Gentle Reader Distressed by Unruly Mob

A citizen's guideDear Miss Manners,

I’ve been an active voter in North Miami Beach since Ronald Reagan was President.  I’ve voted in every municipal election since then, but I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in the past several years.  The trouble seems to have begun with the 2007 election, and it’s only gotten worse since then.

Gone are the days that I am able to drive to my precinct, get out of my car and walk to the polling place without being accosted.

I remember the time when a campaign volunteer would politely approach me with election material and gently asked me to vote for a particular candidate.  I remember being able to stop and chat with the volunteer to find out more about a candidate so I could make an informed decision.  I also remember being able to leave the precinct after casting my ballot and hearing volunteers say cheerfully, “Thank you for voting.”

Now, voting is an absolute nightmare!

I cannot pull into the parking lot without some paid “volunteer” approaching my car, telling me where to park, and walking with me to the voting booth.

If I’m lucky enough to walk from my car to the building unescorted, mobs of people are attempting to block my way while yelling and screaming at me to vote for so-and-so.

By the time I get to the voting booth, I’m so distraught by the confrontation I can barely think straight.

Miss Manners, is this what voting in North Miami Beach has come to?  Whatever happened to decency and civility?  It’s gotten so bad that I’ve even considered not voting at all!  Somehow I persevere because it is my right as an American to voice my choice on election day.

Please tell me if there is anything I can do to restore dignity and decorum to my once civilized North Miami Beach?

Appalled in NMB

Mob RuleDear Gentle Reader,

Having lived in North Miami Beach herself until recently, Miss Manners is, unfortunately, very familiar with your experience.

As early as 2005, we used to volunteer our time for candidates whom we believed would be fine representatives at City Hall.  In the beginning, it was a most pleasant experience.

We volunteers would come out to the polls on election days to talk to prospective voters.  We had the opportunity to meet our neighbors, make new acquaintances, and have intelligent discussions about where each candidate stood on the various issues.  For the most part, it was a day of merriment and pleasantry.

Since 2007, as you noted, exchanges between voters and campaign workers have slowly declined into what can only be described as an unruly mob scene.

Although Miss Manners no longer votes in your city, yesterday she traveled to City Hall to visit with old friends and acquaintances during early voting.  Sadly, the scene Miss Manners encountered was just as dreadful as the uncivilized election of 2013.  In fact, it was much worse!

Interestingly, you noted that the situation has deteriorated since 2007, which coincidentally was the year that both Frantz Pierre and Phyllis Smith were first elected.  Regrettably, Miss Manners couldn’t help but notice that 2007 was the year in which a steady decline of gallantry and refinement took hold in North Miami Beach.

Gone are the days of neighbors voluntarily helping the candidates of their choice.

Gone are the days of lively but courteous banter among campaign volunteers and voters.

Gone is any semblance of civilized society.

Gentle Reader, I’m afraid that unless and until voters decide they have had enough of mob rule in North Miami Beach by voting out the likes of Frantz Pierre and Phyllis Smith, and preventing any of their recruits from getting elected, there will never be decorum or civility at City Hall.

My only suggestion is for you to move to Davie.

Miss Manners

I approve of this postStephanie Kienzle
“Spreading the Wealth”


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  1. David Templer says:

    On Saturday I drove over to City Hall just to see the turnout. As a gentleman walked towards to doors of the lobby to enter the precinct there were 3 or more campaign workers screaming at him with the ballot numbers. I don’t mean calling out to him. I mean screaming at him. Each one was louder than the next but they none could be clearly heard over the others. I thought that was a counterproductive way to support a candidate. Apparently they are there without guidance at all.


    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      That is exactly the scenario Miss Manners encountered yesterday! I cannot believe how bad it has become. Voters are beyond distressed by this blatant, in-your-face screaming! At this point, I am afraid civility is a lost art. At least in North Miami Beach.

      Although it’s been a bit of a culture shock, Miss Manners is quite enjoying life in Davie, where even the drivers are courteous to one another.


  2. Barbara says:

    Hopefully this will not stop voters from coming out and getting the nuts out of office.


  3. Good Charlotte says:

    Elections all over are quite a hoot. A documentary would be oh so excellent because each city has its own kooks. Because of where many “Americans” now hail from, it’s common practice to hoot, holler and accost the voters. It has got to scare the bejesus out of those not used to this type of decorum and certainly can turn them off. I think it degrades our society, after all what ever happened to manners?

    The latest report of outrageous candidate behavior came from Miss Manners Extraordinaire (not), CW Phyllis Smith. This morning, candidates were conducting their pre-election day, ceremonial waving, to residents of the Eastern Shores neighborhood. Apparently that’s a hot bed for recruiting votes “legally.” CW Smith was seen opening up the door of a City of North Miami Beach passenger van with residents inside while the vehicle was stopped at a traffic light. She greeted and solicited these residents with her campaign literature and I heard they were surprised she didn’t actually hop right in. Miss Manners, what say you about this type of character? Would you say it’s uncivilized, desperate or just plain obnoxious?

    I await your reply, Good Charlotte


  4. GoodyMiller says:

    I will continue to vote on election day as I so enjoy being accosted by men and women so fired up with passion for their candidate they destroy all of my attempts to maintain my usually civilized demeanor. I apologize in advance for casting scathing, contemptuous looks at anyone who dares shout anything in my general direction.


    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      No apologies are necessary. They deserve all the scathing, contemptuous looks you can muster up.


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