County Attorney Cuevas read items A through F into the record followed by Budget Director Jennifer Moon who read the millage rates into the record.
Mayor Gimenez advised Commission members that the Administration had reached an agreement with leaders of the Government Supervisors Association of Florida (GSAF), the supervisory professional bargaining units, representing approximately 4,800 employees, and the agreement terms that would be sent to the members for ratification were as follows:
1. To reverse the July 2011 3-percent COLA and reduce the pay plan rates by 3-percent;
2. to suspend Merit and Longevity increases, Longevity Bonus Award, $50.00 Bi-Weekly Premium Pay, and Flex Dollars;
3. to continue the 5-percent healthcare contribution, and if that was not permissible, replace it with a 4-percent reduction to the pay plan rates;
4. to take 11 unpaid Holiday Furloughs;
5. to keep the 2011 Group Health Insurance Premium rates in effect for the 2012 calendar year;
6. to make layoffs based on seniority;
7. to include re-opener clauses on the service connected disability program and the County’s health plan, on Merit and Longevity increases, on Longevity Bonus Awards, and on the 5-percent healthcare contribution;
8. to include a Me-too provision whereby if any other union’s economic concessions were less than GSAF, the County agrees to open the contract to discuss economic issues.
Mayor Gimenez noted he was hopeful GSAF employees would agree to the proposed agreement and Administration would proceed with negotiations with the remaining 8 bargaining unions.
Concerning the Head Start Program, Mayor Gimenez recommended that Head Start be continued for this full year and a transition be made next year. He noted issues with the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for Delegate Agencies might require a recommendation to reject the RFQ. Mayor Gimenez said the Administration would then develop a Request for Applications (RFA) and establish a Task Force to work on recommendations for the RFA and proceed next year with a full program.
Concerning the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Fire Boats, Mayor Gimenez said two fire boats would remain in service. He noted the boats would be tendered and manned by staff assigned to Station 21; and cross training would occur with nearby units. Mayor Gimenez said the call volume of certain units indicated that the availability factor was in the 90 percent range and adjustments were made.
Mayor Gimenez recommended that one Special Projects Administrator position be reinstated in this year’s budget for the Wage Theft Program.
Chairman Martinez opened the public hearing and the following individuals appeared before the Commission.
~ Judge Mindy Glazer, on behalf of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, appeared in support of restoring funding for the Court Care Program
~ Gussie Flynn, YWCA, appeared in support of restoring funding for the Court Care Program
~ Retired Chief Gary Meece, Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department, appeared in support of funding for Boot Camp
~ Anika Allen, Program Supervisor, Best Buddies, appeared in support of funding for Best Buddies
~ Jacob Anderson, appeared in support of funding for Best Buddies
~ Pamela Marie Corson, 14852 SW 177 Terrace, appeared in support of funding for the 4-H Program
~ Emily Freeman, 4-H President, appeared in support of funding for the 4-H Program
~ Deborah Siegleman, and Daniel Perez, 11470 N. Bayshore Drive, appeared in support of restoring funding for the Department of Cultural Affairs’ Grants Program; particularly the Children's Museum
~ Jenni Person, Director, Next @ 19th: Moving Jewish Culture Forward, urged the Commission to restore arts funding
~ Goldie Person, asked the Commission to support the Arts
~ Dantae Beauchamp, DASH student, spoke in support of the Arts Programs
~ Unidentified Student, spoke in support of the Arts Programs
~ Semaj Jones, appeared in opposition to the proposed budget
~ Sheila Womble, Executive Director, Arts for Learning, asked that funding be restored to the Department of Cultural Affairs
~ Camille Merilus, Camille and Sulette Merilus Foundation, requested additional funding for JEM Youth Academy
~ Elisha Merilus, requested continued funding for JEM Youth Academy
~ George Bullard, Jr., 1795 NW 89 Terrace, requested continued funding for Head Start
~ Ernie Martinez, Disability Advocate, Center for Independent Living, expressed appreciation to the Commission for funding the Workforce Development Program
~ Betsy Kaplan, spoke in support of Arts funding
~ Paloma Duenas, spoke in support of funding for Arts program
~ Marcos Alcayaga, 670 NW 6 Street, spoke on transportation issues
~ Mariano Cruz, 1227 NW 26 Street; appeared in connection with the proposed budget
~ Adolfo Enriquez, 220 Alhambra Circle, requested funding be restored for the Department of Cultural Affairs
~ Theophilus Williams, 1391 NW 95 Street, AFSCME, spoke in opposition to the proposed budget
~ Lee Cohen, Visual Artist, requested Arts funding be maintained
~ Seadoria Brown, AFSCME, appeared in opposition to the proposed budget; and read a letter from State Representative Barbara Watson in support of County employees and AFSCME
~ Bob Akras, 7901 Hispanola Avenue, North Bay Village, appeared in opposition to the proposed budget
~ Mario Ambrose appeared in opposition to the proposed budget
~ Keisha Culmer, 25915 SW 123rd Avenue, appeared in opposition to the proposed budget
~ Tanya Bennett, 270 NW 191 Street, appeared in opposition to the proposed budget
~ Bob Brennon, 3074 Kirk Street, appeared in connection with agricultural issues
~ John Rivera, President, Police Benevolent Association, appeared in opposition to the proposed budget; expressed concerns regarding cuts to public safety and noted increased numbers of homicide, robbery and child abuse cases
~ Toby Davidon, 8860 SW 87 Street, appeared in support of 4H and Co-op Extension programs
~ Carol Ann Taylor, representing Little Havana To Go, appeared in support of the Mom and Pop program
~ Carrie Sue Ayvar requested the ten percent decrease in Arts program funding be reinstated
~ Roxanne Barber did not appear
~ Silvana Soriano, 177 Ocean Lane Drive, urged the Commission to support the ten percent restoration to the Department of Cultural Affairs Arts Grants Program
~ Lety Bassart, 400 SW 2nd Street, requested the Commission restore the proposed ten percent reduction to the Department of Cultural Affairs
~ Beatriz Montanez, 721 82nd Street, appeared in support of restoring grant funds
~ Lisa Colandrea, 508 NE 70 Street, appeared in support of Arts program funding
~ Christine Koenig, 100 Bayview Drive, Director, Community Initiatives, Arts for Learning, spoke in support of Arts Program funding
~ Ken Forbes asked whether citizens in low-income areas would be able to participate on the proposed Head Start Task Force, and Mayor Gimenez responded that the RFA process would be open to all community groups.
~ Lina Michelle Davis, 22736 SW 114 Place, asked that Head Start funding be maintained.
