hours and 13,000 kids will participate in Learn to Swim programs this year. Funding for community-based organizations and cultural grants is increased by a combined $1.3 million and environmental grant funding is increased by 70 percent. We funded 10 additional early voting sites, for a total of 30, for the incredibly successful November election. The new Pet Adoption and Protection Center is open and the Animal Services budget is more than $20 million, with more than $10 million in support coming from the General Fund.

Funding for the Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit (SMART) Plan is included to support planning and design of six rapid transit corridors that directly support the mobility of our future population, as well as economic growth. The implementation of the adaptive traffic signal system is also funded, and a plan to replace 750 buses with both diesel fuel buses and buses fueled by compressed natural gas will commence. More than $600 million in spending is budgeted as part of a $13 billion plan to address the needs of our Water and Sewer Department. Funding to enhance the tree canopy following the findings of the tree study recently completed is allocated. We will also be spending more than $10 million on greenways and bicycle paths. A new issuance of Quality Neighborhood Improvement Program (QNIP) bonds will be completed in FY 2016-17 to tackle neighborhood infrastructure issues.

I truly believe in this community and in our bright future. County government must provide the foundation to support our successes. We must also be ready to address new issues as they arise. My administration and I will continue working to ensure that Miami-Dade County remains on a path toward future financial sustainability and overall resiliency for all 2.7 million of us who call Miami-Dade County “home.”

Sincerely,

Carlos A. Gimenez
Mayor

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