The qualifying period for the North Miami Beach City Council election has come and gone. I’m pleased to announce that all the candidates running for office are actually bona fide residents of the City of North Miami Beach.
For months, rumors surfaced that several carpetbaggers were planning to run. In the final analysis, though, none of them were stupid enough to go through with their evil plans.
If the lawsuit filed two years ago by Councilwoman Beth Spiegel against MIRAMAR carpetbagger Yvenoline Dargension had anything to do with knocking sense into those folks, North Miami Beach residents owe Beth a debt of gratitude. She spent her own money to take Dargenson to court when the city wouldn’t, or couldn’t, oust the fraudster from the election. Apparently, Beth’s lawsuit set a precedent, and sent a loud and clear message to anyone who might have considered crashing a North Miami Beach election: CARPETBAGGERS STAY HOME!
Over in North Miami, however, it’s basically a free for all.
While Jean Rodrigue Marcellus appears to be a bona fide resident of North Miami, and is legally qualified to run for mayor, that doesn’t mean he should.
Marcellus is most likely the only person on the face of the planet who thinks he can beat Mayor Smith Joseph in this election. On the bright side, though, Jean managed to beat his own personal record by living in the same place for almost a whole year!
On the candidacy documents he recently filed, Jean Marcellus listed his address as 13500 NE 3rd Court, #104, North Miami – the same address he used when he filed to run for mayor in the 2014 Special Election on June 2, 2014.
This is no mean feat for a candidate who had three different addresses during the 2013 campaign season when he vacated his council seat to run for mayor his first time around. When he filed on June 13, 2012, he claimed he lived at 200 NE 121 Terrace. By the time he filed a Waiver of Report two months later on August 16, 2012, he listed his address as 275 NE 122 Street. When he filed his final Campaign Treasurer Report on November 1, 2013, he had a new address of 615 NE 140 Street.
In any event, at least all of his addresses were located in North Miami. Jean Marcellus might be a nomad, but he’s no carpetbagger.
The same can’t be said for Carline Marie Paul, who is running for Marie Steril’s soon-to-be-vacated seat in District 4.
According to the Statement of Candidate and Appointment of Treasurer she filed on May 8, 2014, Carline claims to live at 12215 NW Miami Court, North Miami. This two bedroom, one bath, single family home is owned by Marie V. Louisville, who claims not one, but two homestead exceptions on the property. In order to claim a bona fide residency, Carline Marie Paul allegedly produced a lease proving that she is a tenant of Marie V. Louisville. If that’s the case, and Marie V. Louisville is renting out part of her home, she is at risk for losing all or part of her two homestead exemptions.
In any event, it’s common knowledge that Carline Marie Paul really lives at 1348 NE 147 Street in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, where she also claims two homestead exemptions, and has done so since 1988, the year she bought the home.
“Moving” into North Miami to run for office is nothing new. When Phillipe Bien-Aime ran for office in 2013, he listed his address as 531 NE 133 Street, North Miami, a home owned by Suzanne Joseph, who also claims two homestead exemptions. At the time he filed on July 11, 2012, he still owned a home located at 12460 SW 1st Street in Plantation, Broward County, Florida, which he lost in a foreclosure action on May 7, 2013.
(Burning Random Question: Can anyone explain how all these people got TWO homestead exemptions?)
Another 2013 mayoral candidate, Anna L. Pierre, actually admitted to the Miami Herald, “I lived in Broward before 2012, but once I knew I wanted to run for mayor I moved into the city.” At the time, I blasted her and wondered why she didn’t simply run for mayor in MIRAMAR, where she really lived.
In retrospect, I should have at least given her bonus points for being honest, especially since Jesus endorsed her.
And even helped her move back to MIRAMAR.
As it turns out, I’ve since gotten to know Anna and she is truly an extraordinary person. She’s not running for mayor of North Miami again, but she does run a non-profit corporation, Aphac International, Inc., which raises money “to help provide medical care for people without health insurance, especially children who need treatments that are not available in their country.” Anna is also an accomplished author and has a killer sense of humor, for which she does get bonus points! (As you can see, I really am “quick to forgive,” as reporter Mark Sell noted in a recent Biscayne Times article.)
After smacking former mayoral candidate, Lucie Tondreau, for also conveniently “moving” to North Miami in order to run for office (and whose residency was unsuccessfully challenged by former candidate Kevin Burns), once she won the election I really did try to give her the benefit of the doubt.
Lucie made history by becoming North Miami’s first Haitian American woman Mayor.
Despite my initial misgivings about Lucie Tondreau, and even despite her questionable residency issues, I was hoping for her to succeed. Here was a Mayor who had the potential to be a role model for women in politics, as well as a mentor to young women who aspire to hold positions of leadership. While loudly cheered by her detractors, Lucie’s downfall discouraged those who had been inspired by what she achieved as a woman, and especially as a Haitian American. Her epic crash and burn was a huge disappointment to the entire community.
Lucie Tondreau may be history, but her unfortunate legacy lives on.
Need I remind anyone that it was Lucie who encouraged Carline Paul to run against her arch-nemesis, the ethically challenged Marie Steril?
At the time Carline filed to run, no one had even imagined that Steril would be stepping down from her seat at the end of her term. Needless to say, I would have been hard pressed to support either candidate, but I was convinced (believe it or not!) that Marie was the lesser of two evils. I even considered the unthinkable possibility that I’d hold my nose and endorse Steril [GASP!] because the mere thought of Carline Paul winning this seat is THAT appalling!
Luckily, I was not forced to make that decision.
The good news is that North Miami voters won’t have to, either.
Jean Marcellus is Mayor Smith Joseph’s only challenger so far.
If there’s anyone out there who doubts that Kevin Burns will file, please raise your hand. No one will be more shocked than me if he sits this election out.
(Speaking of perpetual candidates, has anyone heard from Hans Mardy lately?)
Councilman Scott Galvin has not yet drawn an opponent for his seat in District 1.
There’s still time for someone to challenge Michael Etienne for the City Clerk position. Any takers?
Yeah, I thought as much.
The deadline to qualify is Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at 12:00 noon.
This should be fun!
“Spreading the Wealth”