With about five weeks before the North Miami Beach municipal election on May 5, voters already have one of their four seats decided.
Mayor George Vallejo is running unopposed in Group 1 to a second four-year term. The mayor of North Miami Beach earns $3,600 in salary with an executive allowance of nearly $27,000. Council members each earn a salary of $3,000 with an allowance of nearly $24,000.
Since 2008, all current incumbents pay 100 percent of their benefits, if they choose to participate in the city’s plans, said Rose Amberson, director of human resources.
“Right now there is a question under evaluation by the attorney’s office regarding benefits for those elected and maintaining office prior to 2008,” Amberson said.
In Group 3, incumbent Phyllis Smith faces the most-crowded race with three opponents who’ve previously run for office. Bruce Lamberto is currently chairman of the North Miami Beach Redevelopment Advisory Board and works for the city of Miami Beach as a permits coordinator. Lamberto is running (his third try) on a platform that includes ending lifetime health benefits for current elected officials before 2008. Attorney Michael Joseph ran an unsuccessful campaign last fall to oust incumbent state Rep. Barbara Watson for the State House District 107 seat. Another returning candidate, schoolteacher Margaret “Margie” Love, will try again after losing to Marlen Martell for council seat in 2011.
In Group 5, incumbent Frantz Pierre will face a familiar opponent: Ketley Joachim. In 2011, Pierre filed a restraining order against Joachim, alleging she threatened to kill his family, only later to withdraw the complaint. Joachim is a financial consultant and lists Councilman Anthony DeFillipo as one of her campaign contributors. DeFillipo donated $500 in December 2014 to her campaign.
In Group 7, incumbent Martell faces Paule Villard, who originally filed to run against Smith in November but changed to run against Martell. Villard said she opposed Martell’s vote to privatize the sanitation department. Villard retired from the Miami police department after nearly 28 years as a police officer.
For more election information, visit the website of the city’s elections page.
Follow Patricia Sagastume on Twitter. @patsagastume
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