Issues has responded to the community’s need for in-depth representation of local concerns for almost 30 years, bringing together local leaders and journalists to discuss the important topics facing South Florida. The weekly half-hour public affairs and news program provides the type of extensive and probing analysis that addresses the community’s continuous concerns.
Friday, September 25 @ 7:30 PM Sunday, September 27 @ 12:00 PM
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez – Budget & Transit Last week, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s $6.8 billion budget was approved rather seamlessly, with an 11-2 vote by commissioners. The no-votes came from two vocal critics of Gimenez’s administration – commissioners Juan C. Zapata and Xavier Suarez. The mayor defends himself from critics by discussing how he prioritized the budget, why he feels the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) should lower tolls and how the ½ penny sales tax “overpromised”.
Friday, September 11 @ 7:30 PM Sunday, September 13 @ 12:00 PM
Miami-Dade Transit A half penny tax approved by voters in 2002 was seen as an opportunity to generate additional funds for the sole purpose of expanding and maintaining public transit - Thirteen years later, one project has been completed. On last week's program, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Xavier Suarez criticized Mayor Carlos Gimenez for transferring these transportation funds to finance other projects -- calling the mass transportation system “inadequate”. The newly appointed director of Miami-Dade Transit says that the half penny tax has brought about “a lot of new service”.
Guest: Alice Bravo, Director, Miami-Dade Transit
Parks Funding Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez's proposed budget, which will see a final vote September 17th, may have its critics, but it's getting praise as well. In an op-ed in the Miami Herald, The Miami Foundation’s CEO, Javier A. Soto, commended the dedicated $156 million for parks, which is about a $13 million increase. An in-depth breakdown of this budget by The Miami Herald found that three sources are used for this subsidy, one of which is hotel taxes. The foundation’s Stuart Kennedy joins Helen to discuss this and why the budget is a good step in the right direction.
Friday, September 4 @ 7:30 PM Sunday, September 6 @ 12:00 PM
Xavier Suarez on County Transportation – “No Leadership” Late Thursday night, Miami-Dade County Commissioners gave an initial approval to Mayor Carlos Gimenez's $6.8 billion budget -- but not without criticism from environmentalists concerned that climate change is not a priority. Another critic of Gimenez and his budget, County Commissioner Xavier Suarez, launched television ads earlier this week criticizing the mayor for transferring desperately needed transportation funds to finance other projects. Is all the blame on Mayor Gimenez? What is the commission’s responsibility?
Guest: Xavier Suarez, Miami-Dade County Commission, Dist. 7
MDX’s Strategic Plan In June, the Miami Herald's Doug Hanks - as a guest on this program - reported on their readers' "toll - shock" after calculating how much they were actually spending driving Miami-Dade expressways. Since then, the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) initiated a customer loyalty program, giving cash back to customers who met certain criteria from the MDX year-end surplus. County Mayor Carlos Gimenez was vocal about his opposition to this - questioning the refunds when MDX could just lower tolls. One big question still remains -- have increased tolls been beneficial to decreasing congestion?
Guest: Louis Martinez, Miami-Dade Expressway Authority
M-D ID Cards – An Immigration Issue? As early as next year, identification cards could be available to Miami-Dade County residents. This week, county commissioners unanimously voted to endorse the idea and ordered a study to determine the cost. Proponents claim the ID cards will benefit the area's more vulnerable residents such as domestic violence victims and the homeless -- since proof of address could be listed as a shelter. But, there is also no need for proof of citizenship. The Libre Initiative sees this as an example of a broken immigration system and Miami-Dade is “trying to find limited solutions to the problem”.