~ Maxine Long, 1808 Ferdinand, Coral Gables, Board Member, Dranoff 2 Piano Foundation, requested full funding be restored to the Department of Cultural Affairs
~ Larry Caudle, 18951 SW 244 Street, expressed appreciation to the County Commission for its support to the agricultural community
~ Vincent Brown, Martin Luther King Economic Development Corporation, 6114 NW 7th Avenue, expressed appreciation to the County Commission and the Administration for addressing their concerns; looked forward to accomplishing the economic development and revitalization of the 7th Avenue Corridor and creating jobs and opportunities for area residents; asked Mayor Gimenez to identify staff to prevent further delay of this project; offered his assistance to proposed Head Start Task Force
~ Jeanette Smith, 14785 SW 172 Street, appeared in support of the Wage Theft Program and asked Mayor Gimenez to add this Program to his legislative priorities, urging the State to establish a model ordinance that could serve as an example to other counties
~ Esperanza Reynolds, 8465 Menteith Terrace, appeared in connection with the proposed budget
~ Jan Grocholski, 6840 SW 63 Avenue, appeared in support of the Fire Boat Program
~Alex Pujos (phonetic), explained how the Fire Boat provided him with assistance
~Celeste Dixon Fitzpatrick, 2523 Opa-locka Boulevard, appeared in support of funding for Opa-locka’s Youth Co-Op Inc. and the Employment Assistance Center
~ Alex Ariano, 8465 Menteith Terrace, spoke in support of the proposed budget
~ Patricia Robbins, Farm Share Founder, 14125 SW 320 Street, requested continued support for Farm Share
~ Mia Devane, Farm Share, 7763 SW 178 Street, requested the Commission continue funding for Farm Share
~ Calvin Crider, Helping Hands Ministries, 11620 SW 183 Street, urged the Commission to maintain funding for Farm Share
~ An unidentified speaker said she believed that funds were not being used appropriately for public housing residents
~ Elizabeth Arenas, 11395 SW 216 Street, Arthur Main Villas, commented on health concerns due to mold and water leaks
~ Alan Rigerman, 17910 N.W. 84 Avenue, suggested the County Commission survey County workers regarding the proposed budget;
~ Ronae Cambridge, Glory Temple Ministries, 7950 NW 22 Avenue, requested the County Commission to allocate $25,000 pursuant to the recommendations of RFP 4011, to alleviate the food shortage in District 2
~ Jacob Coker-Dukowitz, Advocacy Director, Catalyst Miami, Penny Wise Campaign, appeared in opposition to CBO funding cuts
~ Susan Rubio-Rivera, Director, MUJER; and Penny Wise Campaign member, requested full funding be restored to CBOs
~ Jonette Brooks, FIU student, Pennywise Campaign Intern, requested funding be restored to CBOs
~ Loretta Defreeze, 290 174 Street, CEO and Founder, Dialysis Food Foundation of South Florida, requested funding be restored to the Foundation
~ Kelvin Moreno, Miami-Dade County Cattlemen’s Association, 11040 SW 36 Street, appeared in support of the Agriculture and Cattle Show
~ Alice Pena, President, Dade County Farm Bureau, appeared in support of the Agriculture and Cattle Show
~ Theresa Smith, 2400 SE 7th Place, requested the Commission continue support of food stores
~ Daniel Lewis, 8901 SW 79th Court, Founding Dean of Dance at the New World School of the Arts, appeared in support of art education
~ Robert Huer, General Director, Florida Grand Opera, 1805 Ponce-de-Leon Boulevard, urged the Commission to retain full funding for the Department of Cultural Affairs
~ Ramon Tebar, Music Director, Florida Grand Opera, 3332 NE 190 Street, requested arts funding be maintained
~ Rafael Robayno, 3851 SW 132 Avenue, President, Cuban Museum, appeared in support of General Obligation Bond funding for the Museum
~ Reverend Kirk Zaremba, Sunrise Community Baptist Church, appeared in support of elder care funding for Sunrise Community in West Miami
~ Denny Wood, President, Florida Paraplegic Association, requested that 12 County swimming pools be fitted with pool lifts by January 2012 to facilitate disabled individuals; and that pools be open from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
~ Michael Hart, 2525 NW 62nd Street, appeared in support of reinstating the Correctional Counselor Supervisors
~ Marlon Kelly appeared in support of reinstating the Correctional Counselor Supervisor positions
~ Gregory Rollins appeared in support of reinstating the four remaining Correctional Counselor II Supervisor positions
~ Michael Richardson appeared in support of reinstating the Correctional Counselor II positions
~ Deacon Willis George L. Baldwin, 10370 SW 149 Terrace, requested continuation of CBO funding
~ Albert Machado spoke about the need for additional buses
~ Margaret Feldman, Sunrise Community, 9040 Sunset Drive, expressed appreciation to the Mayor and County Commissioners for supporting senior citizens
~ Laura Reynolds, Tropical Audubon Society, 5530 Sunset Drive, questioned the reorganization of the Department of Environmental Resource Management
~ Lucille Rich, St. Agnes CDC, 2043 NW 4th Court, appeared in opposition to the proposed budget cuts
~ Ruben Abella, President, Miami-Dade Horse Council, expressed appreciation to the Commission for completing the Ronald Regan Equestrian Center at Tropical Park
~ Barbara Falsey, 3660 NE 166 Street, President, Urban Environment League, spoke in support of funding all DERM’s functions
~ Michael Parker appeared in support of funding for the Fire Boat and recommended one full 24/7 fire boat response capability
~ Roy Hardemon, 1700 NW 63 Street, Model City CAC, appeared in support of funding for the 18th Avenue Corridor; the Martin Luther King Boulevard Project; the 46th Street Corridor; the Poinciana Industrial Park; and the Model City parks
~ Clarence Williams, appeared in support of funding for Curley's House of Style Food Bank
~ Yashica Brown-Rogne, 51 NE 44th Street, appeared in support of funding for the Miami Science Museum
~ Christopher Rogne, appeared in support of the Miami Science Museum
~ Adriana Oliva (phonetic), 21 SW 67 Court, appeared in support of funding for the Miami Science Museum
~ Dr. Mae Christian, 4824 NW 15th Court; Member, Model City Advisory Board; and President, Miami-Dade Democratic Black Caucus; expressed concern that funds that were set aside for jobs, construction and other projects were redirected to other communities; the high rate of reverse mortgage foreclosures; and the lack of compliance monitoring for projects
~ Ismailia Rashid, 266 NW 6th Street, President, CSBE Association Inc., appeared in opposition to the proposed reorganization of the Small Business Department
~ Delma Iles, 555 NE 34 Street, Apt 1202, requested the Commission fully restore funding for the Department of Cultural Affairs to last year's level
~ Travis Sands, 2330 NW 88 Street, Our Chance Enterprise, appeared in support of funding for the Liberty City area
~ Eleanor Lanser, 7110 SW 95 Street, Douglas Gardens Community Mental Health Center, appeared in opposition to the proposed budget
