Friday, May 30, 2014

Mayor Gimenez in a memo says he is going to cut everyone's pay by 10%. Guest Blog by Norma Rae

No one expected Mayor Gimenez would want to financially cripple the household budget of every county worker...

Mayor Carlos Gimenez must be in a Depression. The Great Recession is over, but Gimenez is still walking around under a really, really dark cloud. No matter how much he nods his head, he just can’t shake the negative thoughts. In his head, he must see everything coming to a bad end. Maybe he needs some Prozac or something. The only time he has positive thoughts is when he is sharing the stage with David Beckham or some other billionaire stadium owner. When he is with those billionaires, he is all bold and willing to raise hotel taxes and give property tax breaks worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

But when it comes time to balancing the annual budget, poor old Gimenez just can’t seem to figure it out. He always says he has a budget gap, and the only way to close that gap is to hit up the workers. Like we don’t have expenses, obligations, mortgages, car payments, childcare, children in college, or sick parents? Last time I looked, I don’t have an ATM machine in my kitchen for Mayor Gimenez.

Gimenez sent a memo to the Commissioners saying he was going to reduce everyone’s pay by 10%! What is wrong with the man? Even that bonehead Rick Scott figured out the recession is over. State workers actually got a pay increase. According to the Mayor’s memo, the labor unions have not asked for anything. It makes sense that the unions didn’t ask for anything: no one in the county is expecting any pay increases. But no one expected the Mayor would want to financially cripple the household budget of every county worker.

For some reason, this Mayor thinks he can just crap on us. We do not work on the Gimenez Plantation! He wants a 10% pay cut in base pay and another series of cuts that will reduce take home pay by an additional 5-15%. Why would the elected leader of the county want to insult every employee with these crazy salary cuts? Where does all this vindictiveness come from? Why does he have such hatred for county workers?

Gimenez listed 10 other ways he was going to reach into the employees’ pockets. According to his plans, he wants to make the furlough days permanent, eliminate the floating holiday, end pay supplements, and eliminate longevity bonuses. His labor negotiators are also busy working on ways to cut $80 million from the healthcare plan. That means the 35,000 employees (County and Jackson) will be paying another $2,200 out-of-pocket for healthcare next year.

If the Mayor has any friends who care for him, it might be time to sit him down and ask him how he is doing. Maybe this job of Strong Mayor is not right for him. This is not working out for anyone. The negative outlook of the Mayor is now reflected in the county bond ratings. He is making everybody have a negative outlook. Maybe it’s time for him to just go golfing every day. If you are his friend, tell him it’s OK to resign. Really, it’s OK, Gimenez. You can go home now.

Lynda makes the arguments of all my trolls. It is fascinating, comparing the salaries of Miami which is one of the lowest paid cities in the country to County workers.  then of course she brings her husband into it - who does not have a plumbing license. It is always her family with her, good at producing babies but not saving money.

Also see in the Miami Herald Today: The Gimenez administration drained $50 million in hotel-tax reserves, then used the money to replace property taxes that subsidize Zoo Miami and other parks. Now the surplus is gone and local taxpayers will have to provide the funding.


Anonymous said...

Everyone knows it's just the Peter principle playing out. When a man goes on TV to proclaim he is a "great administrator" he's pretty much done

the irony is he complains the unions will not negotiate with him and just declare impasse
so they can take the contracts to the BCC where more reason heads prevail.
The fact is the mayor no longer negotiates with labor. He sends a lackey to the table with over the top demands he knows with create an impasse.

Second he lies and lies and lies about actual budget numbers, to labor, to the BCC and to the public. (which is really the take away from the Herald piece today)

Lastly it's his way or the highway, always has been.

So if you like the guy, he a strong leader, if you're a pragmatist, he's a not so bright autocratic with a mail order degree and a tin ear.

Gimleteye said...

It reminds me of a joke. This moth walks into a bar, orders a whiskey and proceeds to tell the bartender all the awful things that happened to him today. The water main broke in my bathroom. My wife had an affair with the plumber. My daughter came in and discovered the whole thing. And someone stole my identity off the computer. And that's just today! You should hear what happened yesterday. So why did you come in here, the bartender asks? Because the light was on.

Anonymous said...

