The Miami Herald web page reports the (rather important) story four items below Ear-biting monkey caught after disrupting dinner, but it seems that the Clerk of Courts Harvey Ruvin has certified the petitions seeking a Recall vote on Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez.
I get a vote in this one, and I’m thinking I’ll vote “no”. I’m open to persuasion, but the whole recall idea here seems to me to be misguided, and largely motivated by the personal pique of a local millionaire. Don’t get me wrong — there are plenty of local politicians I’d happily see recalled, including a nice big chunk of the County Commission. And, happily, several recall petitions are in the works for some of them too. I simply don’t see the case for recalling Alvarez. While not a perfect county Mayor, Alvarez has been considerably better than average. He’s probably a B, on a good day B+, Mayor, in a town where the C- has been far more common and the F not unheard of.
Plus, if we lose Alvarez what do we get? Does the Commission get to appoint his successor? The Herald says, “Under current law, if the mayor is recalled and the commission holds a special election for a new mayor, there is no provision allowing commissioners to appoint an interim mayor.” But what the Herald didn’t say is that if the Commission doesn’t call a special election, they can just appoint a new Mayor. Here’s the relevant text from the Charter:
Any vacancy in the office of Mayor or the members of the Board shall be filled by majority vote of the remaining members of the Board within 30 days, or the Board shall call an election to be held not more than 45 days thereafter to fill the vacancy. The person chosen to fill the office vacated must at the time of appointment meet the residence requirements for the office to which such person is appointed. A person appointed shall serve only until the next county-wide election. A person elected shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term of office. If a majority of the members of the Board should become appointed rather than elected to office, then the Board shall call an election to be held not more than 45 days thereafter to permit the registered electors to elect commissioners to succeed the appointed commissioners; appointed commissioners may succeed themselves unless otherwise prohibited by the Charter. If a county-wide election is scheduled to be held within 180 days from the date on which the majority of the members of the Board become appointive, the Board may elect to defer the required election until the scheduled county-wide election.
So they don’t have to have an election to replace Alvarez. But a Mayor appointed by the current Commission likely would be awful.
I just don’t see the case for this one.