The local police union has become a major player in the campaign to recall Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez, reports the city’s Herald. The mayor, who headed Miami-Dade County police before becoming mayor and has worked to protect the police budget, has received $50,000 from the Police Benevolent Association’s political action committee to help fight the recall effort. The Miami-Dade PBA plans to join other county unions at a pro-Alvarez rally Saturday. “Our support is not only well known — it’s well founded,” said John Rivera, president of the PBA.
Miami billionaire Norman Braman, who is heading the recall campaign, says he has collected nearly enough petitions to call a special election to decide the mayor’s fate. He launched the recall effort in a fury over a county budget that raised the property tax rate while handing raises to most county employees. Braman, who has hired a professional petition gathering firm, has until Dec. 5 to collect signatures from at least 4 percent of registered voters in the county — about 52,000 people — in order to put the recall question before voters.