Politics

Norman Braman Gets Mayoral Candidates To Promise Charter Reform

When Norman Braman launched his campaign to oust Mayor Carlos Alvarez, he made it clear that charter reform -- including term limits -- was his real goal. Braman inched a step closer to making that happen today as three of the front-runners to replace Alvarez all promised to back his ideas.

Funny how getting almost 90 percent of voters to destroy a couple political careers really catches the establishment's ear, right?


"The loud and clear message (from Tuesday's recall) was that the voters are demanding accountability," Braman said, speaking to reporters in at the Midtown Miami offices of his BMW dealership.

The three candidates -- Commissioner Carlos Gimenez, Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina, and former State Rep. Marcelo Llorente -- all signed a pledge promising to back term limits, at-large districts and other reforms pushed by Braman.

Braman also lined up a half-dozen current politicos, including Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower, to sign on.

Also, since commissioners seem to be leaning toward a May 4 election to replace Alvarez -- a date too early to include charter reform votes on the ballot -- Braman is demanding that commissioners at least include a straw poll referendum on the ideas.

"Let the voters have a say on whether they want these changes or not," Braman said. "That's all I'm asking for."

Here are the full changes that Robaina, Llorente and Gimenez promised to back:

  • Terms limits for commissioners of two 4 year terms
  • Changing the commission to a mix of at-large and single districts
  • Making commission elections concurrent with elections for state and national elections
  • Repealing the current law governing recalls to make the recall process easier and less expensive
  • Changing regulations to make it easier for public votes on commission ordinances
  • Eliminating all commissioner "slush funds" and "discretionary funds"
  • Reducing the size and cost of county government
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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink