North Miami’s Andre Pierre steps down as mayor

Andre Pierre spent his last council meeting as North Miami’s mayor blushing while a number of prominent members of South Florida’s Haitian community lauded him for a successful four years in office.

In honor of his contributions to North Miami, Pierre — who is term-limited and cannot seek reelection this year — received a proclamation called “The People’s Resolution.”

Pierre is not the only member of the council who will not return to the dais at the next council meeting.

Councilmen Michael Blynn and Jean Marcellus are also leaving their posts. Blynn lost his seat in the May 14 election, and Marcellus left his seat open to unsuccessfully run for mayor.

But Tuesday was all about Pierre, who started the meeting with a reading from the Bible — Psalm 27:1.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” he read.

Little was said about the scandals that plagued Pierre while in office, most notably the arrest of his nephew in a bribery case in which he alleged that he could sway council votes including Pierre’s. That case is still pending.

“Suffice it to say this is the very first thank-you to celebrate and honor you and honor your contributions to this great city,” said Gepsie Metellus, who presented Pierre with “The People’s Resolution.”

Praise rained down on the two-term mayor, such as acknowledgments that under his leadership the city was named an All-America City and accolades for being a champion of diversity at city hall.

“It has nothing to do with race; it has nothing to do with putting one class above the other or one ethnic group over the other,” said city clerk Michael Etienne. “It has everything to do with making sure every single ethnic group in the city of North Miami is represented here on the departmental level and the employment level staff.”

Pierre thanked city residents and supporters. He said the city needs to continue to be strong and promote diversity.

“I do not need to be on this place called earth if I cannot fight for people’s rights, for Haitian rights,” he said.