City Politics

……..  There is only a few months left before the Fort Lauderdale City Elections for the Mayor and all the City Commissioners, but you’d never know it. There has been little campaigning, and only one real race.

……..  That one “real race”,  might be the race for the most needy District in the City – District III. That race looks to be between the front running incumbent and his one challenger –  ……read on …..

 

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This is the District III incumbent, Commissioner Robert Mckinzie,  who has  only been  in the office for about a month ( he was just appointed to fill the seat of Commissioner Bobby Dubose,, who was elected to the State House in November).

Here are the two signs for them both, at the intersection of  Sistrunk Boulevard and the Avenue of the Arts (NW 7th Ave.)

 

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…..A closer look might show that there may truly be a race going on –

 

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This is the challenger, Donna Guthrie. She is the neighborhood President of Melrose Park.

…… And as you can see, somebody doesn’t like Guthrie’s campaign. Guthrie has a big black graffiti mark under her eye, and under the “Fort Lauderdale City Commission, District 3 ” line, someone spray painted over Guthrie’s tag line – “Unbought and Unbossed” . That is a not so thinly disguised  comment that she believes Mckinzie is the insiders choice.

Guthrie says that’s a fair comment, that Mckinzie should have never been appointed to the seat, as he was a candidate for the seat and that gave him an unfair advantage

…. . But Guthrie says that is not stopping her campaign. She points to some mighty hefty endorsements to date – – Congressman Alcee Hastings, Art Kennedy, State Rep Gwen Clarke-Reed, Roosevelt Waters, and Property Appraiser Lori Parish. This is a race to watch!

 

Of course, if you are really a glutton for punishment, you can always stay attuned to the Mayor’s race, and his perennial  challenger

 

– Earl Rynerson

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More later  🙂

 

 

 

Tonight Downtown

Fort Lauderdale –  …… So much fun !

Tonight, as I’ve done for years, I got on my bicycle and headed downtown to watch the  Boat Parade!

But tonight would be different than the other years…. Sure, the Boat Parade was there alright –

 

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All lit up, big crowds  …. sensational as usual  ….  but something was far different tonight…..  Blocks before I got to the river, there were big crowds in the streets!  …And I mean IN the streets!

 

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I thought right away  – this isn’t part of Winterfest ….. What was this  parade all about?  …. Was  it a political rally?

 

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After-all, there was that odd Commissioner Roberts sign that someone from the crowd had left behind, leaned up against a light pole!

 

And then the biggy-big sign of the Mayor !

 

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And this was no ordinary crowd, as crowds go……  No!  … Kind of a motley crowd!  … But I tell ya, they had one hell of a Police detail with them!

 

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Mounted Patrol, SWAT, Patrol cars by the dozens! ….Must have been 100 cops !  ….All following “the crowd”.

The crowd was moving in unison, like a big lizard, and they were all chanting together that they couldn’t breathe ….”I can’t breathe –  I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe”! Maybe it was the United Asthma Foundation or something!

 

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Anyhow, they all turned down Las Olas, and I went on straight to the river to watch the boats –

Seemed our FLPD had everything firmly under control 🙂

 

Fort Lauderdale – So much fun !!

 

The Play …. in Pictures !

……………………………………. Fort Lauderdale – the History………………………………………

……..  Before we get back to politics, and the hard driving issues that affect us here in Fort Lauderdale, let’s take a minute and just feel good about our life and times !

………. The Play, Fort Lauderdale – the History,  took place last Sunday. It was produced by the 13th Street Alliance, held at the cherished 1915 Annie Beck House ( which was saved and is owned by the Broward Trust for Historic Preservation), and was an unqualified  blast! …  (Did I mention that I wrote the play?) …. Oh yea, I guess I did 🙂

Anyhow, here are some pictures from the play, all taken by the talent extraordinaire , Cal Deal.

 

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Mayor Seiler couldn’t be there, but prerecorded an opening welcome.

 

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Police Chief Frank Adderley played the first non-native person to live in Fort Lauderdale  –  joined here by his play wife, Sheryl Dickey.

 

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Our newest Commissioner, Robert Mckinzie, played Doc Sistrunk.

