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Case studies

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Caitlin MacLaren

on 20 November 2015

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Transcript of Case studies

2000- 2007
Power Battles, Miami-Dade County 2007-2014
Marlins Stadium, the Beginning...
In 2000, Marlins announced need for new stadium, public support to pay for it

Neither hotels nor cruise ship companies wanted their industries taxed

Urban Environment League fought stadium on Bicentennial Park (now Museum Park)

Marlins fought for years to get state tax support, a local agreement

Carlos Alvarez becomes county mayor in November 2004

2007: "megaplan" announced

Tomas Regalado
Carlos Gimenez
Power U
Miami Workers Center
Greater Miami & Beaches Hotel Association
Miami Neighborhoods United
Frank Schnidman
South Florida AFL-CIO
Norman Braman
Jobs With Justice
Michael Lewis
Marco Rubio

Key Architects
George Burgess
Manny Diaz
Pete Hernandez
Larry Spring
Dec. 18 2007
County commission
approves expansion of Overtown & Omni CRAs
Jan. 2008
Norman Braman blasts the plan with radio ads & launches lawsuit
Feb. 2008
After several delays,
the county and city of Miami approve stadium financing deal
Baseball Stadium Agreement

$515 million stadium

$347 million
(tourist tax funding + general obligation bonds)

$13 million
(not including $94 million for city-owned parking garage or $10 million for Orange Bowl demolition)

$155 million
, including annual rent to the county

Total cost: $644.5 million
Apr. 2008
Braman commissions
poll for Marco Rubio

Carlos Alvarez builds alliance with organized labor for reelection
June 2008
Jorge Perez: Megaplan
would bring jobs, urban
Jul. 2008
Braman, Regalado
hold rally with Val

Judge strikes 1/3
Braman claims
Sept. 2008
Judge strikes claim 2/3

Margulies: "Stadium drains needed funds"
Nov. 2008
Judge strikes 3/3 claims
Miami Herald
: Stadium
cost to county $1.8 billion over 40 years?
Marc Sarnoff forces a deadlock in
city of Miami
Michelle Spence-Jones demands $500 million
be spent on Overtown
Feb. 2009
Mar. 2009
Overtown CRA votes
to expand boundaries

Marlins, NAACP and Miami-Dade
Chamber strike a deal, which the county
attorney said could not stand

Marlins agree to last-minute changes:
greater profit sharing if the team were sold,
baseball fields in each district, funds for youth & community programs
March 19, 2009

City approves stadium contracts (Sarnoff & Regalado vote no)

Building trades unions, Unite Here, Latin Builders, chambers support the project

"Coalition Against Marlins Bailout" protests

South Florida AFL-CIO puts its
support behind the stadium
March 23, 2009

County commissioners approve stadium agreements

Gimenez, Heyman, Sorenson and Martinez vote no

Chairman Moss gives right to reject amendments to sponsor Bruno Barreiro
Spoke against

Power U
AFSCME Local 121
Urban Environment League
Coalition Against the Marlins Bailout
Miami Workers Center

Spoke in favor

Associated Builders and Contractors
Unite Here
Latin Builders Association
Everglades Lumber
Mars Contractors
Red Design Group
Florida Carpenter’s Regional Council
Beacon Council
Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce
South Florida Building Trades Council
Park Director, City of Sweetwater
Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce
Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce
Mayor Manny Diaz, city of Miami
Mayor Julio Robaina, City of Hialeah
Florida Marlins
Major League Baseball
Joe Sanchez, Chairman, City of Miami Commission
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez
Builders Association of South Florida

Aug. 2010
reveals Marlins financial records
Dec. 2011 SEC launches investigation into Marlins bonds
Nov. 3, 2009
Tomas Regalado wins city mayoral election with 72% of vote
(& money from Braman, support from unions)
County commissioners under attack for misuse of public funds
June 2009
county property appraiser: property tax values down 9%
Jul. 2009
Carlos Alvarez proposes budget
5% pay decrease for county employees
1,700 layoffs
property tax rate increase
eliminate grants to CBOs, arts programs, mom-and-pop businesses
cut parks maintenance and other services

estimated budget shortfall: $427 million

All 10 county unions' contracts up for renegotiation
Commissioners decline to set the tax rate, leaving it to the property appraiser to set the ceiling
Some mayoral and commissioner aides receive raises, sparking union backlash
Penny Wise Campaign launches

