Miami-Dade police and libraries take big hits in mayor’s budget

07/09/2014 11:29 AM

09/08/2014 7:51 PM

The budget proposed by Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Tuesday would shrink Miami-Dade’s police workforce by 8 percent.

The recommended 315 job cuts in Miami-Dade’s police force naturally got the most attention from the media, online commentators and County Hall watchers. A look at the relative size of the cuts suggests the focus is on target.

Of the five largest county departments, Police easily takes the biggest proportional hit in the Gimenez budget. Second-place in the Top Five goes to Corrections, with a loss of just under 1 percent of its workforce thanks to 26 overall cuts. (Jails would see a larger loss of sworn officers, replaced by civilian workers to perform sanitation duties and other functions.)

[Don’t see a chart above? Click here for a link.]

Our sortable Dade Data chart highlights the severe payroll cuts in store for the full-time workforce at Parks and Libraries, too. Each is looking at a loss of about 90 full-time positions, though both departments plan to bring on cheaper part-time labor to fill gaps, according to budget officials. The county’s payroll data included in Tuesday’s budget presentation does not track Miami-Dade’s part-time workforce.

Gimenez said Tuesday all job cuts could be avoided if county unions agree to compensation and benefit cuts.

The mayor’s proposed job reductions would eliminate more than a fifth of the library system’s full-time workforce, and roughly 9 percent of the park system’s. On a proportional basis, libraries take one of the biggest hits in the budget, finishing just behind the personnel department’s 23 percent reduction from 28 cuts. Parks is the county’s ninth-largest department, and Libraries hold the 13th slot.

Overall, Miami-Dade county government would shrink by about 3 percent under the Gimenez plan, with a loss of 674 positions. Since many of those jobs are already vacant, a much smaller number of county employees would actually need to find other work.

This post is part of Dade Data, an online series from the Miami Herald’s County Hall team. Dade Data explores the numbers driving Miami-Dade County’s government.

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