County Mayor Carlos Alvarez Bids on a Sweet New $60K Beemer

Sure, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez is king of a county where the hospital is bankrupt, one in ten residents doesn't have a job, and mortgage fraud is the only growth industry.

That doesn't mean he shouldn't ride in style!

Alvarez has posted an official county bid notice for his new work car, and he's not messing around. He wants a BMW 500i Gran Turismo, a sleek Euro pocket rocket that "combines the stylish elegance of a luxury limousine" with the "versatility of an SUV."

It's not Alvarez's first foray into luxury autos. As staff writer Francisco Alvarado reported last summer, the mayor has a serious fetish for expensive Beemers -- for the past two years, he's driven a BMW 650i leased from South Motors for $41,522.

Just under $20,000 came from Alvarez's taxpayer-funded monthly car allowance; the mayor picked up the rest of the tab himself.

Because Alvarez had the foresight in September to protect his car allowance even as he was cutting 1,700 jobs to close a $444 million shortfall, he'll presumably keep the same arrangement for his hot new GT model.

Alvarez receives an $800 monthly allowance for his car, says Suzy Trutie, a county spokeswoman.

The new bid doesn't open until next Friday, so there's no word yet on what kind of lease the county will get. But a salesman at South Motors BMW tells Riptide that a no-frills 500i Gran Turismo retails for around $60,000.

Alvarez declined to speak with Riptide about the bid.

Combined with county commissioners voting yesterday to ask for a pay raise to $92,097, local politicians are seriously challenging Scott Stapp for title of South Florida's most tone-deaf resident.

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