Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez and County Commissioner Natacha Seijas better beware the Ides of March. Voters will take to the polls on March 15 to decide whether they want to recall the beleaguered politicians, the County Commission decided today. The decision to hold both elections on the same ballot is a significant setback for Seijas who has tried desperately to have her recall held on a date other than the mayor's.
Recall-mania was set into play when Alvarez and the commission approved a hike in property taxes, despite criticism that the Mayor was handing out hefty raises to his staff and other County employees and bidding on a brand-new BMW for himself. Billionaire Norman Braman has financed the effort to recall Alvarez, while a local PAC tried to collect signatures to recall the commissioners who voted for the hike but were only successful in getting controversial and long-serving Seijas on the ballot.
Seijas is no stranger to criticism and through shady maneuvering and a perceived plain-old bad attitude has earned the nickname "Vile Natacha" on Eye on Miami.
She's filed suit against County Clerk Harvey Ruvin claiming he mishandled the processing of signatures that triggered the recall. She urged her fellow commissioners to hold off on setting the date until her argument is held in court, but under public pressure to save funds by holding the elections on the same day her colleagues didn't catch her a break. Seijas may have had a better chance at surviving the recall if it was held separately.
All voters in Miami-Dade will be able to vote to recall Alvarez, while only voters in Seijas' district 13 will be able to decide her fate.