"You should ask if the county commission's "plaque lady" is in trouble too. She makes sure all the lame plaques and certificates and keys to the city are ready for our esteemed leaders to present to people at various ceremonies. A full-time job!"
Mayor Alvarez? What do you say? "Plaque lady"....Thumbs up or thumbs down?
Was there anybody in Miami-Dade County older than the age of five who was surprised by yesterday's news that the county is facing a $427 million shortfall for next year's budget?
The mayor proposes to make up part of that shortfall by firing 1,700 of the county's 30,000 employees.
It shouldn't be all that hard for the mayor and the county manager to sh*tcan 1,700 county workers. (I use the term "workers" loosely.) Walk into any county agency and you'll see enough dead wood to fill up a good-sized Home Depot.
And here's some more free advice for you Mr. Mayor. As you compile the list of people to fire, you might want to look around your own office.
On June 18 of last year, Channel 10's Michael Putney wrote a scathing assessment of your first term for the op-ed page of the Miami Herald.
Carlos Alvarez isn't a bad mayor. Nor a very good one, either. Nevertheless, it looks like he'll be the Miami-Dade mayor for four more years. The deadline for filing was yesterday, and no one other than a retired school teacher qualified to run against him.Towards the end of the end of the column Putney wrote:
It's worth asking why. The first and obvious reason is the power of incumbency. Alvarez used it to collect about $720,000 for the reporting period that ended March 31.
Way to go, Ms. Williams, and you're only skimming the surface. You didn't even mention the $800 million collected from the half-cent sales tax for transportation -- "new money for new projects" -- at least half of which went to pay for routine operating costs, according to The Miami Herald's Larry Lebowitz. Then there are the millions from the Miami-Dade Empowerment Trust that went to developer Dennis Stackhouse for a failed biopharmaceutical park in Liberty City. There were similar problems with grants from the Metro-Miami Action Plan. And the massively bloated $6.2 billion price tag for construction at MIA jumped by another $100 million last week. The list of wretched excesses goes on and on.
Granted, Alvarez didn't create most of these problems; he inherited them. But when they came to light, he reacted too slowly. He's not an actor; he's a reactor. For a guy known to take names and kick butt at the Miami-Dade Police Department, his management style has been passive-aggressive at County Hall.
He needs to spend more time there. Alvarez prefers his satellite office in West Miami-Dade (also closer to lunch time favorite La Carreta) where constituents seeking help and favors often queue up like the ill and infirm at Lourdes. But Miami-Dade government is run downtown at County Hall, which is where a strong mayor needs to spend most of his time.
Alvarez 's also not there much because he maintains a dizzying schedule of public appearances. Not even the late Steve Clark, glad-hander extraordinaire, showed up in front of so many civic, community and charitable groups. Alvarez 's appearances are documented by his county-paid staff photographer, and the pictures and stories are blast e-mailed to the media. It may help him get reelected, but he should spend less time in meaningless photo-ops and more time thinking about ideas or initiatives to help the people of Miami-Dade.Yep, that's right, Carlos Avarez has his own personal photographer, without whom, we'd never get to see
So Mr. Mayor, if you're really serious about saving the county money, why not prove it and clear out all of the dead wood.
Maybe the first person you fire should be your photographer! Just a thought.