The City shall provide full audits of its finances and capital projects and post them on an easy-to-find website for everyone to peruse. Every citizen shall know how his or her tax dollars are being spent. Transparency is Paramount.
Whereas the city's annual pension contributions have realized over a 350% increase in the last 8 years alone, going from $11.9 million in 2004 to more than $53.8 million today, and whereas the costs of pension for Police and Fire currently approximate 75% of their respective payroll, and with the combined police and fire budget approximating 70% of the total City budget, it is Crystal Clear that our city no longer has the luxury to maintain these expensive and ill conceived practices. The current police and fire pension scheme is unsustainable as a defined-benefit plan and must be immediately converted to a defined-contribution plan so that both the employees and city share the systemic risk of an uncertain economy and uncertain market returns. Furthermore, overtime pay should never be factored into the pension base calculations.
Police will be required to walk the beat, particularly in alleyways in south beach and north beach, where most of the more heinous crimes have occurred in recent years.
To combat the rampant rise in corruption in the City of Miami Beach from 2004 to present, an independent Office of the Inspector General shall be created to find, expose and root out any and all corruption, particularly in the Building Department and Code Compliance Division. The Inspector General will not only have several of his or her own independent inspectors, but shall also have direct control and oversight over Miami Beach Internal Affairs and will work in tandem with the Miami Beach Chief of Police. Furthermore a separate internal affairs citizens' board shall be created to deal with public complaints against police officers, including those of the gay community. This new internal affairs board will be equally comprised of police personnel and civilian professionals. This office will recommend any disciplinary action simultaneously to the Chief of Police and the Inspector General.
Encourage city employees to educate themselves and improve their language skills. Facilitate this commitment to ambitious and talented city employees with on-the-job training and partial scholarships. A better city starts with better-educated employees.
Reform the Building Department, including improvement on the response time of city inspectors. The city needs to help businesses open and homes sell by inspecting properties quickly and efficiently. Any aspect of a permitting process that can be done online or via e-mail, should be so done. Miami Beach must make it easier for permits to be granted. Permitting inefficiencies should not prevent ready and able entrepreneurs from opening businesses that create new jobs, nor should it preclude homeowners from making improvements which will increase property values and enhance livability. As such, as long as a citizen or business owner is acting in good faith, all property taxes due on his or her estate shall be suspended and only paid in arrears once a permit or certificate of occupancy is remitted by the City. This way the City is incentivized to move quickly and efficiently.
Restore Memorial Day weekend to its former glory by preempting Urban Beach Weekend with a variety of cultural and patriotic events dedicated to honoring our troops and veterans.
On occasions of torrential downpour, the city will rent rug-trucks used for sucking excess water off of airport tarmacs. The city will position these machines at those corners (such as 41st St. and Sheridan Ave., 78th St. and Carlyle Ave., and Alton Rd. and 10th St.) notorious for flooding. Upon removal of this excess water, the machine will dump same water into Indian Creek River or the ocean, whichever is closer. This will save Miami Beach storefront owners and car owners millions of dollars in damages over the long run (note: this will not work in case of storm surge; only intended to cure rain-induced standing water situations).
The city will sponsor or encourage the creation of a "green" water ferry service from various points in Miami Beach to Bayside, Downtown Miami. This service is destined for long-term profitability, will ease local commutes, and will serve as an exciting tourist attraction. Having some of the most beautiful waterways of any city in the world, Miami Beach is the perfect place for such a water taxi. This water taxi service will not only become a tourist favorite in just a few years, but, more importantly, it will serve as surrogate transportation for those who live in Miami Beach and work or conduct business in downtown Miami, thus reducing the parking crisis and relieving traffic along the corridors of 41st St., 63rd St./Alton Rd, and 71st St. The water taxi will stop at 41st St. and Collins; 53rd St. and Collins; 63rd St. and Collins; Bonita Drive; Mt Sinai Hospital and Bayside, Downtown Miami.
All Beach residents who have been registered to vote on the Beach for at least the last two years shall be given the option of prepaying $360 per annum for the right to unlimited metered parking throughout the city. When it comes to parking, citizens come first!