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MIAMI-DADE (CBS4) – Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez has announced his plan to reorganize County government. He held a news conference Friday to announce major changes in the way the county does business.

Mayor Gimenez’s plan reduces the number of county departments from 42 to 25, which is something he pledged to do on the campaign trail.

In a memo to commissioners, Gimenez said the overhaul aims to “reduce overhead costs, minimize the duplication of efforts, and improve the overall delivery of County services.”

“What we have now is a hodgepodge of puzzle pieces that don’t fit together,” Gimenez told CBS4’s Gwen Belton. “It’s a complicated, redundant system that looks more like government for the sake of government.”

He also hinted at more changes to come by saying that this plan is just a start.

He asked his new leadership team to “dig deeper” in the coming year to assess which services fall within the core mission of Miami-Dade County government.

Here’s a list of how the Mayor plans to merge departments into single, larger entities.

The Environment and Regulatory Affairs Department will include Building and Neighborhood Compliance, zoning functions from the Planning and Zoning Department, Environmental Resources Management and Consumer Protection.

The Sustainability, Planning and Economic Enhancement Department will include the former Office of Economic Development and International Trade, planning functions from planning and zoning, Small Business Development, Film and Entertainment and the agricultural manager.

The Miami-Dade Fire Department will take over the Office of Emergency Management.

The Community Action and Human Services Department will include the Community Action Agency, Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Human Rights and Fair Employment Practices.

The Housing and Urban Development Department will combine the current Housing and Community Development, Public Housing Department, and infill housing division from the General Services Administration.

Several departments were not affected by the reorganization including the Miami-Dade Police Department, Port of Miami, aviation and transit.

All of this is designed to save the county money in order to plug a $400 million budget gap.

Gimenez also echoed a talking point gaining steam on the 2012 GOP Presidential Primary campaign trail when addressing government’s role in spurring job growth.

“In this difficult economic climate, in any economy for that matter, it’s unconscionable for government to be an impediment to job creation,” Gimenez said.

Gimenez’s budget proposal calls for cuts in key programs, eliminating nearly 1,300 jobs and a cut in property taxes. Additionally, county employees are being asked to contribute an additional five percent of their salaries to cover the costs of health insurance, effectively becoming a salary cut to all county workers. Gimenez is also proposing doing away with merit pay, cost of living increases, and longevity pay.

The Mayor is also trying to negotiate new deals with Miami-Dade government’s bargaining units, including firefighters, police and water and sewer employees. The current contracts expire Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.

Gimenez has said if county government labor unions don’t ink new contracts by Nov. 1, he will begin laying off workers.

Gimenez’s proposed budget will be formally taken up, and voted on, by commissioners in two commission meetings this month.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report).

Comments (9)
  1. Jerry Moorehead says:

    Didn’t he just hire 5 new assistants at about $300,000 a year each? Now he is gonna cut everybody else? Hypocrite.

  2. Mercy V. Rodriguez says:

    I hope that when he lays off workers, he starts at the top where the highest salaries are paid….Don’t make the little guy take all the blunt of the cut when the people that Mayor Alvarez gave raises to are still there…..Gimenez, remember when you started and you were a simple firefighter and the benefits that the County offered attracted you to become one……Don’t turn your back now to those county workers who went to work for the County over 25 years ago with the promise of benefits at an older age; and now that they are older, you are taknig everything away….



  3. Melinda Ferrell says:

    Well going from 42 department heads to 25 will be a reduction in itself. The important thing is having the know how to manage this change and the technology to do it. It is very simple to do and manage as long as you have the right management. I wish him good luck because it is a great move on his part. Accountability is the most important part along with customer services which is who pays the pay roll via taxes, next is to actually have people that work and not pass the buck. Team meetings and Team building are a necessity, do not come out of a meeting without a solution to at least one item on your agenda.

  4. GimenezRules says:

    I love this guy!! He is our very own Rick Scott and just as Rick Scott will save the State, Gimenez will save Miami Dade. Thank You Mayor for helping us get rid of redundant government!! Next stop out with the unions!!

    1. yokolee says:

      If he is like Rick Scott
      i wish him luck
      with my vote on next election

  5. Alfredo Perdines says:

    Awesome…I commend the Mayor. Enough is enough! The Gov’t needs to be lean and mean,….not bloated and sluggish. Also most county (State and Federal for that matter as well) workers need an attitude adjustment. The treatment and customer service I have received over the years from County employees has been appalling. They would be fired almost immediately in any regular private sector job.

  6. Caridad Lopez says:

    Great News! The county citizens have been over-burdened with high taxes and bad customer service from County employees for years. They need to realize that we are all county citizens and that they too need to pull their own wight and not by hiding behind unions, or all the crazy laws that are passed to protect their wages\pensions. No private employee has those guarantees…and we are your neighbors paying for your salaries.

  7. yokolee says:

    I hope he knows what ever is that he’s doing
    for his sake , on the next election , when he star begging for my vote

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