~ Francisco Garcia, 856 NW 206 Street, appeared in opposition to the proposed budget
~ Everol Jackson, 30 NE 134 Street, appeared in support of small businesses in Miami-Dade County
~ Maggie Pelleya, WDNA 88.9 FM Community Public Radio, 2921 Coral Way, appeared in support of funding for the Department of Cultural Affairs
~ Martha Whisby Wells, 1033 NW 3rd Avenue, appeared in support of Neighbors and Neighbors’ (NANA) and the Mom and Pop program
~ Ray Latini, 9440 Montego Bay Drive, appeared in opposition to the proposed budget
~ Danielle Koping, Liberty Cleaners and Laundry, 2145 NW 62 Street, appeared in support of funding for NANA and the Mom and Pop grant program
~ Alberto Milo, President, 2100 SW 4th Avenue, President, Builders Association of South Florida, requested the Commission consider reprioritizing multi-family rental projects within the General Obligation Bond Program
~ William Pollak, 1541 Brickell Avenue, Scenic Miami and Scenic Miami-Dade, urged the Commission to retain funding for the Office of Community Image
~ Norma Kendall, Entrepreneur, appeared in support of funding for NANA
~ Luiz Monizot-Leite appeared in support of additional funding for Ocean Rescue Lifeguard services
~ Victoria Rogers, 4025 Bonita Avenue, Executive Vice-President, New World Symphony, requested that full funding be restored for the Department of Cultural Affairs
~ Eduardo Suarez, 6607 SW 63 Terrace, requested the Commission to increase the number of Ocean Rescue Lifeguard staff
~ Shirley Richardson, 11237 NE 8th Avenue, representing “M” Ensemble Company, requested the Commission restore the ten percent cut to the Cultural Affairs budget
~ Chris Simpson, C-Tow employee, appeared in support of funding for the Fire Boat
~ James McCants, New Life Community Outreach, 10775 SW 188 Street, appeared in support of CBO funding
~ Asser Saint-Val, 139 NE 64 Street, Art teacher, Miami Art Museum, appeared in support reinstating arts funding
~ Lynn Summers, 1910 NW 13 Street, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, appeared in support of funding for museum restoration projects
~ Eric H. Braswell, 11979 SW 92 Lane, spoke on the need for public housing and job creation and suggested County vehicles and equipment be sold to reduce the budget gap
There being no other persons to appear before the County Commission, Chairman Martinez closed the public hearing.
Mayor Gimenez provided an update on the proposed FY 2011-12 budget. He noted the County was facing challenging economic realities and needed to fill a $409 million shortfall. Subsequent to the September 8th Budget Hearing, Mayor Giminez noted he met with commissioners individually, to discuss their concerns and to explore various options to mitigate those concerns. In some cases, the Administration identified funds that would fulfill commissioners’ requests, in some cases partial funding was identified, and other cases funding was unavailable. Mayor Gimenez pointed out that his Changes Memorandum dated September 22, 2011, outlined and quantified the funding categories and programs identified since the September 8th Budget Hearing.
Mayor Gimenez noted Budget Director Jennifer Moon would respond to questions regarding the Changes Memorandum.
In response to Commissioner Sosa’s comment regarding the need to correct a date involving the Head Start program, Mayor Gimenez noted a scrivener’s error existed in his Memorandum, and the date reflected in line two, second paragraph under “Head Start” should be corrected to reflect “October 2011”, rather than “October 2012.”
Commissioner Moss noted the Office of Human Rights and Fair Employment Practices (OHRFEP) performed an important policy function for the County Commission and he believed this office should have a similar level of independence as the Inspector General’s office. He also noted he believed that an additional board should be created to hear discrimination claims by County employees.
It was moved by Commissioner Moss that 1) all funding related appropriations for the 9 positions associated with the OHRFEP, as listed in the proposed budget, be placed under the County Commission, rather than under the Mayor; 2) that it be the Commission’s policy that the Office shall be independent from the Commission and the Mayor, and that there be no external influence in the office in the performance of its duties from any persons including the Mayor, or any member of the Administrative staff; and that no commissioner or commissioner’s employee(s) shall take part in the appointment or removal of officers, and employees in the Administrative services of the County, as such external influence would adversely affect the independence and objectivity of a director and the office staff; 3) Commissioner Moss directed the County Attorney to bring back to the Commission under his sponsorship, any necessary amendments to Chapter 11A of the Miami-Dade County Code or other Code provisions which was necessary to create a new board contemplated by this motion, and establish the right of County employees to bring discrimination complaints before this proposed new board, hearing examiner or administrator in other related matters; and 4) that the current office staff remain in place and operate independently of the Chair’s office or the Mayor’s office. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Jordan.
County Attorney Cuevas noted the foregoing motion would amend Items B, D and F.
Commissioner Edmonson asked to be listed as a co-sponsor to the proposed legislation requested by Commissioner Moss.
Mayor Gimenez noted the Administration’s support of the foregoing motion.
In response to Commissioner Sosa’s inquiry, Mayor Gimenez confirmed that Commissioner Moss’ motion would change the organizational structure as the OHRFEP would no longer report to the Administration but temporarily report to the County Commission; and if the legislation referenced was adopted, it would be a semi-autonomous or autonomous department. He concurred that this office should be separate from the Commission and the County Administration.
Commissioner Sosa noted she had a problem with the OHRFEP being placed under the County Commission.
County Attorney Cuevas noted the motion was to temporarily place the funding and the positions under the County Commission, rather than the Mayor.
Assistant County Attorney Cynthia Johnson-Stacks confirmed the intent of Commissioner Moss’ motion was to temporarily remove the positions and funding to the County Commission. She noted Commissioner Moss’ motion also simultaneously directed the County Attorney’s Office to prepare legislation to establish a new board that would be independent of the Commission and the Administration.
In response to Commissioner Sosa’s inquiry, Ms. Moon confirmed this proposal would not impact the budget.
Commissioner Barreiro suggested placing the OHRFEP under the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction, rather than creating additional independent boards.
Commissioner Diaz noted he believed the OHRFEP needed to have accountability until the proper procedure occurred.
