Vice Mayor Carlos O. Alvarez resigned from the Miami Lakes Town Council late Tuesday night, just one year into his second four-year term.
Alvarez said his duties as an educator had to take priority at this point in his life.
Alvarez opened the City of Hialeah Educational Academy (COHEA) in 2008, and works with the CIVICA network of schools, according to his town biography.
He said the school system is growing.
"As my professional career continues to expand and after careful consideration and reflection, I made the difficult decision to announce that this November 2023 will be my last council meeting as a member of the Miami Lakes town council," Alvarez said just before the meeting stretched toward midnight. "I do want to extend my heartfelt thanks to the community for their trust and their support in my time here in office. This decision was not made lightly, as serving our community has been a great honor and privilege."
He added, "I am forever grateful to the thousands of residents who believed in me, but God has made it abundantly, crystal clear, that my true calling in life is to help underserved children throughout the United States. As such I'll be leading the opening of over six charter schools in underprivileged areas in the United States, in addition to my day-to-day operation as a school principal at COHEA and being the president of the CIVICA network as we continue to expand."
Alvarez said he was "proud of the legacy that I left behind in Miami Lakes."
Earlier in the meeting, Councilman Tony Fernandez was chosen by a majority of the council, including Mayor Manny Cid, Alvarez and Councilman Ray Garcia to be the new vice mayor. Fernandez voted for himself. The vote was held early in the meeting and was one of the first agenda items. Councilman Josh Dieguez voted for Councilwoman Marilyn Ruano, the elected official with the second longest tenure on the dais. Councilman Luis Collazo also voted for her. Ruano voted for Dieguez.
Cid said the town would do something formal to recognize Alvarez's years of service on the council.
"I will say this: Your leadership style will be missed," Cid said, addressing Alvarez shortly before he walked off the dais. "If there's anybody in this town's history who did it their way, it's you."
Resident Mirtha Mendez and Ruano spoke at recent meetings about Alvarez's absences from some council meetings.
Alvarez said he will work with the town to ensure "a smooth transition" in the process of filling his seat. He also said that he wants to be focused on his personal life as a father, stepfather and a soon-to-be husband.
Alvarez stepped down just moments before the council voted on new business. Alvarez said he felt it would be inappropriate for him to vote on those items since he was resigning.
"And with that, may God bless you guys," Alvarez said. "It was an honor to serve on the dais with you and may God continue to bless Miami Lakes. Thank you guys for the last five years and the ride. It's been fun."
Alvarez, who previously served on the Miami Lakes Sports Hall of Fame Committee, was elected to the council in 2018 with nearly 64% of the vote in a race against Esther Colon. Alvarez was re-elected in 2022, getting 66% of the vote in a race against Angelo Garcia.