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Miami Voters Decide City's Fate


MIAMI (AllPolitics, Sep. 4) -- A trickle of voters headed to the polls today to decide whether Miami will continue as a city or be abolished. So far, the city looks safe.

Even abolition proponents acknowledged that their resolution was likely to fail after today's vote, which began at 7 a.m. ET and closes tonight at 7 p.m. ET. Complaining the city commissioner had doomed the issue by putting forth no realistic plan for dissolution, proponents had attempted to scuttle the vote.

The referendum, certified in January, was spearheaded by a group that believes the city of 375,000, the fourth-poorest in the nation and staggering under a $68 million deficit, would be better off under the auspices of Metro-Dade County.

"It's just a question of when it will happen," said abolition proponent Gene Sterns to The Associated Press.

If passed, the plan would replace the mayor with a more powerful executive mayor. And, the city's four commissioners, which are elected at large, would be replaced by five commissioners selected by individual districts.

Miami abolitionists claim the plan would halve taxes and clean up a scandal-ridden city hall. Those in favor of retaining the city government claim the opposite is true.

"The level of services, if the county were to take over the city, would be reduced," said Miami resident Ed Pidermann. "Plus the taxes would have to be increased to provide services at the same level."

Mayor Joe Carollo, who plans to run for re-election in November, seemed optimistic.

"We expect a great victory for Miami today," he told onlookers as he voted today. "All of its people, in times of crisis we unite, and that's what we're doing today."

In Other News:

Thursday Sept. 4, 1997

Buddhist Nuns Admit Destroying Documents
Supreme Court Keeps Prop 209 In Force
Focus On Gore: Can He Survive The Heat?
Arizonans Rocked By Symington Verdict
Miami Voters Decide City's Fate
Congress To Dedicate Saturday To Diana

E-mail From Washington:
Reagan Also Made Fund-Raising Calls From White House
Congressional Dems Vow Slowdown

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