An Interview With The Former Mayor

     I know what you’re thinking… 

     No
, …….. this interview is not with him       
                                                                       Jim Naugle

….  we are planning an interview with Naugle soon , but when I asked him when he’d be available he said something cryptic, I’m not sure what he meant. He said to give him a call when “swine are in flight!” 

      

   No sillies, not him either! He should have been Mayor, but lost to the above!


                                    No No … now you’ve gone way too far back ! 
                                      Clay Shaw

  ….hmmm… I see you haven’t been paying attention !
    George Gretsas
                         
            
                   OK, I’d better help   ….. this interview is with the Fort Lauderdale Mayor from 1982 through 1986   ………. 

                                                        Meet Rob Dressler

                                          
   
                                 current Mayor Jack Seiler with former Mayor Rob Dressler                                         

         
 TIM:      So Rob   ………   tell us a little about yourself , after all some of us were just babies when you were Mayor !     

 ROB:     
As to my roots, I am truly a Fort Lauderdale native. I was born in Broward General Hospital, grew up first in Victoria Park on Victoria Park Road and later on NE 7 Street. I went to East Side Elementary, Sunrise Junior High School and Fort Lauderdale High School.
     Fort Lauderdale when I grew up, was a small town, and we could ride our bicycles all over town, had to go past farms to get to Wilton Manors. I could ride, fish or hunt just west of State Road 7. After I graduated from high school in 1963, I was out of the area in college, law school and the Marines, but moved back to Victoria Park in 1975.
                                                
 
TIM:        And when you moved back to Fort Lauderdale, had things changed?

  ROB:    yes, and not for the better. The neighborhoods were overrun with traffic and very rundown, without adequate code enforcement or trash pick-up, and prostitutes lined Federal Highway throughout the City.
     The recession in the late70’s had ended the City’s ambitious Downtown Development Plan and left nothing but empty lots, which were eventually put to short term use as tennis courts.

   TIM:     and seeing all that made you want to get involved?

    ROB:      yep …  I got involved by bringing feuding neighbors together to form the Victoria Park Civic Association. Then, after Clay Shaw’s election to Congress there was an “empty seat”on the Commission, so I became a candidate. In my first term, I served with Bob Cox, former Mayor Virginia Young, and Dick Mills, as well as John Rodstrom who was also elected that year.

    TIM:       so how did your political career end?

    ROB:       I resigned to run for the Florida Senate. Unfortunately, the sense of community and enthusiasm we had in those days seems to have gotten lost.
      However, rather than focusing on past problems, I want to say that Mayor Seiler and the new commission will lead us in a new, much more positive direction.