A Couple of Things !

     1.    You could possibly have a different City Commissioner soon.
                           That’s because the preliminary Census figures appear to show that our Policital Districts in the City are unbalanced in population, and that’s a no-no according to our City Charter.

     Here’s a map of the Political Districts as they are today (excuse the ad plastered over it, I don’t have PDF to JPEG conversion software!). The green is Commissioner Roberts, the purple is Commissioner Dubose, the brown Commissioner Rodstrom, and the beige Commissioner Rogers.

                                                
     As it turns out, Rogers and Dubose have too many people, Rodstrom and Roberts not enough. Districts must be contiguous, so some neighborhood[s] in District 4 will have to move into either District 2 or 3, and some neighborhood[s] in District 3 will have to shift north to District 2 or 1……

      Any way you do it, someone will not be happy! Think Coolie Hammock represented by Rodstrom, Poinsettia Heights represented by Roberts etc. etc. The reshuffling has 100’s of possibilities.


 2.    We will also soon have a new City Manager. It will be one of the three finalists. The odds-on favorite appears to be Levinson, formerly of Coral Springs, but I was much more impressed with this guy …
               
                            

     Feldman, from Palm Bay, formerly from North Miami. Feldman seems much more people/citizen friendly, has some new creative ideas for the City, and is surely very capable.  If I was still there, I’d be voting for him.

3.  Visioning passed by a vote of 5-0, though Rodstrom tried her best to kill it before voting for it in the end. Stay tuned for Vision collectors coming to your neighborhood this summer !
     
                

Vision for the future of our City …from we, the People !

     On Wednesday, after years and decades of bitching about how our City has never had a  clear     ………………

                              Vision
for the future,

 
    …….. and after over a year of planning how we might be able to go to all the citizens of Fort Lauderdale, not just the inside few, and figure out a real plan, one that could really work,
 
     …….  we might just be ready to start planning a great future for all of  Fort Lauderdale.

                                          
WOW ….. won’t that be great !

                                     

                                       
                    ……………..   Here’s what a few people have said about Vision


              …………. The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but has no Vision – Helen Keller

              …………. Some men see things as they are and ask “Why?”  I dream things that never were and say “Why not?” – Robert Kennedy  

              ………… Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others –Jonathon Swift

          ……….. Where there is no Vision, the people perish  – the Bible !

                                       
    
      
The Vision planning work will take a year, go out to all parts of the City, both residential and business, and be organized by three professional companies that have done similar Visioning Action Plans for cities like …….

                                                  Philadelphia
                                                  San Jose
                                                  Sanibel
                                                  Hilton Head
                                                  New Orleans
                                                  Austin
                                                  St. Augustine
                                                  Fort Worth
                                                  Key Biscayne
                                                  Portsmouth

               …….. and lots of others  …

     It will cost the City about $300,000 for about a year of work …. finishes with a exhaustive, comprehensive Action Plan, and an Implementation Plan ( with a  roadmap of where to go after any money that’s needed and available to help completely accomplish it,) and a schedule of monitoring that makes sure the City Commission gets ‘er done!

     We really can’t afford not to do this   ………..

      Please call or e-mail the Mayor and the Commissioners now and tell them you are ready to help plan the City’s future ! Vote Yes !

                           (Their phone number is 954-828-5003)

                                            

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SmartyPants Readers!

     I asked you all if you had any idea what this was.

                                          

     Well, of the answers I received (both privately and as a comment here on the blog) –  many  of you got it right, but an equal amount didn’t!

     The give-a-way clue was going to be “this blog looks at Fort Lauderdale through my eyes!”

     That’s what it is, 
my eyeswith a picture from the inside out, technically the Optomap ultra – wide digital retina imaging system. (It was time for my once a decade Eye Doctor visit!)

     Some of the best, worst answers were 

             …….. 
eyeball of a possum
           …….  the surface of Mercury
           …….  a tumor
           …….  a faraway
galaxy


     Thanks for allowing me the diversion, I’ll get back to regular posting next!,,,
Tim

      

Possible Mayoral Candidate’s Criminal Record

     His name is Robert Walsh, and he says he is considering a run against incumbent Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler. He has said he will decide by June.

     He is a well known character around City Hall, attends many of the Commission meetings, and often spars with the Mayor.
 
     He is also well known to the Law Enforcement Community.
                                                 
                                               
    
Walsh’s criminal record spans from 2001 to 2007 and includes arrests for Grand Theft, Criminal Mischief, Resisting, Disorderly Conduct, and  DUI.

    
Walsh spent 23 days in jail in 2003.
                                    

     Walsh doesn’t dispute the record but says he would like to be “judged for what I do today, not what I did ten years ago”.

     Walsh also said “there’s a thing called redemption and starting over”, and that he has “paid his debt to society”.

