When I was elected a few short months ago, it was with a clear mandate: Change the direction of the county. So, just days after taking office, I proposed to slash taxes, rolling back the 2010 tax increase, all while preserving essential services. With the support of the commission, we did just that: we cut your County property taxes by over $200 million. With the new millage set, we were able to successfully balance the budget.
CUT THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT WHILE MAINTAINING VITAL SERVICES
Cutting taxes and balancing the budget required tough decisions. We cut the size of government, while protecting public safety and vital programs for our neediest residents: children and the elderly.
Cutting taxes and balancing the budget required tough decisions. As we reduced our operating budget by over $400 million, we shrunk the size of government while protecting public safety and vital programs for our neediest residents: our children and the elderly.
SHAKING UP COUNTY GOVERNMENT
We are shaking up the County bureaucracy, and have already slashed the number of County departments from 42 to 26. This reorganization will save the people of Miami-Dade County over $30 million this year and will save them in excess of $40 million next year.
For too long, this organization has been growing bigger, more complex and more expensive to operate. We, the taxpayers, have had to foot a growing bill, and in return we’ve been given a maze of government red tape. That is ending. We are now well on our way to delivering a county government that we can afford.
OBTAINED NEEDED CONCESSIONS FROM OUR LABOR UNIONS
Leading by example, on day one I slashed my own salary in half, and I cut over a million dollars from my budget.
We also called on County employees to make a shared sacrifice, and I am proud to say that they have done their part. We negotiated new contracts with our ten labor unions, as well. Concessions totaled over $238 million.
PUSHED FOR OVERDUE REFORMS
Now is the time for comprehensive County reform and continuing to restore the public trust. It’s time to do right thing.
I support placing 8-year term limits for Commissioners on the November ballot. It’s a vital reform that I have been pushing for since 2007, as a Commissioner and active member of the Charter Review Task Force. Our residents wanted term limits back then, and they want them now. Our voters will now have an opportunity to decide on term limits for commissioners once and for all. No conditions, no tricky language – just 8-year term limits. Period.
We are also in the process of pushing for the simplification of the petition process. The decks have been unfairly stacked against the people and we must repeal the obstacles it placed on residents who are petitioning their county government. That includes the onerous one-signature per page rule.
CREATED THE CONDITIONS FOR MY TOP PRIORITY: JOB CREATION
My top priority is job creation. My plan is to attract new investment and create high-paying, quality jobs. We’re going to do it with a reorganized County government, starting with:
- An expedited permitting process
- Eliminating outdated regulations
- A streamlined, customer-friendly organization
- And less red tape
I’m convinced these changes will make it easier for the job-creators to create jobs.
Small business owners in our community constantly remind me that government doesn’t create jobs. By taking these concrete steps, we can help create the conditions for job growth and restore economic prosperity to our community.
We’re working now to resolve the problems that limit job growth, but going forward, to have the kind of economically viable community that we all want, we are partnering with our friends in business and education.
That’s why I co-chair the One Community One Goal initiative - it’s a roadmap for our future economic growth. We’ve joined our economic partners at the Beacon Council to announce targeted industries that have the highest potential for job-creation and new investment in our community.