Tondreau elected North Miami mayor

caines | 6/13/2013, 5:30 a.m.

Citys first Haitian-American female mayor takes oath of office The City of North Miamis three newly-elected officials were inducted last Tuesday evening as part of the regularly scheduled council meeting at North Miami Senior High School, ushering in a new era for the City and what some hope will be an end to the racial tension that has often dominated City politics, business and conversations from the east side to the west. General elections were held on May 14th that resulted in a run-off for all three council seats. On Tuesday, June 4th, a run-off election was held with the following results: Lucie M. Tondreau defeated Kevin A. Burns for mayor, 55.70 to 44.30 percent, respectively; Carol Keys stopped Mary C. Irvin, 61.95 to 38.05 percent, respectively, taking the District 2 council seat; and Philippe Bien-Aime emerged victorious over Jacques Despinosse, 67.26 to 32.74, respectively, for the District 3 council seat. Tondreau, 52, who had garnered the endorsement of outgoing Mayor Andre Pierre early in the elections, made history as the Citys first female Haitian-American mayor. She was born in Haiti but fled the country with the rest of her family after her father was released from the dreaded Fort-Dimanches death cells. Their journey took them to Montreal she was only seven-years-old. In 1982, she began working as a journalist and advocate for the Haitian-American community in New York City. Tondreau relocated to Miami two years later, continuing to work as an activist for the Citys fast-growing, Haitian community. She first ran for political office in 2002 but lost in a close run for the Miami-Dade county commission. She has owned and operated Tondreau & Associates, Inc. since 1999, a consulting firm for immigration and public relation issues, located in North Miami. She is also a widow and the mother of three daughters, Nancy, Elodie and Luddy.

New mayor says its time to move the City forward

Tondreau acknowledges that during the elections emotions were at their peak. But she believes that now that theyre over, that the citizens of North Miami will we willing to work together. People slammed doors in my face, saying they didnt want a nigger to be the next mayor, she said. Yes, tensions were high. But Im a positive person and I want to reflect that attitude at City Hall and throughout North Miami. People will make negative comments from time to time. But that doesnt mean you have to respond in the same way. Its time for us to move forward. Tondreau says her first order of business is to meet with all of the presidents of the Citys various homeowners associations in order to identify the different issues and sources of dissension that exist in our community. Our community relations board has been inactive for several years and I believe now is a perfect time to reactivate it, she said. But it will need to reflect the diversity that one sees in our City. When asked about an alleged inflammatory statement, Whites people wont help you, made by State Representative Daphne Campbell, a Tondreau supporter, during Election Day on a Haitian radio station, Tondreau said, You are only the second person that has told me about that but I did not hear it myself. Tondreau suggested that we speak with Campbell and ask her about the comment. However, as this story went to press, Campbell had not responded to our telephone calls or e-mails. By D. Kevin McNeirkmcneir@miamitimesonline.com