North Miami Beach residents will return to the polls on Tuesday to decide who will take the Group 3 City Council seat.
Voters will decide between Councilwoman Phyllis Smith, the incumbent who has served since 2007, and attorney Michael Joseph who last year unsuccessfully ran against state Rep. Barbara Watson for House District 107. In last Tuesday’s council election, Smith received about 42 percent of the vote while Joseph received 32 percent. Opponents Bruce Lamberto, a city contracts manager, and elementary school teacher Margaret Love, received about 19 and 7 percent of the vote respectively.
Smith said she expected the outcome given the field of four candidates for the seat and is confident that she can maintain the support she received and reach out to other residents.
“Going forward, my message to the people in North Miami Beach is that I have a proven track record of taking care of the residents from the day I was elected,” Smith said.
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Joseph, a newcomer to North Miami Beach city politics, said in a letter to residents that he wants to provide a “listening ear” and bring resources to NMB.
“I have watched jobs and other growth opportunities go to neighboring cities and not come our way,” Joseph said in the letter. “These experiences have helped guide my perspective on what the role of government should be in serving the people.”
In the other races May 5, Councilman Frantz Pierre and Councilwoman Marlen Martell held on to their seats in narrow victories.
The candidates have said that transparency, public safety and community development are the main issues they want to address on the City Council.
The runoff election will take place May 19 and two days of early voting will take place May 14 and 15. For more information visit the Miami-Dade elections website at http://miamidade.gov/elections.