Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Alvarez and Commissioner Natacha Seijas were ousted in recall votes. Both voted for huge tax hikes that will saddle county taxpayers for years to come.
This should serve as a warning shot to union sympathizers that taxpayers have had enough.
Please consider Alvarez, Seijas trounced in Miami-Dade recall election
With almost all precincts reporting results, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez and Commissioner Natacha Seijas have been ousted from office.
Results from the recall election, including absentee and early votes, show a vast majority of voters, around 88 percent, want to kick out the two politicians.
Both politicians kept a low profile as results came in, but billionaire auto magnate Norman Braman, who championed the recall effort along with political action committee Miami Voice, celebrated with supporters at a news conference.
“Today is the first day of a new day for Miami-Dade County. County voters have demonstrated by their ballots that they are tired of unaccountable officials, of being ignored, and of being over-taxed in this very difficult recessionary time,” he said. “I say, ‘congratulations Miami-Dade voters!’”
“I knew the decision was not going to be popular,” Alvarez told WURN-Actualidad 1020 AM. Alvarez said his budget preserved “basic” services.
“If I had done what Mr. Braman wanted me to do…I would be facing a recall by the other people” whose funding for arts and social services was cut, Alvarez said.
Look at the self-serving arrogance of Alvarez’s statement. He was ousted 88-12 and has the gall to claim he would have faced a recall for making a different choice.
The New York Times reports Miami-Dade County Mayor Is Removed
Mayor Carlos Alvarez of Miami-Dade County was removed in a recall election on Tuesday as voters punished him for raising property taxes and increasing the salaries of his closest aides at the height of the recession.
Walking out of polling stations, irate voters said Mr. Alvarez’s greatest offense was his effrontery: Two years ago, with Miami sinking under foreclosures and a housing bust, he called on residents and county workers in a speech to brace themselves for “tough times.” But he gave his own top aides hefty raises, including his former chief of staff whose salary climbed to $206,783 from $185,484.
Last year, he pushed through a budget that raised property taxes for 40 percent of homeowners, despite plummeting property values, to avoid laying off firefighters and other public employees. Yet, most county workers are getting raises this year.
And then there is the car. The mayor shuttles around Miami in a sleek BMW 500i Gran Turismo, which taxpayers help subsidize.
The recall campaign was spearheaded by Norman Braman, a billionaire car dealer, philanthropist and onetime owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, who said he was outraged by the property tax increase and the “erosion in the quality of life” in Miami. Mr. Braman spent more than $1 million hiring consultants to collect signatures to call for the recall election. He collected 114,000, more than double the required number. A frequent guest on Spanish-language radio here, Mr. Braman, who does not speak Spanish, succeeded in energizing Hispanics who said they felt betrayed by their county mayor.
Voters favored removing the mayor by 88 percent to 12 percent.
About the author: Mike “Mish” Shedlock is a registered investment advisor representative for Sitka Pacific Capital Management. His top-rated global economics blog Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis offers insightful commentary every day of the week. He is also a contributing “professor” on Minyanville, a community site focused on economic and financial education. Every Thursday he does a podcast on HoweStreet and on an ad hoc basis he contributes to many other websites, including UnionWatch.