Penny Wise Coalition protests, over 1,000 people show up at commission meeting

County commission votes to keep property tax flat, leaving a $444 million shortfall
-CBS 4 poll finds voters would support recall of mayor

County commission approves final budget
reduced layoffs (945)
Cut only 30% of CBO and arts grants
No cuts to programs for the elderly, veterans and the disabled
Savings would come from employee concessions, health care reserves and delaying capital projects

Several unions at an impasse with the county by this point
County commissioners slow to make decisions on employee sacrifices
Supported flat property tax rate
flat property tax rate
Miami Herald
continues to criticize county for car allowances and unions for dragging out negotiations, costing taxpayers money
June 2010
County property appraiser: 13.4% decline in property values

County has budget gap of $420 million

County under fire for car allowances
Jul. 2010
Carlos Alvarez proposes a rollback millage rate and:
900 layoffs (none to police, firefighters)
cuts to library hours and parks
cuts to CBOs by 25%
Commissioner Sorenson believed rollback rate was too low
Commissioners Gimenez and Souto believed it was too high
Commissioners approve rollback rate as a ceiling
September: Penny Wise Campaign sends letter asking commissioners to protect jobs and services
July 2010
Myriam Marquez: "A job with Dade County pays amid this recession"
Carlos Gimenez: “Union contracts dig us deep in debt”
Union workers scheduled to get cost of living adjustments in July 2011
Sept. 2010
At first budget hearing, commissioners give tentative approval to rollback tax rate.
Norman Braman announces he will work to kick out of office the mayor and any commissioner who votes for an increased tax rate if they raise the rate.
But they do it anyway.

Final budget includes hundreds of layoffs, but restores money to community organizations.

Library rate lowered and fire rate raised.
Oct. 2010
On Sept. 27, 2010, Norman Braman announces he will try to recall Mayor Alvarez.

He cited the mayor giving raising to government employees while raising the tax rate, as well as giving public funds to the Marlins.
Voted against tax rate
Voted for tax rate
Miami Herald:
not as much economic activity in Little Havana as the Marlins were supposed to bring

Vanessa Brito, of the PAC Miami Voice, announces
recall of Commissioners Dennis Moss, Natacha Seijas, Bruno Barreiro, Audrey Edmonson and Barbara Jordan.

Eventually they are only able to secure enough signatures to put recalling Commissioner Seijas on the ballot.

Political Action Committees
Carlos Alvarez, Natacha Seijas
& companies
with county contracts
Recall PACs
Norman Braman
John Dasburg
Paul Cejas
Manuel Kadre
Jonah Wolfson
MaryAnne Mazauskas
Martin Margulies
Braman got the support of Marco Rubio and other state representatives.

He paid for ads on the radio and set up offices for collecting signatures in Little Havana and North Miami Beach.
Developer Jorge Perez and banker Adolfo Henriques throw their support behind Mayor Alvarez.
The Police Benevolent Association rallies for Alvarez
Transit Workers criticized for members campaigning for Alvarez
March 2011
March 15, 2011
Mayor Alvarez and Commissioner Seijas
recalled from office
Voter turnout
: 17.27%
Hispanic: 21%
Black: 11.1%
White: 17.8%
Republican: 26%
Democrats: 14%
Independent: 12%

Voting to recall Alvarez
: 88.1%

Voting to recall Seijas
: 87.67%
June 28, 2011
June 2011
Carlos Gimenez elected County Mayor
May 24, 2011
Xavier Suarez & Esteban Bovo elected to County Commission

Most charter reform ideas rejected by voters.

