Tension at North Dade Regional Library when answers aren't given.
The Consultant arrived at North Dade Regional Library -- and though the focus group was to start at 10:30AM, talks began earlier than the designated time.
With no appearance of any Task Force members or County Officials, audience members felt misled that no real individual who could facilitate necessary change was present.
With a room packed with teenagers and concerned citizens from all over Miami-Dade County, the sentiment was the same as last night: fund our libraries.
Yet, the Consultant practically taunted the audience-- he asked: did we want a doubling in taxes?
Again, this seems to be usage of charged terminology. Words like "double taxes", "raise taxes", "raid reserve funds," "fiscal cliff" are often thrown around by public officials who want to look like they're saving money, when really, they're only dismantling our vital public services.
When asked why our Lihraries were sverely underfunded, he could only say that the department was a soft service, not a hard one like Fire or Police or Sanitation-- and to this, the Focus Group wildly protested.
The price of hiring this Texas consultant company to conduct these meetings - $85,000. The amount of money allotted for FY 2013-2014 for children's books to put into our children's hands is $35,000 between 49 locations. This is a good example of our county leader's priorities.
Again, we ask, why is so much time, money, and energy being placed on less than1% of the county budget, when there is a simple solution? Why spend so much money on one Consultant for only 6 weeks worth of time?
Why was no more media attention and notice given to these focus groups?
The Task Force will meet again in County Hall on the 17th to dicuss the findings of their research. With all the questions left unanswered, there may not be left to hope for in the outcome of their findings.
.375 is the magic number.