Former Commissioner Katy Sorenson and South Miami Mayor Phillip Stoddard representing!
Mayor Gimenez left the chamber about 20min into commission meeting. People are wondering where he went, about 4th speaker called his absence out. The Mayor is yet again showing his disrespect for the public. We are 2 hours into public comment, 90% on libraries. Mayors Stoddard, Lerner, former Commissioner Sorenson, Dem Party Chair Annette Taddeo-Goldstein all spoke in support of libraries. Live updates @juancuba on Twitter.
Gimenez is back but hanging with Alina Hudak at his side Peering into iPad. Won't even look up.
My speech, it can in at 2 minutes, 56 seconds! Librarian - you visualize books. Yeah, It’s the stereotype that we just organize books. Untrue, we are so much more. Besides creating a collection of marvelous, thought provoking and deliciously enlighting books and electronic resources, what’s the number one function of a librarian? It’s the most overlooked. We are the people’s advocates. You have an autistic child who needs to overcome a learning disability. We connect the right resources, yes of course books, but also journals, experts in the field, local therapists, and on and on until you, the parent, walks away with hope. Don’t be dismissive of that advocacy. Don’t fill the hole created by the loss of 169 library staff with a band-aid of non-profits who focus on one advocacy role or another. Librarians are not tied to one group of people. We work with the homeless, the affluent, the babies, the fathers, the grandparents, the newly unemployed, the entrepreneur, the inventor, the troubled teen…and on and on and we have a personal impact on every type of person.In the last two months I have heard belittling comments by our leaders of a professional librarian’s experience as being replaceable by a cadre of volunteers. In the last two months, the mayor’s office created a plan to kill off the jobs of 251, then 196, now 169 librarians and dismiss all that they contribute - to replace them, overnight, with secretly negotiated partnerships.Where was this idea to bolster the library with these nonprofits two years ago when the 250 staff were cut from our ranks and the millage cut by half? In July, in a video interview with the Miami Herald our Mayor stated “two years ago I knew that this day would come that we would need to address the millage.” Yet, nothing was done during those two years except now the library is financially bankrupted and this budget is being held in esteem under the guise of sustainability.Each cherry picked non-profit has its own agenda. Now each will get county and the library’s credibility and even room and board in order to patch over what our staff was capable of handling. There must be some liability to the county for allowing non-county personnel free access to our buildings, its utilities, and its supplies.The plan shortchanges16 neighborhoods by giving them an entry level librarian and two shelvers. It looks doable on paper. The reality is that for 152 hours out of a 168 hour week everyone who walks up to the front door finds it locked and is turned away. The reality is that the closures force loads of people wanting service into the remaining libraries. The reality is that those remaining libraries have the lowest levels of staff in their history. The reality is that this endangers staff and endangers patrons. This is poor planning, poor management & implodes what we have built up for years as an award winning library system. Please implement the Mayor’s original millage proposal.
Librarian - a great job for the lazy underachiever!
Oh my god! The mayor had the audacity to remind six of the commissioners that they are up for re-election next year to BULLY their decision on the library issue. He's even snarlier after the midnight hour. He doesn't want the library to use its own reserves. It would mean no additional taxes. It would mean no $700,000 bill for resending the TRIM noticed.
Mr. Pokey? Is that you Mr. Mayor?? I just knew you read this blog!
I voted for Gimenez because I wanted him to get rid of rotten eggs like Alina Hudak and Jennifer Glazer Moon. Instead he hobnobs with those incompetents like they're the three Kardashian sisters.
The hearing was interesting. One thing for sure is that there is a huge leadership vacuum when it comes to the library system. The Mayor's Blue Ribbon Committee is sorely needed and hopefully they can help provide the leadership and direction needed as we move into the 21st century.
Gimenez said at the meeting that county librarians make an average annual base salary of $70,300 without counting benefits. Did you catch that? County librarians make an average annual base salary of $70,300 without counting benefits! You have got to be shitting me! And not only are those lazy librarians raking in the dough, they even managed to dupe some useful idiots to advocate on their behalf. What a country!
I was looking for some major stakeholders and I did not see them, maybe they were on before I tuned in. I was looking for a statement from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, the Miami- Dade County School Board, the Beacon Council, the Children's Trust, and librarians from the universities. The librarian from Miami Dade College was good, and hopefully the Mayor will ask for her expertise on the Blue Ribbon Committee.
The new Commissiner, Zapata, made some good comments regarding the level of fat at the county and the need for more effective use of the money they have. We will be watching him.
Commissioner Jordan asked a question that still remains to be answered to my satisfaction. Her question was how is it that money can be taken away from the library budget and given to other county functions, but money can't be taken from other county budgets and given to the library? If an ordinance or administrative rule prohibits that, simply get rid of it as there are lots of places to get money from at the county. And I think they will have to, cause no way they have a tax increase during election year.
You realize librarians get degrees, like accountants. No one would be shocked to hear an accountant makes $70,000.
Librarians, teachers and nurses are mostly women...that is why people expect them to make crumbs.
Lynda Bell changed her vote. I hope this doesn't mean the recall is off.
Gimenez is toast.
What the Commission effectively did was told Gimenez to find the money. You are right they aren't going to raise taxes just before an election. If he doesn't know where he can pull the money from to cover the contingency and as well as going forward with the library, he has to put a hiring freeze on, and closely review purchases until he can find it. No since in expanding when we are in trouble. If he doesn't put a hiring freeze on, then we know he has the money somewhere, otherwise he is being irresponsible.
