The Next Candidate, Please

     The next candidate is …..

    
     Earl Rynerson, who is running for Mayor.

     The current Mayor, Jack Seiler, is running for re-election.


                     Here’s Rynerson’s responses to my questions –


Tim:

You asked why I was running for Mayor. Here are the reasons why I decided to run:



1. Out of control spending: Our Mayor has shown an inability to reduce spending or properly manage our budget, With the worst economy since the Great Depression, all City employees continue to receive pay raises, at our expense. Our budget is the biggest ever at $635 Million, almost double the size of our budget just 8 years ago!



2. Out of control pension costs: Our liability to the City Employee’s Pension plan now tops $1.1 Billion! Of that amount, over one fourth ($300 Million) is currently unfunded. We the taxpayers are now on the hook for that amount. Each year under Mayor Seiler’s leadership, the unfunded portion of our pensions has gotten worse.



3. Raiding our City’s savings account: When Mayor Seiler and our Commission took over, we had almost $80 million in our City’s savings account. Now we have only about $50 million. That’s because Mayor Seiler decided to raid the savings account each year to cover the shortfall in revenues caused by additional spending and pay raises to City employees.



4. No Vision for the City: After almost three years in office and our Mayor still cannot articulate a Vision for our City. His delay demonstrates a lack of leadership and has turned into an embarrassing (and expensive) fire drill that has done nothing to promote a future direction for our City. I’ve written a 20-chapter detailed Vision for Fort Lauderdale and it cost our City nothing.



5. Two-year delay in selecting a new City Manager: Finally, (after 2.5 years), we now have someone who is qualified to manage the day-to-day operations of the City: (City Manager Lee Feldman). But his arrival could have come two years earlier had the Mayor shown any initiative. Instead, Seiler dithered until just days before Gretsas’ departure, then hastily selected a Gretsas crony (Allyson Love) with zero managerial experience to manage our 2,600 person municipal operation for an additional 12 months.



Is this the kind of leadership our City deserves? He has demonstrated no passion to make our City better. I feel I can do better.



Earl Rynerson