Only one approved is ban on elected officials lobbying for 2 years after office.
April 2011
Braman says the proposed charter reforms are not good enough.
March 2012
Braman announces he will try to push out Commissioners
Bruno Barreiro
Barbara Jordan
Audrey Edmonson
Dennis Moss

He said they failed to support his charter reforms and had voted for the Marlins Stadium.
Electioneering Committees
Supporting incumbents
& companies
with county contracts
Supporting challengers
Norman Braman
Daniel R Lewis
Martin Margulies
Paul Cejas
Manuel Kadre
MaryAnne Mazauskas
Ezra Katz
GlobeTec Construction
Albert Moreno
Gerson, Preston, Robinson & Co.
Jay Kislak
Isaac Olemberg
Morty Kaplan
Kenny Nachwalter
Kurkin Brandes

Braman's ECOs were run by Vanessa Brito, Martin Margulies, Grace Solares, Stanley Krieger and Sheila Johnson
South Florida Jobs With Justice protested Braman's
August 2012
All incumbents out-fundraised their opposition.

In August 2012 Barbara Jordan and Dennis Moss win their primaries.

Audrey Edmonson and Bruno Barreiro are forced into runoffs.

Gimenez is reelected
Nov. 2012
Edmonson and Barreiro keep their seats.

Voters approve a straw-ballot measure to increase property taxes to create the Pets Trust.

Voters approve 2-term limits for county commissioners.
County announces it will end cost-of-living pay increases for county executives and non-union employees to help close the budget gap.

Unions employees are scheduled to receive scheduled pay increases.
In June county property appraiser announces property values dropped 3.3%

County still has $230 million budget shortfall.
July 2011
Gimenez's 1st Proposed Budget
Lower tax rate (undo what Alvarez had done)
Close 13 libraries
Cut social services
Cut funding to community organizations
Outsource Head Start
Cut his own salary and benefits
Cut from workers
Reduce number of departments
Jorge Luis Lopez says he will fundraise to prevent library closures.
Adolfo Henriques opposes proposed cuts to Department of Cultural Affairs.
Aug. 2011
Sept. 2011
1st Budget Hearing September 8
Fewer speakers than in previous years

Commission approved mayor's tax rate

Unions protest proposed cuts

Commissioner Jordan objects to outsourcing Head Start, votes against proposed millage

2nd Budget Hearing September 22
Commission approves merging departments

A few programs, such as fire boat, are restored

Head Start outsourcing delayed

Budget passed will require major cuts from unions-$239 million
May 2012
Commissioner Joe Martinez runs against Carlos Gimenez for mayor.

Unions support Martinez.
At the end of May the county property appraiser announces property values have risen 1.48%
July 2012
July 2012
Gimenez's 2nd Proposed Budget
Decrease property tax rate
Hire new police officers
Keep 9% employee healthcare contribution
Restore funding to museums
Outsource Head Start
No cuts to community org funding
County commission gives initial approval to reduced tax rate
Sept. 2012
First Budget Hearing September 6
Relatively few people show up to speak

Workers ask for more funding for wage theft program

Commissioners give initial approval to the budget and millage rate
Second Budget Hearing September 20
County commission gives final approval to budget and millage rate

Commissioners approve use of the reserve fund to do away with the additional 4% healthcare concession from the previous year...so they are back down to 5%

After several speakers at the public hearing asked the board to oppose privatization at Jackson, Commissioner Jordan made a motion to prohibit the hospital from using any of their budget for privatization efforts, a motion she later withdrew

The final budget assigned an additional person to assist with wage theft cases

Commissioner Monestime criticizes lower tax rate for unincorporated areas
Feb. 2013
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
Aug. 2013
Sept. 2013
Oct. 2013
Nov. 2013
Dec. 2013
Feb. 2014
March 2014
April 2014
May 2014
June 2014
July 2014
Aug. 2014
Sept. 2014
Oct. 2014
Nov. 2014
Dec. 2014
In May 2013, Mayor Gimenez announces a budget gap in the general fund, fire-rescue and library budgets.

