North Miami Beach commission now settled with 2 new members following contentious election

NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – There has been a shakeup at North Miami Beach City Hall following the election of two new commissioners after a nasty election filled with mudslinging.

Former NMB Commissioner Paule Villard, who voters voted out of office on Tuesday, has yet to speak with Local 10 News.

Re-elected Commissioner Fortuna Smuckler says it’s “a whole new day in the city.”

Smuckler foresees an end to drama and division on the dais that has split the city and that boiled over publicly during campaign season.

Some candidates’ signs were demolished and torn apart and photos were defaced, though others, like Villard’s, remained up and untouched, including those against code that were on city property.

Her opponent was accused of stealing signs and shoving them at the city clerk.

The bigger issue for residents is how the commission has been spending their money.

“The spending has to stop,” said Smuckler.

Residents recently received water bills with Villard’s name taking credit for a rebate.

Then there were gift cards, free money, she and others gave out during campaign season that were paid for with residents’ COVID relief funding, with no accounting or documentation provided.

The city manager, who takes direction from commissioners, faces a new majority, and his job may be on the line.

“I’m confident that the two newly elected commissioners and myself will always vote for not one side but the right way,” said Smuckler.

About the Author:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."