That’s Debatable!

There's mathThe much anticipated and (until last Wednesday’s mayoral debate) very boring Special Election to replace the suspended Mayor Lucie Tondreau, will wrap up on Tuesday, August 26, 2014.  In the event there is a runoff, Election Day won’t take place until November 4, 2014, which will give the two finalists more than two months to reload their war chests and continue to hold the City of North Miami hostage with ugly campaign signs.

I was unable to attend the debate, but fortunately, I got my hands on an audio recording of the event.

In terms of comic relief, by far the best part of the debate was when Jean Marcellus attempted to answer the moderator’s question, “If elected mayor what steps would you take to promote honesty, integrity and transparency?”

Marcellus kept repeating a phrase that clearly sounded like he was saying “hot shit.”  I couldn’t understand a freaking word he said, but I kept hearing the words “hot shit” over and over again.  He even said he had “hot shit” in his own household.  He closed by saying that it was up to the City Manager to deal with “hot shit.”

I’m told the audience was as perplexed as I was listening to the audio, and the crowd kept giggling every time Jean uttered “hot shit.”

As it turns out, Jean Marcellus was trying to say “hardship.”

One can only imagine what other English words the man will mangle to death if elected Mayor of North Miami.

But, when Jean Marcellus spit out the clearly understandable words “sweetheart deal with Bel House”…

shit just got realBel House Apartments is a piece of property located at 13925 NE 6th Avenue within in the boundaries of the North Miami Community Redevelopment Agency.

According to the Agenda for the January 23, 2007 meeting of the North Miami Community Redevelopment Agency, the Board was to vote on the CRA Executive Director’s recommendation “regarding the potential acquisition and rehabilitation of the Bel House.”

On April 24, 2007, the Board approved terms of the agreement, according to the minutes of the meeting.

According to the Agenda for the June 23, 2007 meeting, the Board was asked to approve “the proposed terms” they voted for on April 24, 2007.

The minutes for the June 23, 2007 meeting reflect a 3-2 Board vote, with Councilmembers Despinosse and Steril denying approval.

And finally, the minutes of the meeting held on November 27, 2007 reflect that the Board moved forward with the project.

Bel House Apartments was purchased on May 20, 1981 by a Warranty Deed from Royalmount Investments, Inc. to Daniel and Roberta Segal.  On January 24, 2003, Roberta Segal formed Bel House Apartments, LLP.  Roberta Segal sold the property to her General Partnership, Bel House Apartments, LLP, by Warranty Deed dated June 23, 2006, which then sold Bel House by Warranty Deed dated December 20, 2010 to RUDG-LHHA Bel House, LLC.

Here’s the thing.

During the debate, Kevin Burns emphatically stated, TWICE, that he didn’t even know the individuals involved with the Bel House.

However, when Kevin first ran for Mayor in 2005, according to his Campaign Treasurer’s Report, on March 30, 2005 he received a $500.00 contribution from Roberta Segal and a $500.00 contribution from her company, Sans Souci Properties, Inc., both located at 1065 NE 125th Street.

But he didn’t know her?

When Kevin Burns ran for re-election in 2007, according to his Campaign Treasurer’s Report, on March 22, 2007 he received $3,000.00 in total contributions, by way of six $500.00 individual donations from: (1) Roberta Segal of 1065 NE 125th Street, (2) Segal Family Partners, LTD., located 1065 NE 125th Street, (3) Dawn Steinberg Trust (whose corporations Professional Office Specialists, LLC and Premium Sales Management, Inc. were both located at 1065 NE 125th Street), (4) San Souci Properties, Inc., (5) 1065 LLP (both located at 1065 NE 125th Street), and (6) Scott D. Segal (whose corporation Joshua Tree Real Estate Investments Uno, LLC is also located at 1065 NE 125th Street).

But, wait!

Kevin said he didn’t even know the people who owned Bel House when the CRA considered the terms of the “sweetheart deal” on April 24, 2007 and for which it was approved on June 23, 2007.

Even though they contributed a total of $4,000.00 toward his previous campaigns.

