A new effort to recall Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez officially started Monday. The recall effort is being led by retired Miami-Dade firefighter Jack Garcia, who lost his son in a boating accident July 4th.
“Look at all the basic services a government is supposed to provide for its customers,” Garcia said Monday. “That’s where he cuts.”
Garcia rose to prominence in the community after his son Andrew was killed in a boating accident. Neither of Miami-Dade County’s fire rescue boats responded because they had been out of service for two years due to budget cuts and Garcia laid that at the feet of Mayor Gimenez.
“If they had proper coverage and proper response, there’s a chance that more people could’ve been saved,” Garcia said.
If Garcia can gather the signatures needed, Gimenez would be the second straight mayor of Miami-Dade County to be recalled. Gimenez’s predecessor, Carlos Alvarez, was recalled after he supported a property tax hike and the taxpayer-funded Miami Marlins Park.
This recall is different because it’s not protesting spending money, it’s protesting not raising taxes which forced large budget cuts to critical services. For his part, Mayor Gimenez did not appear to be worried about the recall effort.
“Honestly, the mayor has a lot of important business to deal with,” said Gimenez spokesperson Mike Hernandez. “This does not seem to be very much of an organized effort, or a well-thought out effort in our opinion.”
Garcia has formed a political action committee called “A Better Dade” and put together a website as well called recallgimenez.com. If Garcia is to recall the mayor, he’ll need at least 60,000 signatures from people supporting in his effort. Garcia has 120 days to gather the signatures, according to the Miami Herald.
“We have got the Dolphin deal. We have got the Heat deal, and it rolls on and I'm not opposed to any of those things because they are important for communities,” Garcia said. “But when you have limited money, take care of business first then go out to dinner.”