Firefighters Union Leaders Join Regalado Recall Movement UPDATE
"It was a unanimous vote," Nelson Enriquez, vice president of the Miami Association of Firefighters, tells Riptide. Next Wednesday, the full union will vote whether to support a recall.
Update: Regalado says he's "being punished for not raising taxes." Click through for his full response.
Firefighters union president Robert Suarez points to Regalado's budget gaps in calling on his members to support a recall effort.
"Mayor Tomas Regalado has led this City into financial ruin with less than 2 years in office," Suarez writes in an email. "He has time and time again made reckless decisions that have pushed our City to the brink of bankruptcy."
The firefighters executive committee called an emergency session late last night, Enriquez says, after getting word that the Fraternal Order of Police's leaders had endorsed a recall.
A few hours later, after voting to do the same, Suarez sent an email to all of his union members asking them to support a recall.
Here's Suarez's full email:
Today your Local 587 Executive Board voted to launch a campaign to Recall Mayor Tomas Regalado. This issue will be presented to the general membership for your vote at our Union Meeting next Wednesday August 10th.Here's a similar letter that police union chief Armando Aguilar sent to his members yesterday. Catch a full interview with Aguilar in Banana Republican:
As you all know well by now, Mayor Tomas Regalado has led this City into financial ruin with less than 2 years in office. He has time and time again made reckless decisions that have pushed our City to the brink of bankruptcy. The employees have been used as scapegoats too many times. Our battle to get this City back on its feet will now require help from the residents of Miami. We know Miami's residents join us in our disgust for how this City is being run, and we must give them an opportunity to help us in this effort.
Local 587 will continue to fight for your rights and benefits. We will continue to meet with the City in good faith during these bargaining sessions to show them how they can balance the budget without attacking their employees.
Please attend next Wednesday's Union meeting to vote on the Executive Boards MOTION TO LAUNCH A PETITION CAMPAIGN TO RECALL MAYOR TOMAS REGALADO.
President, IAFF LOCAL 587
Miami Association of Firefighters
FOP SPEARHEADING RECALL OF MAYOR REGALADORiptide has emailed Regalado's spokesman to get a comment on the union's push for a recall, but we haven't heard back yet. We'll update when we do.
Brothers and Sisters,
For the past three years we have seen our wonderful city take a downward spiral into financial chaos. We have endured one scandal after another in which wasteful spending and special favors have drained the city's finances. Mayor Regalado's only solution has been to cut employee benefits. We are not to blame for the Mayor's mismanagement of the City of Miami.
We have tried to negotiate in good faith in order to avoid losing benefits while at the same time giving the city long term financial stability.
Mayor Tomas Regalado has failed the employees of the city and the citizens he serves. His lack of vision for the future continues to destroy our beloved city. Just a few weeks ago the Mayor said that the city was financially sound, then he said that the deficit for FY 2011-2012 was a manageable figure that would not impact the city or the employees. The numbers have continued to change to where now he claims we have a $61 million deficit. He is, at best, incompetent and, at worst, a compulsive liar.
We will not stand for either.
It is quite clear that the mayor is not qualified to lead this city into financial stability.
Late last week, the FOP made yet another effort to save the city millions of dollars without adversely affecting our members. Just like everything else we have brought to the table, our proposal fell on deaf ears. After careful consideration and consultation with our Executive Board, We have concluded that the only way we can help our city is to RECALL MAYOR TOMAS REGALADO!
We have arranged for a vote of all of our members to take place on August 9, 2011 at all four stations.
The question on the ballot will be the following:
Should the FOP spearhead a campaign to recall Mayor Tomas Regalado?
This is not a decision that I take lightly, I understand the hard work that such a campaign entails, but if we all unite in this effort, I feel that many others will join our fight and at the end we will succeed!
Armando Aguilar, President
Update: ;Regalado has responded to the union's recall efforts, sending Riptide this statement:
I believe I am being punished for not raising taxes to the people of Miami for the second year in a row.Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.
We are in very difficult economic times, and like every family we have to cut expenses. We want to do the right thing for the residents of Miami without having massive layoffs in our work force.