Dictators, Wizards and Cow Horns! Oh My!

The North Miami Beach City Council meeting of July 19, 2011 is now online and as I promised, here is my recap:

We almost got away with all three seating Resolutions (R2011-38A, 38-B and 38C) being tabled.  When the motion was made and seconded to table them, all except Phyllis Smith, and surprisingly, Mayor George Vallejo, voted in the affirmative.  Last night, I didn’t have a clue why the Mayor voted “no” but now I understand that he didn’t want it tabled because he knew it would rear it’s ugly head again.  I understand now that he just wanted to get the whole distasteful episode over with!  Once it was tabled, Councilman Philippe Derose then asked the City Manager to put it on the Agenda for the next council meeting, which means that we would have to sit through another excruciating discussion about why Phyllis thinks it’s all about democracy as opposed to this being all about her.  Once the City Manager agreed to put it on the next Agenda, Councilwoman Beth Spiegel asked to revisit the tabling so that they could get it done with right then and there.  She made a motion to reconsider it and get it resolved.  It was seconded, and the Mayor then called for discussion.  Phyllis, of course started the discussion, for which she had an entire speech prepared.  She started with, “You know it takes a very strong person to believe in right and wrong and stand up for what they think is right.”  Oh, boy, you just knew we were in for a treat.  Quick!  Where’s my earplugs? Continue reading


NMB: No More Buzzzzzz…..

In the face of all public opposition, not to mention credibility, at last night’s council meeting North Miami Beach councilwoman Phyllis Smith stubbornly plowed ahead with her mission to force her way to the center of the dais.  All the while swearing it’s not about her.  Her latest rationale is, “It’s about democracy.”  As implausible as it may seem, she actually believes that she’s “standing up for what is right.”  Or, at least, that’s what she says she believes.  Phyllis even made some bewildering comment, in the way that only Phyllis can do, that “four people know where people are supposed to sit!”  Huh?

Other “Phyllisisms” included her saying “rhetric” instead of “rhetoric,” and her repeated use of the word “dictate” instead of “determine” when quoting Councilwoman Marlen Martell’s Resolution R2011-38C.  Hey, Phyllis!  Put on your reading glasses because the sentence says, “The Councilmember shall remain in that location on the dais until the Mayor determines otherwise.”  Despite Phyllis’ insistence that the Mayor will get to “dictate” where anyone sits, this word is not even used once in any of the Resolutions that were on the table. Continue reading


Let’s Play Musical Chairs!

Maybe Phyllis doesn’t “read the blogs” but hopefully she reads the newspaper.  That’s, of course, assuming she stops talking long enough to read anything at all.  If she does, she’d read an article in today’s Neighbors section of The Miami Herald entitled “City council:  Take a seat – but where?”  For some mysterious reason this article was not posted online, but since Phyllis hasn’t entered the decade’s old computer age as yet, this is of no consequence to her.  It is too bad, though, for the hoards of people who stopped buying the print edition of the Herald and rely exclusively on their computers for all the news that’s unfit to print.

I love what reporter Nadege Green wrote as her opening line.  “With a deteriorating financial state and rising pension costs looming in North Miami Beach, some North Miami Beach council members have a pressing issue for the council:  assigned seating.” Continue reading


The Street Furniture NMB Gallery proudly presents…

The First Annual Street Furniture Fall Runway Exhibit, featuring…

The Phyllis Smith Couture Collection!

This stunning tee shirt from the SmithWear Collection is what will be seen on all the most fashionable NMBers this fall!  Be the first on your block to own what is sure to become a family heirloom.  So versatile, this piece can be worn from the board room to the ball room without even changing accessories!


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A Conflict of Interest


Okay, so check this out.  It’s a sorta slow news day, so I wanted to run something by you that’s been on my mind lately.  Let’s talk about what constitutes a Conflict of Interest.  Several cities have enacted their own laws to deal with conflicts of interest.  For example, I found this article called The Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (http://www.ehow.com/about_6368113_municipal-conflict-interest-act.html), which discusses one enacted in Ontario, Canada in 1972, the purpose of which “is to ensure municipal council, committee and board members, as well as school officials, acting on behalf of the public, don’t personally profit from a decision they played a role in making.”

