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Canvassing Board Approves Recall Votes

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Legislative Session Coverage

MIAMI (CBS4) – The Miami-Dade County canvassing board has officially approved the votes from Tuesday’s recall election. That means, that Carlos Alvarez and Natacha Seijas are now former city officials. Both former Mayor Alvarez and Commissioner Seijas lost by overwhelming numbers in Tuesday’s vote.

Seijas and Alavarez lost by a nearly 9-1 margin.

According to the board, 184,652  voters voted yes to recall Alvarez while 24,796 voted against the recall. The results show that 17,677 voted yes to recall Seijas while 2,485 voted against removing the commissioner.

With a population of more than two million people, Miami-Dade is now the largest county in the country to ever recall a top politician.

The Miami-Dade commission now has 30 days to appoint a replacement for Alvarez. If they appoint someone, that replacement will be mayor until the next countywide election which is scheduled for January 2012, during the Republican presidential primary.

It was a former colleague who was tasked with signing the paperwork that officially terminated Alvarez and Seijas.

“This was very difficult for me to participate in, especially when we are considering one of my colleagues as well as the mayor who I have worked closely with,” said Miami-Dade Commissioner Audrey Edmonson. 

CBS4 News has learned that County Manager George Burgess who resigned Wednesday will collect on his contract, which entitles him to one year’s salary and benefits. 

The total amount is $420,000. 

Former Mayor Carlos Alvarez, however, does not have a contract and his compensation package has yet to be determined.

Meanwhile, the winner of that election would have to run again in November 2012 when Alvarez’s term is up. An appointed replacement will not serve out the remainder of Alvarez’s term. They will only serve untik January.

If the commission does not appoint a replacement then they have to set a day for an election, to be held within 60 days, probably sometime around end of May or early June.

The winner of that election would serve out the remainder of Alvarez’s term, which ends in November 2012.

A number of candidates have already said they plan to run for the Mayor’s job if Alvarez was ousted, but in a recent Miami Herald-CBS4-Univision poll no clear front runner had emerged.

Alvarez and Seijas faced removal from office because both supported a county budget that raised the tax rate, and the taxes of many Miami-Dade residents, even as it granted raises to thousands of county employees, including some members of Alvarez’s personal staff.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve this community for the past 35 years,” Alvarez said in his statement. “The voters have spoken and a time of healing and reconciliation must now begin. No matter which side of the recall issue, one thing is certain: we all care very deeply about this community.”

“I wish the next Mayor of Miami-Dade County much success.”

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