Wednesday, December 04, 2013
The Thursday Union Vote at County Hall. Guest Blog by Norma Rae
The Thursday, December 5th Impasse Hearing will determine whether Mayor Gimenez can continue taking money from the employees to build up a Surplus in the Healthcare Accounts. Unfortunately for the Strong Mayor, the excessive healthcare “surplus” is not considered a general “reserve” of county funds, according to the Wall Street rating agencies.
The Gimenez Administration earned a negative outlook from Moody’s because he has so little money in actual reserves. The contingency reserve has 2.3% of revenues set aside. In the past, the County had a goal of maintaining a 60-day reserve in the contingency accounts, a 16.7% reserve. Gimenez has underfunded the contingency reserves so bad that the County has fewer actual dollars in reserves than the City of Miami. Moody’s reports the County has only $42.3 Million in Contingency Reserves, and the City of Miami has reported reserves of $73 Million this month. Standard & Poor's upgraded the City of Miami from Negative to Positive last week.
Thanks to the Unions, the Clerk of the Board audited the county’s healthcare accounts and discovered the excessive surplus that has been built up with the payroll deductions. While Gimenez has been distracting everyone with his war on the county employees, he has let the county’s financial condition become structurally unbalanced. The Unions have solutions to ensure the Self-Funded Health Insurance Accounts remain actuarially sound for the foreseeable future. But, shoring up the fiscal integrity of the entire government is going to take some real leadership by the County Commission.