TRENDING TOPIC FOR THURSDAY, JULY 13TH: Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez unveiled his proposed budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year this week. We leave you with his comments on the budget.
MIAMI-DADE BUDGET: Roberto Rodriguez-Tejera and Juan Camilo Gomez spoke with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez about his county budget and other current issues on “Contacto Directo” on Actualidad 1040 AM.
Rodriguez-Tejera explained that Mayor Gimenez presented his proposed county budget for the next fiscal year this week (read more here). Gimenez said, “we are not going to raise the millage rate this year, so that means that property taxes in the county are going to stay the same. Services will be about the same as well. We are going to raise the service for libraries, as well as firefighters, and we are going to have additional units. At the end of this year, we are also going to add more officers to the Police Department. We had to take certain measures to prepare for 2019 and 2020 after the law that will be passed in regards to Homestead Exception gets implemented. We have to keep that in mind and start tightening our belts so when that happens, we don’t have a visible impact or have a more detrimental effect on our services. We are going to start a reserve in our budget so that we can avoid any issues in the future.” Gimenez continued to say that although this new exception hasn’t been implemented, they are trying to be proactive to try and avoid any issues that could arise in the future from the loss of those funds. Rodriguez-Tejera asked what kind of legacy he wanted to leave when it comes to his tenure as mayor. Gimenez said he didn’t expect that question and stated, “well, the legacy I want to leave is that we were able to help fix Miami-Dade’s economy. The county’s economy was mostly based on construction and tourism, both of which are very important for us. However, we are becoming a hot area for start ups and that is creating employment opportunities for our children and grandchildren. We invested in different areas including Emerge America with the goal of establishing Miami as a center for technology and making it an incubator for start-ups. We put in $1 million dollars for companies that help start ups in Miami-Dade County, and most people don’t know that the county is now ranked number one for new companies in the United States. That was important to me to diversify the economy, now we have more venture capital coming to Miami and investors. We are creating more companies in Miami and have become a center for technology.”
UPDATE FROM MAYOR HERNANDEZ: Bernadette Pardo spoke with City of Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez about the new condominium laws and his recent legal victory, on her show “Pedaleando con Bernie” on Radio Mambi 710 AM.
Pardo began by thanking him for his leadership in Hialeah when it comes to the new condominium laws. Hernandez said, “it is an issue that is very important to the South Florida community, because for many years we struggled with fraud and other related problems. Finally, this year, the state was able to take steps and give us tools to combat these violations and arrest those who commit these crimes.” Pardo highlighted the Univision and Herald journalists who uncovered the story and took it to the elected officials. She also congratulated Hernandez for winning his case in court that allows him to run for another term as mayor of Hialeah. Hernandez commented, “we were sure that we were going to win the case, because it was something that was very clear. The former mayor had made allegations that I should not be allowed to run for another term because I had already served two terms. However, what we argued and what the judge agreed on, was that my first term was a partial term. I was finishing up the term for the former Mayor Julio Robaina, who ran for county mayor.” /regarding his opinion on term limits, Hernandez responded, “I believe in term limits. I think that eight years as mayor or two terms is more than enough. Term limits are important, because the longer a mayor is in the position, the more power they get in all forms. I feel that it makes it easier for someone to do a bad job. Better to have someone new.” He continued, “with this case that was the main point. If I run again and win, I would be mayor for 10 and a half years. If I don’t, then I would have been a mayor for 6 and a half years, which wouldn’t be two full terms.” He went on to explain that for some positions it could be a good thing to have more than two terms, but that it was truly up to the voters and what they feel is an appropriate amount of time for an official to stay in power.