Commissioner Bell questioned whether Commissioner Moss’ intent could be accomplished in the form of a resolution, provided that the dollar amount would not be affected, and placed under the Ethics Commission at that time. She noted she was not comfortable with the OHRFEP being under the County Commission’s purview.
In response to Commissioner Bell, Commissioner Moss said the OHRFEP was an independent office before the Mayor’s proposal to merge it into another department. He noted he would consider this office being placed under the Ethics Commission; however, he believed it was necessary for it to be a separate office that functions independently.
Commissioner Suarez noted he would vote favorably if it was understood that the proposal was a modification of the Mayor’s proposed reorganization, and that the exact format would be decided later.
Commissioner Jordan noted a board currently existed that was more operational than administrative and the Commission needed to ensure that the functions were blended.
In response to Commissioner Monestime’s request for clarification on the motion, Commissioner Moss noted he was asking the County Attorney to work with him on proposed legislation which could be presented to the Commission quickly.
Responding to Chairman Martinez’ questions regarding the authorities, responsibilities, and powers of the existing board, Assistant County Attorney Cynthia Johnson-Stacks advised Chairman Martinez that the Commission on Human Rights board investigated discrimination complaints from private and public employees, other than Miami-Dade County. She noted the Fair Employment Practices Office, which provided staff to that board, also investigated discrimination complaints by County employees and made recommendations to the Administration. Ms. Johnson-Stacks said Commissioner Moss’ proposal was to create a new board which would address County employee complaints. She noted this proposed ordinance would require back pay or other appropriate pay be awarded when discrimination was determined.
Commissioner Moss said the powers of the proposed board would be determined by the County Commission. He noted the board would be under the Chair’s office but would continue functioning as is until legislation was adopted.
Commissioner Bovo said he would support this proposal.
Chairman Martinez suggested separating the OHRFEP from the proposed merger, leaving it independent as it was, keeping the funding intact, and addressing it further when the proposed ordinance came back to the Commission.
Assistant County Attorney Johnson-Stacks noted her understanding of Chairman Martinez’ intent was to leave the positions under the Mayor temporarily as a separate office; therefore, in approving the Changes Memorandum, that would be a separate office that would report to the Mayor but not be merged with any other department.
County Attorney Cuevas noted this action would be part of the budget process and the funding for this function would be separate from the proposed reorganization. He noted the funding would be placed in a separate department.
Commissioner Edmonson suggested the funds be appropriated to the Chair’s Office temporarily, and during that time any grievances that may come before the OHRFEP, be delayed until a final determination was made.
Commissioner Sosa noted she was not comfortable with placing the OHRFEP under the County Commission’s jurisdiction and would prefer this office to be under the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction as recommended by Commissioner Barreiro. She expressed concern about creating additional beauracracy.
Commissioner Souto spoke in support of the OHRFEP being under the Ethics Commission.
Commissioner Bell pointed out that discriminatory complaints were currently addressed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); the Florida Commission on Human Rights (FCHR); Collective Bargaining Agreements; and federal contracts.
In response to Commissioner Jordan whether this department would be part of the Ethics Commission’s responsibility, County Attorney Cuevas said he did not believe it would be because the Citizen’s Bill of Rights refers to the Commission on Ethics and Public Trust with authority to review, interpret, render advisory opinions and enforce the County and municipal Code of Ethics ordinances, Conflict of Interest ordinances, lobbyist registration and reporting ordinances, ethical campaign ordinances and other related matters.
Commissioner Jordan said that that whatever legislation was proposed, the Commission had to consider the difference between the Ethics Commission’s role and responsibility and the OHRFEP. She noted her support that the OHRFEP be under the Mayor’s Office as this office could address issues that arose during the interim.
In response to Commissioner Moss’ inquiry on how the OHRFEP could remain in its current format until the Commission decided on a structure, County Attorney Cuevas noted the funds to that department could be budgeted to a separate department. He noted the Commission was dealing with the issue of the relative powers of the Mayor’s Office to establish administrative departments and the Board’s power to budget. County Attorney Cuevas said placing the OHRFEP as a separate department under the Mayor could be accomplished through the Commission’s budget power. He noted if the Commission wished to place the OHRFEP under the Commission when Commissioner Moss’ proposed ordinance came back to the Commission, an amended or supplemental budget would be necessary.
Mayor Gimenez noted if it was the Commission’s wish that the OHRFEP remain under the Mayor’s Office until a permanent solution was developed, he would honor that commitment.
It was moved by Commissioner Moss that the OHRFEP remain under the Mayor’s Office until a permanent solution was developed within a two-month timeframe. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Jordan.
In response to Chairman Martinez’ question whether there was any function performed by the board that was not performed by anyone else, Assistant County Attorney Kraftchick said the board that dealt with private and public employers outside the County dealt with employers with a workforce of at least five employees. The EEOC in enforcing Title VII and the Florida Commission on Human Rights in enforcing the Civil Rights Act dealt with employers with at least 15 employees. Assistant County Attorney Kraftchick said the County board dealt with a slightly larger group of employees. He noted the County ordinances also dealt with discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation which was not covered by the federal Title VII or the State’s Civil Rights Act. Mr. Kraftchick said the County’s Fair Employment Practices Office also enforced discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Commissioner Diaz noted his understanding that discrimination disputes comprised employee reporting and outside government level. Mr. Kraftchick explained the two avenues, noting the Fair Employment Practices Office dealt with County employees. He noted the Equal Opportunity Board conducts adversarial hearings, determines whether discrimination occurred and had the authority to award compensation in the form of back pay, and provide equitable relief in the form of reinstatement or promotion.
Following an explanation by Assistant County Attorney Kraftchick regarding the functions of the Commission on Human Rights Board, the Fair Employment Practices office and the Equal Opportunity Board, Commissioner Diaz noted he had no problem with the OHRFEP being placed under the Chair’s Office.
Commissioner Edmonson concurred with Commissioner Diaz but noted she was not opposed to the OHRFEP temporarily remaining under the Mayor’s purview.
Upon being put to a vote, the motion made by Commissioner Moss and seconded by Commissioner Jordan that the OHRFEP remain under the Mayor’s Office and a permanent solution be developed within two months, passed by a vote of 13-0.
Chairman Martinez noted the foregoing vote was a preliminary vote on Items B, D and F.
Commissioner Moss questioned whether Chairman Martinez had looked at the possibility of allowing the Office of the Chair and departments/divisions under the Chair’s purview, to keep their Carryover Funds to minimize the impact on those departments.
Responding to Commissioner Moss, Chairman Martinez noted he would prefer to wait until the Commission discussed the budget as he had questions pertaining to the Mayor’s carryover.
