Mr. Braman’s recall efforts taking taxpayers for a ride

By Grant Miller…
Wealthy car dealer Norman Braman threatened before the final county budget hearing to seek the recall of any county commission members who voted for the new budget, of which he disapproved.

He has made good on that threat, at least in part, with his current efforts to get 52,000 signatures on petitions to recall Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez.

Alvarez and his supporters say that it’s a personal thing, that Braman is just being a sore loser because the mayor beat him in court when Braman tried to halt county funding of the Florida Marlins’ new stadium. Braman says he is pushing for the recall because he thinks it’s wrong for the county to raise property taxes for many people while giving big raises to a lot of county employees.

That’s a significant issue; don’t get me wrong. However, if Mr. Braman is worried about adding a lot of unnecessary expenses to the county budget that the taxpayers will have to fund, how does he think that a special election to recall the mayor will help? The costs for the elections and other expenses the county will incur as a result of the recall drive could run as high as $15 million, according to some estimates.

Mayor Alvarez will be up for re-election in less than two years. Wouldn’t it make more sense to let the voters have their say then and avoid the extra expense?

Braman’s plan does nothing to address the basic problem, the huge shortfall in county revenues due to the troubled economy and falling real estate values. Where is Braman’s alternative budget proposal? What would he do to insure there is no tax increase while still providing the community’s basic needs?

Maybe he is just trying to make a statement, or to throw a scare into the mayor and the rest of the commission to make them more careful about future budget votes. But can’t he find a better, more positive way to go about it?

Maybe, because he’s a billionaire, Mr. Braman wouldn’t mind picking up the tab for the special elections?

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5 Comments on "Mr. Braman’s recall efforts taking taxpayers for a ride"

  1. Merritt Fitzharris | November 7, 2010 at 2:28 am | Reply

    Yeah… Giving the community a chance to have a voice is not worth 15 Million $'s or so… It's priceless… Where do you live?… Mr. Braman is paying substantial dollars for the petition drive… Why can't this legitimate process (that doesn't happen enough) run its inspiring course before you make, what I believe to be, moronic statements…

    Merritt Fitzharris

  2. This was a really good read thanks

  3. Mr Braman…. you know I respect for you and your family……..
    I never said these words nor typed them out…….

  4. Not that I disagree …….. not that I agreeeeeeeeeee…..

  5. I’m pretending I learned how to spell Florida

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