Despite criticism from members in the police and general employees unions, as well as a few residents, Mayor George Vallejo has not drawn an opponent for the May 5, 2015 election.
Any North Miami Beach citizen could have chosen to run for mayor. No one did.
It certainly appears that the majority of his constituents are perfectly happy with what the Mayor has accomplished, and they have no desire to change course for the next four years.
If anyone has a complaint that George is running unopposed, they can blame the person in the mirror.
That being said, since the Mayor’s re-election is a done deal, voters can now concentrate on the remaining three seats up for grabs.
Councilwoman Marlen Martell is running on her record of Promises Made – Promises Kept. She has been true to her word.
Marlen’s main strength is and always has been her accessibility to the community. She is always available to meet with residents and answer their questions either in person, by phone and/or via email. Marlen regularly hosts community meetings in every area of the city in order to keep residents informed and help resolve problems that arise. She also introduced legislation designed to partner with the Miami-Dade School Board to improve local schools, and has consistently voted for fiscally responsible legislation. Marlen fully understands the concept of a representative form of government, and is a true public servant in every sense of the word.
Marlen Martell’s opponent, Paule Villard, on the other hand, brings absolutely nothing to the table other than her mediocre-at-best employee record as a Miami Police Officer, and a string of trite campaign promises that the incumbent has already delivered.
Ms. Villard appears to have spent a good portion of her generous retirement and DROP earnings ($17,750.00 so far) to promote herself on two billboards (at a cost of $7,500.00), printed campaign materials and signs ($4,324.50), and television and radio advertising ($1,400.00), according to her Campaign Treasurer’s Reports filed through March 31, 2015.
She also paid a Certified Public Accountant fifteen hundred bucks to fill out the same Campaign Treasurer’s Reports that even a technology-challenged Phyllis Smith managed to do all by her lonesome.
How can Paule possibly keep her promise to “ascertain that your tax dollars are properly managed,” when she can’t even properly manage a campaign?
All this outrageous spending might be justified if Paule actually had a reality-based platform instead of promising a unicorn for every vote.
If Paule Villard had been an active participant in civic affairs for even the last couple of years, she’d know that the city is still bouncing back from a $5 million deficit that Marlen Martell inherited, and that lack of funding is still very much an issue.
Paule obviously knows nothing about the city’s budget. Her “pledge” to immediately hire more police officers and open the city’s pools are typical of wannabe politicians who attempt to trade soundbites for votes, even though they have absolutely no chance of being able to fulfill those empty promises.
Villard apparently hasn’t done her homework or she’d know that the Uleta and Washington Park pools were closed due to safety issues. As reported in the Miami Herald last October, the Miami-Dade Commission Passed New Pool Safety Regulations. These new laws required mandatory inspections of private swimming pools, and enacted other regulations as stringent as those already in place for commercial pools. As a result of the county’s actions, North Miami Beach performed additional safety inspections of the two community center pools, which revealed potential hazards within the electrical systems. Those two pools were immediately closed until the money could be budgeted to make the necessary repairs. In the mean time, however, the city’s main swimming pool at Victory Park has always remained open. Now that the money has finally been allocated to rewire the pools, the city will open them once the repairs are completed. Villard’s claim to “open the pools immediately” only shows how ignorant she is about current city – and even county – matters.
And don’t even get me started on Paule Villard’s sign ordinance violations or how I feel about police officers who don’t obey laws!
Finally, on March 14, 2015, Paule received a curious contribution, as reported on her Campaign Treasurer’s Report. The sum of $500.00 was donated to her campaign by Bethany “Maranatha” Baptist Church, Inc., a non-profit corporation, located at 10640 NW 12 Avenue, North Miami. I’m not sure if she realizes it is against U.S. Tax Code Section 501(c)(3) for tax exempt organizations to donate to political campaigns. If she didn’t, she does now.
Apparently, Paule Villard has never met a rule, regulation, ordinance or law she won’t break.
If those aren’t enough reasons not to vote for this candidate, remember who brought her into the race. She was recruited by, and is campaigning with, Council Weasel Frantz Pierre. That fact alone should make Paule Villard as much a pariah as Frantzie come election day.
It’s obvious to me that Marlen Martell more than deserves to keep her seat for another four years. ‘Nuff said.
Another seat up for grabs is the one that Councilcritter Frantz Pierre has been uselessly occupying since 2007. There isn’t much more that I can add about L’il Frantzie P than I’ve already documented. His pathological lies, out of control spending on personal vacations, questionable absentee ballot and voter registration practices, scheming to grab LETF money for his crony’s shady “non-profit” organizations, and (like Paule Villard) his general disdain for the rule of law, are legendary. His opponent, on the other hand, possesses the highest quality of character and morality that Frantz Pierre so artlessly lacks.
Ketley Joachim has been a North Miami Beach resident since 1995 and has been continuously employed by Wells Fargo Bank (formerly Southeast Bank, First Union and Wachovia, successively) since 1983. She is currently serving on the City of North Miami Beach Beautification and Code Enforcement Boards, and has also served in an advisory capacity on the North Miami Beach Police Department’s Club Law and Order. Ketley is a current member of Trinity Church of Miami Gardens, the North Miami Beach Voters Council, and the Association of the United States Army (AUSA). Her community service also includes her former positions on the Caribbean Affairs Committee, the Haitian American Families of America Committee and as a Miami-Dade County Court appointee to the Guardian Ad Litem Program for the 11th Judicial Circuit. Ketley’s pride and joy is her daughter, a West Point graduate who serves on active duty in the United States Army.
If Ketley Joachim’s impressive resume alone doesn’t qualify her for a seat on the North Miami Beach Council, her endless supply of compassion, paired with immediate action, to help anyone in need is even more of a reason to cast your vote for her. Ketley’s pledge to serve the community as a voice for every person in the city is genuine, sincere and from the heart.
I know these things about Ketley because I am proud to call her my friend, and I personally vouch for her character and integrity. She is a no-brainer choice for City Council!
Finally, that three people stepped up to try to oust Phyllis Smith from the council only serves to prove her lack of popularity among the populace. Aside from the fact that she’s loud, obnoxious and a serial compulsive liar, there’s that whole scandal about her Montana license plates.
Is the practice of purchasing a car in the name of a Montana corporation for the purpose of avoiding Florida sales tax illegal?
No. Not yet, anyway.
Is it ethical?
Is it an appropriate action of a sitting elected official in the State of Florida?
Then again, for someone who claims to receive “dozens of calls” from constituents and the Department of Defense, she’s probably already concocted some nonsensical excuse for her tax evasion. Just in case anyone asks her that question at a candidate forum.
I’ll have plenty more on Phyllis in an upcoming column about that race, which definitely needs a blog of its own!
But in the meantime, here’s a little tidbit worth sharing. On February 19, 2015, Phyllis accepted a $100.00 campaign contribution from Seth Lavey, P.A.
Seth Lavey is the attorney representing Elton L. Bandoo, the thug who shot North Miami Beach Police Officer Lino Diaz.
I guess Phyllis got that lawyer fee, too!
“Spreading the Wealth”