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Gimenez presents budget but at what cost?

Mayor Carlos Gimenez presented his 2011-2012 proposed budget with the property tax rate rolled back to the 2009 rate. By now, we know that property tax increase became the death knell for the tenure of Carlos Alvarez as County Mayor.

The hoopla over the tax increase brings us to the unpleasant situation in which we find ourselves. To fill the budget gap, 1,300 positions will be eliminated. Of those positions, almost 900 are filled. That means many people will lose their job. Some are firefighters and more than 360 are Head Start workers. You know, mostly black women who are also head of households. That's already sounding really ugly, right?

Supposedly another agency will take over Head Start. The children will continue to receive services and the workers will keep their jobs. Yeah, right.

These proposed job cuts appear especially distasteful considering Mayor Gimenez is bringing back his former Chief of Staff, Chip Iglesias, at $225K plus benefits and perks as Deputy Mayor. I'm waiting to see which other positions are eliminated, especially those high-level staff jobs. I think Gimenez is too smart to allow his Deputy Mayor position to become an albatross around his neck. I find it difficult to successfully defend such a high salary for a public service position regardless how logical the rationale.

Even if Julio Robaina had been elected County mayor, we would have found ourselves in an ugly budget situation. Gimenez already compromised on the number of libraries to be closed, let's see how much more compromising will be done before the final budget is adopted.

Stay alert and pay attention.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


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Helen Williams, wow.... Anyways, to serious commentary, why is it that the County is even running Head Start? That is not part of the core mission of the County. Head Start should be run by the School District. The best way to handle would be to make the School District the grantee of the Head Start funding by the State, and negotiate a deal where they bring the existing Head Start workers on board. If you actually took a look at the numbers, if the County run Head Start program worked as efficiently as the private providers, or even the School District, you could actually INCREASE the number of students that are ACTUALLY GIVEN the HEAD START! That is the point of Head Start afterall, it is not an employment program, it is about the kids! There is still a long way to go from here until the final budget in September. Don't forget, the Mayor's wife is a school teacher, one who was named teacher of the year, and principal of the year in the past. He gets it. Just give it a little time.

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