Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Carmel on the Case: North Miami Split?
Could the city of North Miami become two cities? That's what some taxpayers are considering because they're concerned about how the city is being run. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is on the case.
Terry Dellerson: "Forming a city east of Biscayne Boulevard and incorporating in that manner. And that would be the new city."
Terry Dellerson is a long time resident. He says attorneys are working on the legal steps that would need to be taken.
Terry Dellerson: "And virtually everyone that I've spoken to also feels the same way."
North Miami's mayor, André Pierre is at the heart of Dellerson's discontent.
Mayor André Pierre: "My work is to do and some people's work is to criticize."
Pierre has faced lots of criticism from residents. For example, the city spent money for police officers to protect the president of Haiti when he came to South Florida, even though he didn't even visit North Miami. And some residents were outraged when the mayor made a personal attack on councilman Michael Blynn. Blynn raised the issue of the mayor's nephew being arrested for unlawful compensation.
A North Miami businessman told authorities Ricardo Brutus promised he could sway council votes. The mayor responded by calling Blynn's daughters prostitutes.
Mayor André Pierre: "And you know, he had warnings over and over again. You know, leave my family out of it. Leave my family out of it and sometimes you know you need to let people know that you're not playing."
Pierre says he has since apologized, but there is now more outrage as the mayor seems prepared to spend city money for a radio station event.
Marie Hippolite: "We have a wide population of Haitians living and working here."
The station is seeking $270,000 to stage a big carnival called Meganaval.
Marie Hippolite: "First of all to give us the opportunity to organize the Meganaval and second of all to help us financially to do that."
When it came up at the last council meeting, the mayor suggested they come back at the end of August when the city expects to have some cash coming in.
Terry Dellerson: "It seems to have been kinda pushed under the carpeting, and I don't think that's right for that to be happening."
Residents say they should have some sort of input on spending money for events like this.
Carol Keys: "Lately money is being handed out at every meeting, $10,000 here, $10,000 there."
The mayor however is proud of his administration and his city.
Mayor André Pierre: "We are here to work together and if you have an issue that you would like to be implemented in the city of North Miami we are more than happy to work with you, okay?"
Carmel Cafiero: "It remains to be seen if the idea of splitting the city actually gets to court. But the fact that it's even being talked about speaks volumes about North Miami today."
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