Yesterday, I gave you my pick for Mayor – Jack Seiler.
Today, let’s talk about my pick for theFort Lauderdale District II seat.
This is the seat I held for six years, and consider it one of the most fulfilling ( though difficult) times of my life.
Here are your choices for this term –
Rodstrom Ferber Zalewski
Let’s discuss them like the Chinese would do – right to left !
Lester Zalewski –The new guy from the beach.
Zalewski’s efforts to unseat the incumbent have been the strongest among the competition. He started with a creative YouTube Ad campaign, using his unusual last name as the predicate.
Then Zalewski put up some signs here and there (a few were destroyed), and now he’s giving Rodstrom a run for her money with Vote Zalewski T.V. commercials.
And then there was this, just outside my house this morning !!
Yikes…I’m glad I had already had my coffee !
It’s clear Zalewski thinks Rodstrom should go. Along with many other beach residents, Zalewski says Rodstrom has shut them out of the picture, and decides for herself what’s best for the beach.
But troubling for his candidacy, Zalewski draws criticism himself from many of his neighbors at the beach, for what they describe as a checkered local history and an acerbic public style.
Michael Ferber –A very interesting guy, self taught, very bright.
But his candidacy is odd!
Michael is running on a platform of ….” I’m not only not going to give you anything new, I’m going to take away half of the things you already have!”…
Rumors abound that Ferber is also a fake candidate (a crimi), put up by Rodstrom to force a primary, but Ferber strongly denies that.
Ferber should be running for Congress, under the Tea Party banner. I doubt he’ll get many votes for the job of local City Commissioner (I certainly couldn’t vote for him), but Ferber could certainly match wits with Congressman West!
Charlotte Rodstrom – the incumbent.
The best choice to serve District II for the next three years.
Rodstrom works harder than all the other Commissioners. She’s wealthy and unemployed, so she gets up every day and begins to serve her constituents (unless she’s in North Carolina!). I’ve always been able to reach her quickly.
But Rodstrom is controversial. She began her first term telling everyone she was against development, but now embraces much of it.
To her credit, Rodstrom has focused a lot of attention on the most needy part of her District ( South Middle River), and has kept her word about pushing through a CRA for that general area ( and keeping her husband on board at the County level!) Unfortunately, much of that area is still struggling.
Rodstrom does have some bad habits that people whisper about and should be mentioned publicly. She often interrupts her colleagues during meetings, and sometimes disrespects those fellow Commissioners.
She has also adopted the Jim Naugle model ” I think I’ll vote against most everything and let it pass, and then go around town, and if an effort fails, I can say -” I voted against that “- and that – and that! That’s not healthy for the City, and not fair to her colleagues.
Rodstrom is term limited, if she wins, this will be her last term as City Commissioner, (even though her husband has been trying to kill term limits at the county level)…….
Still, I say- Vote Rodstrom ( but just this last time!)
As a former City Commissioner (and a pillar of the community) , people always ask me around election time who I think they should vote for.
Most Fort Lauderdale citizens are just too busy with their own lives to pay close attention – but I do – so here goes!
There is a primary on Tuesday, January 31st for two of the Fort Lauderdale Commission seats ( Mayor and District II), because there are 3 candidates (technically) in those races.
Two other seats will be chosen on March 13th, ( District Iand District IV), as they only have two contenders, and there is no election in District III as the incumbent was elected unopposed.
Mayor There is really only one reasonable choice for your vote for Mayor –
On your ballot it will say John “P” Jack Seiler, I guess because he’s a Catholic and has to have a bunch of names!
Seiler has been a refreshing change for Fort Lauderdale. He has brought an adult attitude to the Mayor’s seat. We are no longer portrayed in the national media as some sort of homophobic banana republic, and he and his colleagues are once again running the City, instead of leaving it all to the hired Manager.
Seiler gets some grief for his “parade” leadership, but I think it’s a good thing. It’s time we begin to think of ourselves as a team, as a great city, something to be proud of – Seiler is helping to make that happen.
parades YEA !
This is not to say that Seiler has finished all of his tasks. There are real concerns with the big increase in burglaries in the City, and a strong return to Community Policing should be led from the Mayor’s seat.