Commissioner Heyman expressed appreciation to Mayor Gimenez for responding to commissioners’ requests.
Commissioner Heyman questioned whether Administration had considered the possibility of cutting back on the Tuition Refund Program in order to save $1.4 million.
Budget Director Jennifer Moon said the Tuition Refund Program was budgeted as needed and was governed by the Collective Bargaining Agreements. She noted any employee could request to participate in this Program which was granted under certain provisions. She noted similar rules applied to non-bargaining employees.
Mayor Gimenez noted the Tuition Refund Program was not part of the negotiations with the Unions; therefore, it remained at $1.4 million.
In response to Commissioner Heyman’s concern regarding the $4.840 million advertising budget, and the County’s legal obligation, Ms. Moon said that the advertising budget was $2.842 million and various sub-object codes were associated with this amount. She noted advertising was reduced to legal obligations and promotion of County services. Responding further to Commissioner Heyman’s concerns regarding the cost associated with employment advertising when employees were laid off, Ms. Moon said that while layoffs were occurring, advertisement and recruitment for mission critical funded vacant positions would continue.
Commissioner Heyman expressed concern that $287,000 was budgeted for 11 organizations (non-department memberships), most of which were Chambers of Commerce. She noted her preference that these funds be used to fund the Ocean Rescue deficit difference of $98,000; or to provide additional funding to Boot Camp or to Animal Services where Code Enforcement employees were laid off.
Mayor Gimenez noted these Chambers were historically funded by the County Commission and it was the Commission’s purview to eliminate this practice.
Commissioner Heyman expressed concern that funding to these organizations was not equitably distributed throughout the County, and she would prefer the $287,000 be equitably distributed to more Chambers or allocated to Ocean Rescue.
In response to Commissioner Heyman’s inquiry regarding the number of police take home cars taken out of the County, Mayor Gimenez noted an additional 250 take home cars would be eliminated. He said he would continue meeting with department directors to identify additional savings, which could not be calculated until the final number was available.
Commissioner Heyman expressed concern regarding employee salaries for the Office of Community Advocacy, noting these salaries were as high as $130,000. She recommended these funds be shifted to an under-funded area, and this office be re-evaluated. Commissioner Heyman suggested the advisory boards be more extensive to provide additional representation.
Commissioner Heyman expressed concern regarding the $98,000 budget shortfall for Ocean Rescue, and noted she was hopeful Mayor Gimenez would consider filling the gap. She also expressed concern regarding the reduction of $394,000 in code enforcement for the Animal Services Department, noting she was more comfortable with directing direct funds for code enforcement rather than for an administrative position somewhere else.
Regarding funding for the fire boats, Commissioner Heyman noted it was her understanding that Mayor Gimenez was open to funding from partnerships with insurance companies. She noted she was hopeful this would result in less tendering and more operation of the boats as well as the consolidation of manpower and savings in the Fire Department.
Commissioner Heyman expressed concern regarding Phase 1, 2 and 3 of the Boot Camp Program (BCP) and asked that these phases be maintained at their existing funding levels. She noted she was hopeful the $1.064 million shortfall could be reduced as $3.7 million was reinstated; however, she expressed concern as to how this would be accomplished. Commissioner Heyman asked Mayor Gimenez to look at the overtime for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation employees, and other issues involving the BCP that did not serve the integrity of these phases. She noted she believed additional funding efficiencies for the BCP could be achieved through the Corrections Department, such as the use of video cameras when transporting inmates.
Chairman Martinez noted he would be reviewing the re-organization of departments that reported to the Chair’s Office. He noted the Mayor’s request for $1.81 million from these departments. Chairman Martinez said the savings to be provided would be discussed at a future meeting.
Chairman Martinez directed questions to Ms. Moon regarding the Mayor’s September 22, 2011 Change Memorandum entitled “Information for Second Budget Hearing – FY 2011-12 Proposed Budget.”
Ms. Moon noted Administration identified additional carryover funds in the Corrections and Rehabilitation Department, adjusted the carryover amount for the County Commission, and current year Utility Tax Revenue projections allowed for additional Utility Tax Revenue that could be budgeted for next year. Ms. Moon said the carryover was identified as savings from the Mayor’s office budget, and reductions were also made to the Wage, Separation, and Energy Reserve. She noted additional revenues of $3.7 million identified at the September 8, 2011 First Budget Hearing was placed into the Wage, Separation, and Energy Reserve.
Ms. Moon said that proprietary revenues were also identified including adjustments to housing revenues, movements in promotional funds, additional money available in the Inmate Welfare Trust fund and Fund 110 in the Corrections and Rehabilitation Department. She noted Administration performed an analysis of the transfer from the Tourist Development Surtax for administration, and performed a true-up. Ms. Moon said for the past three years Administration had been transferring only the budgeted amount rather than the available amount; therefore, the true-up allowed additional funds to be transferred into the General Fund. She noted this included the $12 million from the Public Housing Agency.
Chairman Martinez noted the Mayor’s Change Memorandum referenced waiving or rescinding, if necessary, various chapters of the Miami-Dade County Code. He questioned how many laws/code would be eliminated if the Mayor’s proposed reorganization of County government occurred.
County Attorney Robert Cuevas advised Chairman Martinez that the Commission would be waiving the Code requirements that provide for the current structure to make allowance for the Mayor’s proposed reorganization, and to address qualifications for department directors and delegations of Commission authority.
Responding to Chairman Martinez’ suggestion that Seaport funds be used to fund the Fire Boat, Mayor Gimenez said the Port could be charged on a per call basis whenever the Fire Boat responded to the Port, a Port facility or a cruise ship. He noted the Fire Boat was a countywide asset and was funded through the Countywide General Fund. Mayor Gimenez also noted the Port Station responded to one call per day and the availability of personnel was pretty high.
In response to Chairman Martinez’ comments regarding the reduction of payments to landlords who participated in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, Mr. Greg Fortner, Director, Miami-Dade Public Housing Agency, noted he met with Section 8 landlords to inform them that Section 8 payments would be reduced nationally by approximately $12 million, and the County would have to lower its payment standards to landlords. He noted this would possibly increase the rent burden to Section 8 recipients and if they could not afford the increased rent the landlord could reduce the payment or the Department could provide them with a voucher to find a less expensive unit.
Budget Director Moon clarified that of the $17 million worth of changes outlined in the Mayor’s Memorandum, $12 million included the reduction referenced by Mr. Fortner. She noted there was approximately $3.7 million of additional revenue and the remainder was a reallocation of revenues.