He asked county unions to continue their 5% healthcare contribution
Miami Herald
: "unions face tough medicine to ensure county’s fiscal health"
Later that month the FL legislature passed a law requiring local governments pay more into the state's pension system.

In July, the county’s property appraiser says the property-tax base rose 3.39%
Gimenez's 3rd Proposed Budget
At first proposes a tax rate increase, but quickly changes his mind.
Commissioners approve a flat tax rate ceiling, which will mean cuts to libraries and the fire department.

Firefighters protest.

Animal rights activists upset that Pets Trust will not be created.
Gimenez criticized for saying "age of the library is ... ending.”
Throughout the summer the county finds money to save some libraries and fire-rescue ambulances, amid protests.
Commissioner Bovo: nonprofits can house libraries.
Commissioner Bovo: nonprofits can house libraries.
Commissioner Souto: private community should keep libraries open.
Gimenez: parks will provide computer and internet access.
By the end of August, the proposed budget would keep all libraries open, but lay off 169 employees and reduce hours.
Pets' Voices and Miami Economic Sustainability Alliance announce a recall drive of Commissioner Lynda Bell .
First Budget Hearing September 10
Commissioner Heyman suggests revisiting the flat millage rate

Commissioners choose to use reserve funds to avoid library layoffs

Library, animal and firefighter groups turn out in large numbers. Some anti-tax people speak

Funding for animal services increased

Commission overrides mayor's veto
Second Budget Hearing September 19
Commissioners agree to stop holding immigrants for ICE, responding to pressure from groups like MWC and WeCount!

Savings from that put to restoring the venom response unit

Final budget eliminated healthcare planning office

Commissioner Zapata votes against budget
After budget is approved, Gimenez creates Blue Ribbon Task Force on the libraries, with representatives from:

Board of County Commissioners
Friends of the Miami-Dade Library
Miami-Dade Public Library Advisory Board
the Knight Foundation
Miami Foundation
Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce
Children’s Trust
City of Miami
Bay Harbor Islands
Alliance for Aging
The Libraries Task Force issues its recommendations, including raising the millage rate to restore library funding
February 21, 2014
Miami Herald
: since Gimenez became mayor, county's workforce shrunk 7.5%
Gimenez briefly suggests straw poll of voters for a tax increase to fund libraries, after school programs and cultural institutions, but changes his mind.
County running out of tourist tax dollars that had been funneled to corrections, police & animal services for two years
Jorge Luis Lopez encourages raising taxes for recreational programs
Miami Dolphins and Miami Heat asking for subsidies, also from tourist tax dollars.
Gimenez asks workers for cuts and prepares for library layoffs.

County has $200 million budget gap.
Friends of the Miami-Dade Public Library:
raise the millage rate
Norman Braman:
cut waste, don't raise taxes
Advocates gear up for a fight to fund libraries.
Community Advocates for Libraries in Miami (CALM)
Friends of the Miami Dade Public Library System
League of Women Voters
Miami-Dade Public Library Advisory Board
Sustainable Miami
Time 2 Rally
Village of Pinecrest
Commissioner Xavier Suarez: I will support raising library millage to fund libraries at $64 million.
Property appraiser says county is up 6.5%
Commissioner Bovo proposes allowing libraries in parks
Gimenez proposes eliminating 450 public safety jobs.

John Rivera: criminals should send gift cards to mayor

Gimenez asks unions for 10% salary cut
Gimenez suggests raising library tax rate a bit, lowering general and fire rates

Suggests eliminating ~700 jobs, cutting community org funding 10%
4 people killed in boating accident over 4th of July weekend.

Firefighters unions point to this as example of cost of budget cuts.

