Meet the Colonel
U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Earl Rynerson (Ret.), thinking he may want to be the next Mayor of Fort Lauderdale, to be exact.
Rynerson, 55, has been exploring the possibility of adding his name to the growing list of Mayoral candidates. He started by sending out his extensive resume to all the City’s Neighborhood Presidents, and meeting with the local leaders that responded.
His biggest shortfall? Nobody knows who he is!
Though Rynerson admits that’s so, he isn’t bothered by the detail. He points to his successful military career, (Desert Storm Veteran), his well documented successes in the business world, and his service in San Francisco as a ranking member of the Human Rights and Social Services Commissions as proof that he’s got the right stuff.
Rynerson has lived in Fort Lauderdale with his partner Michael since 2001. He started on the Las Olas Isles in Fiesta Way, then Seven Isles, and finally landed in Victoria Park, where he has started an anti-crime watch program in response to the recent violent crime there. He says he has spent most of the last seven years getting his business, Clad Tile and Stone, profitable, and now that that’s been accomplished, he’s ready to jump in and get the City going in the right direction.
He says he “has an itch” to run for Mayor, and has been deeply troubled by the direction the City has taken. He calls the current Mayor, Jim Naugle, “nut-job Naugle”, and says the City is in serious need of an “image polishing”. Rynerson believes that the first job of a Mayor should be to “make people proud of their City”. He also says the Mayor should be the Spokesman for the City, build consensus, and be a mouthpiece for a diverse City.
Rynerson is no wallflower, and was embroiled in some controversies in San Francisco while serving as a Mayoral appointment to the Social Services Commission. He was chastised by Homeless Advocates when he called for reduced welfare payments to the Homeless, calling the stipend “drug and alcohol allowances”. He shows his independence in other ways as well, as evidenced by him forming his own Political Party, calling it the Leadership Party.
He has formulated some opinions on City issues, though he says he wants to meet with many citizens and their groups for imput. He’s troubled by what he sees as an inflated budget, but is also concerned that the Police are not resourced enough. He says any City employee jobs that pay over $200,000 a year “would be suspect”. On growth and redevelopment, he says he thinks redevelopment in the right spots are good, and he singles out the Sistrunk corridor and the Riverwalk as areas that could use help. He says the Riverwalk area has begun to “look crappy”.
Rynerson says he will make a solid decision on whether to run in a couple more months. When asked about the substantial opposition he will face if he gets in, he says, in what appears to be his forthright manner, “we don’t need another carreer Politician for Mayor of Fort Lauderdale”.
Looks like it could be an interesting year for Fort Lauderdale.