Miami Dade County Community Forum

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Katy Sorenson With Some Good Advice for The Community

In an Op Ed in the Miami Herald yesterday, County Commissioner gave some good advice to the community. Here are some excerpts:

• First, we must listen to voters and we must educate them. Political leaders are elected to do just that, to lead. It is our duty to make responsible decisions and let our citizens know why we are making these decisions.

• Second, we need to have an honest discussion about what kind of community we want to be. Do we want an expansive public transit system? Do we want a safety-net hospital that provides charity care to those who would otherwise go without healthcare? Do we want libraries to be open every day?

• Third, let's have a real discussion about taxes. Government officials need to explain how revenue is generated, where tax money goes and which pots of money can be used for which services. I was a vocal opponent of the baseball stadium, but it would be irresponsible for me to claim that the stadium money should be used for the Public Health Trust. State law does not allow for this. Too often, conversations about taxes contain both vitriol and misinformation.

She takes issue with pollster Dario Moreno's assessment:

While Moreno made some valid points about the need for political courage, he unfortunately reinforces one of the same obfuscations he accuses the county of making. Moreno says that we live in a poor county and that in order to protect our poor residents, we should not increase taxes. He has it backwards.

The poor Moreno talks about have been and will continue to be hurt by budget cuts and service reductions. They are the ones hurt when Jackson reduces it services, when there are fewer domestic violence shelters, when after-school programs in parks for their children are drastically cut. On the other hand, they get no savings from a tax cut, as most of them do not own their own homes.

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