Re the Sept. 7 Other Views column, We can’t keep doing less with less: Commissioner Jean Monestime has done an excellent job of representing the residents of Miami-Dade County Commission District 2 and we both share the same noble — and attainable — goal of helping to build a brighter future for all of our residents through good government.
But where he sees the county being forced to do “less with less,” I see an opportunity to deliver the same high level of quality public services to our taxpayers in a better way.
The simple reality is that while residents suffered through the painful economic downturn, county government continued to grow larger and more expensive. So my goal since taking office in 2011 has been to provide financial relief to our taxpayers; to create a more cost-conscious and efficient organization that fosters business growth; and to continue providing vital public services including police, fire, parks and programs for the elderly.
We are doing exactly that. My budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year doesn’t reduce any services when compared to the current budget. Additionally, the cuts to police investigative services that were highlighted will not affect on-street services at all, because those cuts simply represent the elimination of already-vacant civilian positions. Residents will be glad to know that by this time next year, there will actually be more county police officers on the street than at any time since 2009.
We’re moving forward with necessary upgrades to our aging infrastructure, as well. Capital projects for our Water and Sewer Department are fully funded for the coming year and projects are being expedited. It bears noting that these positive steps are being taken without raising rates on our customers.
As someone who has been a public servant in this community for over 30 years, I have a deep appreciation for the critical role that government plays in strengthening communities. But carrying out our mission of public service requires that we do not overburden the very people that we have pledged to serve.
Carlos Gimenez, mayor, Miami-Dade County