Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Friday made good on a campaign promise to slash the size of the local government and trim red tape.
In a five-page memorandum to the Board of County Commissioners, Gimenez proposed consolidating the departments under his jurisdiction from 42 to 25.
‘It has been my goal to realign the County’s structure in order to reduce overhead costs, minimize duplication of efforts, and improve the overall delivery of County services,” Gimenez said in the memorandum.
The mayor called it the first phase of a “comprehensive phased-in reorganizational process.” He said that over the next 12 months, his team will “dig deeper” to streamline the county government even more.
He also anticipated the savings from the initial phase will be realized at the start of the next fiscal year. He estimated the savings to be around $5 million countywide. This includes “… the elimination of dozens of positions,” the memo said.
In general, Gimenez is looking to trim more than $400 million from the county budget, which includes $135 million in concessions from union employees and layoffs of hundreds of county workers. He was elected into office in a runoff election after his predecessor was ousted in a recall, in part for raising property taxes.
The memo said that after the proposed reshuffling, all department directors and senior staff will be evaluated on their skills and experience. He will also review their past performance and appraise directors on their qualifications.
"Not all current Department Directors will continue to lead departments, but all strong leaders that are committed to making this process work on behalf of our residents will play critical roles as this important reform effort is implemented,” Gimenez said in the memo.
Some departments that will remain unchanged include: animal services, audit and management services, the police, medical examiner and juvenile services.