Thursday, March 10, 2011

Random Pixels presents "Your Daily Carlos"

Hopefully by this time next week we'll be referring to Carlos Alvarez as "former mayor Alvarez" and he'll be cleaning out his office.

And - fingers crossed - two weeks from now he'll be a distant memory.

He does have one more chance to convince voters who haven't already cast their ballots that he's doing a great job and deserves to keep his job.

Channels 10's Michael Putney tells me that Alvarez will be the guest on his show, This Week in South Florida, this Sunday at 11:30am.

Alvarez's appearance on the show at this late stage, seems to me to be an exercise in futility. But I'll tune in to see what he has to say.

Perhaps he'll talk about what he's going to do with all the spare time he's sure to have after Tuesday's vote. Or maybe he'll talk about his favorite South Florida fishing holes. Who knows?

Speaking of exercises in futility, this morning the Herald reported that Miami-Dade taxpayers are funding a last minute effort by Alvarez to fend off the recall.
Miami-Dade County has launched a far-reaching campaign to burnish its image among residents and county workers at the same time county Mayor Carlos Alvarez is fending off a recall drive.

Though the word “recall” is rarely mentioned, messages about the county’s good work are suddenly everywhere: Tucked inside water bills, blaring from scratchy speakers on Metrorail platforms, in video messages on the county-run website. New placards at County Hall portray dedicated public servants doing everything from safeguarding water quality to rescuing stray cats and dogs.

The campaign includes government-paid mailers and flyers, blast emails and waves of county staffers armed with message points to address community groups. In many cases, county officials are approaching various nonprofit groups that compete for a slice of county funding, to be awarded in April.

Questions about the Alvarez administration improperly mixing government and politics arose last week when The Miami Herald and CBS4 reported that the county transit agency released 12 bus drivers from their jobs to join a vaguely defined union “education committee’’ while continuing to collect full county paychecks. At least one of the bus drivers was spotted campaigning for the mayor at an early election site.
Over at Miami New Times, art director Pam Shavalier came up with some new looks the mayor might want to try out in an effort to widen his appeal "in a last ditch effort to reach voters."

Carlos Alvarez as Justin Bieber. This look could appeal to
voters who are also parents of teen girls.
So while Carlos Alvarez gets to tool around town in taxpeyer-paid-for BMW 500i Gran Turismo for another few days, some are already beginning to speculate where the mayor went wrong.

The Herald's Fred Grimm says that voters "forgive a lot but not arrogance."
Karen Paul of Florida International University, an expert on business and political ethics and a member of the Alliance for Ethical Government, a citizens’ group formed to clean up Miami-Dade government, thinks the stadium evolved into “a symbol of arrogance and pandering to the powers that be at the expense of the property owner.”

Oddly enough, the professor’s sentiments were echoed by Alex Daoud, the former Miami Beach city commissioner and mayor who served 18 months for a bribery conviction. The defining difference between his behavior, however criminal, and the travails of Carlos Alvarez, he said, “was an issue of arrogance.”

“The public will forgive a lot of behavior, but it won’t forgive hubris,” Daoud said, explaining the inscrutable attitude of Miami-Dade voters.

“I did a lot of bad things in my life,” he said, “But I never lost an election.”

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