Public workers salaries dwarf private workers. Benefits package and overtime not base pay calculations that kill budgets. The county has be shuffling money and should be downgraded again on its bond rating. Scare tactics can be used to build another stadium. Of course any tourism tax money gained from a stadium will be lost in police and fire protection wages. Miami is in a very bad cycle now.

Anonymous said...

The Herald front-page story today lays it all out. The man is a deceitful scam artist. The legislature ought to conduct hearings to probe the use of tourist tax dollars to fund general government operations. This is a violation of state law!

He is a one-trick pony, playing to the rich and the poor about those damned public employees. If you can't manage, blame labor. Gimenez is the worse "County Manager" we have ever had in the history of Dade County. If he were not the elected Strong Mayor, the County Commission would be firing him for mismanagement.

Geniusofdespair said...

Hey, why is a lobbyist representing Gimenez on a Spanish Language show?What gives? Is he an honorary 5,000 assistant mayor? How much assistance does this guy need that he has to turn to lobbyists to be his mouthpiece when he has all these assistant mayors? I hope they are all taking his pay cut.

Anonymous said...

I think that's why that guy Fernando left as Communications Manager for the Mayor. He had to wait and hear from the Mayor's lobbyist before he could communicate the Mayor's position on issues. Very strange arrangement. There is a paid time-slot every Wednesday morning on AM 710 to hear the lobbyist reveal what the Mayor is thinking.

Anonymous said...

As a former County employee, I can tell you there is a lot of fat, greed, waste, nepotism, favoritism etc. in county gov. How about eliminating all the travel junkets for HUNDREDS of gov workers and their friends and family, like the upcoming trip to Spain and France being organized by the Port's Juan Kuryla. How about a forced ranking performance review system where everyone is evaluated on their work performance and the bottom 5% who are just taking up space are eliminated? Much more could be done, and I can't feel too sympathetic for the blanket paycut when I have seen from the inside what goes on.

Anonymous said...

I am a county employee with a Master's Degree. I do not expect an exceptional salary and I believe in public service. Because of the inequities this Mayor and his Deputies have created, my already modest salary (which is meager compared to folks in the Mayor's office) has decreased 25% since 2008. I make less than the unionized employees with less education and experience that work for me. I am thankful the unions are working to protect my staff, and for my staff I hope the Mayor's proposals are defeated. For my part, I don't think I can tolerate the Mayor's disrespect much longer. I'd rather work a minimum wage job for people who appreciate and value my service.

Anonymous said...

Here's how you can help:


"It’s our top priority among criminal investigations—and for good reason.

Public corruption poses a fundamental threat to our national security and way of life. It impacts everything from how well our borders are secured and our neighborhoods protected…to verdicts handed down in courts…to the quality of our roads, schools, and other government services. And it takes a significant toll on our pocketbooks, wasting billions in tax dollars every year.

The FBI is singularly situated to combat this corruption, with the skills and capabilities to run complex undercover operations and surveillance."

Report Corruption Now

16320 NW 2nd Avenue
North Miami Beach, FL 33169
Phone: (305) 944-9101
Fax: (305) 787-6538

Remember, Gimenez is spelled with a "G"

Anonymous said...

I just love it when ignorant people bash govt. employee salaries! NOT!! Once upon a time - maybe - benefits (including pensions and health care) outweighed overall lower salaries than those in the private sector. Now, not only do salaries tend to be lower in the public sector for the average worker - but everything else is under attack as well. Please - please - take a look at the corruption, cronyism and inflated salaries in many corporations. This is not about politicians getting what is coming to them - but rather attacking the working and middle class who pick up your trash, coach your kids, and chase the bad guys. Give them a break!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Librarians are quitting MDPLS every week. They are finding jobs. Broward, FIU, MDC, other cities, other states.

In four years, I paid $18,000 to a mandatory medical tax (even if I did not take the insurance since I could have been on my wife's plan.) This was simply another cash reserve meant to be tapped by Mayor Gimenez to lower the countywide millage and look like a hero when he runs for re-election in 2016.

The Mayor just appointed a fresh faced new $145,000 communication director whose main experience comes from running election campaigns with social media. Nice package for the useful newbie whose competent predecessor made $125,000.

It's all about politics, not about services.

Anonymous said...