Mayor says cuts could be avoided if workers would make sacrifices.
CALM and AFSCME 199 hold event for libraries in West Miami.
Knight Foundation and Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce release survey showing public support libraries, but are divided over how to fund them.
eliminate 674 positions (mainly to police)
cut funding for community orgs by 10%
cut zoo hours
raise transit fares
flat overall millage rate

Gimenez's 4th Proposed Budget
July 15--setting initial tax rate
Library advocates hold read-a-thon

Commissioners approve increased library millage and slightly lowered fire rate

Barreiro, Jordan, Monestime, Moss and Suarez willing to raise library rate higher

Commissioner Diaz opposed lowering fire rate
Retired firefighter announces recall of mayor
Over the summer, Gimenez tweaks the budget, moving more money to police, eliminating increases in disability transit services and ending his demand that unions extend pay concessions.

Mayor says if unions adopt new healthcare plan, layoffs can be avoided
Gimenez says police layoffs off the table because of savings from new contracts.
Daniella Levine Cava elected to county commission with support of unions, SAVE, Democratic Party, etc.

In the next few days, the county settles with 4 unions (OPEIU, then AFSCME 1542, 3292 and 199.)

Contracts include new healthcare plan.

Aug. 26, 2014
First Budget Hearing September 3
Fewer speakers than usual

Approved 10% cuts to community groups

Allocated money for police body cameras

Before second hearing mayor reverses proposal to raise transit fares, a few other cuts.
Second Budget Hearing September 18
During the hearing Gimenez announces that CBOs offering meals to seniors and the poor would not see the 10% cut
Commissioners approve final budget
Labor + community organizations
First Budget Hearing September 3
Second Budget Hearing Sept. 17, 2009
July 23
County settles one union's contracts

OPEIU agrees to eliminating certain bonuses

1st year agrees to "any wage adjustments" that other bargaining units accept, 1% wage increase end of 2010 and 2% end of 2011

Carlos Gimenez only commissioner to vote NO
Nov. 2009
Jackson in financial crisis,
outsourcing and cuts proposed
October 26, 2009
Commissioners resolve impasse with 3 unions (AFSCME 1542, 199, 3292)

Take 5% pay cut, choice of cutting from base pay or from bonuses

*5% cut would apply to OPEIU
Oct. 2009
Miami Herald: "
Pay and benefits for government workers have become unsustainable"
February 18, 2010
Commission approves contracts for 4 unions (AFSCME 1542, 199 and 3292 & IAFF Local 1403)

• Employees would contribute 5% of salary toward health care
• 3% wage increase in July 2011
• Contracts can be reopened in 1 year

This will also affect OPEIU
Feb. 2010
March 2010
March 2, 2010
Commission approves contracts for police union, who also agreed:

• Employees would contribute 5% of their salary toward health insurance
• 3% wage increase in July 2011

April 2010
April 6, 2010
Commission approves contracts for TWU, who also agreed:

• Employees would contribute 5% of their salary toward health insurance
• 3% wage increase in July 2011

May 2010
May 4, 2010
Commission approves contracts for SEIU 1991 and AFSCME 1363 (Jackson unions), who also agreed :

• Employees would contribute 5% of their salary toward health insurance
• 3% wage increase in July 2011

One union to go...

41 leaders meet at United Way and write open letter calling for Jackson to reduce labor costs, modify its structure
July 20, 2010
Commission approves contracts for AFSCME 121, who also agreed:

• Employees would contribute 5% of their salary toward health insurance
• 3% wage increase in July 2011

New Jackson CEO Carlos Migoya proposes hiring outside negotiators to deal with unions
May 2011
Unions propose other ways of saving money
Before the second hearing OPEIU union officials agreed to give back 3% wage increase
After budget is approved, OPEIU members vote to reject their contract
Oct. 2011
County distributes layoff notices to hundreds, Gimenez threatens to send tentative layoff notices to 90 cops as negotiations with police union carries on
Firefighters reach tentative contract with three furlough days, but eliminate the 5% healthcare contribution
Hundreds attend public bargaining session between the county and the Police Benevolent Association
Nov. 2011
PBA and county reach tentative contract, but hit impasse over healthcare contribution
Jackson still in financial crisis, negotiations with unions ongoing