In response to Chairman Martinez’ inquiry regarding the $850,000 carryover, Mayor Gimenez noted this amount would be his carryover to the General Fund. He recommended this $850,000 be used to create a Seniors First Trust Fund from which the County Commission could allocate funds in the event deficiencies were identified in programs for seniors. Mayor Gimenez noted if it was not used by the end of the year, it would go back to the General Fund.
Chairman Martinez asked about the funding source for the $464,000 of additional funding for the Mom and Pop program, and Ms. Moon responded that the combination of additional revenue from carryover in the General Fund, and a reduction to the Wage, Separation and Energy Reserve allowed for additional funding for the Mom and Pop program, Community Based Organizations, the Cattle Show, and Boot Camp Program (BCP), etc.
Regarding Phases 2 and 3 of the BCP, Ms. Moon noted the adjustments that occurred which equaled $1 million in savings. She said that one maintenance mechanic position was deleted; six positions would be shared with other functions in the department; and eight correctional officers would be moved to regular operations resulting in $850,000 in overtime savings. Ms. Moon noted Phase 1 remained the same; however, civilians would perform the work of sworn officers in Phases 2 and 3.
The Deputy Corrections Director said Phases 2 and 3 of the BCP currently used sworn officers as case managers. She noted two of these managers would be assigned to the Monitored Release Program.
Responding to Chairman Martinez’ inquiry regarding funding for the Head Start program, Ms. Moon noted union concessions across-the-board would save approximately $2 million. She noted some operating savings had been identified and other salary adjustments were proposed to reduce the expense associated with this service delivery.
In response to Chairman Martinez’ inquiry regarding the County Commission’s carryover funds, Ms. Moon responded that these funds were being used to continue funding for CBOs.
Commissioner Suarez noted he was impressed by Commissioner Heyman’s comments regarding Community Advocacy and Commissioner Bell’s comments regarding duplication of functions across different governments. He expressed concern about eliminating four correctional counselors 2.
Commissioner Suarez commented on the Enterprise Funds, noting these funds usually included user fees. He said Enterprise Funds were also another way of issuing bonds, and the County currently had approximately $20 billion in debt. He noted that in a meeting with the Mayor and staff, he was told that some departments were part proprietary or part departmental.
Commissioner Suarez also commented on the complexity of the budget and salary classifications. He noted his suggestion to the Mayor that employees making under $50,000 be exempt from any cuts, and referenced a memorandum dated October 6, 2009, to the Honorable Dennis Moss regarding tier reductions. Commissioner Suarez pointed out that an ordinance was proposed by then Commissioner Gimenez which provided that salaries between $100,000 and $150,000 would be reduced by 7.5 percent; $150,000 and $250,000 would be reduced by 10 percent; and more than $250,000 would be reduced by 15 percent.
Commissioner Suarez spoke in support of tiered reductions. He noted the Mayor’s proposed budget had not substantially reduced high level and upper management positions or salaries; the worker to manager ratio of 4.9 to one was extremely low and should be eight to 12, which the Mayor’s proposed reorganization would not accomplish that. Commissioner Suarez said most of the positions to be eliminated were not administrative, and he could not support this proposed budget.
Commissioner Bell noted overall she believed this budget was straight forward, but expressed concern regarding the proposal to have one employee per board under the Office of Community Advocacy, with a budget of over $1 million to manage nine boards. Commissioner Bell also noted the Office of Commission Auditor had 31 employees with a budget of approximately $3 million. She suggested that commissioners look at the amount of flex pay, premium pay, and benefits in those offices.
Commissioner Bovo noted the Commission Auditor served a critical purpose. He said Commissioner Suarez raised some interesting issues, and his concerns regarding roll over of unused sick and vacation time would not be addressed in this budget. Commissioner Bovo noted this budget process should not take more than two meetings, and he believed the Mayor had done an outstanding job and even funded things he believed should have been eliminated. Commissioner Bovo said he would support the proposed budget, but felt it was the Commission’s responsibility to provide residents with transparency.
Commissioner Jordan noted she was glad that Chairman Martinez indicated he would address the Commission’s budget separately. She suggested that Commissioner Diaz conduct another workshop on the functions of the County boards.
Commissioner Jordan expressed concern about eliminating four correctional counselor supervisors, as well as the videographer, photographer, graphics and animation positions from Miami-Dade Television. She noted eliminating these positions would limit the County’s ability to disseminate information to the community. She asked the Mayor to identify resources for the Corrections Department and Miami-Dade TV.
Commissioner Sosa noted that reviewing next year’s budget would expedite this process and provide more community input. She said most of her concerns were addressed in the Mayor’s Changes memorandum. She noted she was pleased that problems regarding the Head Start program and the Boot Camp phases were being addressed; and that the cleaning cycles in the Public Works Department were being increased.
Commissioner Sosa expressed concern regarding the water fee increases outlined in Agenda Item F and questioned whether these increases would be passed on to residents. She commented on the increase in the wholesale water rate; the wastewater rate, and various other credits.
Ms. Moon noted the credits would allow customers to be reimbursed. She noted the wholesale rate (the five-year phase out) was negotiated with the City of Hialeah pursuant to an existing agreement as part of the negotiations related to the new infrastructure proposed in Hialeah, and that the transmission of credit was being phased out. Ms. Moon said the wholesale wastewater rates were being adjusted because of a true-up that was done pursuant to an agreement with the municipalities to cover the actual cost, which had been discussed with the municipality.
Commissioner Sosa asked about the Class B signs in the Department of Planning and Zoning that went from $0.39 to $250. Ms. Moon responded that the $0.39 charge was a rate per square foot, which was being changed to a flat rate of $250. She noted the proposed fee changes included increases, decreases, eliminations and establishing fees.
Commissioner Souto expressed concern that County employees were abusing the benefit(s) of take home cars, which could be addressed by entering into agreements with employees to prohibit the use of take home cars for personal use and by using the global positioning system (GPS) technology to monitor the cars. He noted the County needed to evaluate the issues involving employee salaries and determine whether employees would be fired, would take a salary cut, or would be held harmless because other savings were identified. Commissioner Souto questioned how reductions in commissioners’ office budgets would help balance the budget. He also expressed concern regarding the proposed increases in water fees, noting the County’s budget process could be improved, but not overnight.
Chairman Martinez pointed out that commissioners had opportunities to work on the budget all year through the Commission Committees, the Commission Auditor, and the County Administration. He also pointed out that the Commission had two Committee of the Whole meetings and two budget hearings, and noted he wished to reassure everyone that the existing budget process was not a haphazard, one-night process.
