Brp305's Blog

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City of Miami’s Pink Elephant: Tackling a $40 Million Budget Deficit

City of Miami Building

Obviously as the City of Miami attempts to dig deep in an effort to balance the budget {deficit of $40 Million and counting} before September 30, 2011, it’s not going to be business as usual.

With the resignation of its Chief Financial Officer, Larry Spring, and the pending exit of its City Manager, Tony Crapp,Jr., the task will be left up to the senior city officials to take control of the financial records, in an effort to balance the budget and comply with the deadline.

This is not the first rodeo for the city in respect to budget deficits, since the same problem came before the Commissioners last year.

The Commissioners should have put a check and balance system in place last year to prevent what is obvious this year, “budget overload.” The bandage that was placed on the budget last year finally broke! And now it’s time for the interim Chief of Finance to assemble his/her team, roll up their sleeves, bring in the coffee or tea and get to work.

Balancing the budget does not mean the co-mingling of funds, or the old familiar switch-a-roo. It means getting out the ruler, determining what was allocated for which particular fund, who is in charge of that division, and why are they consistently operating in the red; with a plan to reorganize/ consolidate that division in an effort to bring that department into the black and in compliance of the law.

This is not and easy task, but rather one that must be done! There is a tremendous amount of duplicity within the City of Miami and room for considerable improvement.

Cutting across the board” is an easy out and not necessarily the right way to go: even though it is the simplest way to balance the budget and give the appearance that the cuts were distributed equally. If the City of Miami looks closely at the budget, it’s possible that just a few but not all departments are creating a constant deficit.

If that is the case, why not work on bringing these departments into compliance; while at the same time consider restructing and/or consolidating departments to save taxpayer dollars.

The City of Miami must face reality, if you have 4,000 employees and you were already aware of a reduction of incoming revenue from property taxes, traffic tickets and redevelopment agencies, you had an obligation to protect your constituents and put a plan in place last year to reduce the deficit. A strategic team which specializes in corporate finance should have been working on the budget since last year to make sure that it would be in compliance this year by September 30. 2011.


June 15, 2011 - Posted by | Business News | , , , , ,

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