MIAMI (CBS4) – Four candidates are running in County Commission District 13 to replace Natacha Seijas – who was recalled on March 15.
District 13 covers the northwest part of the county including Hialeah and Miami Lakes.
Carlos Amaro, 57, is running on a platform of job creation.
“I’m a businessman, I see the frustration in the community,” Amaro said. “I see the unemployment situation.”
He wants to create programs to support small businesses as well as create a venture capital fund to entice new businesses to Miami Dade County.
“Identify funding to help spur the small business and medium size business to start hiring again and have confidence in government,” Amaro explained. “Just talking about reform isn’t going to do it.”
Esteban Bovo, 48, served ten years on the Hialeah City Council and the last three as a state representative. He has raised more than $170,000 for his commission run.
Standing inside a restaurant in Hialeah, Bovo promises to bring fiscal restraint to County Hall.
“There are a lot of businesses like the one we are at today where if times are bad the owner tightens his belt,” Bovo said. “He may have to let people go. He may have to cut some of their benefits. County government didn’t do any of that stuff. What they did in turn was continue to feed that monster.”
He also said he wants to do away with county workers being able to save up their sick and vacation days and then cash them in for big paydays at the end of a 20 or 30 year career.
“We need to start changing the culture of the way the county works,” he said
And then there is the irrepressible Alan Rigerman. A retired public school teacher, Rigerman has been a government critic for decades.
“My hobby is local government,” he said, “and I have been aware of everything the county commission is doing.”
Rigerman wants to tackle unemployment by putting people to work paving roads and working on infrastructure projects.
“Now this may seem sexist – but obviously for this hard work we need some strong women and men,” he suggested. “But we need to be able to find things for, in quotes, gentle women to do, and I will do that.”
A fourth candidate in the race is Tania Castellanos. Little is known about her. She did not return calls seeking information and she has not appeared at any of the candidate debates.
The winner of the election will serve out the remaining 18 months on Seijas’s term. And they will have to run again next year.
For more stories related to Natacha Seijas and District 13, click here.