(Originally published 5/25/11)
Last night’s Inauguration Ceremony of the new North Miami Beach City Council was truly awesome! Please join me in welcoming our brand new Mayor George Vallejo and Councilwoman Marlen Martell to the Council. I’m sure you’re all as excited as I am! I have never seen so many people come to City Hall for such a wonderful occasion.
I’m also sure you’re all sick of hearing me gush already, so I’ll get down to the real reason you read this blog … the dirt.
In case any of you don’t already know, ousted ex-mayor Myron Rosner did show up. I got word at about 6:00 p.m. that he parked in the Mayor’s reserved spot, making sure that George couldn’t. What an ass!
By the time I got there at 7:00 p.m. the room was packed and people were spilling out into the hallway, where there was barely room to move. Unfortunately, I was stuck outside and could barely hear the proceedings inside the Chamber, and was relegated to watch it on the hallway television with no sound. I managed to hear a little bit of Myron’s farewell speech where he thanked his wife and children for standing by him during his campaign. He then thanked his wife and children. And then he thanked his wife and children. I’m guessing he ran out of people to thank after that. A normal person would have had a clue at that point, but we all got it.
In any event, he still didn’t congratulate, or even acknowledge the newly elected Mayor, and then he promptly left the dais and the room. Can you say “sore loser?” I was standing right outside the door as he rode past me. Although I can’t say for sure, I believe he glanced up for a nano-second before he turned away and headed for the elevator. At that moment, someone (the Clerk maybe?) presented the Mayor-Elect George Vallejo and the crowd went wild! Could there have been a more fitting send off to the most despised mayor in the history of North Miami Beach? In my humble opinion, it couldn’t have been more appropriate!
Although I couldn’t hear it too well, I understand that McKenzie gave a gracious farewell speech and wished his replacement, Marlen Martell, well in her new position.
For the remainder of the ceremony, I ended up sitting with some friends around the corner in the alcove by the water cooler and we could hear the speaker, even though we couldn’t make out all that the council members were saying. Once the video of the meeting is posted on the city website, I’ll be able to write about all that was said, but I do know that George spoke about his plans as Mayor and received a hearty round of applause. I wasn’t able to hear Beth Spiegel’s or Philippe Derose’s comments at all, but I’m sure they were short, sweet and to the point. Once Phyllis started talking, we timed her, and sure enough she went over ten minutes. From what I was told, she spent at least nine of those minutes complaining. (And my readers were worried I’d have nothing to write about for the next four years. HAH!) Frantz Pierre then said something, although I have no clue what it was, and then my small party decided to venture downstairs to the lobby to try to watch the rest of the proceedings on the television.
Barbara Kramer and Marlen Martell thanked everyone who helped them and that was pretty much the end of the inauguration. I want to thank Barbara and Marlen for thanking me, but it’s me who needs to thank them in the first place for stepping up to the plate and running for office in the first place. Without people like them, who disrupt their entire lives and careers to serve as elected officials, our government would suck. We all owe them a huge debt of gratitude! It was an honor and a privilege to be able to do my small part to help them with their campaigns, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. They don’t even have to ask!
There you have it, folks. Myron is finally G-O-N-E (although, there will be lots to report as his legal and ethical troubles publicly unfold), and GEORGE VALLEJO IS OFFICIALLY THE MAYOR OF NORTH MIAMI BEACH!
Oh Happy Day!
“Spreading the Wealth”