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Budget battles scar Miami-Dade mayor's past year

@PatriciaMazzei

Fresh off a European vacation, Carlos Gimenez settled into his first full term as Miami-Dade County mayor in a relaxed mood last summer, his two years of frenzied political campaigning behind him.

Then he stumbled.

With little input from advisers, Gimenez broke an unwritten rule of recent County Hall politics: He called for a property-tax rate hike in his proposed budget. His phone began to ring. And ring. There was outrage.

Six days later, on July 16, Gimenez reversed himself by canceling the tax-rate hike proposal.

“I may make a misstep or two but will always get back on track,” he pledged at the time.

Ever since then, the mayor has had to fight a series of skirmishes at County Hall.

Gimenez will have an opportunity to reflect on the tumultuous year — and look forward to future challenges — on Wednesday in Hialeah, when he delivers his annual state of the county speech.

More here.

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