MIAMI (CBS4) – One day after Miami police union members voted overwhelmingly to lead an effort to recall Mayor Tomas Regalado, the city’s unionized firefighters discussed whether to support them.

Late Wednesday night the fire union tabled a scheduled vote on the recall attempt so the leadership could provide more information to the members.

The fire union president says the consensus is that they are frustrated and want the mayor out.

Relations between the mayor and the unions have soured over the last few years. In 2009, cops and firefighters agreed to wage and benefit concessions. Last year, the Mayor and city commission unilaterally imposed more cuts. Union officials are upset that the mayor is once again seeking union concessions to avoid increasing property taxes in the city which is facing a $61 million deficit for the next fiscal year.

On Tuesday, the final tally for the police union vote was 432 for the recall effort and 16 against; nearly half of the union’s members cast ballots.

Captain Craig Radelman was one of hundreds of Miami firefighters who hit the streets campaigning to get Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado elected two years ago. He now plans to vote for spearheading the recall effort.

“It’s not a personal attack against Regalado or anybody else. It’s the fact that they’ve made an attack against the employees of the City of Miami,” he told CBS4’s Natalia Zea.

He says he believes the Mayor has mismanaged money, and he’s concerned about a third year of cuts to firefighter benefits.

“I’ve been here for 25 years, I’ve contributed for 25 years. 10% of my salary for 25 years has gone to my pension and now they’re telling me you know what you don’t deserve it,” said Capt. Radelman.

The last straw, according to union leaders, were the golden parachutes handed out to departing city executives. The unions were particularly offended that the administration reportedly offered Police Chief Miguel Exposito, a Regalado foe, $400,000 to go away.

Fire union president Robert Suarez has also accused Regalado of mismanagement.

“While we’re cutting back on city services and on employees, we’re seeing political cronies and hacks being hired,” said Suarez.

Mayor Regalado cancelled a scheduled interview with CBS4 Tuesday evening but he released this statement:

“The goal of this administration is to balance the budget, get the city’s fiscal house in order and create jobs without raising taxes. That is what taxpayers asked me to do, and that is what I am doing. By refusing to increase taxes we are improving the business climate and seeing concrete results.”

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez was recalled by voters outraged that he presided over a tax hike in order to give pay raises to county employees, including police and firefighters.

In Miami Regalado has done just the opposite, and has won the support of the leader of the Alvarez recall effort, auto magnate Norman Braman.

Regardless of the outcome of Wednesday’s vote, expect a legal challenge from the City Attorney, on whether the City Charter allows for a recall.

Political analyst Fernand Amandi says budget cuts have created fractured relationships between local governments and first responders across South Florida.

“Something has got to give, and I think that’s why you see the leadership of these municipalities trying to re-sit down at the table with union officials to renegotiate.”

Comments (14)
  1. UckTheFunions says:

    Why do these non-educated hose holders, truck driving workers think they are so special? Don’t they know that any 6 year old knows how to use a hose and any 18 year old with a license can drive an ambulance or a fire truck?

    Looks like Braman is going to get involved and deal another blow to the tax sucking unions.!!

    1. Roger Keith says:

      Sounds like a union member had relations with your family member or maybe you have something that prevented you from getting hired as a public servant. How would you feel if your employer took away anything you were promised in writing when you got hired.

    2. ma says:

      Please Sir, I offer you a personal invitation to any of the fire station or the training center for the City of Miami Fire Rescue, to get your story straight. You sound clueless when you state that “even a six year knows how ….” Please come out and put on the gear and just try to advance 200-300 ft of hose with 100-200 psi. I guarantee you wouldn’t last more than a few minutes in controlled conditions, ie no fire just moving hose. If you know anything about science, hydraulics or just plain water you would understand that a gallon of water weighs approx 8lbs. Now factor all that water and pressure on those 200- 300 ft of hose under fire conditions and all your gear and I guarantee you’d probably put your tail between your legs and back off, not being able to handle the load and stress. You are not just ignorant but stupid with all due respect sir! I’m sure one day you’ll know of someone needing advance life support, would you want an uneducated individual calculating your drug dosages for therapy that might bring your loved ones life back or would you want like you mentioned above just anyone? FYI 90 % of the City of Miami Firefighter are Paramedics and hold AS, BS, BA degrees in many of the public and fire service field. Your local politicians aren’t stupid like you, they’re just crooked. They understand and would never want to cut your services and bring just anyone in because then this hole that you call home would be in total anarchy. The politician want to provide excellent service at below discounted rates. In closing, remember your words and rhetoric, you always get what you pay for. So if you keep blasting away with all these false statements and your politician reduce your services, lets hope you never need to cash it in for your sake. It would be such a tragedy if due to avg of $30 per household in taxes that you saved this year you now would have units or even whole stations closed while you cling or your love one clings to life as clock keeps ticking because the nearest unit is 10-12 mins away due to your $30 savings!