 

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Commissioner Bruce Roberts had multiple roles, here he is as the town’s first Top Cop, Marshall Kossie Goodbread!

 

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I’m giving the Tony Award to Commissioner Romney Rogers,  seen here enacting the suicide of town father Frank Stranahan.

 

The rousing Big Finish can be seen on YouTube at http://youtu.be/y87o3JSHRGQ.

 

The closing ACT, with Council of Fort Lauderdale Civic Associations’ President Marilyn Mammano,  lip syncing Connie Francis’s Where the Boys Are …. with Stranahan and Annie and Alfred Beck (Bill and Diane Smart). 

 

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Broward Trust President Steve Glassman in his role as Judge Fred Shippey!

 

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And lastly, a shot taken right after the play of me and my son Tim Smith, who received an award for his monthly donations to the 13th Street Alliance, from his store –  Oddballs Nifty Thrift, 530 NE 13th Street …… (excuse the shameless plug!)

 

If you want to see more great pics, go to Cal Deals’ site-  http://fortlauderdaleobserver.com/HistoryPlay/      …… and the whole play is now up on You Tube at http://youtu.be/lcZMA9KmgIA   ……

 

………Tim

 

Come to this Play ! You won’t Regret it!

Want to have fun? Then here is one to put on the calendar –

 

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Sunday, December 7th 2014 –

 

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Fort Lauderdale- the History, a two act play, will be performed on the grounds of the historic 1915 Annie Beck House, (which is in the Middle River Terrace Park on Dixie Highway – 1329 N. Dixie) ..

The play is being produced by the 13th Street Alliance, who manages the house for the Broward Trust for Historic Preservation, who saved it from the wrecking ball some years back, and moved it to the park….

And get this – the Fort Lauderdale City Commissioners, Police Chief, City Manager, the Director of Riverwalk, Prez of the Council of Neighborhoods etc, are the actors !!! ( sounds even funner now eh?)

 

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The play tells the story of  Fort Lauderdale from 1793-1960 – 

And yes, Connie Francis will be there to sing Where the Boys Are – well kinda!

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The event starts at 2:30 with a cocktail party (open bar – lots of  eats) for $20, ( it’s a fundraiser for the perpetual care of the historic house) or you can just come to the play for free – it starts at 4 pm!

If you have questions, or want me to save you a good seat, e-mail me at tim@timsmith.com

See you then!

 

 

Homeless – Attorney, Flip – Flopper

What to do with the chronically homeless  is the big news this month in Fort Lauderdale  …..  but it was also the big news in the summer of 1994. 

And embroiled in both controversies, spanning the decade,  is infamous Fort Lauderdale Attorney William Scherer.

 

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This month, Scherer has been busy on all the TV channels, quoted in the newspapers, and filing up lawsuits  in support of his  homeless clients.

Problem is, Scherer has been on all sides of this difficult  issue –

…………. follow the timeline  ……

 

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November 2014 –  Scherer said that “freedom of religion, speech, and association” are not being treated equally (to the homeless), and that this ordinance is intended to “run ’em out of town” …. 

but in May 1994,  –(in his role as a Board Member of the DDA (Downtown Development Authority, ) Scherer said – ” the “homeless camp must leave downtown”,   and then said Board members should call their County Commissioners to” keep the pressure up”  ….. In the DDA June, 1994 meeting, Mr. Scherer added to the discussion “it is absurd that 180 people cause this kind of problem in a community of 1 million”  …

 

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………. but back to November 2014 –  the City “took a big ax and is chopping away at constitutional rights”  ….. and “my client has as much right to have people there as I did for my children’s 4th of July picnic”

 

……    but back again to 1994 – Mr. Scherer said the homeless situation was going to “cause the east side people to revolt” …..   Scherer also said at the time – we may be missing an opportunity to gain evidence that none of these people are making an effort to go back to work because they are substance abusers or alcoholics, or other misfits that cannot work” ….. Scherer then noted that the South Florida Mental Institution is currently vacant” ..

 

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…… lastly, once more – back to November 2014 –  Scherer said “we are prepared to go all the way to the Supreme Court”……….

 

………….   yes, we get that Scherer, but on which side ?????

Join Team Fort Lauderdale?

