MIAMI – Tucked away within the proposed Miami-Dade County Commission price range is the creation of the County Ambassador Program.
It permits former county commissioners to earn as much as $25,000 per fiscal year, representing the county in occasions like a ribbon-cutting, meeting with dignitaries, and even offering advisor providers to the chairperson and board.
“Their former elected officials, what exactly is the ambassador explaining to people, sharing with people, or promising people,” requested Commissioner Raquel Regalado. “Are they quasi-lobbyists? Are they going to lobby us? They could be perceived as agents of the county commission without the authority of the county commission.”
Commissioner Raquel Regalado prefers to desk the merchandise. She shares her shock even to see it listed within the proposed mayor’s price range within the first place. Believing it is best fitted to the common agenda course of.
Her issues concerning the proposed County Ambassador Program are wide-ranging.
“No disrespect to former county commissioners, but we already have 13 commissioners,” mentioned Regalado.
In Thursday’s First Budget Hearing, Commissioner Eileen Higgins voiced displeasure. She opposes the concept the Chairman has the only real authority to handpick County Ambassadors.
“I’m very uncomfortable with that,” mentioned Higgins through the listening to. “Make sure previous commissioners aren’t roaming around District 5.”
CBS4 requested Regalado if the proposed program distracts commissioners from the problems when placing collectively a $10 billion-plus price range for the county for the subsequent fiscal year.
“Definitely,” mentioned Regalado.
This proposed ordinance performed an element in Regalado rejecting the mayor’s proposed price range.
“I think this budget needs a lot of work,” talked about Regalado.
Regalado has two chief issues, total spending on packages whereas in search of to decrease the millage rate by multiple p.c, as at present proposed within the price range.
“One percent is not enough,” emphasised Regalado. “This is the year to lower the millage and give people back money. The reality is that this is the most that residents of Miami-Dade County have paid for taxes in the history of Miami-Dade County because of the tremendous property value growth that we have had this year at the worst possible time.”
Regalado provides that the county would create a particular program to hire former commissioners as “odd.” Regalado mentions county commissioners may use a part of their allotted price range to hire former commissioners for occasions or consulting providers. She seems to deal with issues concerning the proposed program within the second price range listening to on September twentieth.
We contacted 12 of the 13 commissioners to touch upon the proposed ambassador program. Only Regalado agreed to talk.