MIAMI (CBS4) – The date for the special recall election against Miami Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez has been set and it turns out that like Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Mayor Alvarez will have to beware the Ides of March.
County commissioners selected March 15 for the countywide special election, which is expected to cost taxpayers between $4 million and $5 million. Also facing a recall vote that day will be County Commissioner Natacha Seijas, who had tried to keep her name off the ballot with Alvarez.
Seijas had asked her colleagues to delay setting a date for her special election until after she has had a chance to challenge the recall in court. A hearing on Seijas’s lawsuit trying to stop her recall is scheduled for next week.
But commissioners, led by Carlos Gimenez, said it just made economic sense to schedule both elections on the same day. Seijas, annoyed and feeling betrayed by her fellow commissioners. She warned them that some day they may also be facing a recall.
“Today it’s me, tomorrow it may be you,” she said.
Seijas refused to speak to reporters after the commission meeting.
County Mayor Alvarez issued a statement after the meeting saying he was looking forward to the upcoming election.
“The setting of an election date is a great opportunity for voters to cut through the noise and get the facts about Miami-Dade County’s budget,” Alvarez argued. “It’s my hope that reality trumps rhetoric and substance beats out style.”
Alvarez is facing a recall after auto tycoon Norman Braman mounted a well-funded campaign to collected tens of thousands of signatures. Braman said he targeted Alvarez and Seijas because of their support for a property tax increase for some homeowners last year even though most county homeowners saw their property taxes go down.
Alvarez said the limited tax increase was necessary to avoid huge cuts to essential services such as the police and fire departments.
Alvarez has always argued that Braman’s real frustration stems from Braman’s disdain for Alvarez’s support for building a new stadium for the Florida Marlins.
Braman attempted to stop the project through various lawsuits but failed. Since he couldn’t stop the stadium, Braman has now directed his financial resources on removing Alvarez.