Our town has taken a shellacking on the National News the last few weeks.

 

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According to the staff at City Hall,  the tons of  calls and e-mails coming in from outside the city and state are nearly all against the new ordinances.

But the calls also show that we citizens of Fort Lauderdale are generally supportive  …. Even though we don’t all agree on the homeless issue completely, I think we all agree that those from elsewhere that think we are all  heartless boobs have got it all wrong !

So that got me thinking this morning while on my daily training run  ….. What could we do to ban together ….I know, form Team Fort Lauderdale …. get the whole story out !

Now, I’m not sure how exactly we should do that, ( that’s the benefit of being a former Commissioner), but each of us, as a team member,  should do our part,  in our own special way,  to set the record straight,

Here’s my little part for today —  the 13th Street Alliance is holding the first ever road race along 13th Street in February …

 

funkyflyer1          So, I’ve just started a Team Fort Lauderdale for the Funky Fun Run ,   ….

 

…… start training for it like I am  …… write  Team Fort Lauderdale on your training shirt as I will……  you will be making a statement that you are proud of being a Fort Lauderdalian, and getting in shape at the same time!

Here I am just minutes after this morning’s training run

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Here I am just a few minutes after that –

 

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Go Team Fort Lauderdale !!

 

 

Don’t Believe My Last Post !

Hi friends ! ( even you others!) … My last post was a spoof  …..  not true … meant as satire …. don’t believe it!

 

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….. …..I’ve never done this before, but that last post was sent to me from an exceptionally witty person that’s been around a long time – and I couldn’t help myself  …

 

…… at the end, I Datelined it as April 1st, to let you know not to take it seriously,  but some of you didn’t read to the end! …..

 

……………… I just hope I didn’t give Abbott any new ideas!! …………..Tim

Abbott and the Boat Parade

 

Love Thee Neighbor Plans “Homeless Armada” in Boat Parade
Following his continuing defiance of City ordinances and high-profile protests at Mayor Jack Seiler’s home, Arnold Abbott today announced his plan to have a “Homeless Armada” in the annual Winterfest Boat Parade, consisting of a lead boat, a cooking/feeding barge and various support boats.
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Abbott and Seiler at news conference
Abbott says his plan is to provide food at numerous locations along the parade route so the homeless can eat while they watch the parade.
Although most homeless are downtown or on the beach, he plans to make other stops at parks, residential lots and businesses along New River and the Intracoastal, enabling the homeless to watch the parade from numerous locations, from Riverfront to Shooters and back.
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Asked whether he had approval from the Winterfest Committee, he said “I don’t ask for permission from the City, why should I need permission from Winterfest.  What are they going to do, have the Coast Guard sink us?”
In addition to the feeding mission, Abbott’s lead boat will feature “Homeless Celebrities” who will be available for media interviews condemning the City’s heartless attitude.  Awards will also be given in many categories, including most sensational media coverage, and best high-profile local attorneys who are donating their time to insure the homeless are fed somewhere they don’t live, and aren’t anywhere near their homes.
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                                   Colbert
                                  City: Fort Lauderale, Fla.
                         Dateline: April 1st  ……….
                                     ….special thanks to Bor …. 

Update on McKinzie Lawsuit

Today was the hearing, brought by two residents of District III, asking to deny Robert McKinzie the Fort Lauderdale Commission seat.

 

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The lawsuit for an injunction, stating that McKinzie didn’t live in the District,  was denied by the Judge –

 

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tell it to the Judge

The Judge said, basically, that there was not an emergency, as the City had already sworn McKinzie in, but that the Plaintiff Attorney could come back to the Court and file a motion for a full hearing ( on whether or not McKinzie met the qualifications for the seat – residing in the District).

The Plaintiff’s attorney thinks they can prove that McKinzie actually lives in Plantation.

 

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Plaintiff  Attorney Bob Nichols

 Interestingly, after the hearing ended, McKinzie’s lawyer Greg Durden,  told me that McKinzie had just petitioned the Property Appraiser to delete the Homestead designation from his house in Plantation.

 

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McKinzie attorney Greg Durden, (on left!)

 

No word yet if the plaintiffs will file for the full hearing.