Miami-Dade budget: A moving target of fuzzy math

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Republished July 10, 2014

Original July 8, 2014

Courtesy of Political Cortadito

By Elaine De Valle – “Ladra”

Forgive Ladra and her friends if we have lost all faith in Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos “Cry Wolf” Gimenez and the county bean counters.

First, there was a $208 million shortfall in the Miami-Dade budget. Then it was $200 million. Then, if I recall correctly, it fell to $160 million. Then it was $90 million. Then it was $75 million.

Now, the shortfall in the general fund of the budget — which is going to be presented Tuesday (more on that later) — has been $64 million for almost a week!

Have we finally hit the real number? Because we went from $208 million on May 21 to less than a third of that in a little more than a month. Can’t we keep it rolling in that direction? Maybe we could even have a surplus by October.

Some people say that these are good news steps in the right direction, a sign that Budget Director Jennifer Glazer Moon and her staff — as well as department directors looking for savings under every rock — are doing a bang-up job. Moon herself seems hurt by Ladra’s jaded cynicism on the budget. Both Moon and Michael Hernandez, the mayor’s chief spokesman, say that this is what naturally happens in the budget preparation process as they identify savings and get adjusted ad valorem tax revenue projections — which came in about $50 million more than expected.

Or maybe it’s an extra $60 million. Or $70 million.

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