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 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.)