|By Douglas Hanks, The Miami Herald|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The cable spot, funded by Pets' Trust Miami organizers, urged viewers to run against Diaz and other commissioners who didn't support higher property taxes last year to fund animal services. "We need you," the announcer said. "Call now."
On the eve of the
She brings zero name recognition and virtually no money to the race against Diaz, a veteran leader in West
Thanks to close support from
Figueira won the public support of billionaire
The latest finance reports show Diaz raised
On the issues, Figueira describes herself as more willing than Diaz to increase county property taxes to improve services. She said she backed the eight commissioners who voted for a higher library tax in July. Diaz was one of five commissioners to vote against it.
Figueira, 68, also said she supports a tax increase for more animal services, the driving issue behind the
In an interview, Figueira initially said she would support tax increases only if voters first backed them at the ballot box. Asked to reconcile that position with her support of higher library taxes, Figueira backed off and said she would make an exception given the central role education plays in the community.
"We are doing a disservice and injustice to a community by not providing library services to everyone," she said.
She would still require a ballot item for higher taxes to avoid planned layoffs in the county police department.
Diaz, 53, declined an interview request for this article. In response to a written question about what he has accomplished during his current term, Diaz cited county ordinances tied to child safety and sexual predators, as well as securing federal help on flood insurance and transportation funding.