MIAMI (CBS4) – Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado has bad news for city workers: the only way he may be able to fill a $23 million budget gap is by forcing them to take unpaid furlough days, according to CBS4 News partner The Miami Herald.

The mandated days – which could be as many as two a month – would go a long way in deferring capital expenses. Other options being discussed include cutting employee’s vacation days, raising the city’s parking surcharge and changing the calculation of employee pension plans.

Regalado hoped that Plan A would do the trick – declaring “financial urgency” to allow city commissioners to force $40 million in employee concessions. That plan hit a snag last week when a Miami-Dade circuit court judge, acting on a lawsuit filed by the police union, ruled that City Manager Johnny Martinez improperly invoked the legal maneuver. That ruling has forced budget managers to get creative in trimming the budget.

“The city is heading to bankruptcy and Miami government is turning a blind eye to reality,” Fraternal Order of Police Vice President Javier Ortiz wrote in an email to commissioners last week.

The budget is not due to the state until September.

“The city is not going to go bankrupt,” Regalado said. “The good thing is, we have time.”

(©2012 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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)


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