I’m a fan of Jack Seiler.
He’s one of those rare public servants that truly believes in serving the public, and he’s been doing it quite capably for many years. And I’ve been impressed with his service as Mayor of Fort Lauderdale these last couple of months.
But last week he screwed up.
Here’s what happened.
Earl Rynerson, who most of you will remember ran for the Mayor’s seat against Seiler, received a letter to his business last week.
It was from Seiler’s office, Seiler himself, ( on City stationary ) and it encouraged Rynerson, and other local businesses to advertise in a private business venture.
Now Rynerson has been on the war path against Jack for months, after coming in a distant third in the Mayor’s race. His web site often seems bitter, and, in my opinion, flaky on many issues. But Seiler’s letter gave Earl some valid ammunition to criticize him with this time.
Here’s a link to Rynerson’s site that included Rynerson’s criticism of the letter, and the actual letter.
Here’s the problem.
The venture Seiler touts is being done by Dolph Map, a private company, but Seiler’s letter glosses over that. The letter states that the City was “working” with Dolph to produce it. It says important City numbers and programs will be on the map. It explains that businesses could sponsor it, and that they should “not delay”. It’s called the official sounding Fort Lauderdale City Mapping Project.
The problem is, it is not a City endeavor, was not brought before the City Commission for public review and discussion, not competitively bid, not really associated with the City at all.
And to make matters worse, Rynerson ties the Dolph Map Company with contributions to Seiler’s political campaign, and campaign signs that Dolph erected on their coveted Federal Highway location during the Mayor’s race. Apparently, former Mayor Jim Naugle did the same thing for Dolph, which should have sent up a red flag for Seiler right there!
I don’t believe there was anything sinister or nefarious in Seiler’s actions, just a mistake he should admit to and move on.
Now that’s the way I see it. But if I’m wrong, I have a back-up plan.
It’s the Fort Lauderdale City Landscaping Guide. The publication, free to the public, will answers all questions about our local Fort Lauderdale landscapes. Since I’m a recognized expert in the field, it’s a natural. The Guide will explain how to plant for droughts, what trees to plant, what City departments can help and how.
And of course, it will be quite profitable for me, having that introductory letter from the Mayor’s office!