Also, the homeless and vagrant problems have not been successfully dealt with, and the tortured decisions about redoing the International Swimming Hall of Fame has not resulted in a plan the citizens like.
We don’t have a future vision, as the process has been marked by infighting and stagnation. While not the Mayor’s fault, he is the Mayor!
…………………………….. Seiler has one real opponent and one fake opponent.
real opponent Rynerson
The fake opponent was a put up job byreal opponent Earl Rynerson to make sure their was a primary, where Rynerson would have a better chance of getting votes from the more fiscally conservative Republican Presidential Primary voters.
That “fake opponent” is a real, though shady character named Crimi. From here on, any fake candidate put up to force a primary will just be called a “crimi”!
bsp; a crimi
Seiler’s other competitor, Earl Rynerson, is not qualified to be Mayor. But he is more than qualified to keep an eye on the City budget.
Whether you like him or not, Rynerson is right about the City budget exploding from $335 million in 2003, to $635 million today.
Seiler and the other incumbents tell half the story about spending. They crow about the“operating budget”being reduced, which is true, but the all funds budget, which is all the money the City Government uses each year, and which is taxpayers money, is twice what is was just a decade ago.
Nearly all of that increase in the all funds budget happened during the two terms prior to Seiler, ( Naugle), but a $30 million dollar increase has happened on Seiler’s watch, and is a concern.
Vote Seiler on Tuesday.
I’ll be back tomorrow to give you my choice for District II.
The City of Fort Lauderdale might just buy you a one-way bus ticket out of town!
Of course, that’s if you are one of ourmanyhomeless that get stuck here with little hope and even less resources.
Many find themselves hanging around Stranahan Park looking for a meal, aggressively panhandling, unnerving the tourists, heading downhill fast!
The program is called the Homeward Bound Reunification program( named after the Paul Simon song, I’m guessing).
The Fort Lauderdale City Commission adopted the program a few months ago, and it started this month. So far, 10 people have taken the City up on the tickets.
Greyhound bound for destinations north!
The free rides cost the City as little as $40 each, and as much as $200 each. Greyhound took the people to St. Pete, Northport, and Leesburg in Florida. And the rest went to Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Massachusetts, and North Carolina.
The youngest person was 35, and the oldest 58. The notes on the chart say we sent them home with “2 sandwiches and gatorade”, or “food from Mount Olive”, and one guy just got “water!”
The reasons for them needing the busing services included “out of prison – no work”, “extradited back for warrant”, and “son putting mom in trailer!” …huh?.
I called most of the people listed as being the responsible parties on the receiving side of the bus trip ( the parents/brother etc.) . They all said their people made it home, and they were all very appreciative to Fort Lauderdale.
Now, if we can just get some tickets ready for this group below –
Occupy Fort Lauderdalers still living at City Hall !
The primary election for the Fort Lauderdale City Commission is just a week away, and last night there was a big debate at City Hall.
All the candidates showed up except for the fake candidate, Crimi ( though he did have a name tag on the dias!)
Only the Mayor’s race and the District II race has a primary next week, as there has to be three candidates to have a primary. District I and District IV only have two candidates, and their races take place on March 13th.District III incumbent Bobby Dubose got reelected without opposition.
Last night’s debate was pretty boring. The format asked all nine candidates to answer the same questions, and the crowd began to bail out about halfway into the debate. The Council of Neighborhoods should change that next time around.
It’s notwhat the candidates said that was interesting, but what their facial expressions said!
please don’t stop me…I wanna go home!
….. sheesh, Rynerson and his damn lying chart again!
OK, I’ll pose, get it over with …
Boy I’m glad I took that shot of Jagermeister before this thing!
ha ! …I’m Judy Stern and I’m the puppet master !!
… yea, sure you are the Puppet master Judy, sure you are …………
“hmm… wonder what I should put in my next commercial?”
Note: ( Art Seitz took the picture of Rodstrom) ……..
They bring out the worst in some campaigns, and their supporters, and often lay around junking up the scenery for months after every election!
Here’s the latest foul play …….
Kevin Buckley is one of our premier shopping center developers.
cool kat Kevin!
He is a mellow guy, been around a long time, but today he’s mad as a hornet.
This is his unwanted campaign sign story –
…..” So Tim, I drove past one of my shopping centers, Barnes and Nobles, and out front was this big…..
