Letter originally published in the Islander News from Julie S. Alvarez regarding the 2024 Village Budget. Republished with permission.
Release of detailed budget raises questions about being prepared to act
Apparently a more detailed Budget has been posted but only five days before the First Budget Hearing. As far as I know none of the Councilmembers are retired except for the Mayor, is that sufficient time for them and the public to review the Budget?
Upcoming Projects: Yes some workshops explaining individual projects but no relation one to the other and yet there is a direct relation among all of them. They all require substantial street construction affecting traffic and services access – relate to ongoing entrance road right turn lane construction. Hurricane and flood management: thousands of dollars for planning documents and in many cases no guarantee it will resolve the problem. Are we the only Island/Country that floods? No research of other similar areas?
A concern that the residents believe in a “dry” Key Biscayne – we are a low level island, we are going to flood, note Councilmember Fernando Vazquez’s article in the September 7 Islander – how “dry” do we want the Island but at what cost. Underground electric: has there been any research as to why the City of Coral Gables did not have to pay for the project? A “line item” clear explanation is needed – project; how it relates to other projects with minimum disruption; cost; Village cost v. State/Federal funds; Village cost a loan? and cost of loan.
Those asking questions are not “fear-mongers” or “do not understand” or “senile” – they are college educated professional executives with many different levels of expertise; many years of experience; many are longtime residents and have voluntarily served for the benefit of our community in more than one committee and some past Councilmembers and Mayor. Regarding the usual Council attitude that voters chose their candidates so the candidates would speak for them – not for the magnitude of the projects being proposed nor the amount of money required nor an increase in taxes to be decided by 7 people as proposed by the Manager with no resident input.
Julie S. Alvarez