Commissioner Monestime maintained that the County would be judged by how it treated the most vulnerable residents, and he expressed concern regarding the impacts the proposed budget would have on those residents. He noted the County had neglected the economic infrastructure in the urban communities, and the lack of investment in these areas had resulted in an over reliance on public health. He expressed concern regarding the lack of jobs created by this proposed budget, and noted the financing rates or market conditions were most favorable now, and the County should take advantage by creating jobs by investing in the infrastructure. He expressed concern that the County could not spare employees earning less than $50,000 from additional salary cuts.
Commissioner Moss asked the Mayor to characterize the outcome of the meeting held regarding the Public Housing Agency and the Mayor’s proposed restructuring of County government. He expressed concern that the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (US HUD) was controlling the Public Housing Agency a year ago.
Mayor Gimenez noted he met with US HUD representatives, and they explained they were concerned whether the County could firewall the information they wanted separate from the County, if the Public Housing Agency was combined with another department. He noted he sent US HUD a letter assuring them that the County would continue to separate and firewall the necessary functions, and that this letter included the required standard operating procedures.
Commissioner Moss noted he was still concerned regarding the proposed merger of the Public Works and Solid Waste departments.
In response to Commissioner Moss’ inquiry regarding GOB project schedule and funding, Assistant County Attorney Geri Bonzon-Keenan advised the County Commission would approve the Mayor’s proposed GOB project schedule and funding by approving the proposed budget.
Commissioner Moss questioned whether the Mayor’s GOB project schedule and funding contemplated the possible $200 million commercial paper program.
Mayor Gimenez noted his GOB project schedule and funding did contemplate the commercial paper program. He pointed out that the Commission could add to the GOB project list and appropriate funds at any time, and clarified that changes to the GOB project list would impact the Countywide Debt Service millage rate.
Commissioner Moss suggested the County Commission amend the proposed budget to approve the funding for GOB projects, but not specify which projects would receive the funds.
Mayor Gimenez explained the County would have to stop funding ongoing GOB projects if the Commission amended the budget as suggested by Commissioner Moss. The Mayor recommended the Commission approve the list of projects and amend it later.
Commissioner Diaz noted negotiating the collective bargaining agreement would not be easy. He expressed concern regarding the unintended consequences that may result from laying off police officers; and noted he supported the Boot Camp Program, the Fire Rescue Fire Boat, and the full-time Ocean Rescue lifeguards.
Mayor Gimenez clarified that the current proposal was to reduce the number of lifeguard hours by 4 percent, which was equivalent to less than two full-time lifeguards.
Commissioner Diaz noted he supported the funding for Court Care and for the Mom and Pop program. He suggested that the offices under the County Commission’s purview retain their carryover funds and use them to offset some of the 20 percent proposed reductions in those offices.
Responding to Commissioner Diaz’s question regarding the criteria that would be used to allocate monies from the Senior Trust Fund and $150,000 of in-kind reserves, Mayor Gimenez explained that the in-kind reserve fund was used to fund services provided to non-profit organizations, and that the County could use the Senior Trust Fund to fund or offset cuts to senior services.
Chairman Martinez suggested the County Commission allocate the monies in the Senior Trust Fund to the County department that handled elderly services.
Commissioner Barreiro noted the County needed to ensure US HUD was treating the County the same way it treated every other public housing authority. He asked the Mayor to provide the County Commission with a list detailing US HUD’s concerns regarding the Public Housing Agency merging with another County department. Regarding the roll over of accrued sick and annual leave, Commissioner Barreiro suggested that any unused funds for this line item be put into a reserve, as opposed to being recaptured as part of the FY 2012-13 budget. He clarified that the cost for roll over sick and annual leave would eventually be fully funded if this practice was continued annually.
Regarding the Mayor’s Changes Memorandum, Commissioner Barreiro noted the periodicals approved in the periodicals program were the same periodicals that County departments would use to advertise, which would help restore some of the reduced funding to the periodicals program. He pointed out that County residents were using the beaches at different times, and the County needed to exercise caution when changing lifeguard work schedules. He questioned how in-kind services would be handled.
Mayor Gimenez clarified that $150,000 was allocated for in-kind services for events, and that the County Commission handled those funds. He noted the in-kind services were not a discretionary fund, and explained that these funds were intended for services provided by the County at events for a charitable organization.
Regarding GOB projects, Commissioner Barreiro noted his priorities were housing projects and other projects that could be started immediately. He noted he supported approving the debt service millage rate; however, he was hesitant to approve the specific projects that would be funded.
Assistant County Attorney Bonzon-Keenan advised that the County Commission had approved a list of projects eligible to be funded from the Series 2011A Bonds, and that this list did not provide specific funding amounts for those projects. She advised that if the Commission did not approve the Mayor’s proposed expenditure authority for FY 2011-12, the County could not pay for the projects that had current contractual commitments.
Commissioner Barreiro noted GOB projects not on the list could start immediately.
Mayor Gimenez said he was committed to not executing any new GOB contracts until members of the Commission decided what projects to fund.
Commissioner Barreiro asked the Mayor to provide the County Commission with a list of the GOB projects that had current contractual commitments.
Commissioner Edmonson noted she did not want to lay off any employees. She questioned whether the Corrections and Rehabilitation Department would lay off four corrections counselor positions.
A Corrections and Rehabilitation Department employee noted the department would require $252,000 to keep these four positions.
In response to Commissioner Edmonson’s question regarding mental health counseling for inmates, a Corrections and Rehabilitation Department employee explained that Correctional Health Services at Jackson Memorial Hospital provided that counseling.
Commissioner Edmonson pointed out that the Corrections and Rehabilitation Department would hire 150 employees. She questioned why the four corrections counselor positions could not be retained, and the number of hired employees be reduced to 146.
An unidentified Corrections and Rehabilitation Department employee explained that 111 positions would be converted, and that additional analysis was needed to identify more positions to convert.
Ms. Moon noted the original budget proposal reduced 10 positions, five Correction Counselor I positions and five Correction Counselor II positions; however, grant funding was identified to fund six of those positions. Therefore, five Correction Counselor I positions and one Correction Counselor II position were reinstated, Ms. Moon explained.
In response to Commissioner Edmonson’s concern regarding employee lay offs, Ms. Moon stated the employees impacted by eliminating four positions were classified employees and who had classified rights.
Commissioner Edmonson questioned how many non-bargaining employees would be affected by layoffs.
Ms. Moon noted an estimated 200 employees would be placed in a position completely different than their current position, and each employee affected would be offered the opportunity to be pipelined.