     I asked him if the voters should take his past criminal record into account and he said that he knows it will be “open season” , and then added that the voters should, ” but what’s the difference [ with the current politicians] and their gross mismanagement of government”.

     I’ll keep you posted if Walsh or others get in the race.    ……..  Tim
    

Six Finalists for City Manager Job

     The City Manager Search Committee, tasked with narrowing down the list of applicants for Fort Lauderdale’s new City Manager position, has just reduced the field to the six finalists.

     Initially, nearly 100 people applied for the job that will surely pay in the $200,000, plus much more range.

     The current Manager, Allyson Love, has been holding the position temporarily and did not apply for the permanent post.

                                     
                                    soon to be, former, temporary City Manager!

    

                                             
   The six finalists are


   
  Michael Levinson-
former City Manager of Coral Springs. Levinson, who was earning $214,000 yearly,  resigned last fall after two City Commissioners were re-instated after being vindicated of sunshine law violations. 
    
     Word had it that the Commissioners were angry with Levinson over their problems, and Levinson was going to feel their pain. 

     Coral Springs has 750 employees and a yearly budget of 100 million.




Daniel Kleman – currently a “Special Assistant” to the Mayor of Jacksonville, Fla., and was their former Fire Chief prior to that. Kleman was a 20 year manager in Tallahassee before going to work in Jacksonville.




James Hartmann – current City Manager of Alexandria, Va. , former official In Orange County, Fla..  Hartmann announced in January that he was resigning to “explore other job opportunities”, probably in Florida.

     Alexandria has a budget of $531 million, similar to Fort Lauderdale’s. Alexandria recently revived it’s “red light camera” program, after having to cancel it due to a 42% increase in accidents.




Pasquale “Pat” Digiovanni – currently the Deputy City Manager of San Antonio, Texas. San Antonio is the 7th largest city in the nation, 1.3 million people. It’s famous for it’s very successful Riverwalk ( and the Alamo!).




Matthew Fertal –
current City Manager of Garden Grove, Calif.. Garden Grove is one mile from DisneyLand, and is known for it’s high-end hotels, restaurants, and destinations. Fertal currently earns $250,000 in salary.




Lee Feldman – current City Manager of Palm Bay, Florida. Feldman was formally the manager of North Miami. 


     The City Manager search committee, made up of a former City Commissioner ( not me !), the Chamber of Commerce head, the former Budget Committee Chair, and other important citizens, say they have worked well as a committee, and are looking forward to the Commission finishing the process.

      Stay Tuned … Tim




So, let’s go …Back To Politics !

     A few posts back, we were talking about the upcoming Fort Lauderdale Mayor and Commissioner elections coming up just around the corner in February 2012

     We were waiting for word from the rest of the Commissioners and some challengers on whether they were running again, and that info is in….. so  …

         
Here Goes !

    We reported that Mayor Jack ( John P. “Jack” Seiler), was running for re-election, and that Commissioners Roberts,  and Rodstrom were also running for re-election ( when they all weren’t snoozing LOL )……. 

     ….. and now we can report that …
                                             
                                                       Bobby Dubose

    
has also decided to run for re-election. He has opened a campaign account, and he says………
 
       ” I’m running but haven’t set any official fundraisers yet  ….  not sure who the challengers will be…. I will leave it to the voters to decide” ….

    …. last time around, there was an open seat In Dist. III when Carlton Moore was term limited out, and 4 challengers vied for the seat that Dubose won…

      the closest competitor was long time city activist and consultant Pamela Adams

                                             

     
When I asked Pam if she’d be running this time, she said NEVER ! ..I said NEVER? ….she said NEVER EVER! ( I think she meant it)

      There was also Nadine Hankerson ( I don’t think she’ll run, but I couldn’t find her to find out), and then there was Jimmy – 

                                      
                                            
                                Jimmy B. “O Glory” Witherspoon – local youth pastor

      No word from O’Glory either…

                    
And in District IV


                      

       Commissioner Romney Rogers is also running for re-election. Rogers said ” it has been a privilege and honor to represent the district I grew up in and the City I love. If the voters will have me, I would be honored to serve again”.

     In the picture above Rogers stands above Coleman Prewitt, his closest competitor in the last election. I didn’t hear back from Coleman, but a close associate of his told me that he doesn’t think Prewitt has “ruled out another run”.

     A big issue in the 2009 District IV race was Roger’s strong religious faith, and whether he would color his legislating with his Baptist faith. He hasn’t.

                            

     I ran this graphic masterpiece from District IV activist Cal Deal then and it nearly crashed my blog site. Over 5000 people looked at that post in a matter of days.

     Also rans in district IV include Jim Lewis, infamous local lawyer that might run as he runs for office about every 4 years regardless, and George Trodella, who probably won’t.

     I’ve heard a smattering of other rumors, but nothing to report at this point.