Friday, September 18, 2015

The Kumbaya Budget Meeting. By Geniusofdespair

Budget Director Jennifer Glazer Moon gets a standing ovation? Yes it happened.

Even though the prayer before the meeting was never suppose to favor any religion, the Rev. at the meeting invoked Jesus Christ twice in his prayer. He also said God about 30 times in one minute. Oh well, I knew that stupid prayer thing would never work out.

The environmentalists almost got what they wanted. They had asked for a paltry $500,000 in a $6.8 Billion Dollar budget. They got $300,000 to fund engineering and in addition a "Resiliency Officer" was funded at $75,000 (I heard there would be grants).  I did hear, national search, so that was a good sign, at least Gimenez can't fill the position with one of his recycled staff. Speaking of staff the officer is to report to Jack Osterholt.

Here is a snapshot of the meeting (in snapshots). Attendees pictured were there to speak out on Climate Change and Sea Level Rise funding. I don't see the point. What are they going to do to combat the problem just pump, pump, and add more pumps to pump water into the Bay and the Everglades? Can an Engineering firm with $300,000 funding find solutions or just add pump stations? I am so pessimistic on this issue: Too little, too late.

Laura Reynolds of Tropical Audubon, County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa and South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard.

The ever - lovely Sonia Succar Rodriguez (working for the Everglades Foundation). Maurice Ferre's granddaughter.
Rachel Silverstein-Altman of Miami Waterkeeper and Lauren Ordway of the Nature Conservancy.
South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard (Rachel next to him).
Greg Harma,LEED and Corporate Sustainability Educator, Climate Solutionist

A man who came prepared! Yes they told me their names but they didn't write them down for me.
Laura Reynolds of Tropical Audubon and Carolyn Lewis of the  CLEO Institute

Juan Zapata and Xavier Suarez voted against the budget. County Commissioner Juan Zapata wants the other Commissioners to be more diligent in their review of the budget. He said as much in an OpEd Yesterday in the Miami Herald:
The sad truth is that nothing is more important — yet less analyzed by the commission — than the budget. Since my election in 2012, I have advocated for the commission to take a more proactive approach in the development of the budget as opposed to one that merely reacts to it.

In Miami-Dade County, the budget approval process is transactional and characterized by commissioners making individual funding requests with little discussion on big-picture or structural budget issues. After all, the budget is the single most important policy the commission adopts. It should clearly identify our priorities and how the county’s resources should be allocated to meet those priorities. Establishing what matters most is the very function of what a budget process should reflect.


Anonymous said...

Exactly! So glad you called it. I thought the speakers were too easy on the Mayor and Commission. And you're right $300k does nothing but keep a few people employed. If they were serious they would stop building on barrier islands, including PortMiami. That's not going to happen. So, we'll just keep on truckin' till the seas swallow is up. Another testament to human folly and hubris.

Anonymous said...

Why are these people smiling? Miami is ending. Miami Dade destroyed its coral reefs with its bogus PortMiami deep dredge. Miami Beach is pumping polluted water into Biscayne Bay. And all these politicians are bending over backwards to approve bigger badder condos and other crap like Skyrise on our public waterfront. These grins are foolish. I've lost hope too because everyone is so concerned with being polite and being an insider that they have lost credibility. Get tough people! This is the future of world you are fighting for.

Anonymous said...

$122 Million INCREASE in taxes and fees. Yup. The goofball commissioners by 11 to 2 approved massive tax increases which will be used to pay the County employees more and do not forget their Defined Benefit Pension Plans! Carlos Gimenez is already triple dipping.

Malagodi said...

paste from my Herald comment:

“We don’t have a solution,” Gimenez said. “So even if I have a billion dollars right now, we wouldn’t know what to spend it on. Because there is no solution right now.”

Right now. Just strike those two words are you're getting closer. Avoiding the implications of the inevitable dramatic downsizing of Miami-Dade County will not allow for anything resembling rational planning. It will only allow for massive expenditures on -select- areas and the brutality of the marketplace for the rest; the 'rubber boots' scenario.

The only defense against this is not just to hire more engineers, but to insist on ~complete transparency~ as to what they're engineering, before the contracts are let.

This situation calls for not just more engineers scattered throughout the existing bureaucracies, but the creation of a County-wide department of climate adaptation [sic], with a director responsible for oversight, coordination and public awareness.

Anonymous said...

“It’s not going to be here tomorrow,” - did Gimenez really say that about Climate Change sea level rise at the budget meeting. It's here NOW. What a dummy! Maybe he and Marco "America is not a planet" Rubio are sharing notes. I guess Gimenez learned nothing from his LA trip.

Anonymous said...

City of Miami Beach pumps a lot of polluted water into the bay. The bay surrounded by concrete bulkheads now. No mangroves or sand to filter these pollutants. Eventually the city is going to have to force private owners to raise their bulkheads. When that time comes you know we are screwed. We already know that gravity based drainage systems are failing because of too much overdevelopment.

Anonymous said...

I'll be dead when it really gets bad. Ha ha

Geniusofdespair said...

Our insurance rates will kill Miami. They forecast the future in their setting of rates. And, mortgage rates will sky rocket as banks fear housing investment. When that happens developers with land in vulnerable areas will see the writing on the wall and get some real funding for the issue.

Anonymous said...

While I feel the pressure of the sentiment, I look to New Orleans and know that they build on land that is below sea level. Who insures them?

Anonymous said...

Zapata has shown his arrogant and belittling side to those rallying during the campaign to save the library system. So, I have no fondness for him.

However, his op-Ed was correct and he's been stating this serious message at the 2013, 2014, and 2015 budget hearings. As this is a truly worthy focus, it should have been his sole effort for these last three years, not just at the 11th hour.

Anonymous said...

New Orleans has a levee we can't build a levee we are on porous rock.

Anonymous said...

Somewhere there is a lesson in this process. If $375,000 is all it took to shut them down to the point where they think they won. This will not be lost upon the policymakers in the future.

Anonymous said...

What was astonishing is the display of total ignorance by our elected officials and the fact that those in the administration in charge of informing them are apparently as clueless and negligent as they are. It shouldn't be up to high school students to point out what needs to be done. The multiple task force reports have been clear about the mandate. The only reason Sosa introduced any Sea Level Rise legislation was at the direction of the county attorney because of the federal court case against WASD. That is not leadership! Daniella Levine Cava has been co-opted by Do-Nothing-Gimenez. No leadership there, either. Another commissioner needs to step up and take charge of this issue. Commissioners Jordan, Monestime, Edmonson and Moss should take note that their areas are the most vulnerable.

kendall resident said...

Go Zapata. The man tries to get services to the community, but he just can't get the other commissioners to play.

When Zapata did a Charette, Moss whose district backed up to the study area, refused to join in. Why? Do commission boundaries have walls and gates at common cross streets?