North Miami candidates share their views before election day

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Nine people have made their appeals to North Miami residents in the run-up to the city’s May 9 election, and the field is a mix of political newcomers, incumbents and previous competitors.

Many election issues center on improving city services, lowering the costs of utilities for working-class families and finding ways to encourage development in the city’s downtown and commercial areas while still creating affordable housing and improving blighted areas. The city is also considering a bond issue to pay for renovating aging facilities.

Joseph’s competitors are Danielle Beauvais, an alternative-medicine consultant and tai chi instructor; Tyrone Hill, a middle school teacher; and Hector Medina, a retired medical administrator.

Bien-Aime is facing a familiar foe in former Councilman Jean Marcellus and political newcomer Wancito Francius, who owns a security company.

Keys was unopposed until the final week of the candidate filing period when Ilyana Albarran, the owner of a research and consulting firm, filed to run for the District 2 seat.

Early voting continues through Sunday at the North Miami Public Library, 835 NE 132nd St. If a runoff election is needed, it will take place June 6.

Danielle Beauvais, 57

M- Danielle Beauvais

Danielle Beauvais

Carl Juste

Occupation: Alternative medicine consultant

Education: Attended Barry University, did not receive degree

Public service: No previous office held

On the issues: “Let’s empower the businesses. We have grants that are available. Let’s help them get those grants so they can create more jobs.”

“You have bridges that need repair, floodplains that are threatened by sea level rise. The city needs drainage improvements and they have the money to fix it.”

“I want to represent people equally not just certain people.”

Tyrone Hill, 54

Occupation: Middle school teacher

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Florida Memorial University; master’s in education, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Public service: Former North Miami Chamber of Commerce member

On the issues: “How do we attract higher-end jobs? I notice there’s a drain — our students achieve and move away and they don’t come back.”

“One of my primary initiatives would be to unify the multicultural diaspora that is North Miami.”

“Strengthening code enforcement and beautifying the city are concerns I’ve heard from the voters.”

Smith Joseph, 55

M- Smith Joseph

Smith Joseph

Occupation: Medical doctor, incumbent

Education: Doctorate in osteopathic medicine, Nova Southeastern University; doctorate in pharmacy, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University; associate degree in pre-pharmacy, Miami Dade College

Public service: Mayor since 2014

On the issues: “My vision for the city is to really bring it to a higher level where we can be seen as a government that sees development as a priority.”

“Previous mayors fell into this current of east side versus west side. I want to see the city of North Miami come together whether you’re white, black or Latino.”

“Street improvement is big for me. You want developers to come, you want to attract millennials and other people, you have to repair the streets.”

Hector Medina, 59

M- HectorMedina

Hector Medina


Occupation: Retired doctor

Education: Medical degree, Catholic University Nordestana in the Dominican Republic

Public service: No previous offices held

On the issues: “The people who are moving in, they don’t want the big buildings. They want to see how we can balance the development of North Miami.”

“The first thing I’m going to tackle is cleaning up the main corridors of the city. When you exit Interstate 95 or come in from West Dixie Highway, you should feel pride.”

I would do anything in my power to make [the Museum of Contemporary Art] stabilized and make it the museum it can really be.”


Ilyana Albarrán, 37

CC2- Ilyana Albarran

Ilyana Albarrán

Occupation: Founder, Alba Research and Consulting

Education: Doctorate in public affairs, Florida International University; bachelor’s degree, Cornell University

Public service: 2017 New Leaders Council fellow, South NoMi Central Homeowners Association, NoMi Neighbors Green and Garden Committee

On the issues: “If we’re going to bring development in that will increase traffic, we should also bring in visitors that will shop in the local areas and bring in business.”

“I think we are at a moment where we don’t need to worry about keeping North Miami out of the headlines for corruption but we should focus on developing our downtown.”

“I think the commonality among people is that they want to have the city be more unified.”

Carol Keys, 64, incumbent

CC2-Carol Keys

Carol Keys

Occupation: Real estate attorney

Education: Law degree, Cumberland University; master’s degree, University of Miami; bachelor’s degree, University of Florida

Public service: Councilwoman since 2013

On the issues: “I think the city is in the best shape it’s been in years with transparency and accountability.”

“I’ve been involved, serving and volunteering with this city for the last 20 years. I’ve served as a councilwoman for the last four years and I’d like another opportunity to serve and continue the work we’ve been doing.”

We’ve lowered taxes while at the same time having funds for capital improvements.”


Philippe Bien-Aime, 51, incumbent

CC3- Philippe Bien-Aime

Philippe Bien-Aime

Emily Michot

Occupation: Car dealership owner

Education: Bachelor’s degree, University of Social Science in Haiti

Public service: Councilman since 2013

On the issues: “A lot of people in my district are concerned about climate change and want me to reach out to state and local agencies to address that.”

Getting the water bill on time, a better job from the code enforcement and garbage pickup are the issues I hear from my constituents, and I think those things need to be addressed.”

“The most important thing is to get in touch with the constituents.”

Wancito Francius, 41

CC3- Wancito Francius

Wancito Francius

Occupation: Owner, Lion Intelligence and Security Services

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Florida International University

Public service: No previous offices held

On the issues: “We need to create a relationship with the small businesses to create new jobs for those younger people.”

“I will host town hall meetings at least three times a year. I want to make the city government transparent and accountable.”

“We want to reduce the crime rate. I’m focused on creating youth programs to combat delinquency.”

Jean Marcellus, 57

CC3- Jean Marcellus

Jean Marcellus

Occupation: Retired police officer

Education: Associate’s degree, Miami Dade College

Public service: Former North Miami councilman, 2009-2013

On the issues: “Public safety has no price tag in my opinion. You need to have the manpower and you have to have community policing.”

“Some people have talked to me about the darkness in the city and how dark it is at night. They want to see more street lights.”

We need the residents to participate in the process and to understand who are the decision makers in the city.”

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