Monday, July 12, 2010

Gables PAC meeting right now to tackle upcoming budget

Coral Gables Citizens Political Action Committee President Vincent Damian sent an email last week to members of the group -- which consist of some of City Hall's most vocal and consistent critics -- asking them to come to a meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at the Boy Scout Cabin on Granada Golf Course, 1107 S. Greenway Drive, at the corner of Cordoba.

The meeting goes 'til at least 7 p.m., so anyone driving by can still make it.

The main agenda: The city budget.

"It's mid-summer, but many of you are inquiring as to what we can do to get this City to take action on its continuing fiscal problems," Damian wrote. "These include the continuing and increasing personnel costs and the over burdensome pensions. We all know that the salary issues and personnel issues at City Hall must be addressed. The pension system that we have is unsustainable."

And he probably had not yet seen the proposed 45 percent building permit fee increases across the board that the city manager will ask the commission to approve at Tuesday's meeting. A building site plan permit could go from $7,500 to $10,875; an application for a variance, from $1,000 to $1,450; an additional floodlamp in your yard, from $10 to $14.50.

Damian also wants to talk about unpaid rent on city properties -- the commission will also on Tuesday discuss the Biltmore Hotel management's request to pay about $3 million in back rent by July 2012 on Tuesday -- and the "looming" April elections, the email says.

"We must encourage and assist capable candidates," Damian urges.

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