From Employee #91

The rest of the nation must be thanking Miami-Dade County, as the exodus of our public librarians intensifies. Highly qualified, dedicated careerists are leaving the Miami-Dade Public Library System in droves, and taking their youthful energy, technological savvy, customer-centric characteristics with them. Not to mention their expertise honed on years of experience at one of the leading library systems in the nation, but also their multiple educational degrees, often more than one Masters. In some cases the Masters of Information Studies was subsidized by the county's own tuition reimbursement program, and in almost all cases taxpayer dollars were invested in a raft of professional workshops and in-house training modules.

The investment county residents made in these workers will now pay off in places like Boston, New York, Tampa & Broward as librarians scramble to avoid the layoffs that are sure to come as a result of an inadequate library budget that lacks support from elected officials.

Many of these same officials use the library facilities and staff for their town hall meetings, neighborhood holiday events, lunch programs, and they look to libraries and librarians to administer election venues, income tax form distributions, hurricane aftermath recovery sites and Section 8 applications.

Employees that are adept at handling all of this with ease are now leaving in droves to accept jobs with other institutions that will value, appreciate and profit from these skills. In the near future the needs will be there but the employees won't.

How this current situation codifies "efficiencies" or "sustainability" can only be explained by the County Commission & Mayor. Please speak up, elected officials, and explain to me how you justify this vast waste of resources.

Anonymous said...

Suggested solutions:
Do not reelect Lynda Bell.
Recall Carlos Gimenez.
All county employee unions ban and join forces to take action.
The public will support you because we are tired of the thieves also.

Juan said...

The bottom line is Gimenez is in over his head . He is a useless arrogant know it all who doesn't know what he doesn't know. He might have been able fool folks that he knew what he was doing of he had a competent staff .
In many respects they are clones of the mayor and are helping the new captain of the Titantic guide the ship of state into the ice berg

The shadow staff at county hall are
The lobbyists and his crony (I'm feeding at the public trough as well )friends Jorge Luis Lopez.. Read the Herald article (good job hanks ) and connect the dots ..
Garcia Toledo Garcia and his wife ) the Genting duo)
Pablo Acosta .. Lopez's alter ego (and Lopez has a big ego) .. Iittle Freddie ?democrat in name only ) Kasdin .. Lowell .. The "more is not enough bunch " !

Gimenez doesn't get it
One thing to lob grenades from the commission seat another matter to actually govern ! He was fired as city manager and never form over it .. It screwed up Miami and is now doing the same to the county but in a more hurtful way.
The private sector if they actually had leaders rather than lobbyists would be calling for his removal . The most incompetent mayor we have had and you have to work hard at being that
Mayor go to France and Spain and stay there!

Anonymous said...

"As a former County employee, I can tell you there is a lot of fat, greed, waste, nepotism, favoritism etc. in county gov... How about a forced ranking performance review system where everyone is evaluated on their work performance and the bottom 5% who are just taking up space are eliminated?"

I absolutely love this paragraph. As a former County Employee I can assure the reader of the following: County employees get paid WAY TOO MUCH. They will never admit it. They will always compare to the private sector. Well guess what? This is NOT the private sector. Tax Payers are paying your salaries, not corporate profits!!! I could write a book telling stories of the county employees I had a chance to work with who should be earning half of what they earn now. It is a joke. Actually, it is not even funny. I'd honestly say over 70% of the county employees would be homeless if it were for their county jobs. These people would never survive in the private sector!

I applaud the Mayor if this post is true. It takes balls and it is better than laying people off that, like I said, would never survive in the real world. My only negative would be to protect the salaries of those employees who make less than $40k.

Again, anyone who has a problem with their county salary should go seek employment elsewhere. I wish I could see the look on their faces if they were ever to begin the search for these "high paying private sector jobs." Those are taken; taken by people who actually work! (I apologize in advance to the 30% of the employees in the county that actually work. The majority are making you look bad)

Anonymous said...

Jorge Luis Lopez' show on wednesdays on 710 AM is NOT labeled as a paid show as the law requires. If the above Anon has information to the contrary, please notify Ms. Claudia Puig, the station manager. She will want to know since this breaks FCC regulations. Please report who pays for these weekly 30-minute shows. This should be enough to open an investigation on Gimenez.

Geniusofdespair said...

Anonymous 2 above: you have written the same exact wording over and over whenever unions come up. You are the mayors troll.

Anonymous said...

