Friday, March 11, 2011

Carlos Alvarez to make his case Saturday

Eliott Rodriguez of CBS4 sends me this email today:
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez taped an interview with me Thursday that will air on my program News & Views on CBS4 this Saturday at 10 a.m.

Alvarez is fighting to keep his job despite dismal poll results that show 67% of Miami-Dade voters want him recalled.

CBS4 Investigative Reporter Jim Defede will also be on the show along with Miami Herald reporter Matthew Haggman and Fernand Amandi of Bendixen & Amandi, the local research firm that conducted the poll.

The poll showed that 80% of voters cannot name a single accomplishment by Alvarez during his 6 years in office.

I asked the mayor about this number. Alvarez said his administration has dealt with one billion dollars worth of budget cuts over the past four years without sacrificing essential county services.

He also said Miami-Dade's crime rate has gone down during his time in office. He said the police department and fire department are among the best big city departments in the nation.

Alvarez also said he helped convince Gov. Rick Scott to provide state funding to dredge the Port of Miami so it can accomodate larger cargo ships.

Alvarez stressed he has no regrets about presenting his roll back budget that included $178 million worth of tax increases. He pointed out that most homeowners saw their taxes go down.

He also defended raises given to his senior staff two years ago, saying he also cut $1.5 million from the mayor's office administrative staff and gave those staff members extra duties.
By phone Rodriguez told me: "I think the mayor realizes he has not done a very good job of communicating his message, especially when it came to the budget.

"He's never been a slick politician or captivating speaker. That's not his strong suit. I think he realizes that now and is trying hard to get his message out before the recall election on Tuesday, March 15."

Footnote: Alvarez is also scheduled to appear live this Sunday on Michael Putney's show on Channel 10 at 11:30am.

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