Billionaire Norman Braman's quest to have Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez recalled was officially approved by the Clerk of Courts yesterday. Today, and effort to recall five county commissioners was launched by a political action committee called Miami Voice. The targeted commissioners: Barbara J. Jordan (District 1), Audrey M. Edmonson (District 3), Bruno A. Barreiro (District 5), Dennis C. Moss (District 9), and Natacha Seijas (District 13). Mayor Alvarez and the five commissioners all voted to approve a 14 percent increase in property taxes.
Braman had originally threatened to launch a recall effort against any commissioner who voted for the increase as well, but decided to concentrate on efforts to remove Alvarez. He must now collect 56,000 signature to get the recall effort on the ballot.
Miami Voice, which is not connected to Braman, has taken up the effort to recall those commissioners. If the initiative is approved they must collect 20,000 signatures from the district of each commissioner.
"The recall effort is a direct response to the Board of County Commissioners and the decisions they have made over time that have led to this tax increase," Miriam Planas, Co-Chair of the PAC, tells CBS4. "Residents have given commissioners countless opportunities to reverse the effects of their decisions, but they have continued to put their interests over ours. Now, we have to pay the price - this is unacceptable."
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Planas ran unsuccessfully against incumbent commissioner Javier Souto (who will not be targeted) in the District 10 commission race in August. She ran on a platform that championed term limits for county commissioners.
The PAC's Facebook page describe it as, "a nonpartisan volunteer committee comprised of residents, local businesses, and community organizations working to ensure that the voice of the people in Miami-Dade County is no longer drowned by everyday politics."
While the timing of the recall efforts comes after the tax hike, it must now also fight for attention with federal and state elections taking place in early November. Though, Braman's efforts will have more than a month after the midterm election to collect signature. As will the Miami Voice effort if it's approved.