I don’t know about you, folks.  But I’d sure remember the people who handed me FOUR THOUSAND BUCKS toward my campaigns!

I’d also remember them if they brought a project before me to approve after they donated.

Just saying.

I could go on and on about all the crap involved in this “Bel House” deal if I felt like going into the Miami Way Theater deal, Kevin Burns’ foreclosure problem, and former City Attorney John C. Dellagloria’s role in all of the above.  But those details are infinitely more complicated than even I want to try to wrap my mind around, much less explain.  Suffice it to say, the “Bel House” deal was shady enough for us to digest.

In his closing remarks, Kevin Burns disparaged Dr. Smith Joseph for spending “half a million dollars in personal money” to run for Mayor, claiming “I’ve been there before.  It is not worth spending $400,000 of personal money to run for office.  I would never do it.  It’s not worth it, but why would somebody do such a thing?”

Maybe if Kevin had “personal money” of his own, he’d spend it in a heartbeat to get elected.  As it stands, he’s in way more debt than he’ll probably ever hope to get out of, let along own any “personal money.”

Just saying.

Maybe Kevin should have also considered that Dr. Joseph spent $400K of his own money because he feels it’s worth every penny to make sure that North Miami’s government finally gets out of the corruption business.

Just saying.

In closing, Dr. Joseph stated that, unlike Burns, he has never taken any money from his friends and refused to pay them back.  He has never had seven judgments against him, nor has he had any property in foreclosure.

“This city is sick.  It needs a Doctor.  I am that Doctor.”

If you are still undecided about your choice for North Miami Mayor, I hope you are seriously considering the Doctor!

All together now…


Stephanie Kienzle
“Spreading the Wealth”

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  1. ELLEN says:

    Just because a candidate is not Haitian does not mean he is the best choice for N Miami. I think it’s vital that a candidate be personally financially responsible with their own finances before they should be the mayor of anything.


  2. Mimi says:

    You’re so very right that a “leader” should be able to show that he’s responsible with his own money before he gets his hands on our money!! How can you trust someone who fails to even attempt to repay money borrowed from friends who believed in him. How can he rip off a senior citizen who believed in you, yet did nothing to repay the thousands of dollars he borrowed from her and other “friends?”

    My prayers are that we elect a person who is not going to take advantage of a person’s kindness. WE DO NOT NEED KEVIN BURNS STEALING FROM THE CITY AGAIN, STEALING FROM US AGAIN!! If he’s chosen, get ready for him to give himself a 1000% increase in salary again. And, get ready for him to hire that sorry ass, dumb ass brother in law again who was not qualified to be the Code Administrator and immediately got canned after Burns left because he lied on his application and the people knew it. We do not need thieves like these in this city again!!!! Joseph is doing this from his heart, not for his pockets!


  3. Anonymous says:

    By the way, how much is the mayoral salary for North Miami?


    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      According to a reader, Ned, who previously answered this question:

      Stephanie … The mayor’s salary is $ 48,000 plus the following monthly allowances:
      1) Health/dental insurance is estimated at $ 500 per month;
      2) Car/mileage reimbursement is estimated at $ 500 per month;
      3) Cell phone is $ 100.00 per month; and
      4) Travel/conferences are $ 2,000.00 per month

      Total compensation is $ 87,200.00 per year.

      Listed below are the backup documentation:

      On page 151 listed in the city’s budget, line item 002 Mayor


  4. Ricardo says:

    I am 75% pragmatic, 50% cynical.

    That’s why I preferred Alec Sink over Rick Scott. A crook spending 70 million of his own money to win office? I don’t want him in office. Period.

    Smith Joseph is not a crook, as far as we know, so there’s a difference. But I still don’t believe in spending that much money “from the heart.” Sorry.

    Kevin Burns is not the perfect candidate, not even close. However, it does not look like he was stealing our money the last time. If he did, how/where did he spend it? He certainly does not look millionairey to me. I call BS on that.
    My vote goes to Kevin Burns.