The pet people are going to have to go to pet-lovers and raise private funds to help with funding expansion of services. I also get a feeling that the Fire Chief will move some things around to keep the firefighters even if the grant does not come through.
In 2005 the median income for Florida according to the census $62,269 for a 4 person family. Stop demonizing people for making a living.
So nurses are now underpaid? LOL! Why don’t you call over to JMH and ask how much they are getting paid? If they work 40 hours, they are averaging over $100k. There is a reason JMH does not post their salaries.
"In 2005 the median income for Florida according to the census $62,269 for a 4 person family."The county librarian positions are held by one person, not four.Since there are on average two salaries per family, that means the median individual salary is about half that census figure.
Get off my blog you putz. Nurses are underpaid, my sister is one. I know how she struggles. She went bankrupt.Jul 20, 2012 - Salaries in USD United States, Avg. Salary. $40k. $80k. $120k. Staff Nurse-RN - Hourly. 3 Jackson Memorial Hospital Salaries. $34.85/hr. $26.Stop making up stuff and putting it on this blog. I am removing you from now on.
Despite all their blathering about the importance if libraries, Sosa - a former school teacher!- along with Zapata, Bovo and Souto -" libraries are like cathedrals!" all voted to defund the library system last night, willing to fire librarians, slash hours and drastically cut money for books and materials. If you listened for it, you would have heard the drum beat for privatizing libraries services and bringing in for-profit "partners." And I don't mean Starbucks cafes. Library management corporations like LSSI are waiting to pounce. And private library consulting companies will help make the case. Vigilance and activism is critical this year, as Gimenez' committee to "remake" libraries gets underway. Whatever happens, don't let them desolve the separate library district to turn over library funds to the likes of Sosa and Gimenezne - would be like wolves running the hen house. Actually worse.
The library has a seperate taxing district. Wouldn't that have to go to the voters?
If he can't find the money during the year, his only other option will be to decrease basic ad valorem taxes by the amount needed by the library, and increase the library tax by that same amount so that it is a wash and there are no actual increases in taxes for the taxpayer. One thing for sure, and the Commission knows it, they will surely be leaving if they increase taxes on top other new taxes. So, he has to go back and look at his basic budget. For services funded by ad valorem taxes, small cuts for each department may be the best bet.
Janitors and landscapers are mostly men...that is why people expect them to make crumbs.
We are talking about college educated professionals. You are just annoying.
As stated, "if he can't find the money during the year, his only other option will be to decrease basic ad valorem taxes by the amount needed by the library, and increase the library tax by that same amount so that it is a wash and there are no actual increases in taxes for the taxpayer. One thing for sure, and the Commission knows it, they will surely be leaving if they increase taxes on top other new taxes. So, he has to go back and look at his basic budget. For services funded by ad valorem taxes, small cuts for each department may be the best bet." What is the big issue about doing that? Why does it seem like such an impossible task?
Even if Gimenez doesn't personally care for libraries, librarians, or books, I hope he learned his lesson not to mess with an essential public service and also not to mess with librarians. They are battled-tested now, fired up and ready to roll up their sleeves as usual to get the public library system fully funded. Although Gimenez just showed up in the last few years, the Miami-Dade Public Library System has been building to excellence for mroe than a century.
There remains a great deal of work for the librarians. They can never go back to their cubby holes and survive. They need an aggressive management type to interface directly with county management and financial operatives, some creative programmatic people to work with and engage community partners like the school system, the Children's Trust, and many others, an expanded mobilization network to resemble people on the voting precinct listings, a highly visible marketing program for library activities, and a visionary to work with the Mayor's Blue Ribbon Committee to design the future of the system.
It's pathetic that there's so much commotion and discussion about just getting some MINIMAL funding for our public library system. We should be talking about ways to grow, enhance and expand the library system. This whole debacle has made me reconsider whether to continue living and investing in Miami. What kind of world-class city has a civic and political leadership that doesn't recognize the value of libraries enough to fund them and wants librarians to go begging in the streets with tin cups for donations while sports stadium owners get wined and dined and gambling interests are fawned over, no questions asked? PATHETIC._
I was so happy that there was someone there to advocate on behalf of seniors, meals-on-wheels, and other needs. Thankfully, Commissioner Diaz made it clear that the budget addressed their needs. The thought of old people going hungry messed with my head.
To the anon above about the option, it could be a dangerous move as some people will vote for the decrease and against the increase. The only way would be to combine it in one item so the voter selects YES or NO, with the language written with the decrease first and the no increase in taxes at the end.
Someone please explain how we got here. Why was the mileage decreased for the library system in the first place? Exactly what was the original intent? Why was there no fight at that time to maintain the mileage rate thus maintain the system? Why was the system allowed to face going on life support before the public was alerted and anything was done?
Looks to me like a conspiracy from the get-go to destroy the system.
What bout the taxpayer? Every union member goes crazy when they don't get what they want!! Do the taxpayers get their monies worth from government workers? No we don't Three million taxpayers in dade county 26000 workers. Who serves who?
To the Anon who wants an explanation, you'll have to read a bit because it's too unbelievable to be real.This is a GREAT overview: http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-tragedy-of-miami-dade-county-budget.htmlAfter that try browsing:https://www.facebook.com/SaveTheMiamiDadePublicLibrariesIt's a sad tale of an arrogant Mayor with a warped vision of smaller government that translated into his mandate to destroy what actually works for the people.
Post a Comment