Rynerson for Mayor sign
…… Now, I didn’t give this Rynerson character permission to put this sign up, he never called or wrote to ask!…. and to make matters worse, I had gotten 3 Robo campaign phone calls from his campaign over the last three nights – at dinner time!
….. Anyhow, I decided to call his campaign and ask him to come and take the sign down, give him a chance to do the right thing… but after 3 calls and no return calls, my blood began to boil….
…… I grabbed my wife and we went right over and took the sign down ourselves !….. and now, I’m filing a complaint with the State Elections Board….
…… And …… just to make sure this Rynerson feels the pain, I added this”
Since we’ve been talking about crime a lot lately, I thought I’d try and find some perspective.
First, the good news – In 1994, believe it or not, little ole Fort Lauderdale was the most crime ridden city in America (per capita) ….. this past year, we’re way down to #77, – serious progress.
But here’s the rest of the story!
Some of our neighborhoods are very safe.
Sunrise Key ( where taxi magnate Jesse Gaddis lives) had NO CRIME last year. Neither did Bay Colony (up off North US 1, behind the TGIF restaurant.)
Bal Harbor had only 1 crime ( smart move by newCity Manager Lee Feldman moving there!). Riviera Isles ( off Las Olas) also had only 1 crime. Sunrise Intracoastal, behind the Galleria Mall – 1 crime.
Rounding out the safe places are Birch Finger Streets ( north of Sunrise Blvd., across from the beach) with 3 crimes, Nurmi Isle (Rodstrom’s neighborhood)with 5 crimes, Idylwyld with 5, and Harbor Beach with 9 crimes.
But then, some neighborhoods are on fire!
Progresso Village ( where they almost put the HomelessFeeding Camp), had 191 crimes , Flagler Heights ( north downtown) had 178 crimes, Victoria Park – 213 crimes, Melrose Park – 250 , Dorsey Riverbend – 267, Lauderdale Manors – 377,
…………… and the winner ( or loser, depends how you look at it)
South Middle River – 473 crimes ( 240 of them home burglaries)…. SMR did have some help winning the most crime ridden award with this –
The Crescent House
– a group home for troubled male youths. During this past year, 58 of it’s residents were arrested, and one youth has 9 pending felonies!
I’m curious what you think about all this ….please add acomment …
Randall is the President of the Middle River Terrace neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale ( I actually founded the neighborhood group back in 1993).
Randall is also the owner of one of the largest leather gear providers nationally. His business is called LeatherWerks, and let’s just say the Village People probably shop there!
Bear ( in uniform)
Anyhow, here is the story of why Randall is so mightily pissed:
Randall and his partner eat at the California Pizza Kitchen a few nights ago. They arrive back home, after ten, and realize that his partner had left his cell phone at the restaurant.
The partner rushes back to the restaurant, gets the phone and heads back home.
He’s nearly home ( they live behind the Leatherwerks store on NE 4th Ave., a few blocks north of Home Depot), when multiple Police Cars fall in line behind the partner.
The partner is new to the area, nervous, and calls Randall to tell him he is being pulled over. The partner is pulling in to the Leatherwerk store’s parking lot at the time.
Randall jumps out of the shower and pulls a towel around him, throws on his flip flops and darts out his back door. He tells the Police that his partner belongs there, that this is his business, and his house, that all is good.
The Police tell him to go away or he will be arrested.
Randall says that this is his property, that he’s not leaving!
Next thing you know – Randall’s wearing the metal bracelets!
But what happens next is the real clincher – Randall’s towel falls off, and he is left threadless in his own business parking lot ( and, it’s a tad chilly!)
Turns out, the Police thought Randall’s partner was looking for drugs. They called the K-9 Squad out, and there was no indication of drugs.
But, according to Randall, the Police weren’t quite finished – they write his partner a ticket for ” obstructed tag” on his 2010 Mercedes.
the tag – picture taken by Randall the next day
The Police release Randall, and leave. Randall says he understands DWB (driving while black) better now, as his partner was a victim of DWW ( in an historically known area where whites drive in looking for drugs)
Randall sent a sharply worded e-mail the next day to the Police Chief, the Mayor, the Manager and others.