MIAMI – For the second time this year, an effort to recall the Miami Dade county mayor, Carlos Alvarez, has been launched. Billionaire business man Norman Braman announced on September 27 that he is launching a petition drive to recall Miami Dade mayor Carlos Alvarez. Alvarez, who boosted his authority in office as a “strong mayor” by using a petition, is now feeling what it is like to have one against him.
This move comes after the controversial measure voted into action by county commissioners and the mayor last week: a 13 percent property tax increase in an effort to plug the monstrous budget hole of Miami Dade County.
Braman, the owner of several car dealerships, had vowed to take action and launch recall petitions on the mayor and any county commissioner that approved the tax hike. On Monday he followed through and launched a petition against the mayor, although there is still no word on any action being taken against commissioners.
The businessman has a noble cause, claiming that he is launching the campaign so that “the citizens of this community may have their voices heard.”
Alvarez is no stranger to coming under fire. In just a couple of years Alvarez has been at the center of many county spending controversies, including using tax money to purchase a BMW 550i Gran Turismo and duping Miami Dade commissioners to approve Marlins baseball stadium that is costing residents about $2 billion in taxes. County workers have also had enough of Alvarez as he cut salaries across the board and residents have grown weary of a worsening job market. Add a public hospital in financial ruin and an airport that is costing millions in never ending construction and what you have is a recipe for financial disaster.
And now Alvarez somehow thinks that a whopping 13 percent tax hike is the solution. It would seem that along with irresponsibly wasting money, Alvarez also has a special gift for making stomachs churn with fury.
With economic struggles, crumbling property values, rampant foreclosures, and an unemployment rate of almost 13 percent, the last thing Miami Dade residents need is a monstrous tax hike.
The truth of the matter, whether Alavarez chooses to acknowledge it or not, is that Miami Dade residents are livid. In a poll taken Monday by The Miami Herald 74 percent of residents said they would sign Braman’s petition to recall the mayor.
Alvarez responded in a press conference by saying the property tax had to be increased in order to protect vital services like fire and police. He also said he was not concerned about the petition and would continue to worry about daily county dealings until residents say otherwise.
If protests outside county hall, a second attempt at a recall, and the overwhelming vote to eliminate the county manager position last month are not enough of a sign for Alvarez then residents are going to have to start using force soon. It really is no wonder why residents in this county have taken matters into their own hands.
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