  2. Dany says:

    Corrupted fire fighters n police officer they should all get cut

    1. FRED PETERS says:

      but you will call them in a second when the cra[ hits the fan and you can’t handle it, right????
      don’t be an ignorant hater !!!

  3. Rafael Bocanegra says:

    out,out,out of office worthless thats what he is.

  4. Bert says:

    Why put Police and Fireman in the same category, they are not. Police put their lives at risk the moment they put the uniform on and walk out the door.
    Firemen don’t do anything 90% or more of the time, do they risk their life? in Miami putting out fires? they are not the NYFD, they have it easy, most have second jobs (a lot of time off) not because they don’t get paid enough but because they want to live above their means. I hate to put all in the same class but the ones I know are not worthy of what they claim they deserve.

    1. Robert says:

      Bert, how about doing some research and you’ll wil see that Miami Firefighters do more than just fight fires. We are also paramedics. Yeah we dont fight fire everyday, but we also respond to all types of emergencies. When someone in Miami dials 911, for medical emergencies, they don’t get an “ambulance”,they get a Fire Rescue truck, with 3 paramedics.

      1. readthis says:

        no more like ten firefighters tired of watching re runs and shopping at Publix with the trucks, bring your GD lunch like real people do.
        Also 90% of all firefighters are volunteers so what happened in so florida?
        You are not bs ing anyone.
        unions should not set gov’t policy, but your demigod mayor rebatista, does need to go(can we all get a slot machine now?)

    2. Roger Keith says:

      Oh sure Bert, like cops are a lot better with all the corruption and shootings. Wake up and look at the news once in a while. Its always about Miami cops and the corruption and never a thing about the firefighters for a reason. If you think we don’t do anything then why do the stations have two rescue trucks because of all the calls for service. Get educated before you post lies.

      Jealousy is a dishonest trait. If you hate to put them all in the same class then don’t! Say what you mean and mean what you say! Maybe you should concentrate on understanding that ALL the PD and fire personnel are in this together! Division will get you nothing…………..


    Yes!!! for the Firefighters..RECALL REGALADO!!!! .Tiired of this Mayor & Daughter…..Braman,send Him to Nursing Home..He,is boring,NO sales Cars,… Return the IRON HANDS POLICE TO MIAMI…Clean this City,like was Before..NOW, CITY OF THIRD WORLD..GOOD-BYE REGALADO….

  6. Joviel says:

    Its funny how individuals could be so ignorant in claiming that firefighters dont do anything 90% of the time, and that anyone could do this job. Say that to a family’s loved one who we brought back to life after going into cardiac or respiratory arrest. Do your research and see that most of us suffer from horrible sleeping patterns, cardiac and back problems, and end up dying 5 years after we retire. WE SIGNED UP KNOWING THIS!! To serve the very people who are too blind and easily fooled by corrupt politicians on how to view us as. All we are asking for is for our mayor to STOP incorrectly spending the city of Miamis’ funds and using the employees as a quick get away.

    1. WAKEUP says:

      Agree with You,Joviel..Thanks,to the firefighters,my father(had stroke),was alive, for two years,more..NO by Regalado

  7. WAKEUP says:

    Firefighters & Police are Heroes..Let’s stop Spending Welfare & Illegals..We will saving $$$$… & Four Vice-Mayors???..Why Recall Carlos Alvarez??, Carlos Gimenez is WORST. & Regaldo??? we aware,the daughter is COMING,next… Jesus!! some Comments,from Welfare Employees

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