Thursday, March 17, 2011

Recall Fever?

88% of the people who voted in Miami-Dade's recall election voted to remove Carlos Alvarez from office. The polls had indicated that the recall was popular but I saw nothing that showed it would be this big a Yes vote. It's surprising and a bit worrisome about what happens next. The recall was expensive and if the county commissioners do not choose a replacement for mayor and commissioner, the special election will cost even more at a time when the county is broke.

I get the reasons for the recall. Alvarez raised salaries and certainly appeared to benefit personally from the mayoral perks. He's tone deaf politically and had alienated much of his potential base early on. The stadium is a boondoggle. The budget is a disaster.

As Fred Grimm in the Herald pointed out today, waiting until the next election might have been the responsible thing to do.

It's done, though, and that's that. What happens next is going to be a little scary. How does an inexperienced mayor, a new city manager, and a new commissioner step up and take the reins at a critical time like this? Will they actually do better?

Time for a confession. I spaced the election. My official excuse is that I was out of town until Tuesday night, which was true, but I could have voted early and I forgot. I am so ambivalent on the subject of recalls that maybe we don't have to get Dr. Freud out of his comfortable grave to explain why, but I am feeling bad about missing the election. And I'm still not sure how I would have voted.

Very close to home, in North Bay Village, yesterday an emailing went out from "Jose Viernes" clearly a pseudonym, with a form attached about recalling Dr. Vogel. Since there is no citizen-sponsor, as required by law, I think this is an opening shot and an attempt to get that conversation started. Anonymity diminishes seriousness of purpose.

I respect Dr. Vogel. He's served us for many years and while I disagree with probably most of his votes, his experience is valuable. He should vote his own mind more often and pay less attention to the twins, Vice Commissioner Lim-Kreps, and the CFD cabal. I don't see how a recall would do anyone any good. I think it would be much better to concentrate on fixing the many problems facing North Bay Village.

To repeat an offer that has been open since I started, I will gladly publish any opinions from whomever might want to comment. The rules are the same:

  • You need to provide a real name and real way to contact you.
  • What you write cannot contain libels, that is false damaging information that cannot be proven. It can be negative but you have to back it up.
  • I reserve the right to edit for clarity but won't publish without your agreement

Oh, and Beannachtai na Feile Padraig ("Happy St. Patrick's Day". It's the only Gaelic I know.)

Kevin Vericker
March 17, 2011

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