MIAMI (CBS4)- When Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado was elected to office it was with the support of the police and firefighters’ unions.

Consider the honeymoon over.

The leadership of the first responders’ unions have voted to lead a recall effort against Regalado. The rank and file membership of both unions are expected to vote on the proposed campaign next week.

In 2009, cops and firefighters agreed to wage and benefit concessions. Last year, the Mayor and city commission unilaterally imposed more cuts.

“Our benefits and pensions were totally devastated,” said Fraternal Order of Police President Armando Aguilar on Thursday. “They cut our salaries significantly, our pension benefits were destroyed.”

And for the third year, the mayor and commission are looking to fill a $27 million budget hole by giving employees, including cops and firefighters, less.

“They’re telling us there’s no money in the city and they’re going to have to cut salaries again or cut benefits,” said Aguilar. “I have members calling me and telling me they’re about to lose their home, they can’t afford another pay cut.”

Aguilar said the last straw, prompting the recall consideration, were golden parachutes handed out to departing city executives. The unions were particularly offended that the administration offered Police Chief Miguel Exposito, a Regalado foe, $400,000 to go away.

Is Mayor Regalado afraid of the unions’ potential recall effort?

“No, I’m not,” an emphatic mayor told CBS4’s Gary Nelson on Thursday.

Regalado said he doesn’t believe the unions can collect sufficient petition signatures to hold a recall vote, but if they do he’s confident they will be rebuked by voters.

“The people of Miami will have the opportunity of deciding if we should continue with big salaries and big pensions or reductions in taxes,” Regalado said.

Commissioner Marc Sarnoff told CBS4 he doesn’t believe residents, struggling in a difficult economy, will take kindly to poor-mouthing by police and firefighters.

“I think it’s potentially going to backfire on them,” Sarnoff said. “I think what we need to do as a city is is try to get unified, and try to proceed forward in the face of very touch economic times.”

Sarnoff said there are reductions in spending that must happen for the city to function.

Aguilar said city officials have ignored substantial cost-saving recommendations offered by the unions and have instead decided to balance the budget on the backs of those who protect and save lives.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez was recalled by voters this year, 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.

Braman sent Regalado this text message via cell phone: “Heard about recall. Be assured I will do everything possible to help you. Best regards, Norman Braman.”

Comments (12)
  1. Jane Doe says:

    Best news I heard so far today! Get rid of the corrupt mayor.

  2. Luis bonilla says:

    DO it, one less corrupted cuban in office. where do i sign?

  3. Danny says:

    Like always corrupted police officer getting away with murder. Not 1 not 2 but 9. And their still idiots supporting this killer.

  4. Dany says:

    I rather I a corrupted mayor than corrupted cops killing civilians and getting away with murder. We have worst system in the country. Dade county is the worst place to raise your child..

  5. Chucky says:

    “…Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado. Armando Aguilar, president of the Miami Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police…”

    Uh, didn’t the last mayor get recalled?

    What is this, yo-yo politics?! You don’t like the guy you elected to office, so you just issue a recall and eject him?! Wow…

    Where is this again, Miami?

    Well, I guess it’s more civilized the politics via machete.

  6. Sonny Diblasi says:

    With all do respect Miami is only the worst place to raise your child for those not involved in their childrens upbringing! I do agree with you though that when it comes to corruption politician vs officers.
    Sonny Diblasi

    Miami is a wonderful place in general but has problems like every other city, state, and Country.

  7. RANGER says:


  8. Diana says:

    U got my vote regalado..

  9. Tim West says:

    I love to support honorable people doing an honorable job. Namely…the US military… US Public Health staff…city & country firefighters. Fire all the rest of the misfits, lazy bums, people haters, criminals in uniform; hire new staff one by one with a strong code of conduct and a ‘revelation’ that they work for the public …& not allowed to torment, maim, lie on, corrupt, rape, beat to death or kill the public…because it was JUSTITIFIED since the cop feared for his life… when the victim was handcuffed on the ground or running away or moving in pain whenb the goon squad was kicking his internal organs into a pulp.

    Also there should be a federal law that high school bullies & juvenile criminals, who cannot find something to do after high school…should never be allowed to join the police department…and bring their evil ways to an… unsuspecting public

  10. Sellous says:

    Every single person in America is feeling this economic crunch, as a result we all have to make some sort of sacrifice, why these people think they are above doing so?.

    Is this why you voted for this Mayor, to do as you suggest and feel comfortable with?. Mr. Mayor you in charge, do what you see necessary so as to run the city.

    Forget about these selfish, no people fools, we the majority who have no jobs, welcome all cuts, in fact many need to work less hours so that others can put food on the tables too.

  11. Manmia says:

    A mayor keeping taxes down and trying to cleanup a (coprrupt) police force…keep him, get rid of the police chief and police union bosses.