Oh, boy!  I’m thinking we could round up quite a few politicians and send ’em to the hoosegow for violating this Act, eh?  But, since a real conflict of interest is difficult, but not impossible, to prove, none of our present or former North Miami Beach elected officials have been found guilty of this crime.  Yet.  The wheels of justice move at glacial speed, but rest assured that your Gruesome Twosome and the Hindrances are still on the case. Continue reading




There appears to be a resurgence of telephone scams that involve persons being called on the phone and advised either a relative of theirs, usually a grandson or granddaughter, is in jail and needs to be bonded out or calls are being received by individuals claiming to have kidnapped one of your relatives and are demanding ransom money.

The relative needing to be bonded out of jail scam has been around for a few years. It usually targets the elderly and tells them their grandson or granddaughter is in trouble and in jail and needs money to bond out. The person calling identifies themselves as bail bondsman. The caller tries to get to you wire them money usually through western union.

We are seeing a resurgence of these types of calls. Continue reading



As if the City of North Miami Beach didn’t have enough problems to deal with, councilwoman Phyllis Smith is going full steam ahead with her insistence on sitting her tuchus right next to the Mayor on the dais.  She has spent an inordinate amount of time (and our money) directing the City Attorney to draft not one, not two, but THREE different ordinances in a ridiculous effort to get her way.  If we thought former mayor Myron Rosner was a childish idiot, Phyllis has surely outdone him this time.

The City has just posted its agenda for the meeting next Tuesday, July 19, 2011 (http://webcasts.citynmb.tv/council2011/AG071911.pdf), and in addition to all the REAL BUSINESS the City Council, Manager and Attorney have to conduct, we also have the dubious privilege of having to sit through Phyllis’ whiny bloviating about why she wants to sit at the grown up table.  If we’re really lucky, she’ll throw a Myron-like tantrum! Continue reading


“To Protect and Serve”

When our kids were young, my husband tried his best to convince at least one of them to follow in his footsteps and become a firefighter.  Although he never said it, I’m sure he was disappointed that none of them were ever interested.  Years later when most of them were already young adults, we were out to dinner with the family.  My husband’s oldest daughter was telling us about her job search, and my husband suggested again that she apply at her local fire department.  She looked at him point blank and said, “Dad, I’m not interested in helping other people.  I’m much too selfish.”

Well, at least that was honest!  My husband was taken aback, but I knew exactly what she meant.  It takes a special type of person to make a career out of serving others.  Personally, I know I’m not one of them, either.  Yes, I know that being a secretary/bookkeeper is service position, but let’s face it.  I’m not saving lives here or risking my own life and limb for those in need.  And, no, paper cuts don’t count. Continue reading


The Grand Bloviator of NMB

At the end of every North Miami Beach Council meeting, there is a section entitled “City Council Committee Reports,” which is familiarly referred to as the “Good ‘n’ Plenty.”  In case you’re interested, the entire July 5, 2011 Council meeting can be viewed on the city’s website here: 


I decided to watch it again to see how long each of the Council members spoke when wrapping up the meeting.

First up, Vice Mayor Philippe Derose spoke for just under three minutes.

Councilwoman Marlen Martell spoke for a grand total of 30 seconds.

Councilwoman Beth Spiegel spoke for just under two minutes.

Councilwoman Barbara Kramer spoke for slightly over 3 minutes.

Then came the Grand Bloviater, Phyllis Smith, who blathered on for SIX AND A HALF FREAKING MINUTES! Continue reading


Too Bad Phyllis Didn’t STFU!

I’m so glad I decided to not attend last night’s Pre-Council Meeting of the North Miami Beach City Council, which began at 5:30 and ended at 7:20 p.m., just in time for the Council to have it’s Actual Council Meeting.  If I had been sitting in the audience instead of watching the live stream on the City’s website, by the second hour I would have been pulling my hair out in utter frustration.  By the third hour, Phyllis Smith would have had a sock in her mouth.

Just once I’d like to hear Phyllis saying something that is directly related the issue at hand instead of responding with non sequiturs that go absolutely nowhere.  I can’t even begin to repeat all the stupid things she said at both meetings, but suffice it to say, she didn’t miss a single opportunity to make a fool of herself.  It’s a damn shame that Phyllis can’t watch the meeting from the standpoint of the viewers while she’s bloviating because judging by the looks on the faces of her colleagues, they’re all just as sick of her endless self-promotion as the residents are.  The only person on that council who can still stand her is her fawning puppy dog, Frantz Pierre, and he wasn’t present last night. Continue reading