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Gimenez, Robaina and the perks of public office

The two candidates vying to become the next mayor of Miami-Dade have promised to deliver reform at County Hall, long plagued with generous salaries and excessive benefits for officials. Yet both Carlos Gimenez and Julio Robaina have themselves reaped the perks of public office.

Former county commissioner Gimenez had a car allowance. Former Hialeah mayor Robaina received a generous salary. And both will have the benefit of robust pensions of more than $100,000 a year.

Outside political groups — and the rivals themselves — have pointed the finger at each other over public benefits, trying to connect them to ousted mayor Carlos Alvarez, who angered voters with his $300,000-plus in salary and benefits and taxpayer-financed BMW.

While Robaina supporters have gone after Gimenez for his pension, Robaina, 46, is slated to have one of his own.

In 2020, when he turns 55, Robaina can receive $110,000 a year for his nearly 14 years of service — eight years as a part-time councilman and nearly six years as a mayor and top administrator.

“Unlike Gimenez, who to date has collected $1.3 million and will continue to collect for life, and is eligible for additional pensions in the coming years, I will not receive a pension until age 55,” Robaina said through his spokeswoman, Ana Carbonell. Full story by Laura Isensee and Matthew Haggman here.