Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez will soon release the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins in October.
The county by law cannot run a budget deficit, but has to have a balanced budget. In the coming fiscal year, the only way it is apparently going to have a balanced budget is by laying off up to 700 county workers. About 26,000 people are currently employed by the county.
During a commission hearing Wednesday, two county union leaders said the layoffs will only hurt the community.
"In the last two years, we’ve given up over 90 positions as part of concessions to balance the budget," said Al Cruz of the Miami-Dade Firefighters Union. "This year I haven’t seen the numbers, but we need to maintain fire rescue haul. We feel it is one of the core services in the community."
"We’re already about 380 officers short, and 232 or so are going to retire in the next 18 months – mandatory," said John Rivera of the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association. "And then if you lose the 450 officers, I mean what are we doing? It’s a matter of quality of life."
Gimenez is still putting the final touches on the proposed budget. He told Local 10 senior political reporter Michael Putney he would release the budget the first week of July.
Right now, the budget has a budget hole of about $75 million. One way to eliminate that hole is to eliminate those 700 jobs.