…had me spending most of my time on social media.
Despite the fact that there was a Special Election going on in North Miami, it was a typically slow summer month. For excitement, I examined the candidates’ Campaign Treasurer’s Reports, which was pretty much a waste of time. The fundraising and expenditures of all three candidates were as expected, and I was beginning to worry that I’d run out of material before election day.
I needn’t have worried because North Miami Beach Councilcritter Frantz Pierre found his way into the spotlight again when it was discovered he was squandering NMB taxpayer money.
Not only did Frantzie spend $2,609.87 of your money so he could attend the presidential inauguration in January of 2013, he also pilfered $7,799.17 on various and sundry “non-profits,” including one corporation that had been inactive since 2009 and one that never existed. The icing on the cake was when he screwed y’all for $1,229.60 so he could travel to Haiti so he could “bring back to North Miami Beach a better understanding of [his] constituents of Haitian descents [sic].”
On behalf of the Taxpayers of North Miami Beach, I sent Frantzie an invoice for the amount of $11,638.64, which to this day, remains unpaid.
Is anyone surprised that L’il Frantzie was MIA at the next council meeting when he expected to be chewed out over his spending addiction? Frantzie might think this matter has been swept under the rug, but no worries. I’ll be sure to remind NMB residents as the May 2015 election gets closer.
It’s called “Frantzie Watch” for a reason.
As I predicted, Karl Oreste threw Lucie under the bus. I did, however, grossly underestimate how long it would take for Lucie’s trial to conclude. Knowing Ben Kuehne’s special talent for delaying trials, I thought it would take at least a year.
I also overestimated Big Ben’s trial skills, since we all now know she’s been found guilty by a jury of her peers.
Meanwhile, the long awaited first mayoral candidate debate to replace Lucie took place in July. The highlight of the evening was keeping track of the number of times Kevin Burns said “on the job training.” He was, of course, referring to the fact that the ultimate winner of the election, Dr. MAYOR Smith Joseph, was not a career politician.
As if that were a bad thing.
News Flash, Kev: Sleazy campaign tactics are so five years ago. Cozying up to slumlords and promising promotions to city employees is not the way to win friends and influence voters.
By the end of July, there was still no word on a MOCA settlement, VotersOpinion endorsed (yeah, go ahead and LOL) Jean Monestime for County Commission, the North Miami Special Election campaign was still boring, and the Universal Hot Crazy Matrix topped the charts.
Aside from my now deleted series of blogs about Asian
Prostitution Houses Massage Parlors, the Hot Crazy Matrix has received THE most all time hits of any post on VotersOpinion.com. Yeah, that was a gem! (H/T Mike)
…when North Miami Beach Police Department’s former Public Information Officer Thomas Carney finally decided to issue a press release – of a sort – in the form of an email with the subject line, “The Truth About Medical Marijuana.” He then reprinted an article from fosterfollynews.com entitled,” Florida police chiefs urge caution on medical marijuana legalization.”
The problem, as I pointed out, “…Amendment 2, Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, is on the ballot on November 4, 2014 for voter approval. That makes this a political issue. As of yet, the City of North Miami Beach has not published an official opinion on this issue. More importantly, the Police Department never issues an opinion on political matters, nor should it. Tom Carney blew it by sending out this email, which is based on his own opinion, and was not sanctioned by either the City or the PD.”
Mr. Carney, unclear on the concept, immediately retracted the email by sending out an apology which included the retracted email he was apologizing for.
He resigned a month later.
Residents wished him well.
On a personal note, August was also the month that I accidentally sold my house. I’m not kidding.
I actually sold it about three years earlier than I had originally planned, but an offer I couldn’t refuse just dropped in my lap. I then started house hunting in earnest and, incredibly, found my dream home within a few weeks.
Still stunned by this amazing turn of events, I froze when it came to actually packing up the crap I had accumulated in 25 years. Unfortunately, I spent most of August avoiding that chore like the plague and doing absolutely nothing productive.
Unless you count scouring the internet for funny pictures and blogging about them.
About three days before the actual move, I managed to collect a bunch of boxes, which remained empty until my boyfriend, who has absolutely no sentimental attachment to the dried pasta picture frames and toilet paper roll Christmas tree angels my kids made in pre-school, literally threw 99% of my “collectibles” into giant Hefty trash bags and tossed ’em before I had a chance to reclaim anything. If there was anything in those bags that I thought I’d miss, I haven’t noticed it yet because, for the first time in a quarter of a century I have a clean house. There is much to be said about simplifying your existence.
