No cakewalk for birthday fund at Miami-Dade property appraiser’s office

09/16/2013 5:54 PM

09/17/2013 12:57 AM

What does it take to create a little fund to celebrate employee birthdays?

Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Carlos Lopez-Cantera thought it’d be a piece of cake. No such luck.

It turns out he had to:

• Submit a three-page resolution (establishing the Employee Recognition Trust Fund) plus three pages of supporting documents to the County Commission.
• Get the commission’s approval.
• And then fight a four-page union complaint that says: no birthday cakes — or candles, or balloons, or streamers — without labor’s OK.

“Benefits have been awarded pursuant to the program, and the Employer intends to award additional bonuses or benefits in the future,” American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 199 warned on Aug. 29.

So far, Lopez-Cantera has used money from employee vending-machine sales to pay for four birthday celebrations — in May, June, July and August.

The first cake was purchased at Costco ($35.98 for chocolate and vanilla), the other three at BJ’s.

To Lopez-Cantera, the union’s action is just so much party-pooping.

“It is comical that the system requires taxpayers resources be spent on this complaint.”

Join the Discussion

Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service