Hospital imposes furloughs
OPEIU at impasse
over healthcare contribution

Members approve rest of contract, which includes 8 furlough days
AFSCME 1542 agrees to double healthcare contribution to 10%
Jackson at impasse with 2 unions
County reaches agreements with 4 unions (TWU, AFSCME 3292, 121 and 199)
but at impasse over healthcare contribution
TWU members reject the contract and county declares impasse
January 5, 2012 Impasse Hearing
for PBA and OPEIU
Families of police officers talk about their sacrifices

Commissioners vote 7-6 not to increase healthcare contributions on the unions although the mayor says this will force layoffs
Gimenez issues veto.
January 24, 2012
Impasse Hearing
for PBA, OPEIU, TWU, AFSCME 199, 3292 and 121

Commissioners increase contributions by 4% instead of 5%, which the mayor says can still prevent layoffs

Only in effect for 1 year

Jackson reaches agreements with SEIU 1991 and AFSCME 1363 worth tens of millions of dollars in worker sacrifices
County unions form stronger coalition to end the 5% cut, hold demonstration calling for audit of health insurance fund
Commissioner Bovo calls for county to reduce number of workers allowed to work for their unions on work time
4 unions at impasse with the county

Commissioners vote to end the 5% contribution for 1 union only
August 29, 2013
Gimenez vetoes Commission's decision to end healthcare contribution for 1 union
December 5, 2013
7 unions at impasse, appeal to commissioners' sense of fairness to restore pay for all of them

Bishop Curry spoke on behalf of unions

Commissioners vote 8-3 to restore pay for all unions
Mayor vetoes the decision.
December 17, 2013
Commissioners don't have the votes to override the mayor

Commissioner Sosa switched her vote
Unions target Commissioners Heyman and Sosa over their votes
January 16, 2014
Commissioners once again vote to end the pay cuts for all unions, even though they don't have a veto-proof majority
Mayor vetoes the decision.
February 4, 2014
Suprisingly commissioners override mayor's veto, ending healthcare contribution

Commissioner Zapata is the surprise
Gimenez creates Labor Healthcare Committee to evaluate the county's healthcare plan and look at how to save money.

AFSCME 199 administrator Andy Madtes is on committee.
County union contracts expire
Mayor has a sit-down with PBA President John Rivera brokered by lobbyist Rodney Barreto
August 19, 2014
Gimenez criticized for sending layoff notices to some in police department
Feb. 2015
The First District Court of Appeal rules that Gimenez did not have the right to veto the commission’s decision on an impasse matter.

The PBA is calling for the county to give back to workers the money lost as a result of the veto.

5 unions have still not settled their contracts
January 23, 2007
Voters approve strong mayor system for Miami-Dade County, pushed by Carlos Alvarez.

Unions and commissioners opposed the move.
Feb. 2011
Braman and Victor Diaz release a "Covenant With the People," proposing county charter reforms including:

reducing the number of districts and creating 2 at-large ones
term limits for commissioners
making it easier to change the charter through petition
capping public pensions
making commissioners full-time

Some politicians, including Tomas Regalado and Carlos Gimenez, pledge to work for charter reform.

March 24, 2011
Commissioners consider several charter reform ideas.

They decide to put a few to voters, including commissioner term limits and raising commissioner salaries.

Most of the ideas Braman supported were rejected.
April 4, 2011
At the next commission meeting, Carlos Gimenez puts forward several more proposed charter amendments, but Barbara Jordan uses the 4-day rule.
July 19, 2011
Commissioners approve the overall lower tax rate.

They cut further from the fire tax rate & boosted the library one to avoid library closures.
Miami Herald
reports on light-duty workers being paid full salaries.
February 13, 2009
Several more unions hit impasse over the healthcare contribution.

Jackson at impasse with 2 unions.

One union agrees to 10% healthcare contribution.
All 10 union contracts set to expire in September.
Raises kick in in July.

Gimenez to unions: Give back the raises. If contracts not settled by Nov, layoffs begin.

Asks employees to give 10% of salary to health care.

Impasse hearings
Full transcript