Why are Carlos Gimenez and Tomas Regalado wasting so much time pandering to David Beckham? Gimenez and Regalado are falling all over their Cuban selves trying to give Beckham free waterfront land. Beckham doesn't even have a start up company. WTF?

Claudia said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Why was it removed?

Anonymous said...

I read your blog everyday! I agree with most of what you say! You bring true news to topics! You removed a comment I posted. What happened to opinions? I spoke my mind about unions. Granted one that you don't agree to! Is that reason to remove it?

Anonymous said...

I am a customer of County Hall. I see employees arriving late and leaving early. I have no pension plan, much less a cushy defined benefit pension plan. No sympathy here.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Geniusofdespair said...

No trolls. Simple. Same argument from 1/2 a dozen posts: Union workers are overpaid and the meager minimum wage of Miami Dade is quoted in comparison. I get it, troll talk. Union workers make a living wage. I know people making $40,000 to $50,000. Try to live on that.

I like unions. Yes there Is abuse but that is everywhere. Would you have them all making minimum wag for the abuse of a few? Would you starve all lower income children eating from food stamps because of the abuse of a few? I think the mayor's trolls have a lot of nerve making bundles and trashing unions and some of you idiots buy into it.

Anonymous said...

As an ex organizer I can share unions thrive only under bad, abusive management.
It's almost impossible to unionize a well run work force.
Ironic the last stronghold of collective bargaining is publics employees who do not have the option to strike.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Geniusofdespair said...

Glad you are gone for insulting the blogger. If you had read up a couple of comments you would see someone with a new, novel negative comment that was against unions. I just don't want to read the same old stuff that I've been reading on every single union post. The least the trolls could do would be write a comment with new material. I am glad you're going to read elsewhere you shouldn't be on this blog.

Anonymous said...

This great advice that is geared for librarians also applies to all county employees. If you want the public message to be what services you provide versus what you are worth on paper as an employee number - this information is for you. Because there are 25,000 county employees - it's easy to be ridiculed and tossed aside as a number. It's all the more hurtful when this comes from an elected official who both uses tax supported services and then is willing to slice them to bits. As Mayor Gimenez said at the last meeting of his "Blue Ribbon Panel", it's not about what's right, it's political.

"Libraries don’t exist in a vacuum. You can’t make a case for your public library’s budget by going against other public service providers. Budget cuts are terrible for everyone. Over the course of your campaign and during events, opponents, skeptics, and the media will probably try to pit you against other public service providers. Don’t let them. Buying into the false competition not only insures that you lose valuable allies, but also validates the notion that public service cuts are acceptable. Your job is to get out there and make an affirmative case for libraries—not argue that 100 library workers are more valuable than 10firefighters or 100 teachers. Keep your event on message, which means library-focused."

Anonymous said...

Carlos Gimenez's great solution is to pave the non-taxpaying waterfront park and hand it over to a for-profit start up? A start up that is asking for taxpayer handouts?

Anonymous said...

Gimenez should resign and if he doesn't he should be arrested for all his misdeeds

Anonymous said...

Jorge Luis Lopez was hovering in the Alvarez administration as well. He seems to have grown en more powerful this time around.

Anonymous said...

Someone has to do the dirty work. It pays well. Just ask Rodney, Brian, Courtney or Chris Korge or Herman.

Anonymous said...

To all my fellow county employees who are enabling this pass-through Mayor to destroy the county's infrastructure: "My boss told me to" does not lessen your guilt, ethically or legally. The best it can do for you is to let you turn in State's evidence and plead a deal.

Anonymous said...

My question to the Mayor is simple; how come his is the only local government left to continue suffer the effects of the recession? Every other city, county, state gov has come out of it and services and employees are seeing their funding restore. Not Miami Dade, this Mayor thinks that we should live under a permanent state of malaise. If this state of affairs was brought on by a County Manager - he/she would have been fired by now.

Anonymous said...

Gimenez's strategy is to steal from the poor to give to the rich. He makes cuts left and right from small departments (and small salaries), yet at the same time inflates the high salaries of his cronies (and other beneficial-to-him characters and departments.
He MUST go!!!! Miami-Dade deserves a real mayor.

Anonymous said...

When are we going to follow the example of former Democrat Philadelphia mayor ed rendell and start privatization??? It worked great there and elsewhere.