Mayor Gimenez noted each of the employees affected would have the opportunity to fill 1,000 funded vacant positions and the County Administration would make every effort to pipeline those employees into those vacant positions.
In response to Commissioner Edmonson’s inquiry regarding the contamination clean up at Olinda Park, Ms. Moon confirmed that the County Administration was committed to cleaning up the park and replacing all affected structures.
Commissioner Edmonson expressed concern with high unemployment rates and commented on the number of pending County projects. She suggested the County expedite those pending projects to spur economic development, particularly the swimming pool at Bannerman Park, the Culmer neighborhood service center, and the Wynwood/Alapattah neighborhood service center.
Commissioner Jordan inquired about the funding for the Women’s Detention Center.
Deputy Director Barr noted 60 additional non-security, non-safety positions currently staffed by sworn correctional employees were identified and would be converted to civilian positions; and the sworn officers currently occupying those positions would be transferred into positions that would enable the department to reduce overtime.
Commissioner Jordan requested six additional sworn correctional officer positions from two posts be identified.
Deputy Director Barr noted the Corrections and Rehabilitation Department was looking at 99 other positions that could be converted, but some positions had issues with interrelated duties.
Commissioner Jordan noted that six of the 99 positions previously mentioned could be saved using the same creative funding strategies as the Women’s Detention Center. She suggested the County Administration look at that issue.
Upon inquiry by Chairman Martinez regarding ongoing negotiations with several labor unions, Mayor Gimenez noted the County Administration intended to continue negotiating or declare an impasse during the first week of October. He noted he was optimistic that the Administration could reach an agreement with some unions; however, others would result in an impasse.
Chairman Martinez asked what other budget cuts the County Administration could recommend to avoid layoffs in the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDAD).
Mayor Gimenez noted any recommended budget cuts would depended on how many agreements were negotiated successfully with the labor unions. He explained that he had directed the MDPD Director to streamline administration, to bump employee’s down, and to ensure street patrol was the last to be impacted by layoffs.
Mayor Gimenez noted the layoff notification process would begin the first or second week of October 2011, and the County Administration had already compiled a list. He clarified that he wanted to reach an agreement with the Police Benevolent Association Union (PBA) before any notices were sent out.
Chairman Martinez asked whether the County Administration had a plan to avoid the layoff of police officers.
Mayor Gimenez expressed concern with conducting layoffs of employees whose labor unions had reached an agreement with the County Administration, in order to prevent the layoff of police officers. He noted over 2,000 employees, represented by various labor unions were already making sacrifices by having their pay frozen and making contributions of up to 10 percent of their salary. Mayor Gimenez clarified, other concessions being discussed with the labor unions included employees making an additional 5 percent contribution towards their health insurance, or taking a 4 percent reduction in their base pay, and/or 11 unpaid holidays that equated to the 4 percent.
Chairman Martinez explained that the MDPD was funded predominantly through UMSA. He expressed concern that the PBA and County Administration would not reach an agreement in time and many police officers would be laid off.
Commissioner Heyman commented on the increase of $344,000 for the maintenance of effort to Jackson Health System (JHS). She questioned how the projected funding deficit at JHS would be absorbed.
Mr. Carlos Migoya, Chief Executive Officer, Jackson Health System, noted JHS had a $400 million deficit and arrived at a balanced budget by including initiatives identified by Price Waterhouse, by bargaining with unions for employee compensations, by managing attrition/overtime, and by reducing the operating agreement with the University of Miami.
Mr. Migoya noted costs associated with the 700 County employees currently in the JHS health plan was still a concern and discussions were underway with members of the County Administration to address that issue.
It was moved by Commissioner Heyman to eliminate the CBO CC memberships filing totaling $356,271 and allocate those funds to increase the hours of Ocean Rescue; to increase Mom and Pop funding to 100 percent; and to increase code enforcement personnel.
Chairman Martinez requested clarification on Commissioner Heyman’s motion.
Ms. Moon explained the funding was split between countywide funds and UMSA funds, and she would need to review the actual list. She noted Commissioner Heyman’s motion related to Ordinances B and D.
Commissioner Heyman clarified her motion was to eliminate the following members from the CBO CC Membership: Columbian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Miami, $19,523; Community Advocacy Emergency Aids Relief Coalition, $7,500; Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, $2,640; Economic Development of South Miami Dade Inc., $35,923; Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, $29,050; Latin Chamber of Commerce Friends Camacol $84,602; Miami Beach Latin Chamber of Commerce, $13,016; Miami Dade Chamber of Commerce, $26,031; National Forum of Black Public Officials, $15,000; South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Inc., $13,016; South Florida Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce Inc., $41,129; and National League of Cities $68,841.
Commissioner Heyman further clarified her motion included redirecting the $356,271 saved to the following: $98,000 to Ocean Rescue for increased part-time hours; $116,000 to the Mom and Pop Program; and $142,271 to restore some of the six Code Enforcement positions eliminated from Animal Services.
The foregoing motion died due to lack of a second.
It was moved by Commissioner Diaz that carryover funding for the divisions under the Office of the Chair in the amount of $761,000 and prospective budgets be retained. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Jordan.
Ms. Moon noted Commissioner Diaz would need to identify $761,000 in expenditure reductions elsewhere in the budget since this amount was included in appropriated revenues. She suggested taking the funds from the Wage Adjustment and Separation Reserve to avoid layoffs and reducing funding to CBOs; however, she pointed out there would be less money available in the event of layoffs and failure to achieve employee concessions. Ms. Moon noted future adjustments might be necessary if the Reserve did not have sufficient funds.
Commissioner Diaz noted his desire to take funds from the Wage Adjustment and Separation Reserve.
Commissioner Bell said she could not support the foregoing motion, noting these dollars should be allocated to the General Fund.
Chairman Martinez proposed the following reductions if the carryover funding was not used: Office of the Chair (eight-percent); Protocol Division (eight-percent); Media Division (eight-percent); Commission Auditor (23 percent/2 employee reduction); Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (17 percent/1 employee reduction); Commission Support staff (eight-percent); and Community Advocacy (30 percent).
In response to Commissioner Sosa’s inquiry regarding departments with a surplus, Ms. Moon said non-spent budget appropriations in General Fund departments would revert to the General Fund and become part of the carryover revenue for the following year.
Commissioner Sosa noted she could not support keeping surplus funding for some and not all departments.
Commissioner Monestime asked whether the Administration had identified a funding source if the departments under the County Commission were allowed to retain their carryover funds.
(SPECIAL NOTE: See Non-Agenda Item Report Legislative File No. 121357 for continuation of this report).