Most County Executives Safe from Budget Cuts

Alex Izaguirre
UPDATE: Earlier this week, Miami-Dade County spokeswoman Vicki Mallette responded to my earlier report regarding executive salaries. I apologize to my readers for not posting her response sooner.

She insisted that Alvarez is proposing in the budget a ten percent reduction to the county executive offices, which is not reflected in this post.

"Your recent column seems to suggest all of the cuts have been identified," she says. "This is not the case. Rest assured, more cuts are coming to the executive offices - it's clearly outlined in the budget books."

Mallette declined to talk specifically about the executives whose jobs were not cut, citing Alvarez's policy of not commenting on personnel decisions. "Remember, this is a large county, and assistant county managers shoulder a tremendous amount of responsibility," Mallette explained. "The level of activity and volume of work they shoulder is volumnious and complex.

Facing a $427 million shortfall in this year's county budget, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez has proposed a 5 percent salary cut for all county employees, including himself. Oh, he's also firing 1,700 employees to help close the gap.

With that in mind, Banana Republican submitted a public records request asking for the positions Alvarez is eliminating from his office and from County Manager George Burgess's office. I also requested a list of all the county executives earning six-figure salaries who report directly to Alvarez and Burgess. Here is what I found out:

  • Only two out of 19 individuals earning six-figure salaries will lose their jobs. Among those who were spared the ax are the mayor's scheduler, Delivette Gonzalez, who makes $105,239 a year, and ex-Miami Herald reporter Matthew Pinzur, who earns an annual $115,000 as an assistant to County Manager George Burgess.
  • Speaking of assistants: Burgess has five assistants, including Pinzur; two special assistants; and an executive assistant. Their combined annual salaries cost taxpayers $985,328 worth of assistance. 
  • No more staged photo ops for the mayor now that he gave his photographer, Ricardo Garcia, who earned $76,000 a year, the boot. Garcia is one of seven employees in the mayor's and manager's offices who will lose their jobs. Everybody else on the 29th floor gets to stay. Hip, hip hooray!
  • Alvarez ($245,393 a year) makes less than George Burgess ($343,515) and assistant county managers Alina Hudak ($258,967), Cynthia Curry ($253,767), and Ysela Llort ($247,045). Strong mayor indeed. 
Here are links to the lists:

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