A look back...in case you've forgotten.
Miami New Times, May 6 2010
County Mayor Carlos Alvarez Bids on a Sweet New $60K BeemerMiami Herald, May 23, 2010
by TIM ELFRINK
Sure, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez is king of a county where the hospital is bankrupt, one in ten residents doesn't have a job, and mortgage fraud is the only growth industry.
That doesn't mean he shouldn't ride in style!
Alvarez has posted an official county bid notice for his new work car, and he's not messing around. He wants a BMW 500i Gran Turismo, a sleek Euro pocket rocket that "combines the stylish elegance of a luxury limousine" with the "versatility of an SUV."
It's not Alvarez's first foray into luxury autos. As staff writer Francisco Alvarado reported last summer, the mayor has a serious fetish for expensive Beemers -- for the past two years, he's driven a BMW 650i leased from South Motors for $41,522.
Just under $20,000 came from Alvarez's taxpayer-funded monthly car allowance; the mayor picked up the rest of the tab himself.
Budget crisis or not, Miami-Dade leaders keep luxury carsAnd now...
by MATTHEW HAGGMAN
When County Hall's budget ax fell last year, the mayor and commissioners slashed more than $400 million in jobs and spending. Yet one perk was preserved: Their taxpayer-subsidized luxury cars.
The public picks up most of the tab for Commissioner Joe Martinez's 2010 Lexus GX460, Audrey Edmonson's 2010 Cadillac SRX and Carlos Gimenez's 2009 Mercedes Benz ML 350.
County Mayor Carlos Alvarez , already provided two county-owned Chevy Suburbans and two drivers to crisscross South Florida, is poised to take possession of a new BMW 550i Gran Turismo sedan. Taxpayers will cover a big chunk of the cost.
Each year Miami-Dade County government spends $1.5 million on car allowances for more than 400 employees. But top county leaders have reserved special treatment that includes a car allowance equaling $800 a month, unlimited gas at the county pump, free insurance and maintenance.
The mayor said erasing the perk for all county leaders is a legitimate question at a time of economic austerity, but he's not ready to make the leap unless others do too.
"If they take this car, then what car do I have?" asked Alvarez , who earns a $233,123 salary and $92,187 in benefits. "This is my personal car."
Miami Herald, September 12, 2010
Budget ax spares leaders' luxuriesMiami Herald, April 6, 2011
by MATTHEW HAGGMAN AND MARTHA BRANNIGAN
On top of the mayor's salary of $233,123, Alvarez will continue getting $89,154 in benefits that include a $42,000 annual expense account and $22,000 in deferred compensation. After controversy over his decision earlier this year to shop for a new taxpayer-subsidized BMW 550i Grand Turismo sedan, Alvarez is proposing to cut his monthly car allowance to $600 from $800.
Former Mayor Carlos Alvarez's BMW lease cost county $37,849 for 10 monthsThanks Carlos...you arrogant pr*ck!
by MARTHA BRANNIGAN AND MATTHEW HAGGMAN
Two days after his dramatic recall as Miami-Dade mayor last month, Carlos Alvarez turned in the 2010 BMW 550i Gran Turismo the county had leased for him.
The cost to taxpayers to end the 30-month car lease 20 months early: $23,899.40.
When Alvarez picked out the black sedan last June, the county paid the full lease cost up front: $41,849.
The lease runs from June 8, 2010, to Dec. 8, 2012, when the mayor’s second four-year term normally would have ended.
When the county turned the car back in to South Motors BMW — just 10 months into the 30-month lease — the dealer appraised it and, after accounting for the early termination, agreed to give back $4,000 of the $41,849 the county had paid.
The car had 5,216 miles on the odometer. The final cost to taxpayers for the car: $37,849 —or $7.26 for each mile the mayor drove it.