New World Broadcasting’s WURN-AM, a popular Miami-Ft. Lauderdale Haitian outlet, came before the North Miami City council Tuesday requesting $270,650 to throw a street carnival in two months. The money would help pay for the “North Miami Meganaval,” a Haitian-inspired eight-hour event that would include top konpa bands such as Djakout, Carimi and T-Vice, reports The Miami Herald.
Radio Mega asked for the event to take place on 9/2. North Miami Mayor Andre Pierre asked for a five-minute break in the session, which turned into frantic whispered deliberations between representatives of Radio Mega, city staff and supporters of the carnival.
Pierre asked for the break after telling representatives from Radio Mega that the city was broke and did not have any money to cover the hefty price tag. He also questioned the last-minute time frame, though he told them he supported the idea.
“I’m 100 percent behind this,” he said.
Alluding to the pending closing of the Biscayne Landing site, in which North Miami is expected to receive $17.5 million, Pierre said, “It’s no big secret we’re about to get money in. But it’s not in yet.”
Pierre told the group to return in August. But Alex Saint Surin, Radio Mega GM, said he wanted the council to vote 7/10 on whether it would help out financially. At that point, Pierre requested the break.
During the break, several supporters of the proposed carnival told Saint Surin he should follow Pierre’s advice and revisit the council in August — in fear that if the council voted Tuesday the proposal would be rejected.
Even City Manager Stephen Johnson chimed in telling Saint Surin, “I recommend you regroup. This is just too quick to make this stuff happen.”
When the council reconvened, the group said they would return at a later date.
The Meganaval website claims, “We are fully supported by the Haitian elected officials, Mayor Andre Pierre, Councilwoman Erlande Steril, Councilman Jean R. Marcellus, Chief Police Marc Ellias.”