Monday, August 23, 2010

August 23: No On Eliminating Miami-Dade Manager, Letting Commissioners Set Rates

By Sylvia Gurinsky

Things have recently been quieter in Miami-Dade County's government than in neighboring Broward County's. That could change with two amendments that are very bad ideas.

*The first amendment would eliminate the post of the county manager in 2012 because of the creation of a strong mayor.

Voters in Dade should say No to that amendment, which would politicize the county's largest employer. The position of county manager ensures that a professional is overseeing the many twists and turns of government, and has full attention on those twists and turns, rather than on the next election.

There are currently safeguards in place to ensure that an incompetent manager is removed. If a mayor takes over those responsibilities and is found wanting, the county is basically stuck with that person until the next election. No good.

*The second amendment voters should say No to is one that would allow the county commission to accept or amend a franchise agreement by a two-thirds vote without taking it to county voters. This would allow commissioners to raise utility and other rates on residents without putting it on the ballot.

This amendment has tricky wording to say that would make it consistent with Florida's other 66 counties.

Of course, Miami-Dade is a home-rule county, which means voters have the final say. Again, their final say on this ballot issue should be a firm No.

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