    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      Ricardo, that doesn’t even make sense to me! Aside from the fact that you liked Alex Sink for governor over Rick Scott (which has nothing at all to do with the North Miami election), Smith Joseph is nothing at all like Rick Scott. You can’t compare the two. Secondly, Smith Joseph has plenty of supporters based on his contributions; however, by spending mostly his own money, this is a good sign that he will not be beholden to outside interests should he win the election. Many candidates are given money by lobbyists and/or potential vendors (see: Waste Pro) in the hopes that those candidates will vote in their favor on future issues. Dr. Joseph appears to be beholden to no one. He also appears to have plenty of disposable income, which is actually an even better sign that he would not succumb to potentially dirty dealings. I’d worry more about a candidate who is in dire financial straights, and for whom the temptation to take kickbacks might be too much, or even impossible, to resist. Look at all the elected officials who have been indicted and even convicted of such crimes. And what about those who have not yet been arrested, but are already suspected of being on the take due to their actions.

      If you like Kevin Burns, by all means, cast your vote accordingly. However, I caution you not to do so just because Smith Joseph used his own money to campaign. Seriously, I hope you have a better reason than that!


      1. Ricardo says:

        Spending his own money is not the only reason, of course.

        Kevin Burns knocked on my door. He talked to me, and I let him talk. He then listened to me. We agreed on some points and we disagreed on others. That’s a lot more than Smith Joseph ever did or will do.

        And then again, I still have to see a selfless, “from the heart” politician. Not answering to outside interests can easily mean answering to self-interests. Chances are, it will not be the same as mine.


      2. Ricardo says:

        And by the way, it makes sense to ME.


        1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

          And, of course, you are entitled to your opinion. And your vote! I don’t get to vote for your mayor since I don’t live in North Miami, but I hope citizens do exercise their right as Americans by going to the polls and casting a ballot on election day!


          1. Ricardo says:

            There we agree.
            I still think we got stuck with Lucy because too many people did not vote.


  5. jay says:

    Stephanie, I’m still waiting to hear from you concerning Smith Joseph’s association with Andre Pierre and why would a doctor spend so much money to become an elected official with a limited salary?


    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      Jay, I asked around and Smith Joseph has no affiliation with Andre Pierre. Andre tried to align himself with the doctor, who cannot control who might support or endorse him. However, there is no political connection between Joseph and Pierre.

      As to the second part of your question, you would have to ask the candidate why he has spent so much money on the election. I have no personal knowledge of that answer, but I wonder why you claim he has a limited salary? His practice seems to be doing very well from what I can see.


      1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

        I also should add that I found no personal connection between Dr. Joseph and Andre Pierre, as well.


      2. Ricardo says:

        “…to become an elected official with a limited salary”

        I think you did not understand what Jay said.
        He did not say that Joseph has a limited salary.



        1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

          Actually, yeah. I am exhausted.

          Now I get what he meant.

          The jury will disregard that last remark.


      3. jay says:

        Thank you, Stephanie. You misread or misunderstood what I said…I was referring to the low salary of mayor nothing about Smith Joseph’s practice! BTW why does he live in 2 places? Anyway, I don’t believe he is unaffiliated with Pierre, albeit it may be mostly behind the scenes, altho I have no actual evidence to support my belief. There is still the question of Smith Joseph’s motivation…I am a doctor too…and wonder what’s in it for him? Regards, Jay


        1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

          I did misread and misunderstand. I still don’t have an answer to your question. I accidentally broke my crystal ball and Ouija board got lost in my last move. Why don’t you ask him?


  6. […] second mayoral debate, however, dredged up that whole “Bel House” scandal from 2007 during Kevin Burns’ […]


  7. […] in 2007 Dellagloria represented North Miami former Mayor Kevin Burns in his dealings with the shady “sweetheart deal” regarding Bel […]


  8. […] had previously been fired from North Miami, then went on to represent former mayor Kevin Burns in a shady real estate deal with the city, as well as the former developer of Biscayne Landfill, er, I mean Biscayne Landing, […]


  9. […] much needed entertainment by getting punched in the face, pronouncing “hardship” as “hot shit” at a candidate forum, asking police officers to wave at people, bouncing checks, or beclowning […]


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