It was the first, (and only) debate scheduled soley for the District II Fort Lauderdale Commission candidates.
And only two of the three candidates made it.
Commissioner Charlotte Rodstrom didn’t make the fun.
According to Progresso Village President Doug Sterner, Rodstrom called a few days before and said her husband (John) surprised her with a trip out of town, and she wouldn’t be making the debate.
That left her two challengers – Lester Zalewski and Michael Ferber.
Ferber ( with hands moving)
Zalewski came mostly prepared. He told the audience about his background, said he was “pro-redevelopment ( the logical and reasonable kind he said), said the neighborhood was “entitled” to leave their homes feeling safe.
But Ferber was the life of the party !!
Ferber is an unapologetic, rabid, Libertarian. He started by saying that he knew their area well ( living in the next neighborhood over), had served on many City advisory Boards, but was probably not going to say many things the audience wanted to hear!
He was right!
He said he came without any “meaningless platitudes” .
He said that “there was no Santa Claus”. He said he wasn’t running to “make government more responsive”, but to reduce the size, cut-back, have government “abandon many of the things it was currently doing”.
He continued – they’ll be calling me “Mike the Knife”. He said he would “eliminate the Economic Development Department”. He said he wouldn’t govern by “lynch mob politics”.
He finished by saying he would ” go to Def Com III in efforts to reduce the size of the City Government.
This is probably what most of the attendees liked best about Ferber’s attendance –
I know this sounds like a bad, B – horror movie, but it’s actually non-fiction – mine!
And I also know that it has absolutely nothing to do with Fort Lauderdale Politics, so I’ll be brief.
Do you want to know when’s the worse possible time for one of those old, used up molars to go bad?
……… Christmas Day !
I couldn’t find a dentist working, even the day after Christmas, and I was getting desperate. My brilliant wife had an idea as I poured over the internet listings, calling and calling, and getting nowhere – “call one with a Jewish name”.
Sure enough, Dr. Wiener would see me, but only if I could get there by noon.
It was a bad case, he explained, but he thought he could save the tooth. I wanted him to kill the tooth!
Anyhow, to make a long, painful story short, he couldn’t save it after all, and today ( weeks later), I found myself staring up at the bright white light in the Extraction Specialist’s chair( is it safe?)
When the Doc left the room, I glanced up at the torture tools!
Then, the young, very capable, Egyptian born dentist flew into the room, and in a matter of minutes ( that seemed much longer), the deed was done – Mr. Badtooth was no more!
… the culprit
I just got home and the wife asked if there was any pain? I handed her this!
It’s the newest addition to the Fort Lauderdale Police Department’s fleet, and it’s awesome for a number of reasons!
First, it is indestructible. The tires can’t be flattened, the windows can’t be broken out, the doors can’t be forced open.
And it is a rolling video machine!
The truck has inside mounted cameras on three sides that roll non-stop. They can shoot 700 hours of video, so if you have a problem area, it just sits there and does the surveillance work for you.
But the very best thing about it ??
It costs – ready for this?
Police Chief FrankAdderley says all the credit for getting the vehicle ( and the cost) goes to City Manager Lee Feldman. Apparently, a big shot at Brinks used to work for Feldman. This truck ( and another one also on the way to the City) was slated to go to Miami, but when the Brinks people heard Feldman in Fort Lauderdale was asking for one – they sent us two !
The Peacemaker is in District III today, off Sistrunk Blvd., on a street that had a rash of ten burglaries in just two months.
The people on the street are thrilled.
These neighbors told me there hasn’t been any problems since the Peacemaker came to town, and they hope it stays.
The only thing the wife was upset about ?
“You gonna take my picture with my hair looking like this?”
There are five debates scheduled where you will be able to see the candidates for the next Fort Lauderdale City Commission, over the next few weeks.
I’ll give you those dates in a minute, but first, let me share with you the details of the first debate that occurred (sort of), last night, at the Imperial Point Medical Center.
The debate was sponsored by the Imperial Point neighborhood, which is run by maybe the best, long term volunteer in the City – Betty Shelley.
The crowd turn-out was substantial.
The candidate turn-out was not.
multiple missing chairs
Only one of the three Mayoral candidates showed up, which made it tricky during the rebuttal phase!
Apparently, EarlRynerson sent out an e-mail ( I haven’t seen it) saying not to expect him. No one expected GabrielCrimi, as we’ve learned that he has been a sham candidate from the start.
In the District I Commission race ( the debate was just for Mayor and District I candidates), both candidates, the incumbent Roberts, and challenger Mary Graham were both there, which made the rebuttal phase run much smoother!
rebuttler Mary Graham
No news was made during the debate, though Graham revealed her slow growth tendencies, and Seiler gave me a headache with his thorough recitations on budget, pension, and tax informations – ad nauseam!
Here are your next opportunities to see the candidates
January 20th – Downtown Council- at Doubletree on Sunrise (11:30 – $40!)
January 24th – Council of Neighborhoods – City Hall ( 7:00 pm – free)
So many of you have been waiting for a real follow up to the
that occurred in the South MiddleRiver neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale last month.
Today, I got a chance to give you a bit of that! ——————————————————————-
I had decided to go look around South Middle River, to see for myself if the City had actually done anything about the problems there that led to last month’s riot….. I had a new camera that my sweet wife Cindy had bought me for Christmas and was loaded for bear!
sweet wife ( on phone as usual)
Almost telepathically, theChief of Policecalled me on some other matter, just as I was deciding to go on over to South Middle River.
Chief Frank Adderley said “Great, I’ll meet you there”!
Chief pulls up, (not undercover!)
I hopped in to the souped up Dodge, and we took off to peruse the scene.
Welcome to the bad side of South Middle River
So, just a block into the Chief’s tour, we ran into a staggering drunk in the middle of the road ( this was about 3:30).
Adderley stopped his car and told the drunk to go home. He said OK and headed in the direction he was coming from. As he broke stride, he tossed his beer can on the side of the road.
It was then suggested to him, (rather strongly) that he pick up his can and some of the other garbage as well while scooting down the road.
drunk on garbage pick-up
We then headed off to the riot intersection to see if anyone was around to talk to the Chief about the incident last month. Luckily, there were numerous neighbors home that gladly talked to the Chief about the incident, and the constant burglaries and other problems affecting their neighborhood.
riot intersection neighbors chatting up the Chief
We trucked on to other parts of the neighborhood.
We came across this condemned house where the occupant, an old Haitian woman, was still living in her front yard with her meager belongings.
just a sad story
We had been out for a few hours, the Chief had been jotting down a lot of things, so we decided to end up the tour at a bright spot in the neighborhood’s life, and brand new City park that just opened last month.
Chief in the new park
Unfortunately, ( though not unexpectedly) drug dealing has been already reported there.
The take away from today’s tour is there is much that must be done. Much of it is a Police responsibility, but not all. The “broken window theory” is alive and well there – Garbage, condemned homes, code violations, massive foreclosures, poor street conditions, noise violations, lack of sidewalks,cultural issues – all will take many other departments in the City.