Kendall’s largest homeowner organization is planning for a standing room crowd on Monday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m., to hear Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez speak as a Mar. 15 voter referendum asking for his recall approaches.
The Kendall Federation of Homeowner Associations (KFHA) session, free and open to the public, will take place in the Civic Pavilion at Kendall Village Center, 8625 SW 124 Ave. The KFHA is a forum where Mayor Alvarez has appeared often for special events and updates on county and police affairs.
The entire agenda of the KFHA meeting is devoted to his discussion of county issues, the county budget, transit finances as affected by federal assistance, and the looming recall vote prompted by a successful petition drive headed by Norman Braman.
The automobile dealer openly financed and directed the effort amassing more than 190,000 signatures in late 2010 for the referendum, largely in response to Alvarez’s moves to increase key administrator salaries while approving a new property tax increase in the fiscal 2010-11 budget.
Now facing an untimely end to the final year of a four-year term as the county’s chief executive, the mayor is revisiting familiar places to tell his side of the story.
Most recently, on Jan. 25, he appeared before the Young Republicans’ Club in Coral Gables. On Thursday, Feb. 10, at 12:15 p.m., he will address a Cutler Bay Business Association meeting at Palmetto Bay Village Center, 18001 Old Cutler Rd. His annual “State of the County” address is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 10 a.m., in the Government Center Commission Chambers, 111 NW First St.
“Our Kendall audience will get to ask the mayor questions, so it is very important that six weeks before the recall election our community will get to hear his answers,” said Michael Rosenberg, recently elected member of the KFHA Board of Governors chairing a new drive for expanded membership.
“It should be quite a rewarding evening, and we have no idea what to expect from our audience,” he added. “That alone could make it newsworthy!”
In defending his policies, Alvarez has pointed to his support of the Urban Development Boundary, retaining state funding for the Port of Miami tunnel project, creating the Miami-Dade Wi-Fi (wireless broadband) and backing a series of programs aiding seniors through his “Initiative on Aging.”
Attending KFHA meetings for the past 24 years, Alvarez is stumping for voter support in familiar grounds where he first served as a Kendall District police lieutenant from 1981 to 1983, later becoming district commander as a major from 1987 to 1989 before promotion to Chief of the South District from 1988 to 1991.
He purchased his first home in West Kendall in 1979, residing in the area for more than 20 years where his children attended Kendall schools and he coached a West Kendall Optimist Club Little League team.
First elected mayor in November 2004, Alvarez was reelected to a second term in August 2008. He is responsible for management of all administrative departments within the county following a voter decision in January 2007 that created a strong mayor form of government.
Overseeing a budget of more than $7 billion and 27,000 employees, he claims his administration “is a leaner, more efficient organization that is spending less while still providing programs and services that residents have come to expect and rely on,” according to a statement from Victoria Mallette, communications director in the mayor’s office.