|Lynda Bell, Not Pointing Her Finger In a Photo For Once.|
No it is not all the Museums and Sports Stadiums we are subsidizing (and giving expensive free land to). Nor is it all the other ridiculous programs funded by commissioners to get reelected. It is not all the Bonds we are paying interest on. It is not all the people making $30,000 (that Lynda Bell constantly brings up, no matter that a family of 4 can't survive on that) that we are subsidizing with their housing (affordable housing is expensive) and other living expenses, it is not the poor management, or the drop in property taxes or constant perks we give to developers nor is it the infrastructure costs that are piled high on the books. There is plenty of blame to go around.
According to Miami Dade County Commissioner Lynda Bell, it is the County staff. Lynda Bell is blaming them for our budget woes, the ones who trusted the county brass and made concessions. Concessions that were promised would be returned to them at a specified time and weren't. She doesn't mention the grants she has received at the County's expense. We paid for those. She doesn't mention her daughter is employed by the county, we pay for her. Anyway: here is her rambling take on this year's budget - in her mind, it is all the underlings fault. Sad.
Statement from Lynda Bell on the budget: (or Blame it on labor unions because they aren't supporting her)
As a resident Miami-Dade County, I highly value our county family of employees and greatly appreciate their service to our community. Elected to serve as a commissioner to look after the best interest of this county, it is not lost on me that all salaries and benefits are paid by taxpayers. In fact, last year when I voted to hold the line and not raise taxes, I knew that returning the full five percent would result in layoffs and service reductions. That was simply unacceptable.
It’s important to note that, when it comes to actual compensation, residents have not been told the whole story. A considerable portion of their taxes are going to pay for salary supplements and excessive benefits – not services. In the upcoming budget year, $113 million of extra benefits are slated to “snap back.” These supplements do not buy you a single extra service; in fact, they will result in a reduction of services.
As the County faces a significant budget gap, thousands of employees receive additional pay supplements designed to increase salaries by up to 45%, resulting in inflated and unsustainable adjusted pay salaries. The current County pay plan defines 187 pay supplements in addition to an employees’ base salary and benefits. These redundant supplements include pay for just showing up to work, first responder pay for the first responders, and extra benefits for simply performing the job they were hired to do.
For example, one of Miami-Dade County’s top paid employees earns over $210,000, enjoying seven supplemental pay adjustments, increasing his salary by a whopping 38% in addition to a $225 bi-weekly incentive. (GENIUS HERE: HOW ABOUT TAKING A LOOK AT THE LAWYERS AND WHILE YOU ARE AT IT, THE STAFF OF GIMENEZ).
With some employees collecting upwards of ten pay supplements, how can any public servant in good conscience propose laying off police officers or fire fighters who are on the front-lines saving lives when there are so many, who through the years, have accumulated layers of extra pay resulting in six figure salaries? The public needs to know that by eliminating supplemental payments and excessive benefits, we will unencumber approximately $230 million, more than enough to cover the current service level gap, avoid reduction in positions, and properly fund our Miami-Dade County Public Library System in its entirety.
Taxpayers should ask themselves if the County should be paying up to seven levels of “career development” supplements to reward employees for knowing how to perform their job. Is it not ironic that the County awards certain employees with an incentive just for showing up for work?
Total supplemental payments have increased by nearly $13 million over the last three years alone. Additionally, in the last 12 years every bargaining unit’s salary has increased between 59% and 120%.
We must put an end to the culture of entitlement created by labor leaders. If we truly hope to find a long-term solution to Miami-Dade County’s budget woes public servants should be treated no differently than any other hard working taxpayer who receives a well-earned salary and benefits. No more no less.
Now, as we all know, labor negotiations have trapped Miami-Dade County residents in the center of an abrasive budget battle between union representatives who are calling for an increase in property taxes versus those of us who refuse to raise taxes on residents who can ill afford them, as a result of the weak economy.
Union representatives must bear in mind that their members will be adversely affected, as well as the same community they swore to serve. This intransigence serves no one. However, by coming to the negotiating table, they can be part of the solution. They hold the key in becoming part of a better, stronger and greater Miami-Dade County.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner
Most Union workers are hard working, self supporting, good citizens. I can't for the life of me understand singling out a few and painting all union workers with the same brush. It is so unfair and unseemly. (Like the welfare mom driving a Cadillac drivel). Could Lynda's husband even get in a union? He was not a licensed plumber? As a former domestic worker with a large family and her husband working as an assistant plumber, you would think she would have more empathy for those trying to make ends meet and that promises made by the county to their staff, should be promises kept.
|I suspect all the County Attorney's make more than $100,000 a year.|