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Braman Calls For County Charter Changes

MIAMI (CBS4) - Fresh off his recall campaign that ousted Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez, businessman Norman Braman is now asking that charter amendments be put on the ballot when a new mayor is selected to finish Alvarez's term.

Braman held a press conference Monday afternoon where he asked all mayoral candidates to sign a pledge for 8 specific charter reforms he calls the "Pledge To The People Of Miami-Dade."

"If the commission fails to give the people the opportunity to vote on this, we will try to figure out a way to give them that opportunity," Braman said.

Braman considers his charter amendment proposal "step 2."

"It's up to the commission to avoid steps 3, 4, 5," Braman warned.

The charter changes included a call to reduce the number of commissioners from 13 to 9. In addition, Braman wants the nine commissioners to be made up of 7 district commissioners and 2 at-large commissioners who would represent the entire county.

A similar idea was endorsed by former Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez in his final press conference.

Braman's reforms included some new limits and rules for Miami-Dade Commissioners. Braman wants term limits for commissioners of two, four-year terms. Commissioners would be forbidden to have any outside employment and they could not lobby for 10 years after leaving office.

In exchange for the new rules, Braman said that commissioners should be paid a reasonable salary.

The charter amendment changes would also include aligning election dates for county government with national and state elections. Braman also wants to reform the size and reduce the cost of county operations.

Finally, Braman wants to fundamentally alter the recall process to make it easier for citizens to initiate the process.

"I believe they should be in the general election," said Miami-Dade Commissioner Bruno Barreiro. "I think right now the voters are the ones that I work for. So if that is something the voters say that they want, I would have no other choice but to support it."

"I don't think he's dictating," said voter Will Arthur. "I think basically what he's doing is he's setting parameters in which elected officials would be more effective in their jobs."

The Miami-Dade Commission is set to meet on Thursday.


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