It took him two years and an exhausting legal battle with the county commission and its benefactors, but Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez succeeded in assuming more power over county government. Now Miami-Dade joins major metropolitan areas such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, where one individual is accountable for mismanagement, theft, and separating taxpayers from their well-earned dollars. In other words, if another scandal breaks out at the airport, seaport, housing agency, or building department, Miami-Dade citizens can blame Alvarez. And if he doesn't clean things up, we can vote him out. Now if we could only set term limits on the commissioners, get rid of single-member districts, and impose lobbyist reforms. Then maybe Miami-Dade could finally begin to focus on becoming the international gateway to the future.