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Canizales questions Miami budget

Posted: Tuesday, Nov 6th, 2012

Dear Editor:

I have been reviewing the budget passed by the Town of Miami and within the budget it shows what they spent for the past fiscal year. The problem with that is they are showing they spent zero dollars on any committee or board.

Mayor Castaneda has claimed that they are accountable and hold the town manager accountable, so if that is the case, why hide the total amount of town funds that have been spent on the Genesis and Fiesta Committees? The mayor made it clear the Genesis money needed to be separate from town funds because the Genesis supporters did not want the town spending the money they donated. The town has complied with that wish and has an account, specifically for Genesis.

The problem is the town is not spending the Genesis money but has (allegedly) been spending town money and using town resources to do Genesis projects and now hide it from you as shown in the budget. It has gotten to the point that the council fights to use town money for their projects, claiming Genesis did not have the funds when, in fact, they did.

A reasonable person would wait until the funds could be raised or do the project in phases. Let us examine what the town spent zero dollars on. The town’s finance officer takes care of the money from the Genesis and Fiesta Committee during town business hours. The town clerk writes the agenda, attends and takes minutes at the meetings, and completes the final minutes for the Genesis Committee.

The town grant writer wrote a grant for Genesis last year and was (allegedly) pushed to do it on short notice, being told to set aside her normal duties. The majority of department heads have had to (allegedly) participate in the Genesis projects during business hours as well as other employees. The town has (allegedly) spent money to purchase materials for the projects to cover what was not donated.

Additionally, the town attorney has (allegedly) spent time on Genesis for failures to follow open meeting laws; maybe they donated their time and did not charge the town. The citizens of the town pay salaries and wages for employees and they deserve to know what funds are being spent on. Are the Mayor and Town being accountable when they say they spent zero dollars on these committees?


Richard Canizales

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