Needless to say, moving was easier than expected.
Meanwhile, up in Tallahassee the Florida Commission on Ethics spent the dog days of summer deciding that elected officials are exempt from telling the truth, and that lying on legally required disclosure forms is perfectly acceptable behavior.
As I noted in an August installment of Frantzie Watch, after he recused himself from voting on a variance for a $4 million home in Eastern Shores because he claimed he was a “potential buyer,” I filed a complaint with the state Ethics Commission. In said complaint, I asserted that there was no way in hell he could afford such an expensive home on the salary he claimed he made on his financial disclosure, a legal form required of public officials by the State of Florida. I contended that he had committed perjury by signing another legal document in which he stated he intended to purchase the property.
According to Florida Statute 112.317, “By law, the Florida Commission on Ethics has the power to find probable cause of perjury. It even has the power to refer the evidence to the appropriate law enforcement agency for prosecution.” Inexplicably, the Commission found, “The complaint fails to indicate a possible violation of any standard of conduct or disclosure standard within the jurisdiction of the Commission on Ethics.”
In other words, the Commission washed its hands of any possible wrongdoing by L’il Frantzie P by claiming it did not have jurisdiction over perjury.
Even though the Commission had the power (and the responsibility?) to turn the case over to a “law enforcement agency for prosecution,” it decided to go on vacation instead.
Hey, isn’t that what August is for anyway?
Meanwhile, over in North Miami, the MOCA board of trustees were still misbehaving. They effectively shut down the museum for the summer, started their own organization and found a new place to set up shop.
But not before they hijacked “MOCA’s website to advertise their new venture.”
As a follow up to her sudden concern for the law two months earlier, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle told the press she will still be cracking down on crime.
In an editorial published August 12, 2015, the Herald editor gushed over Kathy’s resolve to put a stop to absentee-ballot fraud in the upcoming primary election by “launching a hot-line to report voting irregularities.”
For the second time that summer, we hurt ourselves laughing.
Speaking of elections, even though we all were keeping a vigilant eye on the candidates, the North Miami race to replace Lucie was pretty much a snooze-fest. The Campaign Treasurer’s Reports they filed produced no blog-worthy scandals.
The second mayoral debate, however, dredged up that whole “Bel House” scandal from 2007 during Kevin Burns’ first (and hopefully, last) bite of the mayoral apple. As candidate Jean Marcellus noted, this was a “sweetheart deal” that involved North Miami’s Community Redevelopment Agency, campaign donations from the owner of the Bel House, and the ever-present uber-shady John C. Dellagloria, a former North Miami City Attorney who revolves around Planet Kevin when he’s not angling for a job in other Miami-Dade County cities.
Speaking of Dellagloria, rumor has it he’s lobbying for the position of “CRA Coordinator” to fill the vacuum created with Lesly Prudent’s firing. If true, North Miami residents should respond with a resounding “HELL NO!”
“The day before the election, Jean Marcellus claimed a Jesus endorsement.
In the final analysis, since none of the candidates garnered even close to 50% of the votes, campaign season in North Miami was extended for another three months for a run-off between Smith Joseph and Kevin Burns.
…2, 2014, I moved to Davie.
Which explains the dearth of blog posts pretty much since then.
Life in Davie is about as laid back as it gets. Even the worst traffic on University Drive during holiday season is heaven compared to the hell of trying to navigate 163rd Street or Ives Dairy Road during rush hour on any given day of the week. It’s taken some getting used to all this deafening quiet, but I’m happy to report that I love it here.
Back in North Miami and North Miami Beach, however, it’s still business as usual.
The IRS slapped North Miami with a notice of audit and request for documents.
The biggest news of the month, however, was that Ben Kuehne lost a case!
His client, former Homestead Mayor Steven Bateman, was found guilty of corruption, including illegal compensation and illegal lobbying.
And, finally, after months without any bloodshed, North Miami Beach ended the third quarter of 2014 making up for it with a double drive-by shooting. Unfortunately, this time an innocent bystander was killed.
This wraps up the third installment of the VotersOpinion 2014 Year in Review.
I had hoped to finish all four installments before the ball dropped in Times Square at midnight. I still might, but I’m not making any promises. There is still a lot of ground to cover in the last three months of the year. I will do my best.
Just in case, though, let me take this time to wish all of you a happy and healthy New Year.