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North Miami’s new leaders look to future

 

ngreen@MiamiHerald.com

North Miami voters elected a mayor and two new faces to the city council on Tuesday.

Lucie Tondreau, 52, will serve as North Miami’s first-ever Haitian-American woman mayor. Joining her on the council are Carol Keys in the District 2 seat and Philippe Bien-Aime in the District 3 seat.

Coming off an at-times contentious election season, the newly elected council members said they were ready to move forward and work together in the interest of the city’s residents and business owners.

“Elections are done now. We need to get to work to ensure a smooth transition,” Tondreau said.

Tondreau said she plans to have an open and transparent government.

“This is going to be a vibrant city with residents that will come together. Our citizens will have access,” she said.

Among her priorities is securing funding to hire more police officers and expanding the after-school program for kids offered by the city’s Police Athletic League.

One of the issues that will likely come before the council soon is a conceptual master plan of what will be built at the Biscayne Landing site.

Tondreau was employed as a public-relations specialist on the project through her company Tondreau and Associates. Tondreau said she resigned her position with Biscayne Landing when she decided to run for mayor.

She said she would ask the city attorney for an opinion as to whether there would be a conflict for her to vote on Biscayne Landing-related items coming before the council.

“If there is a conflict, I will remove myself from those votes,” Tondreau said.

Carol Keys, 60, will be filling the District 2 seat previously held by Councilman Michael Blynn. Blynn lost his seat in the general election.

“We have to start spending responsibly and stop the runaway spending,” she said. “I’d like to bring transparency and responsiveness back to our city. I can’t do it alone, but that’s a big priority.”

In the District 3 Seat left vacant by Councilman Jean Marcellus — who ran a failed bid for mayor — is Philippe Bien-Aime, 47.

“From Day 1, my slogan was, ‘I will always value the community.’ Everything I do will be in the community’s best interest,” he said.

With the city’s budget season coming up, Bien-Aime said he would be a conservative steward of taxpayers’ dollars.

“I will not vote for anything unless it is clear exactly where the money is going to come from,” he said. “We want to spend wisely and with responsibility.”

The new council members will be sworn in at 7 p.m. Tuesday at North Miami High School, 13110 NE Eighth Ave.

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