History Rewrite: Miami-Dade No Kill Funding Referendum No Longer Will of the People

In Miami-Dade Co, a shelter funding referendum was passed overwhelmingly by citizens last November. The initiative would have provided nearly $20 million in annual taxpayer funding for programs aimed at reducing shelter intake, such as low and no cost neuter, as well as programs aimed at increasing live release such as an expanded foster program.

The vote was a non-binding referendum and therefore up to politicians to put it into effect.  Despite previous promises that they would honor the will of the people, the county commissioners and mayor have shredded the plan.  The Miami-Dade pound will now get zero dollars of the revenue brought in by a tax increase which people said they were willing to pay to help save shelter pets.  As a consolation prize, the mayor scrounged up 4 million “extra” dollars – not from any tax increase – to give to the pound.

[Mayor Carolos] Gimenez said that “common sense’’ dictates that more people oppose a tax increase than those who actually voted for it, and that he was listening to the will of the people in rejecting the Pets’ Trust proposal.

However, no one spoke against the tax increase during some five hours of public comment on Tuesday, and hundreds of emails to his and other government offices — a nearly three-inch stack, when printed out — tell a different story.


Among those who addressed the commission in person: Zoo Miami spokesman Ron Magill, his voice shaking with anger.

He said that as one of those who volunteered to raise their own taxes, he was “insulted’’ that anyone suggest he didn’t know what he was voting for, an argument that several commissioners made.

“I was keenly aware of what I was voting for,’’ Magill said. “Any one of you would love to receive [those votes], yet here we are still here today trying to convince you…It costs five times as much to euthanize an animal as to sterilize it.’’

The will of the people is overwhelming support for a tax increase to fund no kill programs at the shelter.  But the mayor doesn’t find it politically expedient to save shelter pets and so has determined that it’s only logical to believe that the will of the people is not represented by how they voted but rather by something he fabricated to fit his political career plans.  And he’s all for abiding by the will of the people.  The made up one.  Not the one in Uppity Reality Land.

The bottom line:

The mayor said […] he was elected on a platform to shrink government.

Translation:  Doing the people’s bidding does not necessarily equate with votes.  And it’s all about the votes.  Shelter pets be damned.  More.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

17 thoughts on “History Rewrite: Miami-Dade No Kill Funding Referendum No Longer Will of the People

  1. So, whose pockets will receive the money rightfully owed to the shelter? Where do this mayor and his YesMen get off subverting an obvious public choice?

    1. They’re simply not going to implement the tax increase the people voted for. So the money won’t be raised. And the community pets won’t benefit from it.

      On Thu, Jul 18, 2013 at 12:07 PM, YesBiscuit!

  2. I hope each and every one of those who voted for the animals will now vote against the mayor and his minions who are totally disregarding their wishes.

    Simply disgusting!!!

  3. Since the mayor is convinced that the will of the people is smaller government it will only be fitting if the people start with removing the mayor. They could probably file charges with the states attorney for disregarding the vote of the people. There are ways to deal with him.

  4. The mayor is speaking the truth. Of course you have to understand that the only “people” he actually hears have net worth in excess of seven figures. Anyone not in the top 0.1% is a lazy moocher. So while you and I may hear all these moochers clamoring to save pets’ lives, the mayor hears his well-heeled campaign contributors screaming how an infinitesimal increase in their already historically low taxes will destroy the Florida economy. And the mayor listens to his people.

    1. No I get it ~ “by the people” doesn’t mean all of the people ~
      forgive me for being so naive . . .

      That is probably the biggest problem we are facing in this country ~ you have to be among the top 1% to have any voice in our government.

      1. Rather than focus exclusively on voting out pols who don’t support shelter pets, I think I would make my primary focus changing the county referendums from non-binding to binding. If the people vote for it, it becomes law. Remove the middle man.

        On Thu, Jul 18, 2013 at 12:53 PM, YesBiscuit!

      2. Either way ~ I know the folks with the most influence would likely lobby against that happening, too.

  5. Is it an election year in Miami? I hope everyone has a long memory when it comes time to vote…

    1. They’re afraid to take on the lawmakers and thereby reinforce their behavior. People of Florida should fight this stupid action by the Mayor! Take away his title and who is he then?

      1. My SIL was an active animal advocate in the Miami-Dade system until she was diagnosed with cancer and ultimately succumbed to it one year ago. There is an enormous group of like-minded people in that area who would do without basic necessities for themselves in order to take care of animals. Sad to see the other side of that coin. Thank you, Isabel, for your comment.

  6. May I suggest the next move is a no-confidence vote petition to force a recall of a Mayor who obviously does not represent the people.

  7. Oh BTW- the mayor of Miami along with several others on the BOCC are being steered by those who want to implement the Seven 50 plan. Which is the same power players that had Gov. Scott reverse his election platform suddenly and fund the Flordia Forever and a host of other NGO who will defund (all the way from Obama down) any and all monies, beginning with transportation, to force people from suburban areas into high rises in the cities. If you study the issue you will find that “pets” will not be welcomed- it will make too many problems for living in such close quarters.
    There are some powerful forces at work on this locally and Nationally.

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